A1r

The
Gleaner.

A
Miscellaneous Production.
in Three Volumes.

By Constantia.

Slow to condemn, and ſeeking to commend, Good ſenſe will with deliberation ſcan; To trivial faults unwilling to deſcend, If Virtue gave, and form’d the general plan.

Vol. I.

Publiſhed according to Act of Congreſs.

Printed at Boston,
By I. Thomas and E. T. Andrews,
Faust’s Statue, No. 45, Newbury-Street. 1798-02Feb. 1798.

A1v iii A2r

Dedication. To John Adams, L.L.D. President of the United States of America.

Sir,

Although I am aware, that by electing for my humble productions a patronage ſo diſtinguiſhed, I hazard the accuſation of preſumption, I reſt confident that your candour will aſcribe my temerity to the beſt poſſible motive.

That benignity and dignified affability, which is perhaps inſeparable from a truly noble mind, may be compared to the lucid veil, that, thrown around the orient beam, accommodates to our imbecile gaze thoſe ſplendors, which might otherwiſe dazzle and confound; we trace with enkindling ardor the mildly attempered radiance, we learn to appreciate its worth, and ſpontaneouſly we bleſs its genial path.

To dwell with accumulating energy upon the pleaſing paſt, is one of the appropriate felicities of reaſon; and, amid the review of other times, retroſpection frequently preſents to my mental eye, a period which memory piouſly conſecrates, when, privileged by an opportunity of contemplating iv A2v iv contemplating the Preſident, during the white moments of ſocial pleaſure, the domeſtic virtues collected and embodied, were exemplified with uncommon luſtre; and while the recollection of his philanthropic manners, and uniform elevation, gives me to mark with additional complacency, the aſcendency he hath ſo meritoriouſly obtained in the public mind, I regard the authority to inſcribe theſe volumes to him among the moſt elating circumſtances of my life.

Were I to indulge th genuine language of my heart, it would be a taſk of no ordinary deſcription, to circumſcribe within due bounds thoſe expanſive effuſions reſulting from admiration of his character, and from affectionate gratitude for the very eſſential ſervices he hath rendered to a country, that may conſider his birth as an era in her annals, and that juſtly places this event among her higheſt honours.

The homage we yield to eminent abilities, and luminous rectitude, can never involve the charge of ſingularity; for genius, elevated by virtue and unimpeached integrity, adorned by literature, elegance and taſte, have in all ages commanded the eſteem and veneration of mankind: but although I might plead the ſanction of numerous and reſpectable examples, I cannot,not, A3r v not, however, diſcern the utility of eſſaying to prove, that the majeſty of day illumines our world, or that his ſalutary influence, like ſome gladdening deity, diffuſes over the face of nature, conſiſtency, harmony, and unrivalled beauty.

That America has looked up to you, Sir, as her ſecond hope, is a truth which carries in its boſom a panegyric upon your virtues more impreſſive, than if an angel had pronounced your eulogy; and while our fervid benedictions muſt ever follow the retiring Chief, whoſe guardian care conducted our benighted footſteps over paths untried and perilous, to a brilliant morning, the refulgent dawn of which is regarded as the harbinger of a glorious meridian, we hail with ardent expectancy his patriotic ſucceſſor, who, like another Eliſha, clothed in the ſacred veſtments of authority, inherits a full proportion of that ſpirit, which reſted upon him, who, emancipating his country from unwarrantable uſurpations, will ever be recogniſed as her Deliverer: Thus, in the ſame moment that to the name of Waſhington, reſpectful gratitude, bending over the unperiſhing record of his illuſtrious acts, eſtabliſhes in the Columbian boſom her eternal monuments; we exult in an Adams, whoſe tranſcendent talents,A2 ents, vi A3v vi ents, and whoſe vigilance, are fully adequate to the emergencies and the dangers of a Free Government; whoſe wiſdom and magnanimity will firmly guide the helm of State; who, although contending ſtorms may aſſail, and the big waves of oppoſition may laſh the bark, will purſue with unwavering intrepidity, his deſtined way; while rectitude his chart, and experience his compaſs, he muſt aſſuredly make the broad and ample harbour of Security.

Yes, Sir, I indulge a hope that your name may not only ſhield me from the oblivion I dread, but poſſibly confer a degree of celebrity, to which my own merit may not furniſh a title; yet whatever is the fate of pretenſions originating perhaps in arrogance, may you, Sir, purſue your courſe with ever new effulgence. The guardian of a nation’s weal, you will watch over us for good. May you long continue to direct, enliven, and invigorate; and may your parting moments ſet ſerenely bright.

I have, Sir, the honour to be, with every ſentiment of eſteem and veneration,

Your moſt obedient, And very humble Servant,

Constantia.

.
vii A4r

Preface to the Reader.

My Readers will not call my veracity in queſtion, when I aſſure them that I am ardently anxious for their approbation. A lover of humanity, I do not remember the period when I was not ſolicitous to render myſelf acceptable to all thoſe who were naturally or adventitiouſly my aſſociates. Had I poſſeſſed ability, I ſhould have advanced every individual of my ſpecies to the higheſt ſtate of felicity, of which the preſent ſcene is ſuſceptible; but circumſcribed within very narrow bounds, I have, I had almoſt ſaid momently, been reduced to the neceſſity of lamenting the inefficacy of my wiſhes. Yet this my ruling paſſion, a fondneſs to ſtand well in the opinion of the world, having given a prevalent hue to every important action of my life, hath operated powerfully upon my ambition, ſtimulated my efforts, and implanted in my boſom an invincible deſire to preſent myſelf before a public which I reverence, irreſiſtibly impelling me to become a candidate for that complacency we naturally feel toward thoſe perſons, or that performance, which hath contributed to our emolument, or even amuſement.

My deſires are, I am free to own, aſpiring— perhaps preſumptuouſly ſo. I would be diſtinguiſhedguiſhed viii A4v viii guiſhed and reſpected by my contemporaries; I would be continued in grateful remembrance when I make my exit; and I would deſcend with celebrity to poſterity.

Had I been miſtreſs of talents for an achievement ſo meritorious, my firſt object in writing would have been the information and improvement of my readers; nor will I deny that a pleaſing hope plays about my heart, ſuggeſting a poſſibility of my becoming in ſome ſmall degree beneficial to thoſe young people, who, juſt entering the career of life, may turn, with all the endearing ardour of youthful enthuſiaſm, to a New Book, to an American Author; and while with partial avidity they purſue the well intended pages, they may ſelect a hint, or treaſure up a remark, which may become uſeful in the deſtined journey of life.

But vanity, in the moſt extravagant moments of her triumph, having never flattered me with the capability of conveying inſtruction to thoſe, whoſe underſtandings have paſſed the age of adoleſcence, my view has only been to amuſe; and if I can do this without offending, I ſhall be honoured with a place in ſome gentle boſom where I ſhould elſe have been unknown; I ſhall obtain a portion of eſteem, and my ruling paſſion will be thus far gratified.

To have preſented a finiſhed or perfect production, (ſuch is my fondneſs for literary fame) I would gladly have relinquiſhed my preſent mode of exiſtence; nay, more—I would have laboured for the completiontion ix A5r ix tion of ſuch a compoſition through a long ſucceſſion of lengthening years, although my life had been a ſcene of penury and hardſhip.

With ſuch ſentiments I ſhall not be ſuſpected of writing haſtily or careleſsly. The truth is, I have penned every eſſay as cautiouſly as if I had been aſſured my reputation reſted ſolely upon that ſingle effort: yet defects of almoſt every deſcription may too probably occur; the Grammarian, the Rhetorician, the Poet, theſe may all trace ſuch palpable deviations from the given ſtandard, as may render me, in their opinion, an unpardonable offender againſt the rules of language, and the elegance and graces of ſtyle. Poſſibly too, thus laid open to all the ſeverity of criticiſm, I may be arraigned, tried and condemned; and in this caſe it is certainly true, that I am preparing for myſelf the ſevereſt pangs. But, be this as it may, I reſt aſſured, that the feelings of the Moraliſt being in no inſtance wounded, he will accept with complacency my efforts in the common cauſe, and humanely ſhield me from thoſe ſhafts which might otherwiſe transfix my peace.

Having, in the concluding Eſſay, given my reaſons for aſſuming the maſculine character, I have only further to obſerve, that thoſe who admit the utility of conveying inſtruction and amuſement by allegory or metaphor, and who allow the propriety of giving a tongue to the inanimate world, and ſpeech to the inferior orders of the creation, will not object to the liberty I have taken. It is ſuperfluous x A5v x ſuperfluous to add, that allegory and fable are not only authorized by the beſt moral writers, but are alſo ſanctioned by holy writ.

I cannot urge in defence of my temerity, that the importunity of friends hath drawn me forth— certainly not. But, worthy reader, I repeat that I have been animated, in this my arduous purſuit, by a deſire to be introduced to thee, by a wiſh to make one in the number of thy friends. I am ſolicitous to obtain an eſtabliſhment in the boſom of virtue—I would advance my claim to the ſweetly ſoothing ſtrains of juſt applauſe; and I would ſecure for myſelf, and for my infant daughter, (ſhould our future exigencies require it) thy amity and thy patronage.

If thou proceedeſt through the volumes before thee, we ſhall paſs on together through many a page; the ſentiments of my heart will be unreſervedly pourtrayed; and I fondly perſuade myſelf that thou wilt, without reluctance, embrace in the arms of thy complacency, thy moſt obedient, and ſincerely devoted friend, and very humble ſervant,

Constantia.

Contents 10 A6r The 13 B1r

The Gleaner.

No. I.

Yes, I confeſs I love the paths of fame, And ardent wiſh to glean a brightening name.

Observing in the general preface, publiſhed in the December Magazine, The reader is requeſted to remember, that the Eſſays which compoſe this Firſt Volume were written purpoſely for the Monthly Muſeum, in which they originally appeared; and that they now ſtand preciſely in the order, and nearly in the manner, in which they were firſt preſented. a hint which I have conſtrued into a deſire to increaſe the number of your miſcellaneous correſpondents; and, ſtimulated by the delicate reproof upon literary indolence, which that elegant exordium contains, I feel myſelf, while fitting quite at my leiſure, on this evening of 1792-01-27January 27th, 1792, ſtrongly incited by my good or bad geniusthe event muſt determine the character of the ſpright which is goading me on, to take into my ſerious conſideration, the ſolicitation which in ſaid preface is ſo modeſtly urged, and which ſquares ſo wonderfully well with my ideas of the reaſon and fitneſs of things.

Not that I ſhall aim at palming myſelf upon the public, for a ſon of literature, a votary of the nine, or a dabbler in wit. I have no pretenſion to any of theſe characters. I am rather a plain man, who, after ſpending the day in making proviſion for my little family, ſit myſelf comfortably down by a clean hearth, and a good fire, enjoying, through theſe long evenings, with an exquiſiteB quiſite 14 B1v 14 quiſite zeſt, the pleaſures of the hour, whether they happen to be furniſhed by an amuſing tale, a well written book, or a ſocial friend. Poſſibly I might have jogged on to the end of my journey, in this ſober, tranquil manner: but alas, for ſome time paſt, I think, as near as I can remember, ever ſince the commencement of your Magazine, I have been ſeized with a violent deſire to become a writer. To combat this unaccountable itch for ſcribbling, it is in vain that I have endeavoured; it follows me through all the buſy ſcenes which the day preſents; it is my conſtant accompaniment in every nocturnal haunt; and it often keeps me waking, when, I verily believe, but for this reſtleſs deſire, I might enjoy, in the fulleſt latitude, every bleſſing which hath over yet been aſcribed to ſleep.

The many comprehenſive titles, and alluring ſignatures, which have from time to time embelliſhed your Magazine, have well near captivated my reaſon; and among many et ceteras, which might be enumerated, the following appellations have had for me peculiar charms: An ample field ſeemed opening in the title page of the General Obſerver; the name Philo appeared replete with ſtudious lore; the Politician was indefatigable for the good of the nation; the Philanthropiſt bled ſympathy; and with the Rivulet I was enraptured. At the bar of fancy, many a title for my intended eſſays hath been tried, and hath been ſucceſſively condemned. A variety of ſignatures have been deliberately adopted, and as deliberately diſplaced, until my pericranium hath been nearly turned with thinking. Unfortunately, with my wiſh to commence author, originated alſo, with a moſt inordinate ambition, and an inſatiable thirſt for applauſe. In whatever line I made my appearance, I was ſolicitous to ſtand unequalled.— I would be Ceſar, or I would be nothing. The ſmoothneſs of Addiſon’s page, the purity, ſtrength and correctneſs of Swift, the magic numbers of Pope —these 15 B2r 15 —theſe muſt all veil to me. The Homers and Virgils of antiquity, I would rival; and, audacious as I am, from the Philenia’s of the preſent age, I would arrogantly ſnatch the bays. Strange as is this account, it is nevertheleſs true. And, moreover, all theſe wild extravagancies have been engendered in a brain, which it may be, doth not poſſeſs abilities adequate to the furniſhing a paragraph in a common newſpaper! My caſe, I aſſure you, Gentlemen, hath been truly pitiable, while, for three years paſt, I have been ſtruggling with an inflatus, which hath been almoſt irreſiſtible. Reaſon, however, aided, as I ſaid, by a conviction of inferiority, hath hitherto reſtrained me; but your laſt preface hath done the buſineſs—it hath intereſted my feelings, and induced even reaſon to enliſt under the banners of temerity— the fire thus long pent up, cannot now be ſmothered, but acquiring, from its confinement, additional fervour, it at length produces me a candidate for that applauſe, by a proſpect of which, you are ſolicitous to engage your readers in the arduous purſuit of fame.

Thus reſolved, the die is caſt and this ungovernable mania admits of one only remedy. But having once made up my mind to write, an appellation is the next thing to be conſidered; for as to ſubjects, my ſanguine hopes aſſure me they will follow of courſe. A writer of facetious memory, hath repreſented his dear Jenny, when ſhe could not obtain the tiſſued robe, as meekly aſſuming the humbleſt garb which frugality could furniſh. I am fond of reſpectable examples, and I have humility enough to be influenced by them.

My title having much exerciſed my mind, and being convinced that any conſiderable achievements are beyond my graſp, upon mature deliberation I have thought beſt to adopt, and I do hereby adopt, the name, character, and avocation of a Gleaner; and this appellation, I do freely confeſs, gives a full and complete 16 B2v 16 complete idea of my preſent amazingly curtailed views.

Here pride ſuggeſts a queſtion, What is any modern ſcribbler better than a Gleaner? But I very ſaga- ciouſly reply, Let my brethren and ſiſters of the quill characterize themſelves; I ſhall not thus, upon the very threſhold of the vocation of my election, enter the liſts.

The truth is, I am very fond of my title: I conceive that I ſhall find it in many reſpects abundantly convenient; more eſpecially, ſhould an accuſation of plagiariſm, be lodged againſt me, my very title will plead my apology; for it would be indeed pitiful if the opulent reaper, whoſe granaries are confeſſedly large, and variouſly ſupplied, ſhould grudge the poor Gleaner what little he induſtriouſly collects, and what, from the richneſs and plenty of his ample harveſt, he can never want.

With diligence then, I ſhall ranſack the fields, the meadows, and the groves; each ſecret haunt, however ſequeſtered, with avidity I ſhall explore; deeming myſelf privileged to crop with impunity a hint from one, an idea from another, and to aim at improvement upon a ſentence from a third. I ſhall give to my materials whatever texture my fancy directs; and, as I ſaid, feeling myſelf entitled to toleration as a Gleaner, in this expreſſive name I ſhall take ſhelter, ſtanding entirely regardleſs of every charge relative to property, originality, and every thing of this nature, which may be preferred againſt me.

Mean time, ſhould any of the Parnaſſian girls, or his godſhip Apollo, or any other genius, ſylph, or gnome, of legendary or fairy anceſtry, fond of encouraging a young beginner, throw into my baſket an unbroken ſheaf, you may depend upon it that I will aſſay to form the valuable original, with all the care, accuracy and ſkill which cloſe thinking, deep ſtudy, and an ardent deſire to excel, can beſtow; and you may fartherther 17 B3r 17 ther aſſure yourſelves, that when thus highly wrought, I ſhall haſte to preſent the precious gift, a fit offering at the ſhrine of the Maſſachuſetts Magazine. Thus having, as far as it lays with me, adjuſted preliminaries, I propoſe myself, Gentlemen, as a candidate for a place in your Magazine. If my pretenſions are judged inadmiſſible, preſiding in your reſpectable divan, you have but to wave your oblivious wand, and I am forever ſilenced. I confeſs, however, that I have no violent inclination to ſee the Gleaner among your liſt of acknowledgments to correſpondents, ſet up as a mark for the ſhafts of wit, however burniſhed they may be.

You, Gentlemen, poſſeſs the ſpecific at which I have already hinted, and by which I may be radically cured; and if this attempt is really as abſurd as I am even now, at times, inclined to think it, your noninſertion of, and ſilence thereto, will operate as effectually as the ſevereſt reprehenſion, and will be regarded by the Gleaner as a judgment from which there is no appeal.

No. II.

Whether o’er meadows, or through groves I ſtray. Induſtry points her broad directing ray; With care I glean, e’en in the well trod field. The ſcatter’d fragments it perchance may yield.

To the Editors of the Maſſachuſetts Magazine I make my beſt congee, and without any further prefatory addreſs, I ſhall, in future, produce my piece-meal commodities, freſh as I may happen to collect them.

Bleſs me! cried Margaretta, while, in the hope of meeting ſomething from the pen of Philenia, ſhe threw her fine eyes in a curſory manner over the index to the February Magazine. But pray, it may B2 be 18 B3v 18 be aſked, who is Margaretta? Curioſity is, without doubt, a uſeful if not a laudable propenſity; and, if it is the parent of many evils, it is but fair to acknowledge, that it hath alſo among its numerous ſons and daughters ſome extremely well favoured children. Curioſity hath given birth to the moſt arduous purſuits; its achievements have been of the greateſt utility; and without this ſtimulus we ſhould have great reaſon to fear an univerſal ſtagnation in every branch of knowledge. Moreover, this ſame curioſity conſorts, at this preſent, very exactly with my feelings; for the queſtion—Pray, who is Margaretta? involves a ſubject upon which I expatiate with infinite ſatisfaction, and upon which I have never yet loſt an opportunity of being loquaciouſly communicative.

At the cloſe of the late war, when I was an idle young fellow, fond of indulging myſelf in every luxury which the ſmall patrimony that deſcended to me from a very worthy father, would permit, I conceived an invincible deſire of becoming a ſpectator of the felicity which I imagined the inhabitants of South- Carolina, particularly the ſuffering metropolis of that State, would experience on their emancipation from a ſucceſsion of evils, which, for a period of ſeven years, had continued to occupy their minds, giving them to taſte deeply of every calamity conſequent upon a war, conducted in that part of our country with almoſt unparalleled barbarity. I had early connected myſelf in the bands of wedlock with a young woman of a mild and conceding diſpoſition, who ſincerely loved me, and who, accomodating herſelf even to my caprices, hath made it the ſtudy of her life, when ſhe could not convince my judgment, however rational her arguments in her own eſtimation, to bend to my purpoſes her moſt approved wiſhes.

When I announced my intention of viſiting South-Carolina, ſhe could not forbear ſuggeſting ſome economical ideas; but upon a declaration that I was determined to execute my plan, ſhe ſubmittedmitted 19 B4r 19 mitted with that kind of acquieſcence, which our ſex is ſo fond of conſidering as the proper characteriſtic of womanhood. For a progreſs then of many hundred miles, in a one horſe chaiſe, we commenced our journey; we intended to paſs on by eaſy ſtages; and, moreover, we were accompanied by one of the patriotic exiled citizens of Charleſton, with whom, during a ſtruggle which aſsociated the remoteſt ſubjects of the union, we had contracted an intimate acquaintance. The kindneſs of this gentleman, who was well mounted, ſerving us as a relay, we proceeded expeditiouſly enough, and I do not remember that I ever in my life paſsed my time more agreeably. Many ſcenes novel and intereſting, proſpects extenſive, and views truly pictureſque, arreſted our attention; and were I not haſting to give a ſolution to the reader’s queſtion, I might perhaps amuſe him very tolerably, in the deſcriptive line, through two or three pages cloſe printing; but in a courſe of publications, I may poſsibly again recur to exhibitions which pleaſed me ſo highly at the time, when I may be more at leiſure to glean whatever flower recollection may furniſh

On our arrival in Charleſton we found our moſt ſanguine expectations anſwered; the joy of the liberated citizens was unbounded—it was beyond deſcription; nor can I give a better idea of their ſatisfaction than by pronouncing it in exact proportion to, and fully commenſurate with, their preceding ſufferings. Our companion, however, was, by the ſame unwarrantable meaſures which had wrecked many a princely fortune, ſtripped of his whole inheritance; ſo that being entire ſtrangers in Charleſton, we were neceſsitated to provide ourſelves with hired lodgings.

Our landlady was a widow of reputation, whoſe houſe was frequented only by people of the utmoſt circumſpection. The ſecond day after our arrival, as the good woman was pouring the tea, which we 20 B4v 20 we had choſen for breakfaſt, a gentle tap at the door drew our attention. My wife, who is in fact the pink of civility, was mechanically riſing to open it, when ſhe was prevented by our hoſteſs, who cried, Sit down, Madam, it is nobody but the child. My dear Mary, who is extravagantly fond of children, catching at the ſound, eagerly replied, Then, Madam, you have a young family. No, Madam, returned the hoſteſs, it is long ſince my young folks have been grown up about me; but this little creature belongs to an unfortunate lodger of mine, who is continually weeping over her, and who I am afraid will not long be an inhabitant of this bad world; indeed I ſuppoſe her preſent errand is occaſioned by ſome new diſtreſs of her mother’s, for the pretty thing is wonderfully ſenſible for ſuch a mere baby. My poor wife, in whoſe compoſition humanity is the paramount ingredient, inſtantly found her benevolence engaged; all her tender feelings took the alarm; and, precipitately quitting her chair, in a tremulous voice ſhe exclaimed, Pray, Madam, neglect not the unfortunate ſick perſon for us; I can fill the tea, and I beſeech you to admit the little petitioner. The good woman, pronouncing a panegyric upon the tenderneſs of my wife’s diſpoſition, forthwith threw open the door, when a little female, apparently about ten years of age, preſented herſelf; ſhe was beautiful as innocence, and her figure was of that kind, which ſeems formed to intereſt every benign principle of the ſoul; which is calculated to invigorate, even in the boſom of the moſt phlegmatic, the latent ſparks of pity, although nearly ſmothered there.

Oh Mrs. Thrifty! exclaimed the heart affecting pleader, will you not come to my mamma? will you not give her ſome more of them bleſsed drops which yeſterday made her ſo much better? ſhe is—indeed ſhe is—Here, caſting her eyes toward us, whom her concern had before prevented her from ſeeing, and who were regarding her with a mixture of pity and admiration, 21 B5r 21 admiration, a modeſt bluſh tinged her cheek, which, even at that early age, had been too often waſhed by the tear of ſorrow; and, burſting into an agony of grief, ſhe remained ſilent. Go on, Margaretta, ſaid Mrs. Thrifty; let us know what new complaint you have to make; this gentleman and lady are very good, and will excuſe you. Mary took the hand of the weeping cherub, and drawing her to her, imprinted upon her humid cheek one of thoſe balmy kiſses which ſhe is always ready to beſtow upon the young proficient, thus early enliſted under the banners of misfortune. Mrs. Thrifty ſays right, my dear, every body will love and pity you; tell us, how is your mamma? The child, hanging upon the arm of my wife, expreſsed by her intelligent eyes a thouſand mingling ſenſations; ſurpriſe, love, gratitude, and a corrected kind of joy, ſeemed to grow at once in her ſoul; and, bowing upon the hand of Mary in a perturbed manner, ſhe ſpontaneouſly expreſsed the involuntary emotions of her boſom: Oh my dear lady; will you not ſee my mamma? certainly you can make her well, and ſhe is indeed very ſick; I thought this morning ſhe would ſpeak to me no more—ſhe looked ſo pale—and was ſo long before ſhe bid me repeat my morning hymn: Oh if my poor mamma ſhould die—I cannot—indeed I cannot ſtay here.

Mary, it will not be doubted, bent her utmoſt efforts to ſoothe the ſweet mourner. But not to dwell longer upon a ſubject, on which it will perhaps be thought I have already too much enlarged, it ſhall ſuffice to ſay, that, through the good offices of her little friend, Mary ſoon procured an introduction into the chamber of the ſick—that, feelings, which at firſt originated in compaſsion for the charming child, meliorated into a ſympathetic kind of amity—and that, for the courſe of one week, ſhe paſsed a very large proportion of her time in endeavouring to mitigate the calamities of the ſuffering matron.ron. 22 B5v 22 ron. Her aſsiduities, however, were not crowned with the ſalutary effects ſhe wiſhed; the patient, it was but too apparent, was haſtening on to the hour of her diſſolution; her diſorder was a regular decline; the ſhafts of a deep-rooted and incurable grief, muſt, of neceſsity, be unerring; and it was evident, that in the boſom of the fair afflicted, corroding ſorrow had infixed its envenomed tooth. My wife often recommended a reſignation to, and reliance on, the diſpoſitions of a paternal God; but the dying woman ſhook her head, and continued her pity moving ſighs: And about ten days after our abode at Mrs. Thrifty’s, the poor lady recovering from a fainting fit, during which it was ſuppoſed ſhe had breathed her laſt, ſummoned us into her apartment, and, conſigning Margaretta to the care of Mrs. Thrifty, ſhe thus addreſsed us:—

You ſee before you, my friends—for friends, ſhort as is the interval in which I have known you, a number of concurring circumſtances evinces you, in the moſt exalted ſenſe of the term, to be; but you are uniformly, I doubt not, the friends of the unfortunate, and the Searcher of all hearts knows that my claim to your regards in this character is indubitable. You ſee before you, I ſay, a very diſtreſsed woman; for the ſake of the child who is juſt gone from me, I will briefly recount to you the outlines, if I may ſo expreſs myſelf, of my life. She is not, as ſhe ſuppoſes, my daughter—I never was a mother—I was the eldeſt of two ſiſters, who ſaw ourſelves reduced from affluence to penury; we were orphans, and we were, by the rapacious hand of unexampled fraud, deſpoiled of our patrimony; our mutual affection, however, ſurvived; and, upon the altar which our misfortunes had erected, we exchanged vows of eternal amity. To a ſmall town in the environs of London we retired, endeavouring to ſhelter our defenceleſs heads, and to ſeek from honeſt induſtry, that ſupport, of which, by faithleſs truſtees, we had been robbed.

“My 23 B6r 23

My ſiſter was addreſsed by a young man, whom I conceived altogether unworthy of her; for the pride of my heart was yet unſubdued; ſhe, however, notwithſtanding all my remonſtrances, perſiſted in encouraging the purſuit of young Melworth; while, ſo rooted was my averſion, ſo impaſsioned my declarations, and ſo unyielding the anger which deformed my ſoul, that I raſhly proteſted, the hour which made them one, ſhould fix between us an everlaſting bar, and that I would on no account, after ſuch an event, hold with her the ſmalleſt intercourſe. Their marriage nevertheleſs took place, and to my ſiſter’s entreaties for a reſtoration of our former amities, my obdurate heart continued inſenſible.

About this time, Captain Arbuthnot made his appearance in our village; a tender friendſhip grew between us; it meliorated into love, and he, in ſome ſort, ſupplied to me the place of my loſt ſiſter: Hymen ſanctified our union, and I eſteemed myſelf the happieſt of women.

Of my ſiſter, I knew but little; common fame indeed informed me, that ſhe was ſatisfied with her connexion, that her circumſtances were eaſy, that ſhe had given birth to one daughter, and with this intelligence I was well enough contented. It is true, I was, by private whiſpers, aſsured that ſhe pined after a reconciliation, and that ſhe had often been heard to ſay, that a renewal of our once warm and glowing attachment, was the only remaining requiſite which was yet wanting to complete her felicity. Still, however, I was unmoved; and I verily believed that every tender ſentiment, in regard to my ſiſter, was eradicated from my boſom. It was at this juncture that I accompanied Captain Arbuthnot in a journey of ſome months; and on my return, being upon a viſit, among other occurrences which were retailed to me, I learned that Mr. Melworth, having engaged on board a ſhip which had foundered at ſea, every life had been loſt; and that Mrs. Melworth, whoſe 24 B6v 24 whoſe health was before in a declining ſtate, was faſt ſinking under this calamitous event. The feelings of nature, were now, as by a ſhock of electricity, inſtantly rouſed. Unſpeakable was the agony of my ſoul! with the utmoſt ſpeed I haſted to her abode; but alas! I was only in time to receive her laſt ſighs! the dart which my unkindneſs had aimed at her peace, urged by a ſtroke ſo fatal, deeply transfixed her ſpirit, and ſhe was abſolutely expiring a martyr to the ſeverity of her fate. Yet, ere ſhe breathed her laſt, ſhe bequeathed her little Margaretta to my care. The ſweet infant, then only two years old, intuitively, as it ſhould ſeem, threw her arms about my neck; while in the preſence of Heaven, and in the hearing of her departing mother, I ſolemnly ſwore never to forſake her; and, ſince that hour, to ſhelter, to ſoothe, to reſtrain, and to direct my lovely charge, hath been the prime object of my life; but, yet a little while, and I ſhall be here no more. Oh thou fainted ſhade of my much wronged Margaretta! may my death, ſo ſimilar to thy own, expiate my injuſtice to thee, thou firſt, moſt indulgent, and mildeſt of women.

In one of the regiments ſtationed in Ireland, and in the year eighty-one ordered to America, Captain Arbuthnot had a command; he was now my only friend, and with my little orphan, who imagined us her real parents, I reſolved to follow his fortunes. We had been induced to ſuppoſe that eaſe and affluence awaited us here; that the country was ſubdued, and that nothing remained for us but to take poſseſſion of the forfeited lands; but we have been miſerably deceived. Landing in this city, upon the third of June, as early as the ſeventh of the ſame month, the troops marched under the command of Lord Rawdon, encountering inconceivable difficulties, in a rapid progreſs beneath the intenſe rays of a burning ſun, through the whole extent of the State. My unfortunate huſband fell a victim to the climate, and to the wounds which he received in the engagement, which 25 C1r 25 which took place near Shubrick’s plantation. Need the reſt be told?—Upon the evacuation of Charleſton, I was unable to embark with the troops. For my little Margaretta, my laſt ſigh will be breathed; it is for her, as I ſaid, my humane friends, that I have thus long detained you. By the injuries of which they complain, the benevolent feelings of the inhabitants of this city are blunted—what can I do? ſtrangers as you are, I ſolicit your advice—was ſhe but provided for, my paſsage out of time would be eaſy; for, with regard to myſelf, I know no proſpect ſo pleaſing, as a ſpeedy reunion with my Henry and my much injured ſiſter. Mary caſt upon me her intelligent eyes; I underſtood the reference, and I haſtily replied, If, Madam, your confidence in us is ſufficient to calm your mind, you may make yourſelf entirely eaſy about your girl; for, from this moment, we jointly inveſt ourſelves with the guardianſhip of the little orphan, and we promiſe to conſider her as the child of our affection. This was enough; the matron yielded up her ſpirit without a remaining regret; and, after aſsiſting at her obſequies, we returned home, well pleased with our new acquiſition.

No. III.

To catch the moments as they rapid fly; To fend them mark’d and gilded to the ſky; Fraught with the incenſe diligence extracts, Which ſtill improves, and not one hour protracts; This is the hyblean art, whoſe honied ſweets From circling angels glad acceptance meets.

Bless me! cried Margaretta, as I live, here is, in this Magazine, a publication entitled the Gleaner! As ſhe ſpoke, ſhe bent her lovely face toward me, in order the more attentively to obſerve what effect this information produced in the lines of C my 26 C1v 26 my countenance, I endeavoured to preſerve my accuſtomed gravity. Margaretta interrogated—Dear Sir, did I not lately hear you ſay, that if you ever appeared in the world as an author, you would certainly be known by this appellation? I was ſtill ſilent—Margaretta continued,—I proteſt, Sir, I am ſorrry you are foreſtalled, for I had promiſed myſelf a fund of improvement, whenever you ſhould employ your talents as a writer: I expected alſo, much entertainment from the various conjectures which I imagined would have been hazarded, relative to the real character of the Gleaner, and I was poſitive, that from the commendations which would undoubtedly have been beſtowed upon my beſt friend, I ſhould have experienced ſome of the fineſt ſenſations of which my gratefully duteous heart is ſuſceptible. I ſaw that having entered upon a ſubject that her ingenuity never fails of rendering ſufficiently copious, ſhe would ſo manage it, as to prattle on, till her tender volubility had made of me the fool, into which it is always in her power, (my boaſted equanimity notwithſtanding) to convert me. I judged it proper, therefore, to ſtop her in her career, and drawing my pipe from my mouth, I haſtily exclaimed—I tell you, child—I tell you, Miss Melworth, that the univerſe containeth not ſo vile an aſſaſſin of our beſt purpoſes, ſo deteſtable a murderer of time, as that hangdog ſcoundrel—Procraſtination. The poet was too cool when he pronounced him only a thief; for he who ſteals a commodity, may turn it to his own uſe, reaping thereby, at leaſt a temporary advantage; whereas this ſame Procraſtination, is in no ſort benefited by what he ſeizes, ſince he abſolutely ingulfs, nay annihilates, the precious moments upon which he lays his torpid paw; or, in other words, I aver, that even in the moſt virtuous boſom, every principle of firmneſs evaporates at his corroſive touch, and that his fangs are more deadly than the moſt mortal peſtilence, for from the death which he inflicts, there 27 C2r 27 there is no reſurrection. Had I, immediately on my election, engaged in a compoſition of ſome kind or other, (for the verſatility of the title allows the utmoſt latitude) had I forthwith ſent it forward to the Editors, I ſhould thus have ſecured, by appropriation, the deſignation of my choice; but what regrets can redeem the paſt? read it, however, my dear, and let us profit by every means.

The reader will remember that at the time of this confab, the ſecond number of the Gleaner was not written.

Margaretta read, and when ſhe had finiſhed the piece, I proceeded, without commencing thereon, to harangue the good girl, and Mary my wife (though I muſt confeſs, that few females ſtand leſs in need of lecturing) upon the value of time, upon the neceſſity of seizing it by the forelock, &c; &c; &c; And indeed is there a more eſtimable gem, a pearl of more intrinſic worth, than that quota of days, which is committed to every hand? and, ſince by graſping the moments we cannot detain them, ſince when once they have winged their flight, it is only by reflection that they are known, what induſtrious lapidaries ought we to be, that ſo their radiant influence may emit the moſt ſuperb and lengthening beams of light. I have long been a warm admirer of that Roman Emperor, who is repreſented as lamenting in ſo impaſſioned a manner, the loſs of a ſingle day; and in truth, he could not poſſibly have been furniſhed with a more rational cauſe of regret; for, had he been robbed of his poſſeſſions, as an individual, the wheel of fortune is ſtill revolving, and his ancient patrimony might have once more been eſtabliſhed: were his vaſt dominions in any part diſmembered, armed for conqueſt, he might have gone forth, and his victorious arm might poſſibly have reunited the fevered diſtrict; was he deprived of the choiceſt of his friends, with the gods they ſtill remained, and futurity would doubtleſs reſtore 28 C2v 28 reſtore them; but alas! the lapſe of time he could never overtake, its courſe muſt be ever progreſſive, no hand can roll back its career. Neither Joſhua nor Hezekiah, though they may juſtly be deemed Heaven’s firſt favourites, though the condeſcending Deity propitiouſly bending his ear to the prayer of their ſupplications, added whole years to the life of the one, inveſting the other with full power to arreſt and ſuſpend the operations of nature, giving the ſun at his command to ſtand ſtill upon Mount Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon, yet they could not ſo far prevail with their God, as to induce him to recal a ſingle moment which had paſſed by.

If then, time is a good, which when gone is beyond redemption, utterly and altogether irretrievable, the wonder is, that we are ſo little attentive to its waſte that in its regulations and diſtribution we economize ſo little! I have thought, that if parſimony is ever tolerated, it ought to be in the diſpoſition of time, and that the penurious hand, when employed in apportioning the moments, may with propriety be accounted under the direction of virtue. It is ſtrange to hear from the mouth of one who murders above half the hours, by conſigning them to oblivious ſleep; a complaint of the ſhortneſs of time, and yet nothing is more frequent. Six hours in four and twenty, devoted to ſleep, when the conſtitution is naturally good, is ſaid, by the moſt eminent phyſicians, to be fully adequate to every purpoſe of health. If we have accuſtomed ourſelves, when the ſun is upwards of fifteen hours above our horizon, to proſtrate before the drowſy god, until the hour of eight in the morning, let us by perſeverance acquire the habit of quitting our pillows at five, at a moment when the bluſhing face of nature is clothed in tranquillity; when every breeze ſeems commiſſioned to invigorate the mind; when the weary frame which the evening before ſunk down languid, debilitated, and almoſt exhauſted, is as it were renovated; when, aided by fancy, 29 C3r 29 fancy, we might be induced to conceive ourselves again in the morning of our days; when every circumſtance diſpoſeth to the peaceful enjoyments of contemplation, and the moſt philanthropic ſentiments are originated in the boſom: Let us, I ſay, reſolutely and cheerfully embark in this ſpeculation, and we ſhall find that three of the moſt delightful hours are every day gained; that twenty-one hours are cleared in the courſe of one week; and how many months may be thus added to a common life, let the expert arithmetician calculate. It is certain that ſleep is a figure of death, that while wrapt in its embraces, we are in effect as helpleſs, and in fact as unconſcious of every thing which in reality paſſeth upon this globe, as the body which hath been for many years entombed; and as it is quite as poſſible to commit a debauch in ſleeping as in eating or drinking, it muſt be acknowledged as an undoubted truth, that every moment thus devoted, which is more than ſufficient to reſtore the tired faculties, is worſe than loſt. But it is not enough that we become careful to enrich ourſelves by an accumulation of hours, an exact attention to their appropriation being to the full as requiſite. It is in vain that we have amaſſed much property, if we laviſh it in a profuſe or thoughtleſs manner. Order ſhould be employed as the handmaid of time; ſhe ſhould mark, arrange and decorate every movement; thus protecting from the inroads of confuſion, which would ingulf even the longevity of an antediluvian.

It would be pleaſant to obſerve the contraſt between a family, the females of which were properly methodical, and economical in their diſtributions and expenditures of time, and one accuſtomed to leave every thing to the moment of neceſſity, to conform to no regulations, but to crowd the affairs which ought to take rank, in the different diviſions of the week, into ſome contingency for which they are totally unprepared: The one is the habitation of C2 tranquillity, 30 C3v 30 tranquillity; it is a well ordered community; it is a complicated machine, the component parts of which are ſo harmoniouſly organized, as to produce none but the moſt concordant ſounds, to effectuate none but the moſt ſalutary and uniform purpoſes; in ſhort, it is a terreſtrial paradiſe, where dwells love and unity, attended by all the bleſſings of contentment. While the other,—but who can delineate the other? It is a reſtoration of the reign of chaos, and genuine pleaſure is a ſtranger to its abode; and yet, perhaps, the lady paramounts of each family, are equally well meaning, good kind of women; although the want of a little perſeverance, which would aim at producing a laudable habit, preſents this melancholy reverſe.

I wiſh not, ſaid Erneſtus to Craſtinatus, to entruſt my only ſon to the fluctuating waves of the treacherous ocean; but, in my opinion, neither Charybdis nor Scylla, though armed with all the terrors once attributed to them, is half ſo fatal to a young fellow, as a mind unoccupied by laudable purſuits, and that pernicious habit of idly diſſipating time, which hath daſhed ſo many high raiſed hopes. Why do you not take him into your compting-houſe, replied Craſtinatus, he will certainly find full employ there, for I declare for my own part, that though I conſtantly retain two clerks, I am yet notwithstanding, inexpreſſibly fatigued by the multiplicity of attentions which my buſineſs involves. Well, I do not know how it is, returned Erneſtus; but I aſſure you, neighbor, upon my honour, though I have not the ſmalleſt aſſiſtance, that were it not for the amuſement of reading, riding, viſiting, &c; &c; &c; I could not poſſibly contrive to fill up time.

But the buſineſs of Craſtinatus is more various, more extenſive, and his avocations are more multiplied. Erneſtus, it may be, moves in a more confined ſphere. No ſuch thing—the calls upon them are exactly ſimilar, and the ſame line of conduct would be proper to them both; to integrity they are equallyly 31 C4r 31 ly devoted, and equity in their dealings is alike the goal of their wiſhes.

But the cloſe of every week ſtates exactly the accounts of Erneſtus; the poſting of his books was, from the firſt, the work of every day; as often as poſſible he paſſeth receipts; and when this deſideratum cannot be obtained, ſo preciſely is debt and credit announced, that the foot of every page preſents the moſt unerring information: the whole amount of his poſſeſſions he knows; every farthing for which he is indebted is in legible characters expreſſed, and in a very ſhort ſpace of time, he can eſtimate to a penny, what he is really worth; no perſon demands of Erneſtus a ſecond time his dues, for he never hazards larger ſums, than his capital can at any time command; this enableth him to wear the wreath of punctuality, and he ſupports, unimpeached, even by the tongue of ſlander, the character of an honeſt man. The happy effects of ſuch a mode of procedure, are too obvious to be pointed out, and Erneſtus feels them all.

The heart of Craſtinatus is equally good, but irreſolution hath affixed its ſtamp upon his mind, and he hath not perſeverance enough to break the force of habit; a demand upon Craſtinatus for a ſettlement, throws him into the utmoſt confuſion; his accounts have run ſo long, that they involve a thouſand intricacies; all hands are at work to inveſtigate; to come at truth is difficult, if not impoſſible; and it is a wonder if a rupture is not the conſequence. When Craſtinatus hath paid the great debt of nature, his affairs will lay open to the inroads of fraud, his widow and his orphan children will be the ſufferers, and the probability is, that an inſolvency will take place. Whereas, had he—But it is time that I recollect myſelf; it may be thought that I encroach too far upon a department, which may be conſidered as already filled. Well then, having gleaned thus much, I will only add, that a late ingenious writer would have obſerved—Craſtinatus doth not work it right.

No. 32 C4v 32

No. IV.

But let us give the preſent times their due.

There is ſcarce an obſerver in all the purlieus of contemplation, but muſt recollect, in ſome part or other of his life, to have met with ſpirited declamations upon the degeneracy of the times. O Tempora! O Mores! is an exclamation frequently in the mouths of thoſe who inherit much, and who are, by the good and wholeſome laws of their country, guaranteed the peaceable enjoyment of their ample poſſeſſions. There is a ſet of people who can never ſee a tax-bill, or attend to the requiſitions of government, without mutinouſly, if not treacherouſly, running the parallel between what they term the preſent exorbitant demands, and the moderate charges of the Britiſh adminiſtration; and while they are blind to the emoluments of independence, they ſeem to forget that houſe keeping is of neceſſity more expenſive than a reſidence in the dwelling of a parent or a maſter. If the ſpirit of diſcontent was peculiar to theſe inconſiderate cavillers, it would be well; but we are concerned to find, that it pervades all orders of men, from the philoſopher down to the verieſt grumbler— from the prieſt to the cobler—from the aggrandized lawyer to his fleeced client—from the moſt enlightened phyſician to his ſuffering patient—from the ſtateſman to the beggar—and from the liberally endowed and independent gentleman to the common day’s labourer. In ſhort, every deſcription of people are found crying out on the depravity of the times; and were we to give full credit to the teſtimony of thoſe, who, from age to age, have taken an unaccountable pleaſure in depreciating the time being, we ſhould be ready to conclude, that we muſt at length have arrived at the ne plus ultra of turpitude, and 33 C5r 33 and have become adepts in every ſpecies of atrocious criminality. Yet the accuſation proceeds from the lips of very reſpectable complainants, whoſe judgment, in many reſpects, is hardly problematical, and to whoſe deciſions we ſubmit perhaps with too much docility.

In order to exalt the ancients, and to render them ſupreme in the ſcale of excellence, it is cuſtomary to level the moderns; and the fame of the one is appreciated, in an exact ratio, as that of the other is undervalued.

We are told much of the golden age; but the moſt careful inveſtigator is at a loſs at what period of the world to date its epoch; ſince, immediately upon the expulſion of Adam from the paradiſe which he had forfeited, the battery of hatred and malevolence was opened; giants were abroad in the earth, and nations no ſooner exiſted, than they learned war.

The golden age, then, with all its ſplendid characteriſtics, we are feign to conſign to the region of fancy, denying it a being, but in the breath of poetic fiction, or the annals of imagination.

The ſuperiority which we are ſo ready to award to the ancients, may be equally without any foundation in reality; and it is in my humble opinion probable, that their principal advantages were derived from their being firſt upon the ſtage of action. Methinks I ſee the bluſh of indignation tinge the face of the reader, and he is ready to execrate the Gleaner, for attempting to pluck from the venerable brow of antiquity the ſmalleſt twig of fame. Yet, while I reverence a prejudice, which very poſſibly originates in the moſt laudable affections, I nevertheleſs reply— But let us give revolving time its due. Pray, my good Sir, or Madam, if a certain opulent poſſeſſor is endowed with vaſt dominions, in conſequence of his elderſhip—am I, an honeſt Gleaner, to whom only a few barren tracts remain, or whoſe lot, perhaps, it is to examine with unwearied diligence every ſpot of the 34 C5v 34 the wide domain, if perchance I may glean the pittance which affluence has overlooked—am I, for this, in a judgment of umimpaſſioned reaſon, to be the leſs regarded? or, what principle of equity, paſſing ſentence without a trial, will pronounce, that had I been placed preciſely in the ſituation of the original occupier, I might not have laid out my grounds to equal advantage, ſupporting a character to the full as dignified, as conſiſtent, and as becoming.

Man is uſhered into being; he finds himſelf expoſed to all the viciſſitudes with which the various ſeaſons are replete; the wintery ſtorms are abroad; hail, rain and ſnow poſſeſs a power eſſentially to afflict him; he burns beneath a torrid zone, or he freezes beneath a frigid; in ſhort, every thing points out to him the neceſſity of a ſhelter, and accordingly, he ſinks the hollowed cavity, or he raiſes the thatched hut; with proper repairs, this homely dwelling would anſwer full as well for his ſucceſſor; but his ſon improves thereon, and every generation adds ſomething, till at length the finiſhed edifice becomes complete. Now, I would aſk, is not every generation entitled to its quota of praiſe? and ſince the original inventor was urged merely by neceſſity, and performed no more than what the beaver and other animals have frequently done, may not the improver, who had not this incitement, come in for his full ſhare?

Surely the annals of antiquity record inſtances of barbariſm in perſons, when the manners were deemed highly poliſhed, which would ſhock the preſent feelings of the moſt illiterate. Let us take a view of the Athenians, at an era when a ſtate of great refinement was attributed to them, when they were, it is ſaid, an intelligent and a learned people; let us take a ſeat in their theatre; let us liſten while they, almoſt unanimouſly, applaud the coarſe ribaldry of an Ariſtophanes, while they complacently attend the degradation of virtue, encouraging a rude and indelicateicate 35 C6r 35 icate buffoon to hold up a Socrates as a fit ſubject for the ridicule of the people!

But the ancients made many diſcoveries—very true —and is not the reaſon obvious? There was much to diſcover; moreover, neceſſity, as hath been before hinted, is an excellent ſtimulus to promptitude; yet, in ſome reſpects, it would ſeem that they were vaſtly deficient in ingenuity: For example; through revolving centuries they remained ignorant of the art of printing, by which they might ſo eligibly have tranſmitted to us their elaborate productions, although they could not ſet a foot upon the yielding earth, without producing an impreſſion ſufficient to ſuggeſt to them ſo valuable an idea.

The education of a modern ſtudent is by no means finiſhed, without an extenſive acquaintance with the hiſtory, learning, manners and cuſtoms of the ancients; the beſt part of his life is therefore devoted to acquire this knowledge, and when thus accompliſhed, he finds that the age of fancy is well near fled, and that to him the door of originality ſeems effectually barred. The ſtudent of antiquity was not thus encumbered; from his predeceſſors he had little to reap, and the volume of nature was opened before him; yet his acquirements were often ſuperficial, while the deepeſt reſearches, with their conſequent improvements, were reſerved for later ages.

How dreadful are the preparations for war, which the page of antiquity recounts! their terrific habiliments; their deathful chariots; their elephants, with all the ſhocking apparatus! ſcarcely are they exceeded by the arrangements of an American ſavage, and hardly are the tortures which he meditates, more fearfully tremendous. What ſcenes of blood and devaſtation doth the annals of ancient hiſtory exhibit! how frequently are the feelings of humanity pierced to the very ſoul! what fratricide! what parricide! while inſtances are not wanting of mothers who wade to empire through the blood of thoſe children, in whoſe 36 C6v 36 whoſe vital ſtream they had, with remorſeleſs cruelty, imbrued their hands; ſons inceſtuouſly pollute a father’s bed; and fathers, moſt unnaturally, ſnatch to their libidinous embraces the trembling female to whom they gave exiſtence!

The government of the ancients, whether democratical, ariſtocratical, monarchical, ſimple or mixed; all theſe, if examined, by the eye of impartiality, the boaſted wiſdom of their legiſlators, yielding in many reſpects to modern improvements, will, if I miſtake not, by exactly ſtriking the balance, prove the arrangements of Deity to be equal, and manifeſt him diſtributing with a paternal hand, to every age their exact proportion of talents, endowing every diviſion of time, with men poſſeſſing underſtandings alike capable of profiting by the circumſtances in which they were involved. With regard to the religion of the ancients, I ſuppoſe it will be granted, that it was a heap of abſurdities; that it conſiſted of contradictions, impurities, and myſteries; the character of their very deities are lewd and otherwiſe immoral; with the rivalſhip and contention of their gods we are diſguſted; and even the hiſtory of their Jupiter is replete with crimes, that abundantly juſtify the ill humour of his Juno, that would have warranted the moſt coercive proceedings againſt him, for which he merited condign puniſhment, and which would have induced us wholly to acquit his brothers, Pluto and Neptune, (their own enormities notwithſtanding) if they had, uniting their powers, precipitated him from his Olympian height, and confined him in adamantine chains to the Stygian flood, or the Tartarean gulph.

But to reſume the language of reaſon; this fond predilection for, and preference of the ancients, is, in reality, altogether unaccountable; it is a ſingular trait in the hiſtory of mankind, ſince, in every other inſtance, the perſons, places and things, with which we have aſſociated, and to which we are accuſtomed, poſſeſs a charm, the blandiſhments of which we find it 37 D1r 37 it impoſſible to eſcape: With what ardour do we remember the ſcenes of our youth! upon the tablets of our breaſts how indelibly is the love of the place of our nativity engraved! what noble enthusiaſm fires the patriotic mind, when the intereſts of his country are at ſtake, and how gladly would the man of filial integrity, ſacrifice his faireſt hours, to advance the importance of his parent ſoil! More than one inſtance hath occurred of the moſt dignified characters, who have, from circumſtances, been compelled to a ſtate of baniſhment, breathing out their laſt wiſhes, that their remains might be conveyed to the much loved ſpot, there to mingle with the duſt, upon the ſurface of which they firſt drew their vital breath. Indeed this attachment to country is aſtoniſhing, and not ſeldom doth it betray the mind into prejudices and concluſions, extravagant and unjuſt. But one of the moſt pleaſing effects of this local affection is, that genuine tranſport which ſo agreeably ſurpriſes the ſoul, upon unexpectedly meeting, in a diſtant land, an acquaintance, a townſman, or even a ſubject of the ſame government; perhaps in the ſtreets of our own diſtrict, we ſhould have paſſed him with the utmoſt indifference; but abſence ſtill more endears to us every natural connexion; reflection meliorates our ideas; circumſtances in themſelves of little or no conſequence, acquire a tender kind of importance; recollection preſents the ſcenes of home-felt enjoyment; and though, probably, they were undiſtinguiſhed by any prominent feature, by any particular refinement, or impreſſive ſoftneſs, yet, regiſtered in the ſtore-houſe of memory, they riſe up dignified and reſpectable claimants, they are cheriſhed with augmenting regard, they point us to anticipated good; and the traveller, who would once have been viewed as a ſtranger, ſtanding as a memento, is embraced with the ardour of friendſhip.

But quitting a field, in which the Gleaner had not intended at this time to have wandered, I proceed to ſay, that though, as it is an article of my creed, that D all 38 D1v 38 all things are in a ſtate of progreſſion, I cannot regard the preſent, as the beſt of all poſſible times; yet I do conceive, that at no period ſince the lapſe of Adam, was the world in ſo high a ſtate of improvement, as it is at this very inſtant; it is leſs malevolent, and more philanthropic; it is leſs barbarous, and more civilized; it is leſs vicious, and more moral; it is leſs rude; it evinceth an increaſing ſhare of urbanity; in ſhort, the augmentation of its virtues is rapid, and the probability is, as progreſſive movements preclude a retrograde idea, that having rounded the circle, it will finally regain the point from whence it commenced its career.

Let us take a view of the preſent order and decency obſerved in ſociety; how ſuperior it is even to the patriarchal age: Let us attend the riſe, the progreſs, and the termination of the hoſtilities of adverſe nations; how multiplied are their precautions; how accumulated their manifeſtoes; what ſtrict juſtice, or at leaſt the ſemblance thereof, are the contending parties obliged to exerciſe; with what regularity is the whole proceſs conducted; how great is the faith and confidence of treaties; what odium attends the infringement thereof; with what cordiality, when the ſword is ſheathed, do the battling heroes embrace! reſentments immediately ſubſide, and the captured and the wounded become the objects of generous and inſtantaneous attention; hoſpitals, refreſhments, and a variety of ſolaces are prepared, and it is the pride of the foe, that the defeated warrior ſhould receive every alleviation, of which the circumſtances of his ſituation are ſuſceptible. By theſe means ſo abundantly are the calamities of war ſoftened, that military engagements, comparatively ſpeaking, aſſume the form of an amicable intercourſe.

The preſent age is juſtly ſtyled the period of revolutions; let us juſt glance at the moſt prominent events. The ſtruggles of the French nation have been, and ſtill continue, truly intereſting; the rights of man are placed in a conſpicuous view; many gloriousrious 39 D2r 39 rious exertions have been made; they are rapidly poſting on to the deſired goal; and their King, if he poſſeſſeth that genius, that philanthropy, and that patriotic glow, which the ſentiments he hath avowed, and many corroborating teſtimonies incline us to attribute to him, while his brow is encircled with the brightening gem of real worth, will doubtleſs find himſelf emboſomed in that tranquillity which conſcious rectitude creates, and which all the pageantry of falſe greatneſs could never have beſtowed. The Gleaner regrets, that the deplorable cataſtrophe, which, ſince the production of the above eſſay, cloſed the virtuous life of a Prince, acknowledged amiable, hath furniſhed ſo ſtriking a proof of the ferocity of the preſent times. But, paſſing on, we behold another crowned head, voluntarily, without a ſingle hint from his ſubjects, diveſting himſelf of every veſtige of deſpotiſm, auguſtly making the good of his people the prime movement of his actions, and with an ardent and a generous enthuſiaſm, which will tranſmit his name with eternal honour to the lateſt poſterity, hailing upon equal ground his fellow-men; reſtoring to the body of the people their privileges and immunities, and once more inveſting them with their native and inherent rights. If we turn our eyes toward our own country, we ſhall acknowledge that a few years have produced the moſt aſtoniſhing effects: Unnatural and inadmiſſible claims have been made; they have been inveſtigated; they have been weighed in the balance, and they have been found wanting. The genius of liberty, invigorated in this younger world, hath arrayed itself for the battle; it hath gone forth; it hath originated oppoſition; its banner have been diſplayed; it hath enliſted its worthies; the ſtruggle hath been arduous, but the event hath crowned us with ſucceſs; over veteran foes we have been victorious; independence claps her wings; peace is reſtored; governments are formed; public faith eſtabliſhed; and we bid fair to become a great and a happy people. Yes, governments are formed; and what hath hitherto been 40 D2v 40 been deemed a ſoleciſm in politics, now becomes, to the eye of experience, a palpable reality. We are free, ſovereign, and independent States, and yet we are amenable to the Federal Head. Governments within governments exiſt; their component parts are adequate to the purpoſes of juriſdiction; they are members of the national government; they are united, as it were, by a ſympathetic thread, ſymmetry, and its concomitant harmony, preſides, and federaliſm is the taliſman of their importance. Perhaps the principles of concentration are not ſuſceptible of cloſe inveſtigation; like the immortal ſpark by which we are animated, it takes the alarm, and flies off, when we would apply to its vital parts the inſtrument of diſſection. Yet to the captious reaſoner, the anſwer is as ready, as to the ſophiſt, who aſſerted the nonexiſtence of motion, merely becauſe he could not move in the place where he was, and it was impoſſible he could move where he was not; but we cannot admit his ergo, for experience proclaims that we abſolutely do move, and it is a fact, that theſe governments, ſimple and complex, have, in reality, an energetic and reſpectable being. Thus, in this inſtance, we have refined upon the plans of our anceſtors, and we are happily reaping the genial fruits of a wiſe and well concerted ſyſtem. Our admirable Conſtitution unites the advantages which are attributed to a monarchical government, to an oligarchy, and a democracy; ſince ſufficient power is lodged in the hands of the Chief Magiſtrate, to benefit the people; ſince an order of nobility is inſtituted, an order, to which all our worthies may pretend—the order of Virtue— which, in truth, is alone ennobling; and ſince the career being open to all, we may with democratical equality purſue the ſplendid prize.

It is with glad complacency we mark the honours which encircle the head of our immortal Chief; we congratulate our countrymen, that they have, to the utmoſt of their power, with becoming unanimity agreed to reward his patriotic worth; that, inveſting him 41 D3r 41 him with due authority, they have repoſed in his revered boſom the higheſt confidence; that, ſuperior to the narrow politics of the Athenians (the ſplendour of his character notwithſtanding) they prepare no oſtraciſm for his virtues; but that, on the contrary, with a glow of ſuperior pleaſure, they liſten while the tongue of ſapient age expatiates upon his juſtice, his diſintereſtedneſs, and his paternal attachment to his country; that they delight to hear the voice of liſping innocence pronounce his venerable name; that they rejoice in his echoing fame; and that his praiſes vibrate ſweetly upon their fineſt and moſt rational feelings.

Nor, though that fell deſpoiler, ſlander, hath dared to infix its envenomed tooth in the fair and conſiſtent character of our illuſtrious Vice-Preſident, will the public mind ſubmit to the deception which audacious accuſation would preſume to fabricate; it will not ſuffer a man, who would have conferred honour on any country in which he had happened to be born; who adorns every department which he is called to fill, from the tender domeſtic ſcene, to the higheſt offices of ſtate, with elegance and propriety, with the moſt undeviating firmneſs, and unblemiſhed integrity; whoſe intereſting and highly finiſhed literary productions will tranſmit his name to ages yet unborn; when the invidious caviller, and the writer of this eſſay, will, it is probable, be whelmed in the gulph of oblivion;—the public mind, I ſay, will not ſuffer ſuch a man to ſink; they will not ſuffer the opaque cloud, which for a moment may have ſhaded the diſk of ſo bright a luminary, long to intercept its radiance; no, it will judiciouſly decide, and riſing ſuperior to prejudice, it will ſtill confer on him its unſuſpecting confidence.

Mentioning the Vice-Preſident, I am reminded of a tour I lately made through a neighbouring State, when falling into company with a leading man in the government, he expreſſed himſelf with a conſiderable degree of acrimony of that gentleman; and upon D2 my 42 D3v 42 my gravely demanding in what he was culpable, the diſaffected perſon, in ſo many words, replied, that he did not like him; that he believed him to be haughty and unyielding; that in his progreſs through that State, he, the objector, had been one of a number who had been ſolicitous to do him all the honour in their power; that they aſſembled in large companies, collected the militia, rung the bells, &c; &c; but that Mr. Adams contrived, by ſome means or other, to elude their wiſhes, for he had abſolutely, in defiance of all this homage which was prepared for him, paſſed unmindful on, incog. as it were, refuſing in fact every acknowledgment of their allegiance. Such, and ſo enormous, are the pretended miſdemeanours of the Vice-Preſident; yet, nevertheleſs, I perſuade myſelf that the aſſemblage of virtues which brighten his character, will at length flaſh conviction upon every eye, and that the many will know to diſtinguiſh, and to value that noble independence of ſpirit, that inborn worth, and intrinſic greatneſs, which, avoiding an oſtentatious diſplay of grandeur, contents itſelf with innate conſciouſneſs of real elevation.

But, to the moſt intereſting and important particular, in which the preſent times may juſtly boaſt their ſuperiority over former ages, we have yet to attend. Religion looks abroad with all her native honours thick about her; the days of maſſacre; the bloody, the execrable adminiſtration of a Mary; the affrighted hours which witneſſed the horrid tranſaction upon the eve of St. Bartholomew; the Iriſh perſecutions, and ſucceeding murders; the government, or rather mortal tyranny of James, with the more recent, though not leſs fatal American bigotry; all thoſe days are now gone paſt, and I ſupplicate the Saviour of ſinners, that they may no more return: Religion, as I ſaid, now deſcends among us, and ſhe is cloathed in all her native lovelineſs. On her head ſhe wears a wreath, entwined by the fingers of clemency; virtuous indulgence is expreſſed in every feature of her face; her eye beams tenderneſs, and her boſom is the ſeat of 43 D4r 43 of compaſſion; the unſullied whiteneſs of her flowing garments denotes the purity and uprightneſs of her laws; beauteous and prepoſſeſſing is her countenance; benign is her ſway; reaſon and humanity are her daughters; and while rectitude is the moral of her life, ſhe throws over her faulty children the mantle of forbearance. Under her correcting auſpices, what wonders are at this preſent exhibiting in the earth! her well aimed ſhafts have pierced the very vitals of bigotry, liberality of ſentiment is eſtabliſhed, a Calviniſtical church is permitted almoſt in the heart of the Papal dominions, it is conſecrated with much ſolemnity; magiſtrates of all deſcriptions, with the clergy of the Roman Lutheran, and Calviniſtical perſuaſion, join in the te deum, and, the moſt God honouring effects are produced. But it is not at Stratſburg alone that the triumphs of true religion are manifeſted; her divine and elucidating powers ſeem penetrating into every corner of the globe, while in our own country, her progreſs is remarkably and gloriouſly rapid. The ſhackles of ſuperſtition are thrown off, ignorance and bigotry give way; the benign agency of toleration is eſtabliſhed, and a ſpirit of equality, and of free inquiry, is abroad. Parents, enlightened parents, at this day are not ſolicitous to implant in the tender minds of their offspring the ſeeds of prejudice, or enthuſiaſtic zeal; they judge it ſufficient if they can inſtruct their children in the nature of their moral duties, what they owe to ſociety, and to themſelves; if they can give them an early and deep impreſſion of their dependence on, and their obligations to, a creating and a paternal God; if they can ſketch for them the outlines of the fall, and the reſtoration, pointing to Jeſus as the Redeemer of men; if they can teach them to view their fellow mortals as deſcending from the ſame original; if they can, by degrees, accuſtom them to regard this world as the path through which they are to ſhape their courſe to their native ſkies; theſe leading points, if they can accompliſh, they are therewith content, wiſely leaving the election 44 D4v 44 election of a particular ſect of Chriſtians, with which to coaleſce their ſentiments, with all the thorny road of diſputation, to the matured growth of fully informed reaſon.

Glorious, happy, and auguſt period! The Gleaner is grateful to the Power which hath given him his exiſtence in ſo favourable an epoch; he gladly renders to the preſent times their due; he feels therein the utmoſt complacency, and the tranquillity which this ſpeculation diffuſeth through every faculty of his ſoul, he is ardently ſolicitous to communicate to his reader.

No. V.

The virtue, Fortitude, to mould the mind, Bends ſmiling forward, on herſelf reclin’d; To meet the ills of life the ſoul ſhe forms, Accommodation in her cauſe ſhe arms; While faſhion’d thus, we mark the various ſcene, And firmly ſtand amid the ſtorm ſerene.

God tempers the wind to the ſhorn lamb.— Sterne certainly poſſeſſed the happy art of cloathing his ideas in figures which pointed them to the heart of his reader. Not ſeldom doth the humid eye of ſenſibility confeſs that the writings of that exquiſite ſentimentaliſt abound with flowers of the faireſt growth, and though the delicate mind is too often lacerated by the thorns, which in ſome inſtances deform his high-wrought ſcenes, yet ſo ſweet is the fragrance of the roſe, that the ſofteſt hand is reached forth to pluck it—yea, even at the riſk of being deeply pierced by the formidable points which ſurround it. But, however rich his eccentric pages may be, (and I have not the ſmalleſt objection to allowing them their full value) they produce not, I take upon me to pronounce, a more ſtrikingly comprehenſive paſſage, than that which I have ſelected above— But, God tempers the wind to the ſhorn lamb.— It is, methinks, a ſentence containing a ſyſtem in itſelf;ſelf; 45 D5r 45 ſelf; and it is replete with the quinteſſence of morality, religion and divinity—It is replete with morality, for example is on all hands allowed to be more influential than precept; and it exhibits a view of the Lord of Univerſal Nature, beſtowing ſuch minute regards upon the feelings of the family which his omnific word had commanded into being, as to be attentive even to the wants of the bleating innocent, who, ſhorn of its fleecy covering, ſtands in need of the vernal zephyr which is then commiſſioned to move gently over the warm ſurface of his diſrobed body.— Here, I ſay, is a rich leſſon of morality; for if God thus tempers the wind to the ſhorn lamb, are we not hence taught to reſpect much more the feelings of our fellow men—to regard as ſacred the relative duties of life, and to become reverentially obſervant of thoſe calls which, upon the utmoſt efforts of humanity, a ſocial intercourſe with mankind is ſo frequently making. It is, in an eſpecial manner, replete with religion; for an aſſurance that God tempereth the wind to the ſhorn lamb, naturally originates in the boſom the moſt unwavering faith; we cannot but confide in the Sovereign Power which is thus benignly exerciſed; our hearts become the ſeat of acquieſcent tranquillity; the altars of unwavering affiance are erected there, cheerfully we ſacrifice thereon; before the ſurrounding Deity we devoutly proſtrate, worſhipping with all adoration the Father of eternity, the God of the ſpirits of all fleſh.—It is replete with divinity; for its excellence can hardly be ſurpaſſed; it whiſpereth to the care-worn mind the genial voice of conſolation; it comforteth, it erecteth the ſuperſtructure of its peace upon the only ſolid and rational foundation; upon a reliance on the paternal goodneſs of the Sire of angels and of men, and thus pointing directly to heaven; thus by its animating powers ſoothing the ſoul, it is undoubtedly the language of the Spirit of truth; it indiſputably partaketh of the divine nature. But, God tempereth the wind to the ſhorn lamb.—Poor Maria, no wonder that 46 D5v 46 that thy deſolated boſom diſdained every mitigating conſideration, not immediately derived from that omnipotent Being, who, having twice bruiſed thee, could alone aſſuage thy lacerating ſorrows. Doubtleſs it was the angel of compaſſion, who, breathing over the chaos of thy deranged ideas, illumined them by that irradiating light, which ſhall one day make glad the whole creation of God. But not to Maria only, is the all healing hand of divine benignity even now extended. To the ſons and daughters of humanity, the winds of heaven are ſtill attempered, and the Source of all intelligence regards with an equal eye the creatures whom he hath made: The deſtitute orphan, who trembles on the threſhold of an arraigning, a cenſuring, and an unpitying world; the childleſs parent, who once beheld a lovely group of ſons and daughters; the widowed fair one, whoſe blaſted hopes, and whoſe ſhort withering joys ſeem to condemn her to unceaſing tears; the once happy huſband, bending over the untimely grave of a beloved wife; the brother, the ſiſter, the friend, torn from the embraces of the object whom they held moſt dear; theſe have all been enabled experimentally to ſay, But, God tempers the wind to the ſhorn lamb. The angel, Fortitude, armed with unyielding firmneſs, iſſues from the right hand of the Moſt High; to this lower world ſhe ſhapeth her courſe; in the garments of inflexibility ſhe is cloathed, and always ſure of her path, while ſhe wears upon her brow the wreath of rectitude, ſhe turneth neither to the right nor to the left; perſeveringly ſhe paſſeth on; ſhe taketh poſſeſſion of the mind, and ſhe faſhioneth it to her purpoſe; with the genuine ſpirit of heroiſm ſhe endoweth it, and pointing it to an elyſium of future bliſs, ſhe inveſteth it with ſuperiority over the ills of time: Reſignation and acquieſcence are in her train; for, fixing her eye upon one grand object, ſhe bends accommodating, and with becoming reverence to the will of Him from whom originates every good. Thus, in ſickneſs and in death, ſhe fortifies, ſupports, and ſtrengthens 47 D6r 47 ſtrengthens the mind, enabling the man piouſly to exclaim, But, God tempers the wind to the ſhorn lamb. I ſaid, in ſickneſs; and a reflection upon this particular calamity, bringing me back from my preſent ramble, ſuggeſts to the Gleaner a queſtion— Whether it may not be well to account for his being induced thus to wander, in a field where, the ſoil having been ſo often trod, he could expect to glean ſo little? And with the aſſociation of ideas perhaps every obſerver, though not abſolutely a Locke, is more or leſs acquainted.

Patrolling one ſuperbly mild evening, in the courſe of the laſt viſibility of the moon, the ſtreets of the metropolis of the State of Maſſachuſetts, I felt a very ſtrong inclination to ſtep for a little ſpace into the coffee-houſe; yielding to the impulſe of the moment, I entered with as little obſervation as poſſible, and, ſeating myſelf in one of the open apartments, I liſtened to a very warm diſpute which was carried on by a trio, conſiſting of a merchant of great note, a military officer of ſome eminence, and a ſea commander. The ſkill and abilities of the Boſton phyſicians was their ſubject, and they ſeemed to diſcuſs and compare their ſeveral qualifications with much vehemence. Lloyd, Danforth, Warren, &c; &c; all paſſed in review before them. People in general are as much attached to the Eſculapius of their choice, as to the religion of their election; and our combatants ſhewed themſelves in earneſt by diſputing every inch of ground, yielding no point, and mingling at length in their retorts and rejoinders no ſmall proportion of acrimony. It is true, that upon the merits of the gentlemen in queſtion, they might be inadequate to decide; but they proved themſelves, however, capable of arguing, and they ſeemed in no ſort conſcious of inſufficiency. After ſumming up the evidences which had been produced upon the tapis, the merchant gravely and peremptorily inſiſted that the balance was entirely in favour of Lloyd; the military gentleman ſwore, and he confirmed his award 48 D6v 48 award by many oaths, that Danforth ought to be created generaliſſimo of the college of phyſicians; while the ſea captain, who appeared to be a mild man, cloſed the debate by proteſting, that he had boarded them all three, without being able to obtain a market for any part of that cargo of complaints, with which his ſhattered bark had been ſo long laden. The ſubject thus continuing a moot point, I was diſpoſing myſelf to retire, when the ſea captain, putting himſelf in the attitude of a narrator, again arreſted my attention. You know, gentlemen, ſaid the ſon of Neptune, that I am moored, when at home, in a harbour conſiderably diſtant from this town; and I declare to you, upon the honour of a ſailor, that we have now laid up in our port, a little ſnug honeſt fellow, who makes the prettieſt way imaginable; and who, if he continues to carry ſail upon the ocean on which he hath embarked, with as much undaunted boldneſs, and to ſteer as ſafely as he hath hitherto done, will ſtand as fair a chance to enter the deſired haven, and to hoiſt his flag upon the higheſt eminence of fame, as the moſt ſkilful navigator of them all; and that he is acquainted with every rope in the ſhip, I will, if you pleaſe, produce a reckoning, that ſhall fully evidence. The captain proceeded; but not being ſufficiently verſed in his vocabulary, to produce his account verbatim, I ſhall take leave to render his depoſition in my own manner. It ſeems, in a ſmall village in the neighbourhood of the reſidence of the captain, a poor man hath lately been called to paſs through all the ſtages immediately preceding death, of what is termed a regular decline, or conſumption; he was not more than twenty-ſeven years of age, when he was ſeized with the pain in the ſide, the breaſt, hectic fever, ſuppuration of the lungs, cough, purulent expectoration, &c; &c; all which train of dreadful ſymptoms, in their gradual and diſtreſſing order, ſucceſſively took place. At length the hour of his diſſolution was ſuppoſed at hand; his father was no more; and he 49 E1r 49 he was the ſon of a widowed mother. Repeatedly the matron, not poſſeſſing ſtrength of mind enough to witneſs the dying agonies of him, on whom ſhe had placed her maternal hopes, had quitted his apartment, yielding him to the care of thoſe who were engaged to perform for him the laſt offices. But while there is life, a latent hope will play about the heart: The villagers inſiſted that the captain’s little ſnug honeſt fellow ſhould be called in. The young doctor, who hath hardly completed his twenty-third year, approached; he examined, and he drew his concluſions; one only experiment remained, it was painfully hazardous, and its effects extremely precarious; but certain and ſpeedy death was the only alternative. In the breaſt of the young man, though having been repeatedly captured in the courſe of the late war, ſuffering much in guard-ſhips and priſons— though having been ſo often afflicted by the infirmities of a debilitated conſtitution—he had deeply taſted of the bitter cup of calamity; yet in his breaſt a love of exiſtence ſtill predominated, and when he conſented to an operation, which it is conceived hath been ſeldom performed in our country, and was certainly a novel event in the village of B—–, he was believed to be the drowning man graſping at a ſtraw. The patient, however, witneſſed, unappalled, the dreadful preparations. The bedſtead was planked, the matraſs was nailed thereto, and he, with his face covered, was placed thereon. In the country, upon any extraordinary occaſion, the whole village ſeems but one family; no wonder then, that at ſuch a period the apartment of the emaciated ſick man was much thronged; a number ſtood over him; if he ſtruggled, they were to confine him, and their hands were lifted up for that purpoſe; for a moment he threw the handkerchief from his face—he beheld the formidable apparatus—the ſurrounding viſages, which reſembled his, who drew Priam’s curtains at the dead of night, and would have told him half his Troy was burnt— he breathed ſhort; he gaſped—ſtop, Sir—one ſigh — E it 50 E1v 50 it is over—I am myſelf again—and you may proceed. The muſcles between the fourth and fifth ribs, an inch nearer to the centre of the breaſt, then the back bone, were cut through; the pleura was pierced; and, to enlarge the aperture into the cavity of the breaſt, the proper inſtruments were introduced; two fingers of the operator were then inſinuated, and, paſſing through the wound, were preſſed on the external ſurface of the diſeaſed lobe, when inſtantly the ſeat of the vomica, was by its tremulation diſcovered; it was at this period, that ſome perſon, to whom years had given an advantage over our phyſician, vehemently exclaimed, Doctor, we beg that you would proceed no farther! Is it not a wonder that terror at the ſound of this imprudent interpoſition, cut not the ſlender thread of the patient’s life? The operator, however, made ſure of ſuccess, warmly replied, By heaven, I will not now be ſtopped; when, penetrating the inveſting membrane of the right lobe, into the abſceſs, and dilating it three quarters of an inch, its contents, blood and purulent matter, to the quantity of a pint, were immediately diſcharged; the conſequences of this operation have been moſt happy, the patient, from not being able to repoſe for a ſingle moment upon either ſide, now ſtretches himſelf at his eaſe, and ſlumbers ſweetly upon his bed; his cough, night ſweats, ſore mouth, and ſwelled feet are no more; from extreme debility, he is ſufficiently ſtrong to walk abroad, and he eats, drinks, and digeſts, perfectly well. What a tranſition!—he is regarded as one raiſed from the dead; while every perſon admires the cool, courageous, and determined reſolution, with which he ſubmitted to ſo fearful an experiment. He is of the loweſt grade of induſtrious poor; the powers of his mind were never remarkable; his life had contained no ſtriking exertions; he had ſeemed only in the common way to yield to the necessity which his misfortunes had created—had any one, in the morning of his exiſtence, officiouſly preſented him a picture of the ills which he was to endure, doubtleſs 51 E2r 51 doubtleſs he would have ſtarted with horror from the view. Is it not ſurpriſing that he did not thus argue: My phyſician is a young man; older practitioners have never once ſuggeſted ſo hazardous an expedient; it is an unheard of operation; ſhall I yield this emaciated body to an enterprizing genius, who poſſibly is only ſeeking his own emolument in the experiment which he is ſolicitous to make? To the reflections of imbecility, I ſay, ſuch arguments might naturally have preſented themſelves; but the mind of this poor, emaciated, illiterate ſufferer, was intuitively, it ſhould ſeem, endowed with fortitude; ſuddenly he is converted into a philoſopher; he reaſons juſtly, and with ſedate compoſure he meets his fate. What ſhall we ſay? we can only repeat, that, in deed and in truth, God tempers the wind to the ſhorn lamb.

The Gleaner comments no further; but, retiring, he gives place to a timid ſuggeſtor, who hath choſen to bring forward a propoſal, through the medium of this publication.

To the Gleaner. Sir, Not poſſeſſing merit ſufficient to claim, in my own character, even the ſmalleſt niche, in that very uſeful and reſpectable repoſitory in which you, by repeatedly appearing, have, I preſume, obtained a conſiderable intereſt, I take leave, through your means, to introduce to the gentlemen Editors, a propoſal, which, if they think proper to lay before the public, may poſſibly be attended with the moſt agreeable conſequences. The idea, which to embody and effectuate, I would not only relinquiſh whole years of my exiſtence, but I would abſolutely be contented to live and die in obſcurity, originated in an hour, which having appropriated to ſome choice ſpirits, I paſſed convivially over a bottle; we were not, however, bacchanalians, and our wine but ſerved to meliorate and give an edge to our reflections. Our 52 E2v 52 Our ſubjects were multifarious, and with the utmoſt freedom we arraigned, tried, and condemned. Among other matters of ſpeculation which we had taken it upon us liberally to analyze and critically to ſcan, the cauſe of the little encouragement which is generally throughout the world, and eſpecially in our own country, given to genius, we carefully endeavoured to inveſtigate; but for this abſurdity, it was in vain that we aſſayed rationally to account; and we were reduced to the neceſſity of lamenting a fact, the ſources of which, our utmoſt reſearches could not penetrate. The diſappointment of a Butler, the melancholy fate of an Otway, with a long train of et-ceteras, we could not review, without pathetically deploring; and ſo far were we from conceiving that the taſte of the preſent times was in any degree refined, that one of our party gave it as his decided opinion, that if Pope, Addiſon and Swift flouriſhed in America, their merit would be almoſt entirely diſregarded, and that there would ſcarce be found a ſingle wight, who would acknowledge their ſuperior claims. From regretting, we naturally proceeded to deviſing the ways and means, and our pericraniums were fruitful in expedients to remedy an evil which we regarded as a real blot upon the riſing fame of this new world. After many pro’s and con’s, it was unanimouſly agreed among us, (and I do aſſure you there was in our junto many reſpectable perſons) that it would be a moſt happy arrangement, if the conſtitution of the United States of America would admit an additional article, providing for the eſtabliſhment of real genius, whether it be found in the male or female world. It is not ſeldom the caſe, that, to anſwer the preſſing wants of life, the efforts of the mind are ſo wholly engroſſed, that the operations of genius are ſuſpended, if not wholly blaſted, and the door to intellectual fame is thus of neceſſity barred. Againſt this inconvenience, in its utmoſt latitude, our plan went to the providing. Congreſs ſhould appoint perſons, duly qualified to examine every literary 53 E3r 53 literary pretender, and by this means, while the road would be open to all, only real worth would receive the palm. To obviate the neceſſity of every pecuniary attention, out of the Treaſury of the United States, penſions, competent to the decencies of life, according to the wants and degrees of merit which the candidates poſſeſſed, ſhould be decreed, and regularly paid; and to preclude every reaſonable objection, the ſinecure ſhould be continued (except in caſes of natural and abſolute decay) no longer than while the beneficed remained, to the utmoſt of his or her power, in the full exerciſe of thoſe talents which procured from the liberality of government ſo honorary a diſtinction. If this ſcheme, or rudiments of a ſcheme, might ſerve as a hint, to be wrought into form by the legiſlators of the Union, the probability is, that the Muſe, in ſuch regulations of State, would not be called to mourn the chilling blaſts of penury; the genial current of the ſoul would no longer be frozen; the foſtering ray of proſperity, would lend to the real gem its beautifying ſplendour; upon the deſert air the flower would not then waſte its ſweetneſs, but borne on the wing of the more propitious zephyr, taſte would acknowledge, and fame diſſeminate its fragrance: Knowledge would unfold her ample page, and the child of nature would wake to ecſtacy the living lyre— the village Hampdens, with dauntleſs ſpirits, would ariſe, and a mute inglorious Milton would no more be found. Not well verſed in the hiſtory of mankind, I am ignorant if any plan ſimilar to the one propoſed, hath ever yet, by any government, been adopted; but I think its utility can hardly be deemed problematical, and if the ſons of genius, in this Columbian world, were thus ſecured from the fear of want, the goal of eminence being thrown open before them, to the higheſt grades of excellence they might aſpire; and the probability is, that, commencing with youthful ardour the great career, they would, in their various purſuits, rival the brighteſt names. E2 Once 54 E3v 54 Once more, good Mr. Gleaner, I requeſt you to uſher theſe hints to the public eye; and you will, in ſo doing, much oblige your very humble ſervant, Modestus Mildmay.

NO. VI.

Their various cenſures now they forward bring, And urge by various words the ſelf ſame thing.

Being neceſſitated, in the courſe of my buſineſs, to make frequent viſits to our metropolis; and bearing about me, neither in my perſon, or habiliments, any diſtinguiſhing mark, I have the advantage of mixing unnoticed, in places of general reſort, with people of various deſcriptions, and not ſeldom of important characters. It was in one of my late excurſions, that I found myſelf at a table where the gueſts took their ſeats with that freedom which is ſo eligible, and which is always tolerated in a public houſe. After playing their parts, like men who perfectly well underſtood themſelves, ſwallowing a ſufficient quantity of ham and chicken, and liberally moiſtening the clay with the juice of the apple, they imagined themſelves duly qualified to ſit as judges of literary merit; for my own part, I am obliged to confeſs, that in regard to the gifts requiſite in converſation, nature hath been unto me a perfect niggard, and that I poſſeſs not, in orally delivering my ideas, the ſmalleſt degree of facility. Intrenching myſelf, therefore, in my natural taciturnity, as I had never before had the honour of meeting an individual of whom our party conſiſted; with the utmoſt ſang froid I wrapped myſelf about, determining to indulge myſelf, by following the prevalent bent of my diſpoſition, which is invariably aſſigning me the part of a hearer.

I was amazed to find with how little accuracy, and with what arrogant freedom, their dogmatizing deciſions 55 E4r 55 deciſions were, for the moſt part, made; and I felt a kind of horror at the mangling of names, which I had accuſtomed myſelf to conſider in the moſt reſpectable point of view. From queſtioning the correctneſs and the delicacy of Addiſon, the wit of Swift, and the poetical merit of Pope, they ſummoned before their imperious tribunal, the candidates for fame, which, in this younger world, diſtinguiſh the preſent day: Trumbull, Barlow, Humphreys, Warren, Morton, Belknap, &c; &c;—these all paſſed in review before them; and as they ſeemed determined to ſet no bounds to their invidious cenſures, their obſervations were of courſe equally deſtitute of juſtice and of candour. From theſe luminous bodies in the hemiſphere of literature, deſcending in their career, they fell pell-mell upon the poor Gleaner. He was regarded as free plunder, ſerving as a mark at which to point their keeneſt ſhafts of ſatire; he was any body, every body, or nobody. One while he was certainly a Parſon, for, in his laſt number, throwing off the maſk, he had poſitively ſermonized throughout; it was true he had taken his text from a brother chip; but what of that? his ſpeech betrayed him. A ſecond gravely declared, that he was credibly informed, the Gleaner was, at this preſent, a ſtudent in Harvard College; and indeed, (he added) it is evident, that he needs inſtruction. Here a loud laugh interrupted, for a moment, the progreſs of their critical and judicious remarks; when a young barriſter, taking up the matter, for the ſake of the argument, juſt to exerciſe his talents, profeſſionally pronounced, that moſt aſſuredly the gentleman who ſpoke laſt had been groſsly impoſed upon, in the plea of veſting the property under conſideration; for that the Gleaner certainly bore ſtrong marks of genius; that, to his knowledge, it was the production of a Connecticut pen, and it was well known that Connecticut was the land of eſſayiſts. A magiſterial voice now interfered— Pſhaw, pſhaw, brother litigant, I ſay you are wrong, abſolutely wrong; for if we except the firſt number of the 56 E4v 56 the Gleaner, there is not to be found, in that writer, a ſingle ſentence of ſheer wit. From the firſt number, indeed, I encouraged a hope of originality, of a ſpecies of entertainment, not every day to be met with; but that, it ſhould ſeem, was a forced matter, a mere hot-bed production, a ſpark ſtruck from a flint, rather than the offspring of that pure, celeſtial and immortal fire, which, like its ethereal ſource, can never be extinguiſhed, and which, ever genuine, glowing, and animated, is with propriety hailed by that dignifying appellation—true genius. But the Gleaner, O ſhocking! in his Margaretta, indeed, I took an intereſt, but he juſt popt her upon us, and very ſoon running himſelf out there, whip, in a moment, ſhe was gone. Take my word for it, Gentlemen, (and he ſhook his head with great ſagacity) the Gleaner is not worth our attention; he is poor, deſpicably poor—low, pitifully low; and I heſitate not to pronounce him a mere trite, common-place obſerver. A middle-aged gentleman, who ſat at the bottom of the table, and who had been, till then, ſilent, actuated, as I conceive, by a kind of ſympathy, being himſelf probably a ſupplicant at the ſhrine of fame, now joined in the converſation, by candidly ſuggeſting, that it did not appear the Gleaner had laid any claim to extraordinary talents; that he had very early renounced the vain hopes by which he had been inflated; that if every writer could not reach the eminence of a Boyle, a Locke, or a Newton, yet thoſe who were contented with the ſubordination of their ſeveral departments, were entitled to their quota of praiſe; that if the obſervations of the Gleaner were trite, he was but a Gleaner, and the modeſty of his pretenſions entitled him to the full exerciſe of candor. But your Honour, (continued the goodnatured gentleman) was intereſted in his Margaretta; now I think it very poſſible that Miſs Melworth may again make her appearance, and it is my opinion, that the Gleaner withholds her now, not altogether from poverty of genius, but from the fear of giving to 57 E5r 57 to his productions the air of a novel—(I could hardly forbear taking my advocate in my arms)—and you know, Gentlemen, in what a frivolous point of view, the noveliſt, at this preſent, ſtands. It is painful to ſink, and who would wiſh to debate the eſſayeſt (for ſo it would be eſteemed) into a mere annaliſt of brilliant fictions; yet, for my own part, I am free to own, that I claſs this ſpecies of writing in the very higheſt grade of excellence; it is true that the beſt things may be made ſubſervient to the worſt of purpoſes, and the pen, ſeized by the fingers of imagination, hath not ſeldom proved licentiouſly luxurious. Thus, even a Richardſon, though his writings abound with the pureſt morals, and though his Clariſſa, with a ſingle exception, may be regarded as a model, cannot, perhaps, be conſidered as altogether faultleſs; yet I have thought, that under proper regulations, the province aſſigned to the novel writer, might be productive of the higheſt utility; love, I would not hail as almighty; I would not create a deſpot, before whoſe throne every other conſideration muſt, of neceſſity, proſtrate; I would not repreſent him as reducing to vaſſalage every faculty of the ſoul, and riding victorious over decency, propriety, and every other virtue; but I would deſcribe him as a benign monarch, to whom reaſon ſhould adminiſter; his powers ſhould be limited, and chaſtized by prudence; and, by a ſeries of intereſting, circumſtantial and well digeſted narrations, I would produce events deeply marked; and ſtrikingly natural, which ſhould indiſputably evince the triumphs of diſcretion over the impaſſioned dictates of the perturbed ſpirit; volumes, wrote upon ſuch a plan, would, I venture to aſſert, be more ſerviceable to the intereſts of virtue than even the ethic page; for, however plauſibly we may harangue, the voice of the narrator will ſtill be heard, when, perhaps, the moſt elaborate eſſays, not thus embelliſhed, which ever iſſued from the cloſet of the ſtudious, will paſs the torpid ear without leaving the ſlighteſt impreſſion. Indeed, I think the glorious Author 58 E5v 58 Author and Pattern of the Chriſtian faith, ſeems, in the whole courſe of his teaching, to put this matter beyond a doubt: One ſpecimen readily preſents— when the Saviour undertakes to cultivate the intereſts of benevolence, when he would diſſeminate the ſeeds of that univerſal benignity, or brotherhood, which, ſpringing up, ſhall one day produce a rich harveſt of immortal amity, he perſonifies his wiſhes, and ſays, A certain man went down from Jeruſalem to Jericho, &c; &c; Thus I conceive, that the wellconcerted relation, deſigned to promote morality, or a rectitude of thinking and acting, is authorized and ſanctioned, even by a divine example.

Before ſuch a pleader, thus powerfully provided, even Doctor Subpoena was ſilent, and the company ſoon after ſeparating, I returned to my lodgings, felicitating myſelf on the poſſeſſion of that command of countenance, which had ſo regulated every feature, as to render it impoſſible that my ſecret ſhould be even ſurmiſed; and my buſineſs in the capital being accompliſhed, I jogged onward to my native village, pondering all theſe things in my mind, and almoſt coming to a determination to furniſh ſome ſketches from my domeſtic arrangements, when the following letters, which awaited my return, and which I render verbatim, helped to confirm my wavering reſolution.

To the Gleaner. Good Man Gleaner, I am, d’ye ſee, an old ſea commander, and many a tough bout have I had on it in my day; with the wind in my teeth, I have been blown hither and thither, coaſt wiſe, and every wiſe; but what of that? with a pretty breeze, mayhap, I can carry as much ſail, and ſteer as ſtrait forward as another man. Now I have been plaguily puzzled to know at what you were driving: I never, in the whole courſe of my life, was fond of an uncertain navigation, becauſe, d’ye 59 E6r 59 d’ye ſee, there is no knowing what rocks and quickſands may take one up. For my part, I never waſted many glaſſes in poring over your books, and your hiſtories, and all that—not I—it was my buſiness to mind how the ſhip worked, to ſee if ſhe made good way, and failed as many knots in an hour as the charming Sall, or Bet. When I was a lad, my father ſent me to ſchool, and would have made a parſon of me; but it would not do—the wind pointed another way, and ſo I up jib, and bore away, making all the ſail I could to more convenient moorings: Howſomever, I learned enough of the art to enable me to make an obſervation, by the help of which I can carry my ſhip round the globe, paſſing with ſafety through the narroweſt ſtraits, always keeping her clear of a lee ſhore, and never running foul of any rock or ſhoal, though I have made ever ſo many voyages; but I always kept a good look out, was careful to heave the log, attending, with my own eyes, to the veerings, and my reckonings were as ſure and as certain as the rock of Gibraltar. But what is all this to the purpoſe? avaſt a moment, and you ſhall hear. Being pretty much weather beaten, I thought beſt, ſometime ſince, to make the ſafe and convenient harbour of matrimony, and my daughter Molly, for that was the ſober name we gave her at the fount, though, by the bye, my wife very ſoon tacking about, choſe to call her Maria, till returning from a trip ſhe hath made to a neighbouring town, the wind again ſhifting, there is nothing ſo proper, ſo ſedate, and which, ſhe ſays, ſquares ſo well with her ideas, as Mary; thus reducing us to the neceſſity of beginning our traverſe anew; well, but my ſaid daughter Molly, Maria, or Mary, being born juſt a year after our marriage, and very ſoon becoming a fine roſy cheeked girl, I have ever ſince been examining every point of direction, ſo belaying the lifts and the braces, the clewlines and the buntlines, that ſhe may be as good a ſail, make as good way, and procure as good a birth, as any little tight ſea boat of them all. Her mother was for putting 60 E6v 60 putting her adrift at a boarding ſchool, but by virtue of my authority, I have hitherto kept her in her old moorings, being hugely afraid of the breakers, which ſhe may encounter upon the ocean of inexperience; but my education being ſuch as I have ſaid, I am ſomething ſuſpicious that I may not perfectly underſtand every point of the compaſs; and being embarked in ſo difficult a navigation, I am, for the firſt time ſince I undertook the command of a ſhip, rather doubtful of my courſe. Now you muſt know, that though I am no reader, I have, in order to find out by the entries and clearances, which way the wind ſets with my old comrades, made it my practice to take on board the news-papers; that ſince my matrimonial adventure, I have alſo ſhipped their firſt couſins, the magazines, and that one cold evening, upon the firſt of April laſt, my wife and I being ſafely hauled up along ſide of a good fire, were mightily taken with your Margaretta, and that immediately ſtriking our colours, we lovingly agreed to diſpoſe of our Molly, preciſely as you ſhould inform us you had done of the little yawl belayed along ſide your anchorage by dame Arbuthnot; but now, Mr. Gleaner, I am coming to the point; though we have ever ſince kept watch and watch, placing upon the maſt-head of ſcrutiny the careful eye of intelligence, yet we cannot eſpy the ſmalleſt appearance of the little ſkiff for which we are looking out; on the contrary, you ſeem to have hoiſted every ſail, bearing directly from the port to which we ſuppoſed you were bound! And pray now what have you got by all this? I doubt your voyage will prove rather unprofitable; for, ſay what you will, people will turn in when they pleaſe, and though your mornings ſhould break ten times handſomer, they will not quit their cabins a ſingle glaſs the ſooner. It is true, you have taken us a round about courſe to Athens, and the Lord knows where, paraphraſing upon the times, and the times, though you do not make them a rope’s end the better; and I know, in the very teeth of all you 61 F1r 61 you ſay, that I never had more taxes, or more duties to pay, ſince I firſt ſtepped on board a ſhip; and now, you have come out full freighted with a long ſermon, though I could as well find out longitude, as tell from what quarter of the Bible you have taken your text; and even our parſon, who I have conſulted, and who is as good a man as ever took the command of a church, and who declares, that he thinks you mean very well; yet he, I ſay, knows no ſuch paſſage, unleſs indeed you may have miſtaken a ſparrow for a lamb, and ſuppoſe that he who made him, will order him a fair wind. And what is all this rigmaroll buſineſs about? why, forſooth, to introduce a ſtory of a cock and a bull—of a man cured of a conſumption at the village of B—–. The village of B—–! ſplit my topſails—why, it may be bear’s head, or bull’s foot, for aught we know. This is not well worked, Mr. Gleaner; if you had meant us fair, you would have ſo pointed our compaſs, that we might have made ſail directly for the harbour of the wonderful phyſician, which your chart delineates as affording ſuch ſafe and commodious landing; but you have ſo contrived matters, as to run every invalid of us faſt aground upon the lee ſhore of conjecture, and I now declare to you, Sir, that if you do not reſume your plain ſailing, you ſhall no more be read by George and Deborah Seafort. To the Gleaner. Dear good Mr. Gleaner, You can have no notion how vaſtly we are all diſappointed; I does not date my letter, becauſe, as how, I would not for the whole world that you ſhould find me out; but I am one of a great many ladies, which is abſolutely dying to ſee ſomething more about Margaretta. My papa hath given his hibitation againſt my reading your novels, and your theatricks, and all that; but he is a ſubſcriber to the magazines, F and 62 F1v 62 and ſays how I may read in them from morning till night; and we are all mightily delighted when we find ſuch pretty hiſtoriettes as we ſometimes does; but we would not give a fig for any thing elſe, and indeed we could not get through your two laſt Gleaners, though we read alteratively, as the folks ſay, that is, firſt Miſs Primroſe, and then I, till we went down two columns, on purpoſe to ſee if we could find as much as the name of dear Margaretta. Do pray, Sir, oblige us, and let us know ſomething of her dreſs, and if ſhe wears a head as high as Miſs Sycamore, which my papa ſays is quite metrepoſterous; I don’t know if I ſpells theſe ere hard words right, for my brother Valentine has ſtole my dictionary; but I aſſure you, Sir, you cannot do better, for ſo Miſs Sabina ſays. I ſometimes viſits Miſs Sabina with my papa, for my mamma is dead, and ſhe is a vaſt cute lady, and ſhe writes poeticks like any thing, and her mamma ſays that ſhe writes um very near as glibly and as handſomely as Madam Philenia. And Miſs Sabina ſays, that ſuppoſing Miſs Margaretta is a viſual being, and not a real, and a deeden lady, that you might make her the vetrick of a ſerus of epics, and ſo teach demeanours and proprieties, and all that, to the varſal world; and ſo I knows that you will mind her, for every body ſays how that Miſs Sabina is a very learned lady; and beſides all that, I will love you dearly, and will remain until death, your ever dutiful—I muſt ſubſcribe a fiction name— and to tell you the truth my brother Valentine, is not my brother Valentine, that is, Valentine is not my brother’s true and deeden name; but I am—that is, if you tell us ſome more of Margaretta, your ever loving Monimia Castalio. P.S. I got my name from a play book, which Miſs Primroſe lent me. My papa does not know it; but the Gleaner muſt not tell ſecrets. To 63 F2r 63 To the Gleaner. Sir, I was early left an orphan, and my education was much neglected; but nevertheleſs, a variety of concurring circumſtances, diſpoſing the heart of a very worthy gentleman in my favour, I happily became his wife. For a few years, the hiſtory of my life may be regarded as the annals of felicity; but alas! I have laid my huſband in the grave, and the ſtory of my enjoyments is finiſhed; yet, in a little daughter, I once again revive; my girl ſtill attaches me to humanity. I am in poſſeſſion of what I deem a competency; and, being entruſted by her deceaſed father with the entire diſpoſal of my child, I would adopt, in the forming of her mind, that ſyſtem, which may be the beſt calculated to make her good and happy. Thus circumſtanced, I have looked with very much anxiety, into every late publication, which I have thought calculated for the meridian of my underſtanding; and in this purſuit, your lovely orphan very naturally attracted my attention; if I was amuſed with an agreeable fiction, I was, nevertheleſs, intereſted and pleaſed; if the charming ſtranger was endowed with more than a fanciful exiſtence, I ſhed tears of joy that ſhe had found upon this American ſhore ſo able a patron; and I have for many weeks expected from your gentle Mary, and her beauteous Margaretta, ſome hint, whereby to ſhape my future conduct. I will confeſs to you, Sir, that reading your numbers under this cloud of diſappointment, I have not ſo well reliſhed ſubjects, which, however, for aught I know, may have been extremely well choſen, and altogether as well handled. Will you, my dear Sir, indulge a petitioner, while ſhe requeſts, in your own way, ſome documents in the line of education, which may ſerve as guides in the arduous undertaking 64 F2v 64 undertaking in which ſhe is ſo deeply engaged, and for which ſhe is ſo little qualified? If you will, you may aſſure yourſelf of wiſhes for your felicity, which ſhall ever be breathed, warm from the heart of Rebecca Aimwell. To the Gleaner. Old Square Toes, To tell you the truth, I think you have conducted your matters deviliſh oddly, and the whole town are of my opinion. What, to raiſe our curioſity, leading us to expect the hiſtory of a fine girl, and then to fob us off with your muſty morals, which are to the full as old as your grandfather Adamfore gad ’tis not to be borne; but nevertheleſs, I will play a fair game with you; and I know you are too conſcientious a prig to keep from your ward any thing which will redound ſo immenſely to her advantage. Know then, that I inherited from my father a clear eſtate, the income of which, would have ſupported me in tolerable ſtyle; but not chooſing to encumber myſelf with buſineſs, and living rather beyond the line, I have got, as the ſaying is, a little out at the elbows; however, a few of your acres (and I am confident that you are either a Connecticut landholder, or a Pennſylvania Quaker) ſerving as decent patches, will ſet all right again; and you may depend upon it, that I will reform, live within bounds, and if I like your girl, make her a very good ſort of a huſband. One thing let me tell you, old fellow, ſhe will be the envy of all the ladies in—–, married and ſingle—dear tender creatures, there is not one of them, who hath not made the kindeſt advances; but I like to do things out of the common courſe; and ſo, if you will, let me hear from you, and tell me how you go on; if you will order matters properly; and if your Margaretta anſwers my expectations—why then—what then —hang it—I muſt come to it at laſt—why then—offer her 65 F3r 65 her my devoirs, and inform her, that ſhe may aſſure herſelf of the hand of the gay, and hitherto inconſtant Bellamur. To the Gleaner. Worthy Sir, As I ſuppoſe it will be your care to diſpoſe of Miſs Melworth to the beſt advantage; as I think that ſhe muſt now be marriageable, and as I have been for ſome time looking out for a wife, I have thought beſt to addreſs you upon the ſubject. Indeed, I ſhould have wrote you before; but expecting, every number, to hear ſomething further of the girl, I poſtponed my intention, until by your long-winded remarks, (you will pardon me, Sir) my patience is quite exhauſted. In truth, as I am turned of fifty, I have no time to ſpare; and having a handſome and diſencumbered eſtate, it is fit that I procure lineal deſcendants, who, in caſe of my deceaſe, may become legal poſſeſſors. From applying to the girls of our day, whom I have ſeen, notwithſtanding your opinion of the preſent times, I am deterred by the little chance which a man hath of obtaining a woman poſſeſſed of that diſcretion which is ſo requiſite in a wife; for, what with morning viſits, family and public dinings, riding, mall ſtrolling, evening tea parties, midnight balls, and the time which is neceſſarily devoted to ſleep and dreſſing, the four and twenty hours are completely filled up! Now, as I look upon you, Mr. Gleaner, to be a very wiſe man, I take it, that your Margaretta muſt be a girl of a very different ſort; and, as I ſuppoſe ſhe hath been educated in the country, I take it for certain, that ſhe is a complete houſe-wife; that ſhe can ſuperintend a dairy; take care of her children, when she has any; ſee that I have my meals in due ſeaſon; and that my clothes are bruſhed and laid in order. Moreover, as from F2 a hint 66 F3v 66 a hint in one of your papers, I imagine that you have a proper idea of the ſubordination which is ſo eſſential to the character of a woman: I preſume you have not failed to document your pupil, with ſufficient gravity, upon the article of subjection; and, I aſſure you, that I ſhall expect obedience from my wife; that ſhe muſt not only be very well taught, induſtrious, and uniformly economical, but alſo extremely docile. Theſe things premiſed, if you will introduce me to Miſs Melworth, and we ſhould happen to fancy each other, I will, if you pleaſe, order the banns to be publiſhed, and very ſpeedily inveſt her with all the privileges and immunities of a wife. I am, worthy Sir, your very humble ſervant to command, Timothy Plodder.

In anſwer to my ſeveral correſpondents, I have only to obſerve, in general, that their expectations abundantly forerun both my plans and my ability; but that I may, in all my beſt, obey them, I will, from time to time, furniſh, from my private family, ſuch ſketches as I ſhall think proper, reſerving to myſelf the privilege of diſcontinuing and reſuming them, as ſhall ſuit my convenience. But to my friends Bellamour and Plodder, it is but juſtice to ſay, that four months ſince, I had the felicity to beſtow the hand of Miſs Melworth upon a very worthy man, who, I doubt not, will be fully ſenſible of the value of the acquiſition which he hath made. But by what ſteps ſhe hath obtained the honorary crown of matronhood, may in future numbers be narrated.

NO. VII.

Then ſmoothly ſpreads the retroſpective ſcene, When no gigantic errors intervene.

No, I think not—relative to Margaretta, we have no capital errors to deplore; from the hour which conſigned to the narrow houſe the remains of Mrs. 67 F4r 67 Mrs. AburthnotArbuthnot, ſhe hath continued to progreſs in our affections, endearing herſelf to us by every act of duty, and having laid her in our boſom, ſhe hath become unto us indeed a daughter. Heaven hath denied us children; but we regret not that circumſtance, while this amiable female lives to prop, to ſoothe, and to ſlope our paſsage through the journey of life. Having packed up her little moveables, the moſt valuable of which was a miniature of her mother, put into her hands by her aunt (whoſe degree of affinity ſhe hath ſince underſtood) juſt before ſhe expired, we quitted the capital of South-Carolina. I took a place for myſelf in the ſtage; and Mary, accommodating herſelf to the movements of that vehicle, came on with the child. Mary hath the peculiar talent of ſtealing from the unfortunate their ſharpeſt ſorrows; moments of the keeneſt anguiſh ſhe can ſometimes beguile; and by her addreſs ſhe hath not ſeldom extracted from the wounded boſom the lacerating ſhaft. To ſoothe and to ſupport the little Margaretta, who was at firſt overwhelmed with grief, ſhe bent her utmoſt efforts; and as the minds of children, at that early and intereſting age, are commonly very ſuſceptible, and eaſily impreſsed, ſhe ſucceeded wonderfully well; while the little creature, aſsured and comforted, before we had reached the northern extremity of the middle States, with her heart as light as the goſſamer, prattled away moſt delightfully.

When we returned home, we fitted up a little chamber, of which we conſtituted Margaretta the ſole proprietor; my wife informing her that ſhe ſhould eſtabliſh a poſt betwixt her apartment and her own, that if they choſe, upon any occaſion, to ſeparate, they might with the greater convenience open a correſpondence by letter. The rudiments of Margaretta’s education had been attended to; in her plain work ſhe had made conſiderable proficiency; ſhe could read the ſeventh, tenth, eleventh and twelfth chapters of Nehemiah, without much difficulty; and when her aunt was taken ill, ſhe was on the point of being 68 F4v 68 being put into joining-hand; but Mary very ſoon ſketched out for our charge rather an extenſive plan of education; and as I was not entirely convinced of the inutility of her views, the natural indolence of my temper induced me to let the matter paſs, without entering my caveat by way of ſtopping proceedings; and indeed, I think the propriety of circumſcribing the education of a female, within ſuch narrow bounds as are frequently aſsigned, is at leaſt problematical. A celebrated writer, I really forget who, hath penned upon this ſubject a number of ſelf-evident truths; and it is an incontrovertible fact, that to the matron is entruſted not only the care of her daughter, but alſo the forming the firſt and oftentimes the moſt important movements of that mind, which is to inform the future man; the early dawnings of reaſon ſhe is appointed to watch, and from her are received the moſt indelible impreſsions of his life. Now, was ſhe properly qualified, how enviable and how dignified would be her employment. The probability is, that the family of children, whom ſhe directed, ſuppoſing them to poſseſs common capacities, being once initiated into the flowery paths of ſcience, would ſeldom ſtop ſhort of the deſired goal. Fine writing, arithmetic, geography, aſtronomy, muſic, drawing; and attachment to all theſe might be formed in infancy; the firſt principles of the fine arts might be ſo accommodated, as to conſtitute the paſtime of the child; the ſeeds of knowledge might be implanted in the tender mind, and even budding there, before the avocations of the father permitted him to combine his efforts. Affection for the ſweet preceptreſs, would originate a ſtrong predilection for inſtructions, that would with intereſting tenderneſs be given, and that would be made to aſsume the face of entertainment, and thus the young proficient would be, almoſt imperceptibly, engaged in thoſe walks, in which an advantageous perſerverance might rationally be expected. A mother, who poſseſseth a competent knowledge of the Engliſh and French tongues, and who is properly aſsiduous about her 69 F5r 69 her children, I conceive, will find it little more difficult to teach them to liſp in two languages, than in one; and as the powers of the ſtudent advanceth, certain portions of the day may be regularly appropriated to the converſing in that language which is not deſigned for the common intercourſes of life. Letters, in either tongue, to the parent, or fictitious characters, may be alternately written, and thus an elegant knowledge of both may be gradually obtained. Learning, certainly, can never with propriety be eſteemed a burthen; and when the mind is judiciouſly balanced, it renders the poſseſſor not only more valuable, but alſo more amiable, and more generally uſeful. Literary acquiſitions cannot, unleſs the faculties of the mind are deranged, be loſt; and while the goods of fortune may be whelmed beneath the contingencies of revolving time, intellectual property ſtill remains, and the mental funds can never be exhauſted. The accompliſhed, the liberally accompliſhed female, if ſhe is deſtined to move in the line of competency, will be regarded as a pleaſing and inſtructive companion; whatever ſhe does will connect an air of perſuaſive elevation; wherever ſhe may be adventitiouſly called, genuine dignity will be the accompaniment of her ſteps; ſhe will always be attended to with pleaſure, and ſhe cannot fail of being diſtinguiſhed; ſhould ſhe, in her career of life, be arreſted by adverſe fortune, many reſources of relief, of pleaſure, and of emolument, open themſelves before her; and ſhe is not neceſsarily condemned to laborious efforts, or to the drudgery of that unremitted ſameneſs, which the rotine of the needle preſents.

But whatever may be the merits of the courſe which I am thus apparently advocating, without ſtopping to examine the other ſide of the queſtion, I proceed to ſay, that the plan of education adopted for Margaretta was, as I have already hinted, ſufficiently extenſive, and that Mrs. Vigillius (to addreſs my good wife, in her dignified character of governante, with all poſsible reſpect) having inſtructed her pupil in the grand 70 F5v 70 grand fundamental points of the philanthropic religion of Jeſus, was never eaſy while any branch of improvement, which could by the moſt remote conſtruction be deemed feminine, remained uneſsayed; and I muſt in juſtice declare, that the conſequence, by producing Margaretta at the age of ſixteen, a beautiful and accompliſhed girl, more than anſwered her moſt ſanguine expectations.

Of needle work, in its varieties, my wife pronounced her a perfect miſtreſs; her knowledge of the Engliſh, and French tongues, was fully adequate to her years, and her manner of reading had, for me, peculiar charms; her hand writing was neat and eaſy; ſhe was a good accomptant, a tolerable geographer and chronologiſt; ſhe had ſkimmed the ſurface of aſtronomy and natural philoſophy; had made good proficiency in her ſtudy of hiſtory and the poets; could ſketch a landſcape; could furniſh, from her own fancy, patterns for the muſlins which ſhe wrought; could bear her part in a minuet and a cotillion, and was allowed to have an excellent hand upon the piano forte. We once entertained a deſign of debarring her the indulgence of novels; but thoſe books, being in the hands of every one, we conceived the accompliſhment of our wiſhes in this reſpect, except we had bred her an abſolute recluſe, almoſt impracticable; and Mrs. Vigillius, therefore, thought it beſt to permit the uſe of every decent work, cauſing them to be read in her preſence, hoping that ſhe might, by her ſuggeſtions and obſervations, preſent an antidote to the poiſon, with which the pen of the noveliſt is too often fraught. The ſtudy of hiſtory was purſued, if I may ſo expreſs myſelf, ſyſtematically: To the page of the hiſtorian one hour every day was regularly devoted; a ſecond hour, Mary converſed with her adopted daughter upon the ſubject which a uniform courſe of reading had furniſhed; and a third hour Margaretta was directed to employ, in committing to paper ſuch particular facts, remarks and conſequences deduced therefrom, as had, during 71 F6r 71 during the hours appropriated to reading, and converſing, moſt ſtrikingly impreſsed her mind; and by theſe means the leading features of hiſtory were indelibly imprinted thereon. Mrs. Vigillius alſo compoſed little geographical, hiſtorical, and chronological catechiſms, or dialogues, the nature of which will be eaſily conceived; and ſhe pronounced them of inifinite advantage in the proſecution of her plan; ſhe ſubmitted likewiſe, at leaſt once every week, to little voluntary abſences, when my boy Plato, being conſtituted courier betwixt the apartments of my wife and daughter, an epiſtolary correſpondence was carried on between them, from which more than one important benefit was derived; the penmanſhip of our charge was improved; the beautiful and elegant art of letter writing was by degrees acquired; and Margaretta was early accuſtomed to lay open her heart to her maternal friend.

Perſons when holding the pen, generally expreſs themſelves more freely than when engaged in converſation; and if they have a perfect confidence in thoſe whom they addreſs, the probability is, that, unboſoming themſelves, they will not fail to unveil the inmoſt receſses of their ſouls—thus was Margaretta properly and happily habituated to diſcloſe, without a bluſh, each riſing thought to her, on whom the care of preparing her for the great career of life had devolved.

No, Mr. Pedant, ſhe was not unfitted for her proper ſphere; and your ſtomach, however critical it may be, never digeſted finer puddings than thoſe which I, with an uncommon zeſt, have partook as knowing they were the compoſition of her fair hand—yes, in the receipts of cookery ſhe is thoroughly verſed; ſhe is in every reſpect the complete houſewife; and our linen never received ſo fine a gloſs as when it was ironed and laid in order by Margaretta. Mrs. Vigillius was early taught the ſcience of economy, and ſhe took care to teach it to her daughter; and being more eſpecially economical of time, ſhe ſo arrangeth matters as never to appear embaraſsed, or in a hurry, 72 F6v 72 a hurry, having always her hours of leiſure, which ſhe appropriates to the contingencies of the day. It is true, ſhe does not engage in viſits of mere ceremony, ſeldom making one of any party, without ſome view either to her own emolument, or that of thoſe about her; and with regard to dreſs, ſhe ſpends but little time in aſsorting an article which is, it muſt be confeſsed, too generally a monopolizer of a bleſsing, that can hardly be too highly eſtimated. She doth not think it neceſsary to have her diſhabille for the morning, her robe-de-chambre for noon, and her full trimed polanee or trollopee, for the evening. The morning generally, except in caſes of any particular emergency, preſents her dreſsed for the day; and as ſhe is always elegant, of courſe ſhe can never be prepoſterous, extravagant or gaudy. It will be hardly neceſsary to add, that Miſs Melworth was, and is, her exact copieſt; and indeed ſhe is ſo warmly attached to my dear Mary, that I verily believe it would have been in her power to have initiated her into the devious paths of error; and this is ſaying a great deal of a mind which poſseſseth ſuch innate goodneſs, as doth that which inhabits the gentle boſom of my Margaretta. Upon the ſubject of dreſs, I am naturally reminded of the requeſt of my fanciful correſpondent Monimia Caſtalio, relative to the dreſs of Margaretta, and particularly the height of her head; and I am happy that I can gratify Miſs Monimia Caſtalio, by recollecting a circumſtance, which being in point, may ſerve as a ſpecimen of the general ſtyle of Margaretta’s dreſs. I think ſhe was about fifteen, when Mrs. Vigillius conforming as much as her ideas of propriety would admit, to the then faſhion of the times, made for her a hat of white ſatin. I remember there was a prettily fancied ribbon to it; and it had, I thought, rather a jauntee appearance. Margaretta put it on, and ſallied forth to pay a viſit to an acquaintance, a Miſs Preedy; and the next morning, when ſeated at the breakfaſt table, with much heſitation ſhe requeſted her mamma to purchaſe for her, as an additional ornament 73 G1r 73 ornament to her hat, ſome beautiful feathers, which ſhe ſaid were to be diſpoſed of at the very next ſhop. Mrs. Vigillius, with great calmneſs, replied, Yes, my dear, without doubt I can obtain for you the feathers; but I have for ſome time been endeavouring to accumulate a ſum, which I had intended to appropriate for the completion of your little library; and a crown laid out in feathers, will take therefrom at leaſt one handſome and inſtructive volume; it is true, I have ſome money now by me, deſigned for another uſe—Poor Mrs. Lovemore, over whoſe miſfortunes you have ſhed ſo many tears, ſtill ſwells the ſigh of ſorrow—he, whoſe preſence would turn her little cottage into a palace, yet remains impriſoned! I have long had it in contemplation to dry the tear of anguiſh from the cheek of that ſolitary mourner; and I have anticipated the pleaſure I ſhould experience while witneſsing the mantling joy, and the dimpling ſmiles, which would, upon an occaſion ſo happy, pervade the faces of the little beings who owe to her their exiſtence—Genius of ſenſibility! how extatic would be my emotions, could I be made inſtrumental in reſtoring to their embraces the huſband and the father! The ſum for which Mr. Lovemore is held in durance, is ſmall, and his misfortunes could not by human prudence be either foreſeen or prevented. From the late expenditures in our family, I have ſo far economized, as to have at length made up the requiſite ſum; and I had thought to have taken a walk this fine morning, in order to liberate the poor man— but you want the feathers, and Lovemore muſt continue in captivity until I can lay by another crown.

Never ſhall I forget the expreſsion, the animated expreſsion, which lighted up the countenance of Margaretta; tears of mingling pleaſure and delicate apprehenſion, were upon her cheek; with a kind of duteous eagerneſs, ſhe ſeized the hand of Mary, and in a moſt graceful manner bowing thereon, with a tremulous voice ſhe thus queſtioned—thus entreated— And will the ſorrows of the poor Mrs. Lovemore G know 74 G1v 74 know an end? O friend, patroneſs, protectreſs, preſerver, mother—what ſhall I ſay?—Already my obligations to you are infinite—but tell me, dear lady, will you ſtill add thereto—ſhall I accompany you to the abode of Mrs. Lovemore? I know that you will conſent—let us go this inſtant—I will fly for your cloak, and we will not delay a moment.

It is hardly neceſsary to add that Margaretta obtained her ſuit, and I ſubjoin a declaration, that theſe kind of feathers are the moſt beautiful, and the higheſt plumed, of any ſhe hath ever yet worn in her hat or cap.

But while we have been aſsiduouſly employed in cultivating the mind of Margaretta, we have been endeavouring to eradicate the ſeeds of that over-weening ſelf conceit, which, while it would induce an oſtentatious exhibition of thoſe talents, natural, or adventitious, which ſhe may poſseſs—like a rampant weed would impede and overſhadow the growth of every virtue. Againſt pride and affectation we have been careful to guard her, by conſtantly inculcating one grand truth; a truth, to the conviction of which every ingenuous mind muſt be ever open. Her perſon, the ſymmetry of her features, the roſe and lily of her complexion, the tout enſemble of her exterior, the harmony of her voice, &c; &c;—theſe are the endowments of nature—while the artificial accompliſhments with which ſhe is inveſted, reſulting wholly from accident, and being altogether independent of her own arrangements, confer upon her no real or intrinſic merit.

We are daily aſsuring her, that every thing in future depends upon her own exertions, and that her character muſt be deſignated by that conſiſtent decency, that elegant propriety, and that dignified condeſcenſion, which are indeed truly eſtimable. We have apprized her, that in every ſtage of her journey through life, ſhe will find friends—or a ſocial intercourſe with the circles in which ſhe may be called to move—conſtituting one of her principal enjoyments, and that if ſhe is not eager for admiration, if ſhe avoids making a diſplay of ſuperior abilities, ſhe will eſcape thoſe ſhafts of envy which will 75 G2r 75 will otherwiſe be too ſurely aimed at her peace; and ſecure to herſelf the complacent feelings of thoſe with whom ſhe may be converſant.

Margaretta hath a becoming ſpirit, and diſsimulation is a ſtranger to her heart; ſhe is rather cheerful than gay; ſhe never diverts herſelf with ſimplicity and ignorance; double entendres ſhe deteſts; ſhe is not an adept in the preſent faſhionable mode of playing upon words, and ſhe never deſcends to what is called jeſting; ſhe can deliver herſelf upon any ſubject, on which ſhe ventures to ſpeak, with great eaſe; but in large or mixed companies ſhe engages in converſation with manifeſt reluctance; and I have heard her declare, that ſhe hath frequently, when encircled by ſtrangers, felt alarmed at the ſound of her own voice; ſhe never comments upon thoſe blunders which are the reſult of a neglected education, nor will ſhe lend her ſmiles to thoſe who are thus employed; and ſhe obſerves, that ſuch kind of peccadillos have upon her no other effect, than to excite in her boſom the ſenſation of gratitude.

With the laws of cuſtom, or faſhion, ſhe is thoroughly acquainted, and ſhe conſents to follow them as far as they ſquare with the dictates of rectitude; but ſhe never ſacrifices to their documents either her humanity, or her convenience; ſhe regards, as extremely venial, an ignorance of their deſpotic inſtitutions; (indeed the multifarious requirements of mere ceremony, ſtrike her in ſo trifling a point of view, that ſhe conceives it rather a matter of courſe that they ſhould ſometimes be omitted) and ſhe prefers plain manners to all the glitter of a ſtudied or laboured addreſs.

But it is againſt the unaccountable freaks of the capricious, that all the artillery of that humour, of which ſhe poſseſses a natural fund, is levelled; frank and ingenuous herſelf, ſhe laughs at the vagaries of the whimſical, and her heart is ever upon her lips; ſhe reflects much, and her judgment is faſhioned by reaſon; ſhe cannot be ſeen without pleaſure, nor heard without inſtruction.

But I am rather deſcribing what Margaretta is, than what ſhe was, at the period of her hiſtory to 76 G2v 76 to which we are arrived. Three or four years have matured her talents, preſenting the daily improving and promiſing girl, a truly lovely and accompliſhed woman, abundantly anſwering the fondeſt expectations which were formed of her.

When our beloved charge had completed her ſixteenth year, we conceived it full time to introduce her an intereſting and beautiful object to a world, of whoſe deceptions we had been careful to warn her, and for whoſe intercourſe, we flattered ourſelves, ſhe was as well qualified as girls at her age generally are.

It was at this period that Mrs. Vigillius, in compliance with the preſsing entreaties of a friend in whom ſhe entirely confided, reluctantly conſented that Miſs Melworth ſhould paſs a few weeks in the city of New- Haven.

But it may be proper to refer the opening of a new, and important ſcene, to a ſeparate eſsay; and we ſhall proceed to bring forward the appropriate number, with all poſsible diſpatch.

N0. VIII.

Important period, when the opening germe Burſts into life—to each impreſsion warm.

It was a firſt parting—and it coſt a ſhower of tears on both ſides, but avoiding as much as poſsible ſcenes which may be better imagined than deſcribed, I proceed in my narration. Margaretta had been abſent but two weeks, when the following letter, giving the alarm to our moſt anxious feelings, was read by Mary and myſelf, with uncommon perturbation.

Ever honoured, and ever dear Friend, The tear is ſtill wet upon my cheek! yes indeed, and well it may; for I never think upon the morning on which I took my departure from ——, but the pearly drops, as my good papa would call them, chaſe each 77 G3r 77 each other down my cheek; the truth is, that ſince the hour which cloſed the eyes of my poor aunt, I have never known affliction ſo ſevere. Well, but my mamma hath taught me not to dwell upon the dark ſide of events; and finding an adherence to her precepts my ſureſt path, I wave every thing of a melancholy nature, and proceed to ſay—that Mrs. Worthington received me with much affection; that ſhe treats me in all reſpects with the ſame tender attention which ſhe beſtows upon her own daughter, Miſs Amelia; and that I do not believe, if I except my own dear mamma, that there is in the whole world a better woman. Col. Worthington, as we were told, is at preſent abſent from home; ſo that, excepting the domeſtics, who are decent and obliging people, our family conſiſts only of Mrs. Worthington, Miſs Amelia, and myſelf. I am delighted with New-Haven, with its beautiful plains, its high ſurrounding mountains, its neat built houſes, its ample ſtreets, and the tall trees by which on either hand they are ſhaded. Yale College, an epiſcopalian church, and three diſsenting meeting houſes, are ſituated contiguous to each other. You know, my mamma, you directed me to write as if you were a ſtranger to every particular. As I walked over the green, the neighbourhood of theſe buildings ſeemed to conſecrate the ſpot, rendering it, as it were, hallowed ground. Yale College is not near ſo ſpacious as the deſcription which we received from Edward Hamilton of the ſeminary in which he was educated; indeed, ever ſince the evening upon which Edward entertained us ſo agreeably with an account of Harvard College, I have had a very ſtrong inclination to behold thoſe venerable domes. Many ſtudents, however, proſecute their ſtudies here; and I cannot but eſteem every young creature happy who hath the diſpoſition, and is preſented with the opportunity, of acquiring knowledge. As I have been introduced by Mrs. Worthington as the adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Vigillius, and as the characters of my dear parental friends are ſo properly revered here, I have G2 received G3v 78 received the moſt marked attentions. If I might be allowed to give an opinion, I would ſay that the gentlemen of New-Haven appear to me to be friendly, and hoſpitable, and that the ladies are truly polite. Perhaps I may be permitted to pronounce, that thoſe whom I have ſeen, anſwer very exactly to the idea of genuine urbanity, which you, Madam, have taught me to form. Among the many who have moſt obligingly diſtinguiſhed me, the limits of a letter will only allow me to mention Mrs. Edwards. Mr. Edwards, you will recollect, Madam, is an eminent barriſter; and the perſon who is permitted to mingle in their ſocial circles, cannot but enjoy a ſatisfaction of a ſuperior kind. The ladies of New-Haven are remarkably fond of cultivating flowers; and a diſquiſition upon the beauties of the parterre makes a part in almoſt every converſation. Mrs. Edwards counted in her garden at one time, no leſs than eight hundred tulips all in full blow, among which the various ſtreaks and ſhades were innumerable. Doubtleſs I could be very happy in New-Haven, if it was the reſidence of my papa and mamma, but were it the paradiſe of the globe, I ſhould ſigh for the village of their abode; and the elegant ſaloon which my mamma devotes to ſentimental friendſhip; the ſocial breakfaſting parlour, the ample dining room, the chamber, of which with ſuch unexampled goodneſs I was conſtituted ſole proprietor, the ſweet little flower garden, the ſmooth gravel walk terminated by the woodbine alcove, &c; &c; theſe would all live in my idea as the haunts of perfect happineſs. Mrs. Worthington inſiſts on my tarrying here until the expiration of the Commencement holidays; but in truth, I am well pleaſed that my leave of abſence extendeth not near ſo far; and I am glad that my mamma hath fixed preciſely the time of my return; for I always feel aſsured and tranquil when I am entirely under her direction. You will pleaſe to aſsure all my young acquaintance, particularly Serafina and Edward Hamilton, that they are often preſent to my imagination; that in my dreams I ſtill mix in their little 79 G4r 79 little parties; and that it is impoſsible I ſhould ceaſe to remember them, or to love them very ſincerely. Well, I have written more than two pages, and yet have not executed the purpoſe I formed when I ſat me down to this employ: You have accuſtomed me, deareſt lady, to unboſom myſelf to you, and though this is my firſt ſeparation from you, yet the epiſtolary correſpondence, with which I have for ſuch a length of time, though continued under your roof, been indulged, hath given me the habit of expreſsing myſelf to you in this way, with the utmoſt freedom; and as a proof that I will never wear diſguiſes, when addreſsing her whoſe care hath rendered life to me a valuable gift, I will confeſs that I make the following communication with more reluctance than I ever yet, upon any occaſion, experienced; but truth ſhall be my motto, and to my loved patroneſs I will have no reſerves. I had been but one hour in the family of Mrs. Worthington, when a young gentleman, Mr. Siniſterus Courtland, made his appearance in that lady’s drawing room; he entered with the air of an eſtabliſhed acquaintance, and indeed he ſtands high in the eſteem of Mrs. Worthington; a large party was collected, all of whom he addreſsed in a manner truly engaging, and upon my being introduced, payed me a compliment in a ſtyle ſo new, ſo elevated, and ſo ſtrikingly pleaſing, that my heart inſtantaneouſly acknowledged an involuntary prepoſseſsion in his favour; ſenſations with which I was till that moment unacquainted, pervaded my boſom; I felt my face in a glow, and a pleaſing kind of perturbation took poſseſsion of my faculties. My opportunities of ſeeing Mr. Courtland have been ſince frequent. Three days afterwards he declared himſelf my lover; his aſsiduities are unwearied; he profeſses to live but in my preſence, and he proteſts that my rejection of him will make him the moſt miſerable of men. Mrs. Worthington aſsures me, that Mr. Courtland is a gentleman whoſe addreſses no lady need bluſh to receive; and I will own to you, Madam, that if a few years more had paſsed over my head, as you have taught 80 G4v 80 taught me to conceive a union with a man of worth may rationally be the ultimatum of a woman’s wiſhes; I ſhould think I ſtood a greater chance for happineſs with this gentleman, than with any other individual of his ſex. Mr. Courtland is a native of V——in the State of—— he ſays he had formerly the honour of an acquaintance with my papa. He is tall and well made, his addreſs is eaſy, and commanding; the contour of his face is ſtrikingly agreeable; indeed, his whole exteriour is a combination of elegance and dignity, and his manners are confeſsedly deſcriptive of the finiſhed gentleman. I am told that he adds to theſe ſuperficial accompliſhments a ſubſtantial and cultivated underſtanding; that he is a man of erudition, and poſseſseth alſo, with a general knowledge of books, an extenſive acquaintance with the world. On my return, he will preſent himſelf before my parental friends. Perhaps they may not approve a connexion ſo diſproportioned in regard to years, Mr. Courtland having numbered full thirty, and I but little better than ſixteen. I confeſs that I feel a degree of culpability while detecting my heart, thus audaciouſly leaning toward an election, until my honoured benefactors, pointing the finger, had unitedly pronounced, There, Margaretta, there is your congenial ſoul; behold the perſon whom we direct you to regard, as him who is deſtined the aſsociate of your future life; but my fault is altogether involuntary, and I pray you, my dear lady, to preſent to my papa my reſpectful regards; and to aſsure him that from his honoured lips, and thoſe of my mamma, muſt proceed the award which will decide the fate of their ever duteous, ever grateful, ever affectionate Margaretta Melworth.

This letter, I ſay, inflicted upon my boſom the moſt pungent anxiety. Full well I knew Siniſterus Courtland. I knew him much better (for my perſonal interviews with him had been but few) than he was apprized of; I knew him to be baſe, deſigning, and however incongruousgruous 81 G5r 81 gruous theſe qualities may ſeem, improvident alſo; his father had bred him a gentleman, leaving him only a ſlender patrimony to ſupport his pretenſions, while he was wholly deſtitute of the means, diſpoſition, or talents, to add thereto; nay, even his ſmall inheritance, without ſpending a ſingle thought on the future, he had deeply involved, until preſsed upon by his creditors, he was finally induced to an effort to extricate himſelf, by the very honourable method of deluding ſome woman whoſe expectations were tolerable, into an affair of the heart, the matrimonial termination of which, he conſidered as an axiom, which was too irrefragable to admit of doubt; he had ſpent the morning of his life in fluttering from town to town, paying his devoirs to every inconſiderate girl, who, allured by his flattery, and charmed by an exteriour which is indeed unexceptionable, and deceived alſo by the eaſe, brilliancy, and eclat of his appearance into a good opinion of his finances, became the dupe of her own vanity, finding her inclinations betrayed, in favour of an impoſtor, who on his part, poſseſsed not depth of underſtanding ſufficient to render him capable of a ſerious or laſting impreſsion.

It is ſcarcely neceſsary to add a finiſhing to the character that now preſented a formidable candidate for the heart of my girl; and, in addition to the unfavourable light in which I beheld Mr. Courtland, I had long entertained other views for Margaretta, adjuſting my plans in ſuch a manner, as I conceived well nigh precluded a diſappointment: I was ſenſible, that as I had no near relation of my own, it was generally ſuppoſed Miſs Melworth would be my heir, and I ſhuddered at the idea of the little fortune which, with much induſtry, application and economy, I had accumulated, being ſquandered by a ſpendthrift, while my daughter, and her deſcendants, were left pennyleſs! For a moment, regarding myſelf as a ſhipwrecked voyager, bereaved of every hope, I was ready, yielding the point, to ſtretch myſelf upon the barren heaths of deſpair; but after deliberating the matter, I conceived, that though my fabric tottered, it was not abſolutely 82 G5v 82 abſolutely whelmed; and though I was aware that, manured by the prejudices prepared in the hot-bed of novel reading, the impreſsions made upon young minds, with the paſsions implanted in the tender ſoil, were not eaſily eraſed, or up-rooted; yet I conceived that the taſk, however arduous, was not altogether impracticable; and while apprized that the buſineſs in which I was about to engage required in the management thereof the utmoſt delicacy, I concluded, nevertheleſs, that an object ſo deſirable, was at leaſt worth any attempt to obtain it. Thus having made up my mind, Mary, who was hand in glove with me, began our operations, by reſponding to the letter of Margaretta, in the ſubjoined manner.

I persuade myſelf, my dear Margaretta, that it would at this time by wholly ſuperfluous to expreſs to you the very high ſatiſfaction which both your father and myſelf mutually experience, at that unfeigned complacency in your ſituation, which you take every opportunity ſo gratefully to avow. Once for all, my dear girl, you may aſſure yourſelf that your affectionate regards are abundantly reciprocated; that we have no idea of a warmer attachment than we have conceived for you; and, that if the hearts of natural parents beat with ardours ſtronger than thoſe which expand our boſoms, they muſt border ſo nearly upon anguiſh, that we are not ambitious of being able, experimentally to aſcertain the difference; neither ſhall I, at this time, expatiate upon the merit of your letter—my opinion of your epiſtolary talents, you already know, though perhaps I ſhould not ſo eaſily deny myſelf a repetition of thoſe fond expreſſions of admiration, to which I am accustomed, and which, poſſibly, in ſome degree originate in the predilection which my maternal feelings hath induced—were it not that the important communication you have forwarded to us, abſorbs in my ſoul every conſideration of leſs weight. I hardly 83 G6r 83 I hardly know where to begin, or how to expreſs to you the anxiety to which you have given birth in our boſoms. Is it poſſible that my Margaretta can love where ſhe cannot entirely eſteem! and can ſhe have ſo far forgot the leſſons of her youth, as entirely to eſteem Mr. Courtland! What is the conduct of a man of honour in ſo delicate a conjuncture as you delineate? doth he wait till he hath, as he ſuppoſes, irrevocably fixed himſelf in the heart of a young woman, before he deigns to apprize thoſe whoſe nights and days have been ſpent in watching for her welfare? Certainly not—but immediately after his propoſals have been made to her, who I grant is the perſon principally concerned, if he can diſcern the ſmalleſt appearance of ſucceſs, (and men are eagle eyed upon theſe occaſions) he will ſolicit the ſanction of her guardian friends, that he may either avail himſelf of them as auxiliaries in his purſuit; or, if neceſſary, ſet about conquering a paſſion which cannot be conſecrated by duty—reverſe the picture, and the man of duplicity ſtands confeſt; he will ſteal into the confidence of the unſuspecting virgin, obtaining what he conceives an unalterable and undivided aſcendancy over her mind, and then, merely as a compliment, the parents are made acquainted with the buſineſs, who, if they preſume to enter their caveat, however improper the connexion may in fact be, are accuſed of tyranny, barbarity, and what not. Thus Mr. Courtland—the poſt paſſes by our door, but he hath not condeſcended to pen for us a ſingle line, which might inform us of his enterprize. Doubtleſs his intention is to aſſail your paſſions during the whole period of your purpoſed viſit, when deeming the matter irremediable, he will make us a genteel bow, and inſult us by requeſting our advice! But from you, my dear child, we expect a deciſion more upright—you have deviated, it is true, but you have as yet taken but one ſtep, and we doubt not that you will very ſpeedily recover the path of diſcretion. You ſee that our objection to Mr. Courtland is not altogether on account of his years, though this of itſelf is in our opinion inſuperable;erable; 84 G6v 84 erable; at preſent, ſixteen and thirty may move in the ſame ſphere; but paſs a few years, and we may almoſt trace their orbits in oppoſite hemiſpheres; ſeventy is the age of man—while fifty-ſix may enjoy the utmost vigour of mental and corporeal powers—indeed, if ſimilarity of diſpoſitions, ſentiments and attachments are requiſite to conſtitute matrimonial felicity, ſurely an equality, or nearly an equality of years, ought to be deemed of ſome importance in the calculation. I know that to almoſt every general rule there are exceptions; but yet, nevertheleſs, I would not give my voice in favour of a gentleman’s having more than two or three years at fartheſt, the advantage over her whom he ſelected as the partner of his life. Aſk yourſelf, my dear, what opportunity have you had of becoming acquainted with the views, habits, or temper of Mr. Courtland; and yet, although, when your letter was written only ten days from the moment of your introduction to him had elapſed, you ſeriouſly pronounced him the individual, who of all his ſex is the moſt capable of making you happy! Such is the natural good ſenſe of my Margaretta, that I aſſure myſelf I need not comment upon this declaration. I am rather ſurpriſed at the part which my friend Mrs. Worthington hath taken in this affair; ſurely, in this inſtance, ſhe hath been miſled by the goodneſs of her own heart. Mr. Courtland is only a viſitor in New-Haven; the place of his nativity and uſual reſidence is at a great diſtance; and ſhe can only know in general that he is a man of family and education. But in truth, I myſelf have been wrong; I ought not to have parted with my Margretta. Yet, while I palliate my fault, by a declaration that I conceived her extreme youth would have protected her from overtures ſo important; I truſt, that the tears which I have ſhed upon this occaſion, will expiate it. Yes, my love, your father knows Mr. Courtlandhe knows him well; and without further inveſtigating the character of that gentleman, he bids me tell you, that he hath long entertained views of eſtabliſhing you in 85 H1r 85 in our own neighbourhood. Edward Hamilton—ſtart not, my dear, at a name, which in the innocence of your heart you have a thouſand times declared you loved— hath now completed his nineteenth year; he bids fair to be every thing which a fond father could wiſh for the man, to whom he yielded the beloved daughter of his affections; his character is bottomed upon integrity; he is every way accompliſhed; his proſpects are good; his knowledge of the profeſſion of his election, indeed his extenſive acquaintance with mercantile affairs, is, for his year, prodigious; with regard to his exteriour and addreſs, if we allow for the charm of novelty, he might rival even a Courtland; and I declare I know not the youth who can equal him for gentility of mein, and beauty of perſon. But theſe are attractions, ſimply conſidered, to which the heart of my Margaretta, when ſhe ſuffers herſelf calmly to reflect, will, I am perſuaded, ever remain impregnable. Before the death of your reverend friend, old Mr. Hamilton, the plan of uniting our children, ſuppoſing their hearts were not reluctant, was adjuſted. The good gentleman regarded his ſon as almoſt an affianced lover; otherwiſe I imagine he would not have left his ward, the beautiful and accompliſhed Serafina, ſituated as ſhe is in regard to Edward; who, however unblemiſhed his character may be, is nevertheleſs, as a young man, a very ill-judged guardian for a young and unconnected woman. Hitherto, being deſirous of leaving you wholly unreſtrained, we have kept our ſecret cloſe locked in our own boſoms; and until the receipt of your letter, we have beheld with pleaſure the gradual advancement of our wiſhes. For Edward, he is wholly devoted to you, and while hardly conſcious of the motives by which he is actuated, he is aſſiduous in every thing which relates to you; even trifles are inveſted with importance, if they are inſcribed with your name —if you are unexpectedly mentioned, his whole frame is viſibly agitated, his complexion aſſumes a more animated flow, his voice is mellowed into an unuſual ſoftneſs, and his tongue is never tired in rehearſing H your 86 H1v 86 your praiſes; but, fear not my girl—if we cannot convince your judgment, and woo your beſt affections, you ſhall never be the wife of Hamilton. Your intereſt and happineſs is the ſole motive of our actions; it is the pole ſtar by which all our movements are directed, and if we can but ſee you pleaſingly eſtabliſhed, and in poſſeſſion of tranquility, we ſhall lay us down in perfect peace. We regard the unfolding our plan to you at this time, as premature, and we feelingly regret that our meaſures are thus unfortunately precipitated. We have not yet diſcloſed ourſelves to Edward; we are not in favour of early marriages; and though the laws of Heaven and of good citizenſhip, have ordained the ſexes for each other, yet we think that years are requiſite to ripen the judgment, and to aſcertain the choice, which a young perſon may have every reaſon to ſuppoſe immutably fixed. We have conceived, that a female who takes a ſtep ſo important, at the age of twenty-three, or upwards, hath loſt no time; and it was only in compliance with the dying requeſt of Mr. Hamilton, that we conſented, ſuppoſing our younger people ſhould be propitious, that you ſhould, at the period when you ſhall have completed your nineteenth year, exchange your vows with his deſerving ſon. But, waving theſe matters for the preſent, I have to ſay, that your father, after preſenting you his paternal regards and bleſſing, directs me to inform you, that buſineſs will ſoon call him to New-Haven, and that, if curtailing your viſit, you can find it agreeable to return hom with him, you will confer on him a very high obligation; in this requeſt, my dear, I, for my part, moſt ſincerely join; and, if your wiſhes meet mine, you will pleaſe to expreſs to Mrs. Worthington, my thanks for her indulgence to you—to offer her my reſpects, and to acquaint her, that, ſickening for the dear child of my love, I can no longer deny myſelf the gratification of her ſociety. Preſent my compliments to Miſs Amelia, who, I truſt, we ſhall ſoon ſee at your village; and think of me at all times as your truly affectionate and tender mother. Mary Vigilliius
87 H2r 87

NO. IX.

Low ſhould they bend at ſovereign Wiſdom’s throne, Who are ambitious of that fair renown. Which wreathes with honour the parental brow. And wings with fervour every tender vow.

It will not be doubted but the urgency of my affairs, very ſoon made my New-Haven expeition a matter of neceſſity; nor will it, I preſume, be regarded as problematical, that Miſs Melworth, with duteous acquieſcence, became the companion of my return. But alas! that cheerfulneſs, which had ſo long preſided in her boſom, had taken its flight; and though joy gladdened in her countenance at the entrance of our village, and at the appearance of our habitation; though ſhe ſeemed, while claſped in the arms of Mary, to be loſt in extacy—yet, upon her lovely countenance the cloud again gathered; her eye beamed a melancholy languor; the roſe upon her cheek viſibly gave place to the lily of her complexion, and we were well nigh diſtracted by the gloomy forebodings which her altered figure originated in our ſouls. We had concertd our plan, the ultimatum of which was her felicity; and we were determined, if we could not bend her to our wiſhes, to follow her through all the viciſſitudes her unfortunate preference might involve, with every alleviation which we could furniſh. We contemplated the yielding her to the youth we loved, with her full and deliberate choice. Nothing ſhort of this would satſfy our affection, or reſtore us to the entire poſſeſſion of that peace, which the late event had invaded; yet we abhorred conſtraint, and we regarded perſuaſion, conſidering the tender and conceding mildneſs of that heart which was almoſt in our hands, as no better than a ſpecious kind of tyranny. But being infidels in regard to the doctrine which extends the empire of genuine love, in any virtuous boſom, beyond the 88 H2v 88 the exiſtence or agency of eſteem, we doubted not, if we could eraſe from the breaſt of our orphan, thoſe high ideas ſhe had conceived of the merit of her lover, the belle paſſion would very ſpeedily evaporate. Our buſineſs then being to convince the judgment, while we aſſured ourselves, if this was poſſible, the conſequences we wiſhed would inevitably follow, againſt a confidence which we conceived ſo highly miſplaced, the whole force of our artillery was, of courſe, levelled. Having, however, ſo great a ſtake, it became us to deliberate much, to be very cautious in our movements; a precipitate ſtep might ruin our meaſures, and it was our aim to be guarded at all points. Courtland very ſoon made his appearance in our village, we extended to him the rights of hoſpitality; and, as an admirer of Miſs Melworth’s, we gave him every decent opportunity of advocating his cauſe. To this mode of procedure we were impelled by the following conſiderations: Should we refuſe, to this pretender, that uniform civility, with which we have diſtinguished every ſtranger, the wound thereby given to the feelings of Margaretta, might very poſſibly add to the ſtrength of her attachment; and the idea of his ſuffering upon her account, intereſting her gratitude, would ſtill more have endeared him to her; while, in the inmoſt receſſes of her ſoul, accuſing us of injuſtice, ſhe would ſyllogistically have concluded, that error in one particular involved a poſſibility of miſtake in another. And it would, in truth, have been in a very high degree abſurd, to have denied his claim to common attentions, merely becauſe he had eyes for the charms of a perſon, whom our partiality induced us to think, had merit ſufficient to captivate every beholder. In this arrangement we alſo made ourſelves witneſſes of every movement, precluding all neceſſity for, and poſſibility og, clandeſtine views; and we conceived, beſides, that as Miſs Melworth poſſeſſed a penetration far beyond her years, frequent interviews with Siniſterus Courtland would infallibly develope her underſtanding his true character, effectually deſtroying that mark under which he had 89 H3r 89 had continued to betray the unwary; and we well knew, that could ſhe herſelf make the diſcovery we wiſhed, ſuch an event would operate more propitiouſly than any information, however important, which might be handed her from any other quarter. Perhaps it may be matter of ſurpriſe, that being myſelf in poſſeſſion of ſuch material documents, I did not come to an immediate explanation, thus adjuſting the buſineſs agreeably to my own deſignation. But though, as I apprehend, the preceding remark anticipates this obſervation, I have yet to ſay, I was aware of the ſubterfuges to which bad men often have recourſe: Had I declared my knowledge of what I termed Courtland’s enormities, it would have been eaſy for him to have availed himſelf of the plea of youth and inexperience, of a change of ſyſtem, reformation, preſent regularity, &c. &c. and, for his poverty, it was an objection which the ardour of young affection would not only find a laudable generoſity in palliating, but it would, with glowing zeal, aſſay to enliſt againſt ſo mercenary and unworthy a conſideration, the moſt virtuous propenſities of the ſoul. I knew that to eraſe impreſſions, made upon the youthful boſom, violent efforts muſt generally be inadequate; that they would much more frequently lacerate, than obliterate; and I was not willing to leave in the boſom of Margaretta the ſmalleſt fear. I had not forgotten the integrity and the ingenuity which characterizes the morning of life; and I remembered alſo, that the enthuſiaſm of an early love, is fruitful in its vindications of the object of its preference; and that it is ready to accuſe every objector as prejudiced and unjuſt. Taking the matter up in this view, we thought beſt to await ſome fortunate criſis, holding the unqueſtionable facts of which we were poſſeſſed, relative to Courtland, as our dernier reſource.

Meantime, we deſcended not to diſguises: Upon the application of that gentleman, we informed him of our prior engagement to young Hamilton’s father; of our wiſhes for the ſucceſs of the projected union; H2 of 90 H3v 90 of our determination to take every proper ſtep, which we ſhould deem likely to propitiate the mind of Margaretta, reſpecting an event which we regarded in ſo eligible a view; and we grounded our objections to him on the diſparity of years, the ſhort date of his acquaintance with Miſs Melworth, and the diſtance of his reſidence; nevertheleſs, we added, hat if we had the power, even of natural parents, over the final deciſion of that young lady, we ſhould not hold ourſelves authorized to direct her any further than reaſon pointed; and that we left him at full liberty to proſecute his ſuit with what advantage he might, only promiſing, that we ſhould not conſent to diſpoſe of Miſs Melworth, even to Hamilton himſelf, until ſhe had completely rounded her nineteenth year. Courtland, upon this aſſurance, reddened exceſſively; he had hoped his happineſs might have bee much ſooner accelerated, and ſome very preſſing circumſtances, relative to him, demanded a very early eſtabliſhment. Our determination upon this head continued, however, unalterable; while our eſpouſing, as we apprently did, the intereſts of Hamilton, occaſioned in the boſom of our daughter such a ſtruggle between the inclination and duty, as ſtill looked with a very ſerious and unfriendly aſpect upon her health. Upon our grand ſubject, both Mary and myself held with her many converſations, which, I am vain enough to imagine, might be uſeful to young perſons thus circumſtanced, and which, did not the limits preſcribed to a writer for the Magazine, ſet bounds to my encroachments, ſhould moſt certainly be recounted; but ſhould they be demanded, as they were immediately committed to paper, future Gleaners ſhall certainly record them. One ſentiment, however, which dropped from the mouth of Mary, which I acceidentally overheard, and which was perfectly new to me, I cannot excuſe myſelf from giving. She was, one fine afternoon, while ſeated with Margaretta in the arbour to which they were both ſo much attached, endeavouring, in a manner peculiar to herſelf, to ſooth the feelings of her daughter; thus encouraging her to 91 H4r 91 lay open her whole ſoul, that ſhe might, from ſuch confidence, the better judge of the nature of the remedy ſhe was to apply; when Miſs Melworth, ſenſibly regretting that ſhe was ſo unfortunately ſituated, as to feel a diſpoſition to act contrary to the wiſhes of her beſt friends; by turns lamenting and accuſing the treachery of a heart which had thus betrayed her, concluded a very tender harangue, by a declaration, that though Hamilton was every thing amiable, yet ſhe was certain ſhe could never feel for him that preference which ſhe did for Courtland; ſhe could never regard him in any other view than that of a brother. Will you, my ſweet girl, replied Mary, re-conſider this affirmation? you are fond of reaſoning, you know; and truſt me, my dear, when I aſſure you, that an attachment which embraceth not reaſon as its auxiliary, is not worth cheriſhing. You own that Hamilton is every thing amiable; but you can only love him as a brother! you pretend not to point out a ſingle virtue, a ſingle accompliſhment, a ſingle grace, in which Courtland can claim a ſuperiority over Hamilton; yet you can only love Hamilton as a brother, while you love Courtland as—as what, my dear? Will you, Margaretta, pleaſ to point out the diſtinction between thoſe attachments which you feel for the one and the other? You bluſh, my love; let me kiſs off that conſcious tear—Say, my charming reaſoner, would theſe over nice diſtinctions, for which you cannot find a name, ever have found entrance into the boſom of a virtuous girl, were it not for that falſe taſte which is formed by novel reading? What is this ſomething which you feel for Courtland, and which you cannot feel for Hamilton? Certainly it is, at beſt, but the fever of the imagination, the delirium of fancy; and every experienced votary of this ignis fatuus, if under the direction of truth, will tell you, that the duration of the paroxiſm is extremely ſhort, that the ſober and healthy age of reaſon awaits, when love and friendſhip wear the ſame face, when only ſolid advantages can pleaſe; and, they will add, that no well informed perſonſon 92 H4v ſon would ſacrifice to the illuſion of a moment, the happineſs of a life. Did you never, my dear, reflect upon the connexions which muſt have been formed by the immediate deſcendants of the pair who were created in Paradiſe? brothers then interchanged the nuptial vow with ſiſters; they were unacquainted with the refinements of modern times; the virtues which endeared the brother, rendered the huſband amiable; and we have no authority for ſuppoſing, that their matrimonial felicity was more circumſcribed than that of their poſterity. It is true, that the multiplication of our ſpecies have rendered other regulations, relative to the marriage contract, or the parties contracting, both neceſſary and proper; and it is undoubtedly true, that an obſervation of theſe regulations, is religiouſly obligatory; but yet, in my opinion, the abſurdity of holding a character in great eſtimation, and highly accompliſhed, as a brother, which we ſhould at the ſame time regard with reluctance as a conjugal companion, is ſtill palpable; and I muſt repeat, that the prevalency of ſuch romantic ideas can originate only in the regions of fancy. Thus far my honeſt woman. But Margaretta, in a letter to Miſs Worthington, which lately came under my obſervation, hath beſt deſcribed her own ſenſations; I ſubjoin it therefore, verbatim, as it flowed from as ſuſceptible and upright a heart, as ever beat in the boſom of humanity.

Miſs Melworth to Miſs Worthington. I am, my dear Miſs Worthington, highly pleaſed, that my account of my reception in—I had almoſt ſaid, my native village—hath been productive to you, of even a momentary ſatisfaction; and I do aſsure you that I am not a little elated, when I am told, your honoured mother pronounces my deſcription replete with ſome of the moſt beautiful traits of nature: I know, that to her partiality and candour, I ought to impute much; but, by the commendation of ſo reſpectable a judge, I am nevertheleſs exhilarated, and I am almoſt induced to think 93 H5r 93 think it allowable, to plume myſelf upon an award ſo honorary. You will pleaſe to offer to the dear lady my acknowledgments, accompanied by my moſt reſpectful regards. You aſk me if I have recovered my tranquillity; alas, no! and I fear, my Amelia, that peace hath fled forever from my boſom. Mr. Courtland, as you ſuppoſe, is here; would I have never ſeen him—I might then have been happy. Edward Hamilton—the bloom hath forſaken his cheeks—the luſtre of his fine eyes is no more—I never ſaw ſo total a change in a youth, who but lately might have figured as the perſonification of health, enlivened and informed by the moſt endearing vivacity: Would I had never ſeen Courtland—I might then have been happy. When Edward Hamilton ſuffers, I feel that I cannot ſtand by regardleſs; I follow him with the affection of a ſiſter; but of late, he ſtudiouſly ſhuns my advances: It was but yeſterday, that with trembling eagerneſs, he graſped my hand; ſomething he was about to ſay; but, as if recollecting himſelf, inſtantly, like the ſpectre of a dream, he fled away. Am I not juſtified in ſaying, that if I had never ſeen Courtland, I might then have been happy? Serafina too, is often drowned in tears. Serafina is the ſiſter of my heart. Why will ſhe not exchange her vows with Edward? how rich ſhould I then be, with ſuch a brother—ſuch a ſiſter. You aſk if Mr. Courtland is an approved lover—alas, no!— alas, yes!—You will be at no loſs to explain this ſeeming paradox. I ſometimes ſuſpect that my guardian friends muſt be in poſseſsion of ſome ſecret, relative to Mr. Courtland, which they have not yet unfolded; for ſurely they could not be ſo ſtrongly oppoſed, on account of inequality of years. The engagement entered into with old Mr. Hamilton was conditional; and you know, my dear, that though I am—though I was, I ſhould ſay, cheerful, it never could be ſaid that I was gay; and I think I could accommodate myſelf to the graveſt humour: But my parents, you will ſay, are the beſt judges; and you, Miſs Worthington, are 94 H5v 94 are a good girl, while I, methinks, am become a faulty, a very faulty creature. My mother—but my mother is an angel—I do aſsure you, my dear, that I not ſeldom feel a degree of awe, while contemplating the character of ſo divine a woman, which abſolutely deters me from arrogating to myſelf the title, with which her condeſcending indulgence hath inveſted me. This ſuperior woman, you will recollect, aſsured me that I ſhould never be the wife of Hamilton, except both my judgment, and my beſt affections were conſenting; exactly with this declaration, doth every arrangement correſpond; and, while neither ſhe nor my father produce a ſingle argument in favour of the man of their election, which reaſon doth not fully authorize, they unitedly and repeatedly engage, that however I may ultimately determine, they will never ceaſe to be my parental friends. Tell me, my dear, what returns doth ſuch matchleſs generoſity merit? And help me to diſcharge as I ought, with becoming decency, a daughter’s part. Unexampled indeed is their conſideration for me; and ſtill the more to enhance their goodneſs, and ally it to perfection, they aſsay to wear a tranquillity which is foreign from their hearts; for alas! do I not hourly obſerve the anxious ſolicitude but too viſibly pourtrayed in the manly features of my father—often have I wiped the tear from the ſwoln eye of my mother—often have I witneſsed the chagrin which they have mutually and involuntarily manifeſted at any diſcovery which I have unwarily made of my attachment to Courtland; and I have but too well marked the joy of their brightened countenances, at the ſmalleſt inſtance of my tenderneſs for Edward. What right do I poſseſs thus to ſtab the boſoms which have ſo long foſtered me? Better I had been whelmed beneath thoſe waves which gave death to him from whom I derived my exiſtence, than thus to become the ſource of corroding anxiety, to characters ſo exalted. Every penſive look of theirs pierces me to the ſoul; and I ſeem to move an evil genius, doomed to chace peace from their revered boſoms. Amelia, I could 95 H6r 95 I could not be other than miſerable, even poſseſsed of the man of my heart, if I thus implanted in the pillow of my guardian friends, the rankling thorn of diſappointment. Forgive, my dear, this incoherent letter; it is expreſſive of my feelings; the preſsure upon my ſpirits is extreme; my ſituation is truly melancholy; it is preciſely that which I would wiſh to avoid. Could I unite my hopes and wiſhes with the expectations of thoſe who have a right to my utmoſt obedience, how enviable would be my lot? You demand a long, a very long letter; but what can I write which will not be calculated to caſt a cloud over the charming vivacity of my lively friend. Yet you would acquaint yourſelf with every movement of my ſoul! well then, as you have expreſsed a predilection for my little poetical attempts, I will tranſcribe for you ſome lines which I laſt night haſtily penned, after I had retired from my parents, enriched with their affectionate and joint benediction; they delineate my wiſhes; they delineate my feelings, and they are the fervid breathings of a much agitated, and deeply wounded ſpirit. Invocation to Duty. Low, ſacred duty, at thy ſhrine, Behold thy ſuppliant bend, All conſcious of thy right divine, To thee my vows aſcend. With pity bland regard a maid, To ſoft obedience form’d; Who, though by tenderneſs betray’d, Is ſtill by virtue warm’d. Goddeſs all radiant, enſhield This fond, this treacherous heart; The arms of bright diſcretion wield, And all thy powers impart. Theſe wayward paſsions—oh reclaim— Each dear illuſion hide; Give me a faultleſs virgin’s fame, Bleſt prudence for my guide. By thy juſt influence arreſt Each wandering wiſh of mine; Bind 96 H6v 96 Bind all thy dictates to my breaſt, And every hope entwine. Of Lethe’s waters let me drink, Forgetful of the paſt; My errors in oblivion ſink, The veil of candor caſt Give inclination to recede, Each riſing thought chaſtize; Let naught my righteous ſteps impede, The tranquil joys I prize. Give acquieſcence to my graſp, A mild conceding mind; Give me bright fortitude to claſp, To all my fate reſign’d. Give me no more their breaſts to wound, My orphan life who guard; Let me not be that ingrate found, Who angels thus reward. My God! thoſe tears in that mild eye— My dear maternal friend; That anxious brow—paternal ſigh!— Where will my ſorrows end? For ſtill I ſtruggle—ſtill complain, But, ſovereign Duty, hear, My righteous purpoſes ſuſtain, And make my ſteps thy care. Adieu, my dear Amelia—that you may ſtill be happy, is, and will continue to be, the very ſincere wiſh of your Margaretta Melworth.

NO. X.

Yet preſsing onward, with the goal in view, More ardent ſtill our hopes and wiſhes grew.

Thus, for a conſiderable time, matters remained ſtationary as it were, in my family. Courtland continued his purſuit. In the boſom of Margaretta, the conflict between duty and inclination was unyieldingly ſevere; and Hamilton, with a noble conſiſtency, perſevered 97 I1r 97 perſevered in declining a competition, which he deemed unworthy that rational, diſintereſted and fervent attachment, which every faculty of his ſoul had long acknowledged for Miſs Melworth.

Courtland, evidently exulting in his ſucceſs, felicitated himſelf upon his opening proſpects; and calculating upon the tenderneſs of Margaretta, he became confident it would be in his power to obtain a much earlier day, than the very diſtant era which we had ſo peremptorily named.

We were thus circumſtanced, when the following little poem that made its appearance in the Gazette, however inconſiderable it may in fact be, from the important conſequences by which it was attended, merits a place in my narration.

As on the ſhorn bank I delightedly ſtray’d,

Admiring the meadows, the woods, and the glade,

A nymph whoſe attendance enlivened the ſcene,

In airy meanders tript over the green;

And thus, as ſhe rambled, ſhe careleſsly ſaid—

Come, depict, if you can, your favourite maid.

My favourite maid, all enraptur’d I cry’d,

My favourite maid, of her ſex is the pride;

The ſtandard of elegance, formed to pleaſe,

Her movements the portrait of dignifi’d eaſe;

While each brightening charm which floats on her mien,

Announces her boſom as virtue ſerene.

Her treſses not borrow’d, ſo neatly entwin’d,

Proclaim the good taſte which ſo well hath deſign’d;

And her dark auburn locks as ſo gloſsy they flow,

Contraſt as they wave the ſmooth forehead of ſnow;

While her ſoft, mildly beaming, ſky tinctur’d eye,

Evinceth bland pity, and ſweet ſympathy.

The roſe and the lily are blended in vain,

Her ſway to extend, or her triumphs maintain,

For though on her face as they dazzlingly glow,

The poliſh of beauty’s own hand they beſtow;

Yet rivall’d by graces which dwell in her mind,

To mental inthralment my heart is reſign’d.

She knows to diſtinguiſh—ſhe knows to reflect,

What meaſures are proper, and how to direct;

I Her 98 I1v 98

Her manners correct by fair decency form’d,

To complacency ſweet, by tenderneſs warm’d,

Inmingles true dignity, chaſte and refin’d,

With ſoft condeſcenſion, for ſoothing deſign’d.

And thus gem’d by lovelineſs—thus gem’d by worth,

The virgin of innocence, beauty and truth;

That ſwain will be happy, to whoſe faithful heart,

The gods ſhall a gift of ſuch value impart;

For amity lives in a boſom ſo fair,

And love will ameliorate when planted there.

From floods of old ocean the nymph was receiv’d,

From white clifted Albion the angel deriv’d.

Hold, hold, ’tis enough, my fair prompter exclaim’d;

This hint is ſuperfluous; each trait you have nam’d

Belongs to your Melworth—your Melworth alone,

No maiden ſo perfect our circles have known;

E’en as you delineate, the object expands,

And ſweet Margaretta conſpicuous ſtands.

Theſe lines, by accelerating our movements, ſoon put our affairs in a train, giving us at leaſt a perſpective glance of the completion of our plans. The lighted match is ſoon in a flame, and the ſmalleſt ſpark will enkindle it; but I will lead to the cataſtrophe in courſe. The lines, as I ſaid, made their appearance in the Gazette; they had no ſignature, and who the writer was, we could not even conjecture. Hamilton, upon pretence of buſineſs, had abſented himſelf from our village for more than two weeks; and beſides, though we knew that when a boy he had indulged an itch for ſcribbling in rhyme, yet we conceived that his ripening years had induced him to relinquiſh every intrigue with damſels y’cleped the muſes, whoſe favours are ſo hardly earned, and who ſo ſeldom inveſt their votaries with that portion of ſucceſs, which is in any ſort adequate, as a compenſation for the unwearied diligence requiſite in the purſuit.

We, however, were not greatly concerned about it; and Margaretta was too much accuſtomed to praiſe to be highly elated by, or intereſted in the matter. But the amiable qualities of my girl, (the extenſive charity of whoſe wiſhes encircled even thoſe ſufferers whom her powers of alleviation could not reach) her well 99 I2r 99 well known benevolence, her condeſcending affability to her inferiors, her complacently dignified deportment to her equals, and her veneration for all thoſe whom years had rendered her ſuperiors—had ſo well eſtabliſhed her in the hearts of our connexions, as to render her an object generally beloved; and, indeed, the propriety and equality of her conduct had been ſuch, as to produce a ſoleciſm to the adage, which creates envy as the ſhadow of merit; nor did we know that the paſſion of malevolence was in exerciſe toward her. It was ſoon noiſed abroad that Margaretta had been eulogized in the news-paper, and it furniſhed a topic for thoſe circles in which ſhe moved; her partial favourers found beauties in the piece, which perhaps a critic would have been far from allowing it. They made it their buſineſs to find out the Author; they applied themſelves with much avidity to the purſuit; and they determined, if they ſhould be ſo fortunate as to ſucceed, to hail him as the prince of poets.

We had, among the number of our viſitors, an old lady by the name of Clacket, who was alſo much attached to Miſs Melworth, and whoſe curioſity was upon this occaſion raiſed to the higheſt pitch. She roundly taxed Courtland with being the author of the poem; and the embarraſsment which be diſcovered, abundantly juſtified her ſuſpicions.

The piece had, as I hinted, its admirers; and Courtland either ſaw, or thought he ſaw, an advantage in adopting this fugitive relation of the Parnaſsian laſses: He managed the matter with ſome adroitneſs; his ſervant was authorized to whiſper, as a profound ſecret to lady Clacket’s maid, that his maſter had in truth compoſed the favourite lines, which had originated ſo much ſpeculation; and ſhe reporting it in confidence to her lady, it was in a few days entruſted to the taciturnity of the whole neighbourhood. Courtland was repeatedly complimented upon his poetical abilities, and he heſitated not to wear the bays.

It happened about this time that Courtland made one of a large circle which were collected round our ſocial 100 I2v 100 ſocial board, when the before mentioned lady introduced the ſubject of the poem, and proceeded with all the loquacity of talkative volubility, to pronounce a panegyric upon our gentleman, as the author. The poet bowed, bluſhed, and looked ſilly. Margaretta was evidently pleaſed; while I, regarding the whole affair, as another much ado about nothing, ſhould have paſsed it without further obſervation, had I not accidentally glanced the face of Serafina, who was alſo of our party, and whoſe countenance, in the courſe of a few moments, expreſsed the moſt lively ſenſations. Her heightened complexion during the converſation, now changing to the cleareſt white, and now aſsuming the deepeſt colouring with which the moſt impaſsioned feelings could tinge it. I marked Serafina, but I marked her in ſilence; for, from theſe ſuſpicious appearances, I was induced to fear that the ſpecious manners of our gallant, had made alſo upon the youthful mind of this young lady, an impreſsion which would be with difficulty eradicated! But I was not ſuffered to remain long under this deception; our company ſoon ſeparated, and only Courtland, Margaretta, Serafina, Mary and myſelf, remained. The chagrin upon the face of Serafina was ſtill viſible, when, ſtandiung up with much dignity in her manner, ſhe inſtantly accounted for the appearance, by which I had been miſled.

Addreſsing Mr. Courtland, ſhe thus expreſsed herſelf: I am, Sir, the friend of Edward Hamilton; we have been educated together, almoſt from the firſt moment of our exiſtence, and every ſecret of his ſoul is repoſed in my boſom. I am not ſure that he would approve of what I am about to ſay; nay, feeling my mind at this preſent in a great meaſure governed by indignation, I am not myſelf poſitive, that I am quite right; however, like all angry folks I am hurried on by an impetuoſity which I find altogether irreſiſtable. Is it not enough, Sir, that you have ſupplanted that unhappy young man in his deareſt hopes? Is it not enough that you have ſtepped between him and that hoard of felicity which he fondly fancied was treaſured up for him? but 101 I3r 101 but muſt you alſo poorly ſteal that pittance of fame, which juſtice reſerved for him? You know, Sir, that you never wrote the piece for which you have been contented to receive the praiſes of ſo many admirers. I have at this moment the original lines upon Miſs Melworth, which were written by Edward, in my pocketbook; they were penned upon yonder verdant bank, during Miſs Melworth’s continuance at New-Haven, while I was prattling by his ſide. It is true he imagines they are deſtroyed; he requeſted that I would deſtroy them; but I have imprudently and unkindly given a copy of them to Miſs Predy, and thus they have found their way to the prefs.

What would I have then given for the pencil of a Hogarth, that I might have ſketched the group which my parlour at that inſtant exhibited. Need I tell thee, reader, that I am not even a deſcendant of Hogarth’s? I trow not; but I add, by way of information, that having a mortal averſion to daubing, it is therefore that I paſs haſtily over every expreſsive feature, which was then replete with the deepeſt meaning, and only obſerve, that Courtland, almoſt immediately recovering himſelf, ſuddenly ſeized the outſtretched hand of Miſs Clifford, and preſsing it with much addreſs to his lips, burſt into an immoderate fit of laughter, affecting great ſurpriſe, that ſhe took the matter ſo ſeriouſly, and declaring that he meant nothing more than a jeſt, and merely to amuſe himſelf with the ſimplicity and credulity of lady Clacket.

For my own part, my aſtoniſhment at the impudence of the fellow, abſolutely ſtruck me dumb; and I ſuffered him to give his adventure what turn he pleaſed, without even the capability of interrupting him! I ſaw, however, by the altered looks of Margaretta; by a degree of diſguſt which pervaded her fine countenance, and the pointed reprehenſion which ſhe darted from her charmingly expreſsive eyes; from all theſe auſpicious indications, I gathered, that the full time for executing my ſcheme, was at length arrived, and that the mine being thus accidentally and advantageouſly12 geouſly 102 I3v 102 geouſly ſprung, it became me to continue my operations with all poſsible expedition.

Courtland, therefore, had no ſooner taken his leave for the evening, than without taking the leaſt notice of the rhymes, or their effect, I obſerved to my daughter— that having long noted with much concern her waſting frame, and impaired conſtitution, I was at laſt come to the reſolution of bending myſelf entirely to her wiſhes; that upon the next morning’s viſit which we ſhould receive from her lover, I would lead him immediately to my library—that poſsibly I might have miſtaken his character, but that I would then enter into a converſation with him, of a nature ſo ſerious, as fully to aſcertain our man—that I would requeſt her, accompanied by her mother, to ſeat herſelf in the adjoining apartment, where they might be ear witneſses of our diſcourſe—and that if, after the inveſtigation to which I ſhould oblige Mr. Courtland to ſubmit, he ſhould ſtill continue the object of a choice, which would then be ſo deliberate, I would myſelf lead her to the altar, at any hour which ſhe ſhould judge moſt proper; and, furthermore, that I promiſed on behalf of Mary, as well as in my own name, that we would continue through life, in every event, to partake her felicity, and to gild for her, to the utmoſt of our ability, every misfortune which might await her.

Margaretta trembled exceſsively; her complexion now reddened to the deepeſt dye, and now changed to the moſt deadly pale! we were fearful that ſhe would faint. Mary addreſsed her in the moſt ſoothing language; this had the deſired effect; and, burſting into tears, ſhe raiſed her claſped hands, while a kind of agonized expreſsion was depictured upon her countenance, and, ere we were aware, with a ſudden and tremulous emotion, quitting her ſeat, ſhe ſunk down upon her knees before us. Oh Sir, oh Madam! in a broken voice ſhe exclaimed, ſpare your child, ſpare me this trial; your condeſcenſion is ſufficiently manifeſted; never more do I wiſh to behold the man who hath this evening paſsed your doors; I am convinced that 103 I4r 103 that he is poorly mean, that he is capable of the moſt deliberate baſeneſs; and never ſhall my ſoul bind itſelf in alliance with an unworthy pretender, who can thus pitifully ſtoop to purloin the fame, with which undoubted merit had inveſted his ſuperior.

Nay, my love, rejoined Mary, you are now again too precipitate; would you diſcard the man of your heart, merely becauſe he is ambitious of adorning himſelf with the poet’s laurel? beſides, theſe tears, theſe looks of anguiſh, theſe broken accents, and heart-affecting ſighs; theſe all betray a mind not ſufficiently at eaſe, to make up a determination ſo important; ſhould you thus haſtily proceed, you may poſsibly repent at leiſure. Come to my arms, my daughter—let me preſs this throbbing heart to the boſom of friendſhip; let us take time, my love; your father, whoſe wiſdom not ſeldom leads him through the labyrinth of the human heart, ſhall proſecute his plan, while we, ſummoning the aid of mild reſignation, abide, with patient acquieſcence, the event.

Thus, then, we adjuſted our meaſures; and the returning ſun, according to cuſtom, preſenting Mr. Courtland, uſhered in an hour which I regarded among the moſt important of my life. My unalterable intention was to conſtitute Miſs Melworth ſole heireſs of every ſhilling which I poſseſsed; yet, regarding our ſpark, in pecuniary matters, as another Zeluco, I conceived myſelf juſtified in practiſing a little addreſs, in order to the unmaſking an impoſtor, who, by methods ſo unwarrantable, had obtained ſuch hold of the affections of my daughter.

Behold me then, gentle reader, with theſe impreſſions, ſeated in my library, and Courtland, with unbluſhing effrontery, lolling upon a ſofa before me; liſten, alſo, while with a ſolemn, but compoſed countenance, and in a reſolute and peremptory tone of voice, I thus deliver myſelf.

I have requeſted this interview, Sir, in order to obtain your ear upon a very important ſubject I obſerve that your pretenſions to Miſs Melworth, notwithſtandingſtanding 104 I4v 104 ſtanding your knowledge of our predilection for Mr. Hamilton, are ſtill continued; and I repeat, that no parental friends, ought unduly to influence in an affair, which cannot ſo deeply intereſt them, as the individuals who are principally concerned; we conſent, therefore, ſuppoſing Miſs Melworth’s preference ſhould remain, to yield you her hand, and we aſsure you that her matrimonial choice ſhall, in no ſort, influence her fortunes. Here Courtland bowed exultingly, and I proceeded to ſay—But, Sir, it is juſt, that upon this occaſion, I add, that, as Miſs Melworth is not in fact, our daughter, ſhe is not by nature entitled to our inheritance. My heart, Sir, my paternal heart, acknowledges for that young lady the ſtrongeſt affection; but family claims are reſpectable, and the pride of relationſhip is ſeldom wholly eradicated from the boſom. There is now living in a certain metropolis upon this continent, a diſtant relation of mine, who bears my name; it is true he is rich, but his family is large, and as I am fond, I confeſs, of eſtabliſhing my name, the world, in general, will not condemn me, ſhould I deviſe the greater part of my real eſtate to this my kinſman; while prudence directs me to ſecure to Margaretta and her poſterity, whatever part of my poſseſſions I ſhall judge proper to endow her with; and I am poſitive that Miſs Melworth will not accuſe me of want of affection for her, whatever arrangements I may be induced to make.

I aſsay not to deſcribe the agitated alterations, which the countenance of Courtland underwent, during the latter part of my harangue; anger, diſappointment, and the deepeſt chagrin, were marked there; when, ſtarting from his ſeat, with an indignation but ill concealed, he expreſsed himſelf to the following effect: I was informed, Sir, that you had no relation in exiſtence; I was informed that Miſs Melworth would undoubtedly ſucceed to your eſtates; and I was moreover informed, that you had deſtined a very handſome ſum, as a nuptial preſent, for the huſband of that young lady, upon the day of marriage; if I “am 105 I5r 105 am deceived, Sir, though I adore Miſs Melworth, yet neither my fortune nor my family will admit of my union with a young lady, who, (excuſe me, Sir) doth not ſeem to have any well grounded expectations, and who cannot claim a ſingle perſon in the world, as her natural relation.

It was with difficulty that I ſtifled my reſentment; but, aſsuming an air of calmneſs, I returned—I am ignorant, Sir, who was your informant; but I am confident I have never before explained myſelf upon this ſubject, to any one, and I am not anſwerable for the erroneous conjectures of the buſy multitude: But, Sir, you, in your turn, muſt excuſe me, when I ſay, that I ſhould imagine a perſon upon the eve of bankruptcy, if he really loved the woman whom he was ſeeking to affiance to penury, would be happy to find her inveſted with a ſhare of property, which, being independent of his failure, would ſet her above abſolute want.

This was enough; it worked him up to a degree of frenzy; and, clenching his fiſt, with a menacing air, he approached my ſeat.

What, Sir, can you mean? What do you mean Mr. Vigillius? I demand an explanation.

Compose yourſelf, Sir, I rejoined, I am not to be intimidated by thoſe big looks, or that air of haughty defiance. Had you, Mr. Courtland, when you preſented yourſelf in my family, as a candidate for the affection of my daughter, ingenuouſly favoured me with a real ſtatement of your affairs, I would have uſed my intereſt to have adjuſted them amicably with your creditors; and had the attachment of Margaretta been permanent, while I regarded you as a worthy, though an unfortunate man, I ſhould, notwithſtanding my conditional engagement with Mr. Hamilton, have viewed the matter with tolerable complacency; but, when you paſs yourſelf upon us as a man in affluent circumſtances, when you act, in every inſtance, the deliberate deceiver, I ſhould greatly grieve, did I not know that my daughter’s eyes were already opened: She, even at this moment, regains her former tranquillity.quillity. 106 I5v 106 quillity. You are no ſtranger to me, Sir; your amours, your improvidence, the ruined ſtate of your finances, &c; &c; I have this moment letters in my pocket, from your principal creditors, and I could long ere this have apprized Miſs Melworth, had I not judged it expedient that ſhe ſhould make the diſcovery for herſelf— ſhe hath made it, and I am again a happy man.

Courtland’s cowardly ſoul now ſhrunk from my gaze; but aſsuming, with his wonted fineſse, the air of an injured man, as he darted from the library, and from the houſe, he ſaid, It is well, Sir, it is well that your connexion with Miſs Melworth is your protection; otherwiſe I ſhould not fail to call you to a very ſevere account, for falſehoods and abſurdities, which the boſom of malevolence hath doubtleſs originated.

From the library, I immediately paſsed to the adjoining apartment. Margaretta hid her bluſhing face in the boſom of her mother; and while I preſsed thoſe beautiful females to my heart, I proteſted, by the tenderneſs which I bore them, that I was, at that inſtant, the happieſt of human beings.

Margaretta propoſed a thouſand queſtions in a breath; and, while ſhe bleſsed the hour of her emancipation, ſhe begged to learn the reſidence of the dear family I had mentioned, who, from their affinity to me, ſhe gratefully ſaid, were already imaged in her heart, and to whom ſhe wiſhed ſpeedily to devote the page of tender acknowledgment, for the ſhare they undeſignedly had, in liberating a mind which had been ſo unworthily enſlaved. Tapping her cheek, I expreſsed my wonder that ſhe too had been deceived; for, my dear, I added, though there is actually, in the city of ——, a gentleman of my name, circumſtanced exactly as I have ſtated, yet I am not perſonally acquainted with him; nor do I know that there is the remoteſt conſanguinity between us, in any other line, than as we are alike deſcended from the honeſt couple who had their reſidence in Paradiſe.

In fact, not having, in my converſation with Courtland, abſolutely avowed an intention of alienating from 107 I6r 107 from Margaretta any part of my eſtate; only ſimply ſuggeſting the rationality and equity of ſuch a procedure, and having fully accompliſhed my deſign, I was not anxious to guard my ſecret.

Courtland, who ſtill continued in our neighbourhood, was ſoon apprized of the ſtratagem which I had ſo ſucceſsfully employed; and ſuch was the egregious vanity of the coxcomb, that he entertained no doubt of being able to reinſtate himſelf in the boſom of Margaretta; to which end, he addreſsed her by many expoſtulatory letters; imputing the part he had acted in the library, entirely to ſurpriſe, and diſavowing every tittle of what had been alleged againſt him; declaring, that thoſe calumnies had undoubtedly been fabricated by ſome friends of Hamilton’s, on purpoſe to ruin him in his love; and, that however ſhe might determine, his inviolable attachment to her would never permit him to be other than the humbleſt of her adorers. It was in vain Miſs Melworth aſsured him, that his real ſituation, his wiſhes, or his purſuits, could affect her in no other way, than as ſhe was a general well-wiſher to her ſpecies; and that, having outlived the eſteem ſhe once avowed for him, ſhe muſt beg leave to decline all correſpondence with him in future. No ſooner were his letters returned unopened, than he perſiſted in beſieging every door which ſhe entered; and, having once croſsed the threſhold, his clamorous proteſtations bore a ſtronger reſemblance to thoſe of a madman, than to a rationally attached lover. Miſs Melworth, however, acquitted herſelf upon every of theſe occaſions, with that cool and determined conſiſtency, which was neceſsary to the eſtabliſhment of her character, which confirmed the general ſentiment in her favour, and placed the whole affair in its true light.

But many days elapſed, before my girl regained her wonted ſelf-complacency. She often lamented the weakneſs which thus, ſubjecting her to ſo humiliating an attachment, had involved us alſo in the utmoſt anxiety; and not being able to forgive herſelf, for a time ſhe 108 I6v 108 ſhe continued to deplore. But the good ſenſe ſhe ſo eminently poſseſsed, leading her at length to impute her error to inexperience, finally baniſhed every remaining regret, and enabled her to pen a letter to Miſs Worthington, which I produce as a contraſt to that which appeared in my laſt Gleaner.

Miſs Melworth to Miſs Worthington. . News, joyful news! my beloved girl. Your Margaretta is reſtored to her ſenſes, and ſhe is now the cheerfulleſt, the moſt contented, and the happieſt being in the univerſe. Yes, thanks to the unworthineſs of Courtland, my liberated heart is at this moment lighter than a feather; and I can now behold this once formidable man without the ſmalleſt perturbation, ſave what is excited by the recollection of that imbecility, which ſo poorly ſubjected me to an indiſcretion which muſt, as often as it is recurred to, ſuffuſe my cheek with the bluſh of conſcious error! The ſtory of my emancipation is too long to relate in the little moment allowed me, for the poſt is on the wing, and as my dear Amelia has given me reaſon to flatter myſelf I ſhall ſoon ſee her at ——, a bare ſketch of this happy event ſhall ſuffice, while I voluntarily engage to fill up the outlines during ſome tete a tete, which we will ſweetly enjoy, in the woodbine alcove, you have ſo often heard me mention. For ſome time, being left by my matchleſs parents wholly to the exerciſe of my own reaſon, I had begun to diſcover that Courtland was not the faultleſs being which my imagination had almoſt deified. He let ſlip no opportunity of piqueing Hamilton; he ſeemed ungenerouſly to aim at pointing the ſhaft which ſo apparently wounded the boſom of my early friend; and his triumphant exultation partook a degree of meanneſs, at which I felt my boſom involuntarily reluct Once or twice, too, I looked in upon ſome poor neighbours of ours, who were ſtruggling with diſeaſe and penury, in order, in my little way, to affordford 109 K1r 109 ford them what relief my angel benefactor had commiſsioned me to yield; methought his ſoul was not formed for pity or for ſympathy; no tear ſtarted in his eye; and while his complaiſance induced him to accompany me in my walk, his features gathered a ſevere and rigid kind of auſterity; that gentle and engaging demeanor, for which we have together admired him, was no more; his air was haughty and forbidding, and he deigned not to pour even the oil of ſoothing words, into the lacerated boſom of ſorrow! Upon theſe occaſions diſguſt grew in my ſoul, and I was conſcious that my attachment was gradually diminiſhing. A little poem, written by Edward Hamilton, he had the weakneſs to claim; this alſo, exhibiting him in a new and diſagreeable light, made large inroads unpon that eſteem, which, while with you, (not conſidering, that I thereby violated the duty I owed my revered friends) I had ſo fondly cheriſhed; but the finiſhing ſtroke was reſerved for the inveſtigating wiſdom of my father. By the dictates of equity Courtland was tried, and he came out—I will not ſay what he came out. In ſhort, my Amelia, no longer enſlaved by that dangerous man, it is not my buſineſs to purſue him by invectives; he mingles, in regard to me, with the reſt of his ſpecies: I owe him no ill-will, and I am only ſolicitous that no unhappy young body, not patronized and directed, as I have been, may fall a victim to the wiles which an enemy ſo faſcinating may prepare for her. For myſelf, my utmoſt wiſhes are gratified; joy once more illumines the revered countenances of my parental friends: I am conſcious that I have baniſhed anxiety from their boſoms, and this conſciouſneſs ſeems to dignify and render my exiſtence of importance; it is of itſelf a ſufficient compenſation for years of ſuffering; from a mighty preſsure my ſoul is relieved; every thing wears its accuſtomed face; I ſkip about the houſe as uſual, and this dwelling is the ſame bleſsed manſion which it heretofore was. Serafina, too, embraces me with returning rapture; and though EdwardK ward 110 K1v 110 ward Hamilton, who hath long been abſent from our village, may probably reject a heart which hath been capable of ſo improper an attachment, yet he will allow of my ſiſterly regards; in his fraternal boſom, I ſhall find an abode of ſincerity; and I ſhall ſtill be in poſseſsion of the approbation of my next to divine benefactors, and of the unalterable affection of my much loved Serafina. Poſsibly alſo——but whither am I wandering? I forget that the poſt will be gone; but having at length recollected myſelf, I haſten to offer my reſpects to your mamma, and to aſsure you that I am, with very ſincere affection, your ever faithful Margaretta Melworth.

No. XI.

When crimes deſpotic in the boſom reign, The tears of weeping beauty flow in vain.

Scarce an hour had elapſed, after Margaretta had forwarded her letter to Miſs Worthington, when the following intereſting account from that young lady, which had been written ſome days before, was put into her hand.

Miſs Worthington to Miſs Melworth. Gracious Heaven, what are my ſenſations! Never did I expect to addreſs my dear Miſs Melworth under a conſciouſneſs of having contributed (as the event may prove) to her ruin: But in deed, and in truth, we have not intentionally erred; and ſurely the tale which I have to unfold, will baniſh from a mind, where integrity and every other virtue have taken up their abode, a wretch, who ought never to have profaned a temple ſo ſacred. My poor mother weeps inceſsantly; ſhe ſays ſhe ſhall never know peace again, if you are not enabled to aſsure her, that tranquillity is reſtored to a boſom, where 111 K2r 111 where ſhe hath been acceſsary in planting ſo ſharp a thorn. Liſten, my beloved Margaretta, to the recital I have to make; and let the virtues of Hamilton obtain their due eſtimation. About ſix years ſince, a gentleman by the name of Wellwood, was one of the moſt reſpectable dwellers in this city; his family conſiſted only of his lady and daughter, with their domeſtics; his daughter had been educated with the exacteſt care, and ſhe was, at eighteen, a beautiful and accompliſhed young woman. Juſt at this important period, Mr. Wellwood paid the great debt of nature; and ſo deep an impreſsion did this melancholy and calamitous event make upon the mind of Mrs. Wellwood, who was one of the firſt of women, that after languiſhing a few weeks, under all the preſſure of a rapid decline, ſhe alſo obtained her paſsport, reſigning her life, a confeſsed and lamented martyr to grief. Thus, in a very ſhort interval, the unfortunate Frances Wellwood ſaw herſelf precipitated from a ſituation the moſt eligible, with which the diſpoſitions of paternal Providence can poſſibly endow a young creature, to that of an unprotected orphan; no guardian father, no indulgent mother remained, to direct her ſteps, or to approbate her movements! She had been accuſtomed to regard her parents as the ſource of wiſdom; no deſign had ſhe ever executed, unſanctioned by the parental voice, unpropitiated by the maternal ſmile; and the authors of her exiſtence had, in every ſenſe, continued the prop and the confidence of the being they had reared. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Wellwood were natives of this city; none of their kindred reſided among us: So that the beauteous orphan viewed herſelf as alone in the univerſe; and when ſhe caſt her diſtracted gaze upon the clay cold tenements of a father and a mother; upon thoſe eyes, now for ever cloſed, which, while the leaſt veſtige of life remained, had ſtill darted upon her the moſt benign and unequivocal teſtimonies of affectionate tenderneſs; upon thoſe lips never again to be unſealed, which had opened but to 112 K2v 112 to enrich her with advice, admonitions, directions, or benedictions; when, with folded arms, ſhe contemplated thoſe trophies of relentleſs death, the unutterable anguiſh of her ſpirit, depriving her for a time of reaſon, ſuſpended the operation of the ſilent ſorrow, which afterward reduced her to the very verge of the grave! Not a benevolent heart in this city, but deeply felt for the lovely mourner; never did I ſee a more pathetically intereſting object But time, that ſovereign phyſician, and the ſoothing of thoſe friends, to whom her virtues and her misfortunes had inexpreſsibly endeared her, at length effectuated in her boſom preciſely that ſtate of tender melancholy, which, in a delicate and ſentimental mind, is deſcribed as finding a luxury in tears; and her youth and an excellent conſtitution, ſurmounting the ravages which had been made in her health, ſhe was gradually reſtored to a penſive kind of ſerenity. The effects, of which Mr. Wellwood had died poſſeſsed, excluſive of his houſehold moveables, which were very genteel, conſiſting altogether of navigation and articles of merchandize, he had directed in his will that they ſhould be immediately converted into ready money; and the gentleman whom he had appointed his executor, with that integrity and diſpatch, which are ſuch conſpicuous traits in his character, ſpeedily diſburſing every arrearage, and adjuſting every affair relative to his truſt, delivered into the hands of Miſs Wellwood the ſum of two thouſand pounds in caſh; this being the whole amount, after ſuch ſettlement, of what remained of her deceaſed father’s eſtate; and of this her patrimony, ſhe was, agreeably to his direction, the ſole and uncontrolled poſseſsor. Behold her then, before ſhe had completed her nineteenth year, abſolute miſtreſs of herſelf and fortune: Her apartments were elegantly furniſhed; ſhe was in poſseſsion of a handſome library, and two thouſand pounds in ready ſpecie; but her diſcretion was unqueſtionable, and no one preſumed to dictate to Miſs Wellwood. Juſt at this criſis, Courtland made his firſt appearance at New-Haven. His exteriour and deportment, we 113 K3r 113 we have mutually agreed, are pleaſingly faſcinating, and our unguarded ſex are but too eaſily captivated. His arts of ſeduction muſt be prodigious. When I ſee you, I will recount the gradual advances, by which he undermined a virtue, that would have been proof againſt a common aſsailant. Hoodwinking her reaſon, and miſleading her judgment by arguments the moſt ſophiſtical, he induced her to view, as the reſult of human regulations, the marriage vow; it was not to be found in the law of God, and it (or rather, the calling a prieſt to witneſs it) was calculated only for the meridian of common ſouls: True, the inſtitution anſwered political purpoſes, and it might be neceſsary to preſerve a character; but for him—his nuptial hour —ſhould it take place previous to the death of a capriciouſly obſtinate old uncle, who was a bachelor, and who had made his ſucceeding to his eſtate to depend upon his continuing ſingle, would mark him the moſt imprudent of men. Mean time, his love for Miſs Wellwood was unbounded; he could not poſsibly exiſt without her; he could not bear the idea of ſeeing her hourly expoſed to the ſolicitations of thoſe numerous pretenders, who thronged about her, while he was conſcious that he poſseſsed no ſuperior claim to her attention; and ſurely, as they had the ſole diſpoſal of themſelves, they might, in the ſight of Heaven, exchange their vows; while that Heaven, which would record the deed, would alſo ſanction and crown with ſucceſs, a union ſo pure, ſo diſintereſted, and formed ſo wholly under its own ſacred auſpices; this tranſaction would in fact conſtitute their real nuptials, and upon the demiſe of the old gentleman, they would immediately ſubmit to authoriſe their union by modern rites. Miſs Wellwood loved the villain—Horrid wretch!— he ſucceeded but too well, and ſhe was involved in the deepeſt ruin! My tears blot the paper—would to God that they could cancel her faults, and ſerve as a lethe for her ſufferings. Not a ſoul was apprized of their intercourſe; and ſo well were their meaſures taken, K2 that 114 K3v 114 that when, ſix months after, the young lady diſappeared, amid the various conjectures which were formed, not even the ſhadow of ſuſpicion glanced upon Courtland; every one expreſsed, in their own way, his or her wonder, grief, and apprehenſion; the whole town took an intereſt in her unexpected removal, and Courtland was with the foremoſt to expreſs his aſtoniſhment; but as Miſs Wellwood was entirely independent, no one was authoriſed to commence an active inquiry or purſuit. The attention excited by any extraordinary event, after having its run, at length ſubſides; and Miſs Wellwood ceaſed by degrees to be the ſubject of converſation; nor hath her ſtrange flight been in any ſort accounted for, until two days ſince, when Bridget introduced into our breakfaſting parlour this forlorn female, who, immediately upon fixing her eyes on my mother, ſunk down almoſt breathleſs at her feet! It is hardly neceſsary to add, that we inſtantly raiſed the hapleſs orphan, and that after recognizing, with ſome difficulty, the well-known features of Miſs Wellwood, we received from her lips the foregoing particulars. Upon her quitting New-Haven, ſhe repaired directly to apartments, which had been taken for her by Courtland, in a diſtant village; her patrimony, you will not doubt, was relinquiſhed to her betrayer. After ſacrificing her honour, every thing elſe became a trifle. At firſt, he vouchſafed to ſupport her; but for theſe two laſt years, either wanting ability or inclination, ſhe has not been able to obtain from him the ſmalleſt ſum! Of her furniture, of her valuable library, of every thing ſhe is ſtripped; and for ſome months paſt ſhe hath been reduced to the neceſsity of parting with her clothes, and of availing herſelf of her ſkill in needle work, for the ſubſiſtence of herſelf and three ſons, whom ſhe hath borne to Courtland; and the little wretches, with their injured mother, have long been in want of the common neceſsaries of life! Yet, through all this, ſhe hath been ſupported, being buoyed up by the hope of an ultimate reſidence with the father of her 115 K4r 115 her children: By the laws of Heaven, ſhe regards herſelf as already his wife, while ſhe hath repeatedly, with floods of tears, beſought the abandoned man to confer upon her, by the rites of the church, a title ſo honourable; and, though ſtill repulſed, and often with ſeverity, ſhe hath never deſpaired, until the tidings that Courtland was on the point of marriage with a young lady, who had abode for ſome time with us, reached her ears; this heart-rending intelligence produced her, upon the before mentioned morning, in our parlour; this hath alſo procured you the ſorrow, which ſo melancholy a recital will doubtleſs occaſion. The once beautiful form of Miſs Wellwood is now ſurpriſingly emaciated; the few paſt weeks hath made dreadful havoc in her conſtitution; we aſsay to pour into her lacerated boſom what conſolation is in our power; we have made her acquainted with your character, with its marked integrity and uniform conſiſtency; and we have encouraged her to hope every thing from a goodneſs ſo perfect The deſolated ſufferer will herſelf addreſs you. Alas, alas! what further can I ſay! it is with difficulty that I have written thus far; but this information we have judged abſolutely neceſsary. May God preſerve my dear Miſs Melworth from ſo black a villain—every thing is to be feared. For myſelf, I ſtand, in my own apprehenſion, as a culprit before you. Forgive, I entreat you, my ſorrowing mother; and with your wonted kindneſs, forgive—O forgive—your truly affectionate, and greatly afflicted Amelia Worthington. Miſs Wellwood to Miſs Melworth. Incloſed in the preceding. Will the moſt faultleſs of her ſex deign to receive a line from one, who, but for the infatuation of a fatal and illuſive paſsion, meeting her upon equal ground, might have drawn from ſo bright an example, a model by 116 K4v 116 by which ſhe might have ſhaped her courſe, through an event-judging and unfeeling world. I am told that your virtues partake the mildeſt qualities, and that pity, bland and healing, is empreſs in your breaſt; if ſo, ſweet mercy muſt adminiſter there; and you will then not only tolerate the addreſs of an unhappy ſtranger, but you will be impelled to lend to the prayer of my petition, a propitious ear. Miſs Worthington hath condeſcended to become my introducer, and ſhe informs me that ſhe hath unfolded to you the ſtory of my woes! For myſelf, I write not, moſt reſpected young lady, either to exonerate myſelf, or to criminate an unfortunate man, who hath had the preſumption to aſpire to ſuch daring heights! Regiſtered in the uncontrovertible records of heaven, the wife of Courtland, in walks ſo reprehenſible, it would ill become me to be found. No, Madam, I write to ſupplicate, and on my bended knees I am proſtrated before you—I write to ſupplicate you to uſe your intereſt in the heart of Courtland, in my favour. Help me, O thou unblemiſhed votary of virtue! help me to reclaim a huſband, who, not naturally bad, hath too long wandered in the dangerous paths of diſsipation; who hath drank too deeply of the empoiſoned cup of error; and who, if he is not ſoon rouſed from his viſionary career, may ſuddenly be precipitated into the gulph of perdition! I ſaid that Mr. Courtland was not naturally bad; and believe me, good young lady, I have, in a thouſand inſtances, obſerved the rectitude of his heart. Early indulgence, and a miſtaken mode of education, hath been his ruin; but the amiable qualities which are natal in his boſom, have, nevertheleſs, through the weeds by which they have been well nigh choaked, occaſionally diſcovered themſelves. Yet, whatever are his faults, they can never obliterate my errors; doubtleſs he obſerved in me ſome blameable weakneſs, or he would never have taken thoſe unwarrantable ſteps, which were the conſequence of our acquaintance; and now, circumſtanced as we are, a failure of duty in him, 117 K5r 117 him, can never apologize for the want of every proper exertion on my ſide. He is the father of my children; I have a preſentiment that he may be recovered to the boſom of equity; and, if he will permit me, I will watch over him as my deareſt treaſure. Let him but acknowledge the honourable and endearing ties, father and huſband; let him but ſanction them in the face of the world, and I will ſoothe his aching head; I will ſmooth his thorny pillow; and, in every circumſtance, in ſickneſs and in health, I will continue that faithful Fanny, whom he hath ſo often ſworn never to forſake, and whom, in the fulneſs of his heart, he hath called Heaven to witneſs, he would ever prefer to all created beings. Perhaps he can no more command the ſums which I have yielded into his hands—be it ſo, they were mine, I made them his, and he had a right to diſpoſe of them—Nay, I think I had rather find him deſtitute; for ſuch a ſituation will acquit him of that cruelty, with which he is otherwiſe chargeable on account of his late neglects. What are pecuniary emoluments, compared to that real felicity, which is to be derived from a mutual, a faithful, and an unbroken attachment? I have made the experiment, and I can confidently pronounce it in truth a fact—that we want but little here below. Let him know, Madam, that I will draw the impenetrable veil of ſilence over the paſt; that we will commence anew the voyage of life; and that if he will at length be juſt, his returning kindneſs, by invigorating once more this poor, this enervated frame, will reſtore alacrity to my efforts; and that I am, in that caſe, poſitive, our combined exertions will procure for ourſelves, and our little ones, the neceſsaries of life. What can I ſay? It is for my children I am thus importunate; were it not for their dear ſakes, the ſtory of my ſufferings ſhould never interrupt the felicity of Miſs Melworth. No, believe me, no—but I would ſeek ſome turfed pillow, whereon to reſt my weary head; and, cloſing forever theſe humid lids, I would haſte 118 K5v 118 haſte to repoſe me in that vault, which entombs the remains of my revered parents, and where only, I can rationally expect to meet the tranquillity for which I ſigh. Innocent little ſufferers!—obſerve them, deareſt lady; to you their hands are uplifted—Courtland’s features are imaged in their faces, and they plead the cauſe of equity. Nor will we, my children, deſpair—we cannot ſue in vain: Miſs Melworth being our auxiliary, doubtleſs we ſhall again be reinſtated in the boſom of your father. Forgive, ineſtimable young lady, forgive this incoherent rambling—diſtraction not ſeldom pervades my mind. But grant, I beſeech you, the prayer of my petition, and entitle yourſelf to the eternal gratitude of the now wretched Frances Wellwood.

It was well that my girl had diſcarded Courtland from her heart, and that ſhe had almoſt entirely recovered her tranquillity, previous to the receipt of theſe letters; otherwiſe, the ſudden revolution they would have occaſioned, muſt, in a young and impaſsioned mind, have uprooted her reaſon.

Old Mr. Wellwood had been one of the firſt of my friends; and from his countenance and advice, on my ſetting out in life, I had derived material advantages. The diſappearance of his daughter had much perplexed me. I was fearful ſhe was ill adviſed, but from the idea I had entertained of her diſcretion, I had not the leaſt ſuſpicion of the truth. Yet ſhe never ruſhed upon my memory, without giving birth in my boſom to ſenſations truly painful; and I had been conſtantly ſolicitous to diſcover the place of her retreat.

Thus, under the influence of equity and gratitude, I hope my readers will do me the juſtice to believe, that in Miſs Wellwood’s affairs, I found myſelf naturally impelled to take a very active part. Margaretta ſpeedily reſponded to both the ladies; but as 119 K6r 119 as her letter to Miſs Worthington is not abſolutely eſſential to my narration, I ſhall omit it: The following is a copy of her reply to Miſs Wellwood.

Miſs Melworth to Miſs Wellwood. I have, my dear Madam, received your pathetically plaintive epiſtle; and, over the melancholy recital of your woes, I have ſhed many tears. I lament your ſorrows, and I honour the propriety of your preſent feelings and wiſhes; but a letter which I yeſterday wrote to Miſs Worthington, and which ſhe will ſoon receive, will, I perſuade myſelf, convince you of the indelicacy and inutility of my interference relative to Mr. Courtland. Before the name of Miſs Wellwood had been announced to me, I had been convinced of my error, in entertaining the moſt diſtant views of a ſerious connexion with that gentleman; and the preference my inexperienced heart had avowed for him, was eradicated from my boſom. Doubtleſs, if the ever honoured guardians of my unwary ſteps, had not ſtill been continued to me, enſnared as I too certainly was, Miſs Wellwood’s wrongs would not have exhibited a ſolitary trait in the hiſtory of the unfeeling deſpoiler! You muſt excuſe me, Madam, if I do not adopt your mildneſs of expreſsion, when ſpeaking of a betrayer, whoſe atrocious conduct hath blaſted in their early blow, the opening proſpects of a young lady, whoſe fair mind ſeems eminently formed for all thoſe ſocial and tender intercourſes, which conſtitute and brighten the pleaſing round of domeſtic life. Surely, Miſs Wellwood——yet, ſenſible that painful retroſpection will avail us nothing, I ſtop ſhort. But, my amiable panegyriſt, though I, myſelf, am ineligible as a mediatreſs, between parties whoſe intereſts ought indeed to be conſidered as one, I am authorized to offer you the extricating hands, and protecting arms of thoſe matchleſs benefactors, who, with unexampled condeſcenſion, have dignified the orphan Margaretta, by inveſting her with the title of their daughterter; 120 K6v 120 ter; nor is this an empty title; their parental wiſdom, their parental indulgence—but come and ſee. I am commanded to ſolicit you immediately to repair to an aſylum, and to hearts, which will ever be open for your reception. My father, Madam, confeſses eſsential and various obligations to your deceaſed parent; and he hath long been anxiouſly deſirous to render the arrears, which were due to Mr. Wellwood, into the hands of his ever lovely repreſentative. The bearer of this letter is commiſsioned to pay you the ſum of fifty pounds, which you are requeſted to receive, as a part of the intereſt, which hath been, for ſuch a length of time, your due; it may anſwer your preſent exigencies, and the principal is ſtill in reſerve. It is with much pleaſure, I avail myſelf of the orders which are given me, to repeat my ſolicitations, that you would, without heſitation, haſten to this manſion. An elderly man and woman, who are to return to our village in the next ſtage, and who have long been our very reſpectable neighbours, will call upon you at Colonel Worthington’s, to take your commands; and if you will be ſo obliging as to put yourſelf under their care, they will ſee you conveyed in ſafety to one, who, in addition to the general and unqueſtionable humanity of his character, feels his heart operated upon, in regard to Miſs Wellwood, by the ancient and inviolable claims of gratitude. Mr. Courtland, though not at preſent our viſitor, is ſtill a reſident in this neighbourhood; and my father bids me aſsure you, that every rational ſtep ſhall be taken, which can be ſuppoſed to have the remoteſt tendency toward the reſtoration of your peace. He himſelf will undertake your cauſe; and as his plans are always the reſult of wiſdom and penetration, he is not ſeldom gratified by the accompliſhment of his wiſhes. He will ſeek Mr. Courtland; he will aſsail him by thoſe invincible arguments, with which equity, reaſon and nature will furniſh him; and ſhould he ſtill remain obdurate, my dear and commiſerating father will, nevertheleſs, aid you by his counſel, and continue unto 121 L1r 121 unto you his protection; he will aſsiſt you in educating your young people, and in diſpoſing of them in a manner, which will render them uſeful members of ſociety: In ſhort, no efforts which benevolence can command, will be wanting, to alleviate your misfortunes. Cheer up then, lovely mourner; the orphan’s friend is ours: I predict that the ſmile of tranquillity will again illumine your grief-worn countenance; and ſhould I yet have to raiſe to you the voice of felicitation, good, in that event, will be educed from evil, and I ſhall then ceaſe to regret a circumſtance, which at preſent, as often as it is remembered, tinges my cheek with the bluſh of confuſion. Were it neceſsary, I would add, that no means ſhall be left unaſsayed, which may be within the reach of, dear Madam, your truly commiſerating, and ſincere well-wiſher, Margaretta Melworth.

Taking it for granted, that the candid reader will allow for the partiality of a young creature, whoſe high ſenſe of common benefits, and whoſe gratitude had rendered her almoſt an enthuſiaſt,—I intrude no comment thereon. Margaretta’s letter ſoon produced Miſs Wellwood in our family; and upon the morning after her arrival, I ſat off in purſuit of Mr. Courtland. My moſt direct courſe brought me to rap at the door of his lodgings, and as I was rather early, I made myſelf ſure of finding him within. My aſtoniſhment, however, was not equal to my regret, when I was informed by his landlady, that a writ of attachment, being the evening before ſerved upon him, at the ſuit of Mr. ――, and he not being able to procure ſureties, he was then lodged in the county jail. I heſitated not in regard to the meaſures which were beſt to be taken; a few moments produced me in that abode of the miſerable; and I found little difficulty in obtaining an interview with the priſoner.

Courtland—never ſhall I forget his appearance—all thoſe airs of importance, which had marked his innate conſciouſneſs of ſuperiority, were whelmed in the ſtorm L of 122 L1v 122 of adverſity, that had at length burſt upon him. His haggard looks proclaimed, that ſleep, in her accuſtomed manner, had forſaken his dreary abode; his dreſs was neglected; his hair in diſordered ringlets hung upon his ſhoulders: In ſhort, ſcarce a veſtige of the finiſhed gentleman remained; and his folded arms and vacant countenance, as I beheld him unobſerved, were almoſt deſcriptive of inſanity: But the jailer announcing my name, his agonized and unaffected diſcompoſure commanded my utmoſt commiſeration; an expreſsion indicative of mingling confuſion, ſurpriſe and apprehenſion, inſtantly ſuffuſed his cheek; and, with extreme perturbation, he exclaimed, Good God! Mr. Vigillius—this is too much—but, forgive me, Sir, the uniformity of your character will not permit a continuance of the idea, that you are come hither either to reproach or inſult me.

To inſult you, Mr. Courtland! God forbid. I come hither rather the petitioner of your favour; and it is a truth, that I at this moment feel, in regard to you, all the father predominating in my boſom; but, having matter for your private ear, I muſt beg the indulgence of this gentleman for a few moments.

The humane keeper withdrew with much civility; and the conſternation of our delinquent was unutterable, while I proceeded to inform him of the early knowledge I had obtained of the commencement and progreſs of his career; of my information in regard to the ruined ſtate of his affairs; and of my actual correſpondence with his principal creditors. I have opened my buſineſs, Sir, I added, by this exordium, on purpoſe to let you know how well qualified I am to ſerve you; and however you may have ſmarted, while I have thus taken it upon me to probe your wounds, I flatter myſelf you may be induced to bleſs the hand, which is furniſhed alſo with a ſpecific. In ſhort, Sir, I am this morning authorized to act in your affairs—a fair plaintiff hath conſtituted me her attorney, and I come to offer you terms of accommodationMiſs Wellwood, Sir—— At the ſound of this name he changed 123 L2r 123 changed colour, bit his lips, groaned deeply, and vehemently articulated—Jeſus God, have mercy on me! and, as if that injured female herſelf had been preſent, he thus continued: Miſs Wellwood—lovely, but too credulous fair one—wretched woman!—I have undone thee; but, Madam, my death ſhall ſoon preſent you the only compenſation in my power.

I came not, Sir, interrupted I, to point to the defenceleſs boſom the ſhaft of deſpair: If you pleaſe, I will read a letter, which was written by Miſs Wellwood to my daughter. I read; and, as I folded the paper, I beheld with aſtoniſhment, the tear of contrition bedewing his pallid cheek! Welcome ſtranger! he exclaimed—lovely woman—injured ſaint—forgiving martyr!—Yes, Heaven is my witneſs, that the tendereſt affection of which this obdurate heart hath ever been capable, hath ſtill been the undivided, unalienated poſseſsion of Fanny Wellwood—but, Sir, ſhe knows not the depth of my miſery—God of heaven! my crimes have already precipitated me into the gulph of perdition, and there remains no remedy.

But not to fatigue my readers by further circumlocution, I found that our gentleman had become as wax in my hand; and I propoſed to him, that if I could procure his enlargement, he ſhould retire immediately to my dwelling, where he would meet Miſs Wellwood; and that the nuptial ceremony being legally performed, my houſe ſhould become his caſtle; that I myſelf would undertake his affairs, thoroughly inveſtigate every point, and endeavour to adjuſt matters with his creditors.

My propoſal was accepted, with the moſt extravagant and rapturous demonſtrations of joy; and my intereſt, combined with that of a ſubſtantial neighbour’s, ſoon liberating the captive, produced him a happy and a grateful bridegroom. The rites of the church were performed; not a ſingle ceremony was omitted—while Margaretta and Serafina, blooming as Hebe, and cheerful as the morning, officiated as bride-maids.

Agreeably to my promiſe, I very ſoon opened my negociation 124 L2v 124 negociation with the different claimants upon Mr. Courtland. New-Haven furniſhed me with many auxiliaries; it was ſufficient to produce the daughter of Mr. Wellwood, to command, in her favour, the moſt energetic efforts: We ſpeedily obtained a very advantageous compromiſe: our debtor was, by the joint aſsiſtance of many reſpectable characters, ſet up in buſineſs; and the deficiencies of nature and education, which we have noted in him, were abundantly ſupplied, by the abilities, application, and economical arrangements of Mrs. Courtland. Every year, a regular dividend of the profits of their buſineſs is remitted to their creditors; a large part of the old arrears is diſcharged; and they bid fair, in the run of a few revolving ſeaſons, to poſseſs themſelves of a very handſome competency.

No. XII.

And now the ripening harveſt cluſtering round, With fruits mature our well form’d hopes were crown’d.

Iam ſometimes wonderfully amuſed by the various comments upon theſe my lucubrations, which in the courſe of my peregrinations are frequently poured into my ear. It muſt be confeſsed, that as I journey from place to place, I am ſufficiently ſolicitous to collect the ſentiments of my readers; and that although I am often ſubjected to extreme mortification in this my anxious purſuit, yet I have, upon ſome occaſions, inhaled, from the voice of the genuine critic, the fine effluvia of well-judged praiſe.

But during a late tour, which I made to a diſtant metropolis, I was not ſo fortunate as to obſerve that my laurel crown was much indebted to the brightening hand of fame; for although I then breathed the natal air of the Maſsachuſetts Magazine, yet I found that upon the ear of the many, even the name of the Gleaner had never vibrated; and that a conſiderable majority 125 L3r 125 majority of thoſe whoſe attention he had engaged, ſeemed more occupied in detecting the real author, than in eſsaying to inveſtigate the merit of his productions! An old lady, (taking off her ſpectacles, and laying down her knitting-work) informed me ſhe had been credibly aſsured, that the Gleaner had in fact never been married; that he was a young man, a dweller in Worceſter, and that he never having had a bit of a wife, it was impoſsible to tell what to believe.

A facetious divine, ſitting by, gravely replied, Well, if the ſcoundrel has impoſed upon the public by a fictitious tale, he ought ſurely to be toſsed in a blanket; and I, for my part, am willing to lend any aſsiſtance in my power, to deliver a delinquent, ſo atrocious, to condign puniſhment.

A ſober young woman next joined in the converſation, proceeding with great ſolemnity to give in her evidence: She ſaid ſhe had but juſt returned from New-Haven; that ſhe happened to be there when the ſtory of Miſs Wellwood came out; and that ſhe was, by unqueſtionable authority, poſitively aſsured they had never heard the name of Margaretta Melworth, until they ſaw it in the Magazine; that the Wellwoods, the Courtlands, and even the Worthingtons, (as deſcribed by the Gleaner) were wholly unknown in that city.

Pſhaw, pſhaw, young woman, ſaid a pedant, who had eyed the fair ſpeaker with an air of ſupercilious contempt, you know nothing of the matter; but ignorance is always forth putting. I tell you that I had the honour of receiving my education at Yale College; I was there at the very period, on which the Gleaner repreſents his Margaretta as having paſsed ſome time in the city of New-Haven, and I more than once ſaw that young lady at church, and in ſeveral private families; it is true that being then but a youth, (for it was my firſt year in the ſeminary) I was not very intimate with Miſs Melworth, otherwiſe, I doubt not, I ſhould have been made acquainted with every particular which he records. A teſtimony ſo deciſive, could not be controverted; the old lady reſumed her knitting, and an air of general complacency took place.

L2 I cannot 126 L3v 126

I cannot help regarding this hunting after names, as deſcriptive of the frivolity of the human mind: No ſooner does an anonymous piece make its appearance, than curioſity inveſts itſelf in the ſtole of ſagacity, conjecture is upon the rack—Who is he? Where does he live? What is his real name, and occupation? And to the importance of theſe queſtions, conſiderations of real weight give place; as if the being able to aſcertain a name was replete with information of the moſt ſalutary kind. Whereas, if the writing is in no ſort perſonal, and cannot be conſtrued into a libel, a knowledge of the author can be of no moment, neither can a name deſignate a character. Facts, real events, have often been communicated to the world under feigned names; and inſtruction not ſeldom arrays itſelf in the decent and alluring veil of allegory.

The buſineſs of the reader is to ſcan the intrinſic value and general tendency of the compoſition; if that is conſiderable, if that is laudable, he ought to leave the author to announce himſelf under what auſpices he ſhall judge proper.

Paſsing from theſe name-hunters, I joined a ſelect tea party, when I had an opportunity of hearing the work itſelf very freely deſcanted upon; and while I was humbled by the uncandid and ſatirical diſquiſition which I underwent, I was proportionably elated at obſerving that my daughter was as much a favourite in the world at large, as in the village in which ſhe hath been educated. In Margaretta every one appeared intereſted; and, however queſtionable the merit of the Gleaner was deemed, Miſs Melworth obtained her full ſhare of applauſe. A damſel, verging upon thirty, the height of whoſe feathers was enormous, pronounced the poetry of the Gleaner pitiful; declared his eſsays in general much below a mediocrity; and ſhe added, that in her opinion they depreciated as rapidly as the paper currency of inſolvent memory; that his laſt numbers were monſtrouſly unnatural; that the library ſcene in particular was quite outree, ſince it was impoſsible to conceive of a man ſo truly polite, thus paſsionate; that her friend 127 L4r 127 friend Mrs. G―― condemned thoſe writings altogether, and that Mrs. G―― having travelled, and ſeen the world, muſt undoubtedly be acknowledged a competent judge. Yet ſhe allowed Margaretta to be a decent young perſon; and ſhe doubted not if ſhe had been left entirely to herſelf, ſhe would have generouſly choſen the man of her heart, whatever might have been the embarraſsments in which his juvenile errors might have involved him.

Juvenile errors! repeated a female who ſat next her. Is it poſsible, Madam, that you can beſtow an epithet ſo gentle upon crimes of ſo deep a die? O! that our ſex were conſcious of their true dignity; that they were juſt to themſelves; then ſhould we no longer behold the unprincipled betrayer obtaining the confidence of virtue; then would the deſpoiler, baniſhed from ſociety, be neceſsitated to preſs forward to the path of rectitude, and a uniform purſuit of goodneſs becoming the price of his reſtoration to the privileges and immunities of a ſocial being, he would be compelled to array himſelf in the garments of conſiſtent equity. For my own part, continued the fair rationaliſt, I am free to own, however ſingular it may be deemed, that unblemiſhed virtue is, in my eſtimation, as eſsential in a man, as in a woman; and that as man is commonly the primary aggreſsor, I regard a male proſtitute with even greater deteſtation than I do an abandoned female. I profeſs myſelf an admirer of the Gleaner. I conceive him to be a moral writer; and I muſt own that far from thinking the library ſcene unnatural, I have conceived it inimitably drawn. Courtland is repreſented from the beginning as a man extremely ſuperficial; that ſhallow waters are not ſeldom noiſy, is a common obſervation; and it is as true that in ſilent majeſty the great profound may ſtand collected. Mr. Vigillius, with infinite addreſs, had wrought up to the higheſt pitch, the ſanguine expectations of his man; he is in fancy placed upon an eminence at which he had long aimed; and having, as he ſuppoſed, at length obtained the enviable ſummit of his wiſhes, he is ſuddenly daſhed therefrom.

“Is 128 L4v 128

Is it then ſurpriſing to find him off his guard, eſpecially when it is remembered, that his reaſons for keeping meaſures with the Gleaner were no longer in force? Viewing the matter in this light, I confeſs, it appears to me rather extraordinary, that his paſsions diſcovered no greater exceſs. But, be this as it may, I declare to you, that Margaretta captivates my very ſoul; that the virtues attributed to Hamilton ſtrike me moſt pleaſingly: I am charmed with the open integrity, and the manly conſiſtency of the character of that youth; and I cannot but hope that the enſuing Gleaner, recounting his union with Miſs Melworth, will give us an opportunity of contemplating the moſt faultleſs pair who have ever lighted the torch of Hymen, ſince the lord of paradiſe received our general mother from the hand of her Creator.

What in the name of ingenuity, interrupted the lady who was filling tea, has he done with Hamilton? I proteſt I am enchanted by that divine fellow; his diſdaining to enter the liſts with Courtland, and his abſenting himſelf during the purſuit of that unworthy pretender, was a deportment at once dignified, proper and manly. I confeſs that it hath been no ſmall diſappointment to me, to find him in the ſeveral laſt Gleaners but barely mentioned; and I am abſolutely impatient to hear of his return from exile, and of the reſtoration of his hopes.

The lovely ſentimentaliſts here adverted to, will recollect a converſation ſo recent; and, from the throng which upon that occaſion crowded the levee of Mrs. ———, they may poſsibly recognize the Gleaner; but even in this caſe, I feel pleaſingly aſsured, that in the boſom of candour, diſcretion and good-nature, my ſecret is perfectly ſafe, while I am confident, that by the many I ſhall remain untraced. My amiable panegyriſts were unconſcious that they delivered their ſentiments in the preſence of an intereſted man, who hung upon their lips, engraving their words in characters indelible upon the tablets of his breaſt; yet, as I am happy in an opportunity of rendering to ſuperior merit the tribute of eſteem; 129 L5r 129 eſteem; ſo I haſten with alacrity, to pen the acknowledgments of gratitude; and while, in a manner as ſuccinct as poſsible, I proceed to bring down my narration to the preſent period, it is with ſubſtantial ſatisfaction I confeſs that my hopes are invigorated, and my efforts ſtimulated, by a knowledge that perſons ſo worthy await, with ſome impatience, the recital of a cataſtrophe which hath long ſince gratified my utmoſt wiſhes.

It happened that Mr. Hamilton returned home upon the very evening which witneſsed the nuptials of Mr. Courtland and Miſs Wellwood. Being ignorant of his route, it had not been in our power to follow him by letter; and he was conſequently unacquainted with every thing that had paſsed in our village, during his abſence. This plan he had purpoſely concerted, with an expectation of baniſhing from his boſom thoſe tender ſentiments of Margaretta, which were inconſiſtent with his peace; and fondly imagining that he had effectuated his wiſhes, he alighted at the lodgings of Serafina, whither he firſt repaired, in tolerable tranquillity; but, on inquiring for Miſs Clifford, being rather abruptly informed by her maid, that her young lady paſsed that evening in the family of Mr. Vigillius, in order to aſsiſt at the marriage of Mr. Courtland, he diſcovered, in a ſingle moment, the cruel fallacy of thoſe hopes he had ſo confidently cheriſhed. He was unacquainted with the exiſtence and even the name of Miſs Wellwood: It was Courtland’s wedding night; he could think of no one but Margaretta; a thouſand varying ideas ruſhed inſtantaneouſly upon his mind; all his purpoſes were broken; and he ſaw that, ſo far from accompliſhing the laudable end which he had propoſed, by tearing himſelf from the beloved object, he had too probably accelerated his own ruin.

In ſpeechleſs agony he claſped his hands, and raiſing his fine eyes to Heaven, he haſtily withdrew to the retirement of his own chamber, where, ſummoning reaſon, fortitude and religion to his aid, he endeavoured to rally his ſcattered forces, to recollect thoſe 130 L5v 130 thoſe reſources which, in proſpect, had appeared ſo pregnant with conſolation; and, upon this occaſion, preſsing into his ſervice every balancing auxiliary, in a manner becoming the mind conſcious of its divine origin, of its tranſitory abode in tabernacles of clay, and of its beatified and immortal deſtination—in a manner honorary to philoſophy, and honorary to manhood, he ſought to make head againſt thoſe paſsions which were ravaging all before them, and which were ſeeking to precipitate him into the abyſs of deſpair! What progreſs he would have made in this conflict, and on which ſide victory would have declared, I pretend not to determine; for after the combat had continued, with various ſucceſs, from twilight grey, until the ſober hour of twelve, the whole phalanx of diſcretion was thrown into diſorder, by the following little harmleſs ſcrip of paper, received from the hand of Serafina; true, it bore on its milk-white ſurface certain caballiſtic inſcriptions, which ſeemed endowed with magic influence; and Hamilton read with no leſs ardour than it was penned, the language of friendſhip.

A delicious moment is at hand—I myſelf will be the narrator—come to me, my friend, this inſtant. I would rather loſe whole years of my exiſtence, than the luxury of an hour, which Fortune (I thank her goddeſsſhip) hath reſerved for her, upon this occaſion, devout admirer, Serafina Clifford.

NO. XIII.

To the bleſt haunts of amity he flew, Hope lent him wings—and wild predictions drew: But ſovereign truth explanatory roſe, And ſweet oblivion whelm’d his tender woes.

It is ſcarcely neceſsary to add, that Edward immediately obeyed this flattering ſummons: He was at a loſs what to conceive, and he was ready to hope for 131 L6r 131 for impoſsibilities; but a ſhort interval preſenting him before the companion of his youth, he had little time for conjecture; and the propitious explanation was no ſooner given, than, abſorbed in a delirium of joy, he loſt ſight of every ill, and pronounced himſelf wholly invulnerable, altogether ſuperior to the ſhafts of future ſorrow.

The enſuing morning produced him, the image of rationally complacent happineſs, in our bridal circle. He attended Miſs Clifford; Mary and myſelf were addreſsed by him with pleaſing reſpect; and while he bowed upon the hand of Margaretta, his eye beamed unutterable tenderneſs; a refined and animated kind of affection, and a glow of ineffable ſatisfaction, ſwelled every expreſsive feature, mantled upon his cheek, and ſeemed to inveſt him with ſupernatural graces: In ſhort, the fine manly open countenance evidently aſsumed a celeſtial contour, and the charming youth was never before ſo completely captivating.

In the beautiful face of Margaretta, mingling ſurpriſe and pleaſure were agreeably blended; a bluſh of ſenſibility pervaded her cheek; and an attachment, which I dare believe will be laſting as her life, gradually enliſted every faculty of her ſoul; an attachment, raiſed upon the ſuperſtructure of eſteem, entwining a full growth of amity, and finally attaining the honorary wreath of rationally approved love. Such an attachment was alone worthy the boſom of Miſs Melworth; and I had the happineſs to obſerve, that her meliorated paſsions, rectified and confirmed, at length pointed to the centre of true and chaſtiſed felicity.

No ſooner was ſhe aſsured of the continued, and even augmented tenderneſs, and of the confiding friendſhip of her Edward, than ſhe yielded up her whole heart, without heſitation, to the ſweetly faſcinating impreſſion. Sanctioned by duty, authorized by reaſon, and borne forward upon the feathery ſails of white-boſomed hope, ſhe did not ſee that ſhe ought to bluſh at avowing thoſe ſentiments of preference, which her youthful heart acknowledged; and they were, in truth, as pure as 132 L6v 132 as thoſe which are impreſsed upon ſeraphic boſoms, amid the paradiſe of their God.

During the period which preceded her marriage, ſhe gave and received many viſits to and from Miſs Worthington. She made many little tours round the country; and, poſseſsing a ſtrikingly commanding exterior, with manners ſo truly pleaſing, ſhe was, of courſe, followed by a train of admirers. Courtlands, Bellamours and Plodders, of every deſcription, crowded about her; and, aſsailed on every ſide by the perniciouſly enervating and empoiſoned airs of adulation, the uniformity of her character was put to the ſevereſt teſt.

Miſs Melworth, however, was fully equal to the ordeal which was thus prepared for her; and ſhe continued to receive her admirers of every deſcription, in a manner which was truly worthy of approbation. The impaſsioned feelings of the devoted heart, never contributed, in the ſmalleſt degree, to her amuſement: She had not to charge herſelf with inflicting a ſingle moment’s unneceſsary pain; and no ſooner did the ſerious pretender advance his claim, than his profeſſions of love, though received with grateful reſpect, were deciſively rejected. Obligations for every honorary teſtimony, ſhe was free to acknowledge; but ſhe was not ambitious to enliſt a train of danglers. Her heart, tremblingly alive to the merits of Hamilton, although the nature of their connexion was not publickly known, was ready, almoſt indignantly, to reſent the officious competition of thoſe, whom her delicacy induced her to conſider as intruders. But reaſon, true to its office, corrected the fervid ebullitions of paſsion, and always brought her back to that tranquillity of mind, ſo neceſsary to the full exerciſe of her fine talents. Obſervation, experience, reaſon and judgment, theſe all combined to confirm her in the election ſhe had made; and, on the boſom of ſerenity, her hours rolled on.

Both the mental and exterior accompliſhments of our children were ſtill improving; their mutual attachmenttachment 133 M1r 133 tachment ſeemed daily to augment, and the proſpect ſtill brightened upon us. We often addreſsed them upon the importance of the vows they were deſtined to exchange, repreſenting, with all the energy which language could command, the neceſsity of a permanent and unabating affection, to render ſilken the bands of wedlock.

Expect not, we exclaimed, a continuance of thoſe vernal zephyrs, which will fan the genial flame of your early loves: It is true you may embark upon a ſummer’s ſea, but the unavoidable evils, the viciſsitudes, and too probably the ſtorms of life, will ariſe—rocks and quickſands await the voyager, and eagle-eyed diſcretion ought to ſet at helm, if you would paſs ſafely between extremes, which may be regarded as equally dangerous! Mutual eſteem, mutual friendſhip, mutual confidence, begirt about by mutual forbearance—theſe are the neceſsary requiſites of the matrimonial career; and there is not a virtuous endowment that can fall to the ſhare of mortality, which may not be called into action.

We conjure you to conſult each other’s humours, diſpoſitions, ſentiments, and purſuits—an interval is given you for this purpoſe: Congenial taſtes, congenial ſpirits, you ought to poſseſs, or at leaſt a ſimilarity of views is abſolutely indiſpenſable, if you mean to ſecure the ſocial enjoyment of your lives. Be not afraid, dear children of our fondeſt hopes, be not afraid to come to the teſt. Submit with cheerfulneſs to the moſt ſcrutinizing ordeal; the preſent is your era of experiments. Look well to your individual faults; forbear to emblazon your virtues; and, if you find you cannot wholly eradicate any little peculiarities, which the imbecility of human nature may perhaps have interwoven with your conſtitution, examine if you can tolerate them; and ſeek not, at the riſk of your future quiet, during theſe peace crowned days, to ſhut your eyes upon each other’s errors! If you entertain the ſhadow of a preference for any other object; if your long cheriſhed attachment experiences abatement—ſhrink not from the voice of public cenſure—you are ſtill at liberty—other purſuits yet open themſelves before you—your moſt direct ſtep M is 134 M1v 134 is an open declaration of what paſses in the inmoſt receſses of your boſoms, to parents, who will not fail to patronize and uphold you in every action, which is, ſtrictly ſpeaking, the reſult of undeviating rectitude.

Reaſon authoriſes us at this time thus to addreſs you; but when once the hallowed hour, that ſhall witneſs your plighted faith, is paſt, the tranſaction of that hour will be indiſsoluble! Death only can ſet you free; and we ſhall then, in one particular, dictate for our children a reverſe of conduct. A familiar figure will elucidate our meaning. You are to behold each other’s virtues with a microſcopic gaze, while we ſhall hardly permit you to glance at a blemiſh, even through the teleſcope of affection. It was to this effect we occaſionally, frequently, and ſolemnly addreſsed our children, while we were peculiarly happy in remarking, that even to the ſearching eye of anxious ſolicitude, not a ſingle moment of apathy, heſitation or regret was at any time apparent.

Thus rolled on the weeks, months, and years, until revolving time produced the promiſed era: It took place in the laſt vernal ſeaſon, when the humid ſteps of April were on the point of reſigning their tear gemmed empire to the bland and flowery feet of the wreath crowned and odour breathing month of May. Margaretta had then juſt rounded her nineteenth year; and, much ſooner than would have been our uninfluenced wiſh, we reſigned our lovely charge into the hands of him, who had long been the deliberate choice of her heart.

Arrayed in majeſty ſerene, the morning broke. The orb of day aſsumed to our grateful view an uncommon cheerfulneſs—all nature looked gay—the flowers ſeemed juſt expanding with emblematic ſweetneſs— and the birds carolled moſt divinely.

We were not ſolicitous to collect a throng about us upon that auſpicious day. With happineſs innate in our boſoms, the pomp and parade of joy we were contented to ſpare; and our circle conſiſted only of thoſe, whoſe faces we ſhould have contemplated with pleaſure upon every riſing morn and ſetting ſun.

But 135 M2r 135

But though only a ſelect party were ſummoned to partake our felicity, and to gild, by their preſence, our bridal day, yet we were ambitious of diffuſing the face of gladneſs over our village; and we therefore appropriated the ſums which we might have expended in the flowing goblet, and at the feſtal board, to the preparing nuptial preſents for thoſe who mourned beneath the iron ſway of penury, and who, by this well-timed relief, felt their hearts once more attuned to the genial voice of pleaſure; who haſted to entwine for us the wreath of gratitude, the perfume of which was as the ſweeteſt incenſe to our ſouls; and who, bending at the footſtool of paternal Deity, ſupplicated Heaven to confer upon us the choiceſt bleſsings.

The bride appeared among us arrayed in ſpotleſs white; her robe was a delicate muſlin, drawn in many a flower, from the rich variety of her elegant fancy, and neatly wrought by her own fair hands. She beheld the approach of her wedding day, unconſcious of thoſe terrors attributed to her ſex. Upon the evening preceding the appointed morning, ſhe entertained us, at our firſt requeſt, with many of our favourite airs, upon her piano forte. I did not perceive her heart flying through her bodice! and her tremors being of the governable kind, ſhe was all her own agreeable ſelf. What paſsed between her and her mother, with whom ſhe retired for a few hours, I am yet to learn; but this I know, that the day itſelf was not uſhered in either by fits, or any violently agonized emotions. Virgin delicacy only ſerved to animate, to heighten, and to new point the exquiſite beauties which adorn the fineſt face I have ever ſeen; and ſhe accompanied us to the altar, where the ceremony was performed, with a ſober and chaſtiſed expreſsion of complacency, which ſeemed to ſay—I have taken ſufficient time to deliberateI am under the direction of my beſt friends—every ſentiment, every paſsion of my ſoul approves the man who is this day to become my huſband. Undoubtedly he is every way worthy; I poſseſs his tender and entire affection—his entire confidence. I am aſsured; I am ſatisfied; I am happy.

For 136 M2v 136

For Hamilton, the unbounded rapture which took poſseſsion of his boſom, was blended, however, with a dignified and manly manifeſtation of tenderneſs, which ſerved to tranquillize his deportment, and to preſent him in a ſtate of mind becoming the ſacred rites which were to be performed: Yet, when he received the hand of Margaretta, the big emotions of his boſom refuſed to be wholly ſuppreſsed—Condeſcending excellence! he exclaimed may He, who thus enriches me, render me worthy of ſo much goodneſs. The ceremony, excepting this interruption, paſsed agreeably to its ſacred arrangement; and, after the good Urbanius had pronounced the benediction, we adjourned to our own manſion; and, ſince, what halcyon days, weeks and months have revolved! Not a cloud has yet obſcured our horizon.

Laſt week, Margaretta preſented Edward with her firſt born—it is a male infant. Let me ſee—eleven months of uninterrupted felicity!! Can this laſt? The preſent is a checkered ſtate.

Reader, though we bid adieu to Margaretta for the preſent, I would not have thee lament it too ſeriouſly. I know thou art tenderly attached to her; and I therefore give thee my word, that if thy acquaintance with me continueſt, we will occaſionally peep in upon her, and thus learn, from time to time, how matters go on.

NO. XIV.

Why dwell forever on the gloomy ſide? Say, doth not God unerring, ſtill preſide? Why then ungratefully preſume to ſcan, With impious cavils marking every plan! Tho’ truth and juſtice both ſurround his throne, And mercy gems the glories of his crown.

Ihave often contemplated, with ſerious concern, the prevalency of a trait, which I have been ready to regard as peculiar to human nature; and which, at one time or another, ſeems to be more or leſs deeplyly 137 M3r 137 ly marked in every mind. For my own part, I pretend not to an exemption from the weakneſſes to which my ſpecies are incident; and it is rather by carefully remarking what paſſes in my own heart, that I make my admeaſurement of the feelings and propenſities of others.

But while I confeſs an equal, and in ſome inſtances perhaps a greater degree of culpability, than what I attribute to my neighbour, I may be tolerated in lamenting a frailty, which is common to all, and in an effort to correct, with that application and avidity proper to a reſponſible and probationary being, the diſorders which aſſail the intellectual world.

The particular feature I have at this time in my eye —or, to expreſs myſelf profeſſionally, the field from which I propoſe to glean the materials for this paper, is the general ingratitude to that auguſt and ſelf exiſtent Being from whom they originate, which pervades all orders of men, and is notoriouſly exemplified in the language and conduct of every ſon and daughter of Adam! I am free to own, that from a charge which it may be thought I have preferred with ſomewhat too great boldneſs, I do not conſider the moſt uniform Chriſtians, however exemplary their walk in life may have been, as altogether exempted; and, were it neceſſary, I could produce inſtances from their moſt ſplendid harangues, to juſtify my accuſation: But as I revere the progreſs in the paths of rectitude, which ſuch have undoubtedly made, and as I reſpect even the efforts of duty, I aſſay not to unveil thoſe infirmities, which they may probably join with me in deploring. But, if we may with propriety criminate even the votaries of piety, the ſincere and devout worſhippers of Deity, what lengths, in the career of ingratitude, may we not ſuppoſe the repining and inconſiderate children of men may have run! How loud are the complaints which every tongue, at one period or another, is found to utter! and if the diſpoſitions of Providence, in regard to themſelves, are ſo obviouſly pleaſing, as to leave them nothing to bewail as individuals, how eloquentM2 quent 138 M3v 138 quent do they become upon the ſufferings of others— of the ſpecies in general! and they will expatiate for hours upon the miſeries of poor human nature!

The neat built village wears the moſt thrifty appearance; the comfortable dwellings, which cluſter round, indicate the ſubſtantial landholder; the viciſſitudes of the year have revolved moſt propitiouſly; the golden harveſt is gathered in, and a general face of plenty is aſſumed; yet the untoward circumſtances of two or three ſcattering families, ſhall become the theme of each rural circle, while they will forget to dwell upon the immeaſurable bounty which hath ſo liberally crowned their autumn, and ſtored their granaries with a ſuperfluity of good! Would it not be better, if from their abundance they jointly contributed to reſtore their oppreſſed neighbours, and to bid them welcome to the bleſſings of equality, than thus by their wordy lamentations, to arraign, at leaſt by implication, the allotments of their common Father?

Behold that pangful ſufferer! for two whole years he hath been conſigned to the bed of pain; ſcarce an interval of eaſe can he obtain—ſleep departeth from him, or locks up his ſenſes in the moſt reſtleſs and feveriſh ſlumbers, from which he is rouſed to a ſtill greater ſuſceptibility of anguiſh; appetite he hath none; he is a prey to continued diſquiet; every application for aſſiſtance is in vain; and no help remaineth for him! Often is the ſtory of his woes repeated; it is echoed by every voice! all hands are thrown abroad, and toward Heaven the accuſing eye is frequently raiſed! but while the theme of his ſufferings becomes an exhauſtleſs or ſtanding topic of converſation, amid the loquacity of language, ſcarce a ſentence is found to expreſs the healthful days which, during fifty revolving years, he almoſt uninterruptedly enjoyed; and ſcarce a finger is put out, to point to that eternity of bliſs, which it is probable awaits him.

The long happy parents are deprived, by ſome epidemical and contagious diſeaſe, of the children of their youth! Extravagant exclamations then break forth— the 139 M4r 139 the ſtroke is exceeding heavy; the calamity is inſupportable; it is almoſt unparalleled; every image in nature, which is replete with horror, is ſummoned to ſhadow forth the mighty grief; every lyre is attuned, and every minſtrel is ready to fling to the widely-echoing fame-breathing gale the iterated, pity-moving, and long reſounding plaints of woe.

For the ſoft endearments of their infant progeny, the opening bud of reaſon, which was ſo fondly marked, the intereſting prattle of childhood, the big emotions which ſwelled the parental boſom, as they beheld the forming virtues cluſtering in the progreſſive mind; for the expanſive joy they experienced, while they witneſſed the rapid advancement to an honorary maturity; for the rich completion of felicity which crowned their wiſhes, when they beheld their ſatisfactory and comfortable eſtabliſhment; for the marked and grateful acts of duty, they have continued to receive; for for all theſe various ſcenes of heartfelt good, which for a ſeries of years have been ſo richly enjoyed—they are enumerated, it is true, but not as a balance for the preſent evil; far from it—they only ſerve to point the poignancy of the diſtreſſful era, and to ſwell the features of ſuch unheard of miſery.

Yet it is a fact, that the removal of theſe objects of complacency will ſlope their paſſage to that grave in which the good old man and woman muſt lay down; and a reunion with their children, in future worlds, they confidently expect.

Is it poſſible that he who thus tacitly or indirectly arraigns the deſignations elanced upon this globe, can believe in the ſuperintendence of an all-wiſe, all-gracious, all-powerful and paternal God? Certainly he does. Thou, Lord, haſt done this, is a common expreſſion; and yet, ſtrange to tell, he is conſtantly found thus cavilling at the diſpoſitions of the Almighty!

Surely it ought to be remembered, that we ſee but a part of the immeaſurable whole; that he who formed the ſpirit, can give it, in a ſingle luxuriant moment, fully to partake an ample compenſation for years of ſuffering.

Thoſe 140 M4v 140

Thoſe families which are yielded to the hard allotments of penurious fortune, experience the moſt lively ſatisfaction, as often as the flowery feet of bland and genial charity viſit their abodes; they have reſources unknown to the affluent; and highly reliſhed is that refection, however homely it may in reality be, which is served up with the ſauce of hunger.

Exquiſite is the moment of eaſe to the tortured frame; ineffable are the ſenſations it partakes; and it is well purchaſed by the previous ſufferings which are its price. Thoſe who have laid their children or other friends in the grave, have perhaps enjoyed them long, or much; they are not loſt, but gone before, and in another, and better ſtate of exiſtence, they ſhall receive them again. I ſay, then, it is more becoming to endeavour to mitigate the ills of life, than by the routine of complaints to be impiouſly murmuring againſt the decrees of Heaven, which muſt indiſputably reſult from a righteous and perfectly conſiſtent arrangement; and I aver, that it is a falſe calculation which makes the sum total of human evils more than that balance, which, upon a fair and open eſtimation, would appear at the foot of a regular and well digeſted account, of thoſe pleaſurable or peaceful moments, which are the portion of mortality.

But to ſuch a pitch of infatuated abſurdity has a perſuaſion of the calamities incident to the preſent ſtate arrived, that we are abſolutely enjoined to hold lightly the moſt virtuous enjoyments, to be conſtantly looking for an evil day, and to tremble when we have attained to the ſummit of our wiſhes! What would be the feelings of that father whom his child ſhould thus addreſs: I will forbear to take pleaſure in the portion with which you have endowed me. I am momently expecting the exertions of your power againſt me. I know that the rod of correction is lifted up, and that you mean to chaſtiſe me. I expect evil and not good from your hands; and though you have at preſent gratified me, by putting me in poſſeſſion of the inheritance for which I have ſighed, yet, as I am confident you 141 M5r 141 you mean ſpeedily to reſume it, I cannot conſider it as my own. I am fearful of beholding it in an eligible point of view; and, knowing you as I do, I ſhrink from the approaches of that tranquil complacency, which would pervade my boſom!!

I would rather ſay, that as I poſſeſs much, I will enjoy much; the virtuous pleaſures of my ſoul ſhall not meet a barrier; freely I will expatiate, nor will I know a boundary, ſave what rectitude ſhall throw around me; the preſent moment is replete with bleſſings, and though the next may intercept ſome pleaſing view, yet, it is the hand of a Father which will be ſtretched out, and my ultimate felicity will conſequently be conſulted.

It is well that the Creator, enthroned in majeſty ſerene, is beyond the capability of adopting that mode of conduct, to which repeated provocations would precipitate the lapſed nature; it is well that his ways are not like our ways; it is well that he regardeth with a ſteady eye the creature which he hath made, and that neither the caprices nor the inquietudes of the children of men, can bend the determined purpoſes of his unchanging plans.

I have been ſhocked when I have heard the reaſon for conſolation, which is ſometimes offered to the child of sorrow.—You have ſuffered much, exclaims the commiſerating friend, many are the ills which you have been called to encounter, and doubtleſs the period of retribution, winged by hours and days of ſmiling tranquillity, is at hand. Ah! is it then true that we can challenge the Sire of men and angels, as our debtor! moſt irreverent and impious idea! Surely if our calculations were more accurate, and if we were under the influence of gratitude to the Supreme Being, the genuine breathings of our ſpirits would be—In every calamity I have been upheld, and often have I partook the enjoyments of life. Was I aſcertained that the coming hour would ſtrike me from exiſtence, would utterly annihilate the creature, who hath thus long lived, moved, and been endowed with the powers of 142 M5v 142 of reflection, I ſhould, notwithſtanding, have no claims to make upon Him who hath called me into being. It is true, I have experienced my moments of ſorrow; but they have been abundantly compenſated by innumerable felicities, by pleaſures ſcarcely marked, and by gratifications now perhaps forgotten. Witneſs thoſe indulged and rapture crowned months, when I was cradled by maternal tenderneſs, and ſoothed by every blandiſhment, which generally ſhapes and ſtrews with flowers the path of the young adventurer; witneſs all thoſe endearments, thoſe incentives to virtue, and thoſe wiſe inſtructions, which cheriſhed, which formed, and which brought forward my youth; witneſs every aid and protection I have from time to time received; witneſs the pleaſing circle of friends, which ſo frequently cluſter round me; while my enemies find it convenient to ſtand aloof; witneſs thoſe expanſive hopes, which have continued to illume my days, and to fan with genial influence the feathery hours; witneſs the months of peace and eaſe which have been mine—how large their number, when compared to thoſe upon which I have been called to ſubmit to the ſevere paroxiſms of pain; witneſs the many nights I have paſſed in the moſt ſalutary and reſtoring ſlumbers.——But, having now by me, a volume of eſſays, that may, in ſome future period, be brought forward, in one of which I have expatiated upon this theme, I forbear to repeat myſelf.

And here let us pauſe for a moment. A ſucceeding number may take the ſubject up in a different view, or at leaſt illuſtrate the beauty and propriety of cultivating the moſt lively ſentiments of gratitude to the divine Author of every good.

No. XV. 143 M6r 143

NO. XV.

And, ſure, to raiſe the ardent ſong of praiſe, And chaunt of gratitude the decent lays, Would beſt become the ſons of kindred earth, Who draw new mercies in with every breath. Beings, who on unfolding kindneſs live, Who from a Parent Deity receive Each bleſſing which his plaſtic hand beſtows, And which coeval with exiſtence flows; With every hour ſhould glad oriſons ſwell, And on the copious theme enraptur’d dwell.

It is beyond a doubt, that much depends upon our efforts to cultivate an equal and acquieſcent arrangement of the paſſions. We are certainly too prone to be unmindful of benefits, and to ſwell, with cenſurable ingenuity, even to a gigantic ſtature, the ills of life.

The jaundiced eye will create the hue that does not in fact exiſt; ſources of tormenting anxiety, to the murmuring and ungrateful man, will grow thick upon every bough, while a mind habituated to a retroſpect of its privileges and exemptions, will gather, from the ſame tree, fruits of the moſt meliorated and delicious flavour. I can hardly conceive of an affliction ſo complicated, as to drive upon the tumultuous waves of deſpair, the ſpirit upon which fortitude hath impreſſed its image.

The firmly virtuous man will induſtriouſly ſeek the means of conſolation; when ſtripped of all elſe, he will float buoyant upon the ſtrong plank of reſolution; he will revert to the good which is paſt; he will remember the fluctuating ſcenes of the preſent ſtate; he will recollect the character of the Sovereign Diſpoſer of events; and he will poſſeſs light ſufficient to ſhape his weather-beaten prop, even upon the trackleſs deep. But how often are theſe proper and dignified exertions reverſed! The mind which is debilitated by enervating purſuits and irrational hopes, which hath formed the 144 M6v 144 the moſt elevated eſtimation of its own deſerts, and which hath conſequently plumed its expectation to the higheſt pitch; ſuch a mind, even in the midſt of the moſt happy arrangement, finds itſelf a prey to diſappointment and diſguſt; though ſurrounded by almoſt every enjoyment, its feelings are palled, and it experiences all the diſagreeables of ſatiety; a ſtranger to moderation, and unbleſt by contentment, although marked by ſucceſs, and crowned by the completion of many hopes, it is, nevertheleſs, languiſhing under the domination of murmuring inquietude; often it accuſes its God of injuſtice; and it is frequently found exclaiming— If I am not, in future worlds, to be rewarded for my ſufferings in this, it would have been better I had never known a being!

We do injuſtice to ourſelves, when we ſupinely declare, that all this is wholly conſtitutional; that it depends merely upon the mechaniſm of the mind; and that perſons are born with a yielding, equal, and cheerful diſpoſition, or with a refractory, peeviſh, ungrateful, and gloomy temper of ſoul: This general aſſertion may be convenient for the indolent; but thoſe who aſſiduouſly cultivate the virtues, and endeavour to exterminate the offending propenſities, which together grow in the ſoil of their own boſoms, while they allow ſomething to nature, will alſo acknowledge, that much depends upon the unwearied and uniform exertions, which it is certainly incumbent upon every child of mortality to make.

If the phyſiognomiſt juſtly delineated the mind of Socrates, as that incomparable philoſopher aſſures us he did, we are thus furniſhed with an illuſtrious proof of the ineſtimable acquirements which depend upon, and are produced by, the adminiſtration of reaſon. In truth, there is a ſweet pliability in the mind of man, which can familiarize it even with ſorrow; accommodating and acquieſcent, cuſtom habituates and almoſt reconciles us to grief; we bend beneath the burſting ſtorm; and though, with the elegant and exquiſitely ſuſceptible Philenia, we may fling the lorn pathos 145 N1r 145 pathos to the paſſing gale, yet, becoming experimentally acquainted with the charms of melancholy, we ſhall not fail, with that beautiful and plaintive mourner, to gem our ſorrows with a brightening tear.

A friend of mine was once in poſſeſſion of affluence, ſurrounded by friends; he ſeemed the favourite of fortune; and it was ſuppoſed, that the means of embracing his utmoſt wiſhes reſted wholly with himſelf; yet vexatious inquietude ſeemed the motto of his life; and a prey to chagrin, amid his ample endowments, he hardly ever taſted the felicity of a tranquil moment! But my friend, by various accidents, was reduced to a ſtate of penury; and I have, in that ſituation, heard him declare without the ſmalleſt appearance of affectation, even when the laſt morſel he could command was produced upon his ſcanty board, that he felt contented and grateful, experiencing that acquieſcence in the allotments of Providence, and thoſe agreeable anticipations of futurity, to which he had been a ſtranger, in thoſe days which had been regarded as the epoch of his proſperity.

In fact, it is amid the clouds which adverſity throws around the child of mortality, that the efforts of the mind are called forth, and that all the energetic powers of the ſoul are formed to action; and it is alſo irrefragably true, that heart-felt enjoyments depend altogether upon the cultivation of a philanthropic ſpirit, upon cheriſhing ſentiments of general complacency in the economy of Deity, in ourſelves and others, and in thus embodying (if I may ſo expreſs myſelf) the virtues of the mind.

I have at this moment my eye upon two gentlemen, whom I have perſonally known almoſt from their infancy; they are the ſons of one man and woman; their education was the ſame; their hopes and fears were ſimilar; and they commenced the career of buſineſs with like eſtabliſhments, like advantages, and like expectations.

Early in life they were both united to deſerving females, to females apparently of their choice; and N they 146 N1v 146 they were thus furniſhed with every incitement to virtuous perſeverance; while the avenues to rational enjoyment were thrown open before them, and the tranquillity of their days ſeemed inſured.

For ſome time, fortune, liberal of her favours, acted the part of an impartial parent, diſtributing her emoluments with an equal hand; but her various diſpoſitions at length predominating, the ſimilitude of her operations was no more.

Placidius, the eldeſt of thoſe gentlemen, experienced her frowns; the tide of ſucceſs began to turn; miſfortunes ſucceeded each other; and without the ſhadow of a reaſon, upon which to ground the ſmalleſt impeachment of his integrity, or a ſingle circumſtance, upon which even malevolence could call in queſtion his abilities, he beheld his affairs irretrievably embarraſſed, his beſt laid plans fruſtrated, and himſelf advancing rapidly to that ſtate of inſolvency, which his upright ſoul, glowing with a juſt and high ſenſe of probity, deprecated as a moſt aggravated evil. Gradually the means of buſineſs vaniſhed out of his hands; his ſtock in trade was no more; and even the commodious manſion, which with much ingenuity and taſte, though with a proper attention to frugality, he had reared, with the hope that it would ſtill remain in his family, even this habitation became the property of his creditors!

Placidius had ever expreſſed a great deſire to perpetuate himſelf in his lineal deſcendants; and this natural wiſh, might in him be deſignated as his ruling paſſion; but many revolving ſeaſons paſſed, ere Placidius hailed the accompliſhment of his wiſhes in this reſpect; and when at laſt, his Matilda preſented him with her firſt born ſon, the chalice of joy which he had but lifted to his lips, was daſhed from his graſp, by the ſudden death of an infant upon whoſe little form the traces of longevity ſeemed inſcribed. For this ſtroke he was wholly unprepared; and, to complete his catalogue of evils, his boſom friend, his long loved, and ever eſteemed Matilda—even at a life ſo precious, the king of terrors too ſurely aimed his miſſive ſhafts! the icy 147 N2r 147 icy darts of indulged ſorrow found their way to the vital ſtream of life, and, congealing the purple flow, the virtuous and accompliſhed Matilda was numbered with the dead.

Placidius now felt as a man; his reaſon was the forfeit; and the hour which reſtored this regent to her accuſtomed operations, only gave her to witneſs the melancholy void in a mind which had once been the ſeat of expectations bland and cheering, and which had been enriched by every white winged hope, which rectitude could authoriſe. Recollection, gloomy recollection returned; dreadful was the contraſt with the paſt, which the preſent exhibited! Placidius ſhrunk from the view; his health became the ſacrifice, and for many months he ſeemed to languiſh through all the different ſtages of a gradual and unyielding decline. Fortitude, however, was at laſt triumphant; a calm and rational tranquillity ſucceeded the ſubſiding tumults which had agitated his ſoul. The reſtoration of the health of Placidius, was the happy conſequence of this change; and he reflected as became a man, a philoſopher, and a religioniſt.

Fortune, too, ſo far relented as to put it in the power of Placidius to reimburſe his creditors; and he was inveſted with the means of procuring for himſelf a competency. It is true the ſplendour of his former proſpects can never be reſtored; but Placidius is contented. I cannot, ſaid he the other day, regard life as an evil: I ſhould be moſt ungrateful, did I not own, that to me it hath been more fruitful of pleaſure than of pain. It muſt be confeſſed, that for a time I ſunk beneath the agonizing ſtroke; for a time I was wretched! it is true that the blaſting of thoſe preſumptuous hopes, which I had arrogantly formed for the meridian of my days, rendered me beyond expreſſion miſerable; but my youth was ſerenely happy; for a great length of time I enjoyed the moſt pleaſing proſpects; and though I have laid the wife of my boſom in the grave, yet delicious are the tears which I now ſhed to her memory; and in the faireſt pages of 148 N2v 148 of retention, are treaſured up the days, months, and years, during which I partook with her the higheſt ſtate of felicity, which can fall to the lot of mortality, which can be experienced this ſide that paradiſe of the bleſſed, where I ſhall again meet the virtuous companion, in whoſe faithful boſom I repoſed the fondeſt hopes and wiſhes of which my being was capable; where I ſhall be reunited to a Matilda ever blooming, ever immortal—united too, by ties which will be then indiſſoluble. And though no ſon or daughter will gem my parting moments with a filial tear, yet the family of mankind is wide, the children of my adoption are many—from one ſource we originated, and my boſom feels and owns the great fraternity.

For Agetius, the brother of Placidius, we need ſcarce do more than reverſe the picture. In one even tide of proſperity his commercial tranſactions have glided on; or if a trifling loſs hath ſometimes originated a cloud, his ſubſequent gains, by preſenting abundant compenſation, hath ſpeedily diſſipated it: As a merchant he is eſtablished; his trade is lucrative; every year enriches him; he hath lately completed an elegant dwelling; and the amiable and gentle Anna ſtill remains the ſocial partner of his days. His ſon and daughter poſſeſs pleaſing exteriors, and improving minds; he hath educated them agreeably to plans which he deliberately formed, and they will ſoon take rank with the firſt young people of their circle. Agetius hath ſtill poſſeſſed an uninterrupted courſe of health; and no perſon can recollect any ſerious miſfortune which, as an individual, he hath been called to ſuffer—yet Agetius always appears anxious, and even perturbed; he ſeems fearful leſt you ſhould ſuppoſe him enjoying a ſingle good—he will not acknowledge a tranquil moment—no one can ſo well ſay where the ſhoe pinches, as him who wears it, is an adage frequently in his mouth; and he ſometimes paſſionately declares that he wiſhes he had never been born!

I ſaid that I conceived ſuch manifeſtations of ingratitude peculiar to man; and ſurely, as far as we can 149 N3r 149 can obſerve, the children of inſtinct fail not to enjoy the good which they poſſeſs.

In the early days of Placidius and Agetius their minds diſcovered, to common obſervation, no eſſential difference. One remark I have however gleaned: Agetius, when a boy, attempted not to reſtrain a haughty, choleric and unreaſonable ambition, which might be common to both; and his little heart ſwelled with indignation, as often as he encountered a ſuperior, in any of thoſe advantages, which are calculated to captivate the inexperienced eye. Upon theſe occaſions, his brother was ever at hand, to preſent the mirror of reaſon; and he hath often been heard to ſay— Turn, my dear Agetius—turn thine eyes to the multitude below thee, and from thence let thy compariſons be raiſed; aſpire not to ſuch dangerous heights, but learn to eſtimate properly thy own exemptions, thy own privileges, and to cultivate complacency in that happy mediocrity which is allotted thee.

Placidius early habituated himſelf to commune with his own heart; he had a ſerious turn, and was fond of uſeful information; he endeavoured to moderate his deſires, and to entwine, with every arrangement, the bleſſings of contentment; he aimed at regulating his paſſions, at obtaining a due ſubordination in the intellectual ſyſtem; and his plan was, to reduce every movement of his ſoul, and every action of his life, to the domination of reaſon, irradiated by genuine religion.

NO. XVI.

Philanthropy, I know thy form divine, Godlike benignity and truth are thine; A citizen of the wide globe thou art, Expanſive as the univerſe thy heart; Yet ſtill to thee, the ſufferer is moſt dear, And o’er his woes thou dropp’ſt the pitying tear.

Although I have conceived a very high idea of the ancient and time honoured inſtitution, which is the boaſt of that reſpectable fraternity, the N2 Free 150 N3v 150 Free and Accepted Maſons; yet, with all due deference to the worſhipful brethren, and with the moſt profound veneration for thoſe occult myſteries, which have remained inexplicable to ſo many ages, I take the liberty to confeſs, that I have not been altogether pleaſed with one or two prominent features in this wonderful order. The firſt which I ſhall point out, (which is, I confeſs, the leaſt commanding) is the contracted ſpirit which their practice not ſeldom evinces in the irrational partiality they diſcover to men of their own deſcription; whereas, if the advantages of a brother are as great as is inſinuated, an unworthy maſon ſhould take rank in the loweſt grade of mankind.

I know that maſons make very pompous profeſſions of philanthropy, and that the broad expanſive glow, the ties which bind the univerſal brotherhood, is full often the theme of their lectures. Upon the unalterable region of nature, ſay they our moſt ancient and honourable fraternity is eſtabliſhed. As this can never be invalidated, diſannulled, or made void; ſo neither can the obligations that render this extenſive ſociety indiſſoluble ever be aboliſhed or in the ſmalleſt degree violated by ſuch as walk in the light of maſonry. They that occupy theſe manſions of truth, unity and joy, which the royal craft has furniſhed for ſocial delight, may as well annihilate themſelves, as by the leaſt oblique direction to deviate from the ſquare of integrity, in any imaginable ratio to diminiſh the circle of benevolence; or in the ſmalleſt inſtance to fail of laying righteouſneſs to the line, and judgment to the plummet.

All this is very fine; and if realized, it would indeed prove the magnificent theatre of ſimplicity, which they boaſt they are employed in rearing, to be founded in the moſt ſplendid region of the orient beam; and we might in truth expect to ſee, in real characters upon this myſterious ſtage, all the graces and virtues that bleſs and adorn human nature. The exhibitions upon this theatre would doubtleſs inſpire the moſt rapturous complacency; and the beholder could not but rejoice, as he marked the 151 N4r 151 the kindred ſtreams of devotion and philanthropy, refreſhing the gardens of paradiſe, and reinſtating mankind in that felicity for which the race was firſt created, and to which it is aſſerted the royal laws of maſonry are infallibly calculated to reſtore them: But rhapſody apart; who does not know, that example hath ever taken the lead, in point of utility, of the faireſt precepts? Yet I repeat that the appropriation of benefits to a ſelect party, is not that commanding or diſtinguiſhing trait in the craft of which I principally complain; for it is undoubtedly true, that although this excluſive diſpoſition is very conſpicuouſly marked in the conduct of the aſſociates of the Lodge, it is not, however, peculiarly maſonic; ſince it more or leſs characterizes every detached body of men, pervading even the moſt liberal codes, and thruſting its forbidding front into every congregated ſociety, enlightened combination, or ſect of benevolence.

But the grand diſcriminating peculiarity which I have particularly in view, and which I have regarded as objectionable, is that impenetrable veil of ſecrecy, they affect to draw over their proceedings. Reaſon, diſengaged from the thin bandeau, with which they aſſay to hoodwink her, naturally interrogates—If the inſtitution conſiſts with rectitude, and is replete with that ſalutary influence attributed thereto, why limit its operations within ſuch narrow bounds? Why circumſcribe, either by compaſs or ſquare, the progreſs of genuine utility? Why not throw open the doors to inveſtigation? Why not freely communicate? and, unlocking the treaſury of knowledge which they may have accumulated, encourage thoſe, whoſe abilities are adequate, to new light their lamps at a flame ſo refulgent and ſo unextinguiſhable? Who can ſay, what ſuch an event might produce; what flowers might ſpring up; what ſcientific diſcoveries might be made, if, like that impartial orb whoſe face of fire decorates and dignifies the maſonic inſignia, the lights they have obtained, were to become generally diffuſive, extending their genial countenance, and powerful patronageronage 152 N4v 152 ronage to the meritorious of every age, ſex, and deſcription? Thus far reaſon. And ſhould maſonic ſuperiority be once more urged; ſhould it be, as heretofore, again aſſerted, that the myſteries of the royal craft are too ſacred for the unconſecrated or vulgar eye; holy truth, which ought to be the rule of ſpeech, as well as action, and every principle of ſelf complacency, which is confeſſedly coincident with benevolence, will reluct at the very idea of ſubſcribing to a conceſſion ſo humiliating; and the atrocious deviations and paucity of intriniſic worth, or apparent reſpectability, ſometimes exhibited in the character of the free and accepted maſon, will look with a very unfriendly aſpect upon every attempt to hallow his perſon.

Perhaps, in this levelling age, which ſeems to be marked as the era for deſtroying all arrogant diſtinctions, the period is not far diſtant which may throw down every ſeparating barrier, which may annihilate every ariſtocratic elevation, and the terms worſhipful and right worſhipful may ſound as diſcordant upon the democratic ear of knowledge, as that of monarch, prince, or duke, upon the auditory nerve of the political hero. The literary or the maſonic world may hear the voice of liberty; in the empire of arts a Thomas Paine may ariſe; and we may chance to hear of a cidevant grand maſter, who may then be content to relinquiſh this high ſounding title, for a more humble and equal appellation; the avenues to the goal of wiſdom, being widely expanded, proficients of every deſcription may throng her ample courts, and to every member of the mental Commonwealth, the road to literary honours may be alike open.

But, to be ſerious—for in fact, while thus engaged in the routine of my occupation, I have, almoſt without deſign, wandered through the gate of an encloſure, which the owners have been careful to guard from the approaches of every Gleaner, and at which it was my purpoſe but barely to glance; I confeſs, that in thus trifling, I appear rather the inconſiderable idler, than that careful and pains taking being, who is induſtriouſlyduſtriouſly 153 N5r 153 duſtriouſly employed, in honeſtly acquiring the means of ſupporting his pretenſions to either a natural or literary exiſtence; but the deſultory fugitive, of neceſſity eccentric, is ſeldom beſide his vocation; and while I beg pardon for an attempt to ſcale an interdicted wall, I will endeavour to recover my path, to that fair field, to which, in the beginning of this eſſay, I had intended to ſhape my courſe.

But before I proceed a ſingle ſtep further, I will preſent the reader with a moſt excellent letter, which carries its authenticity upon its very face; and which, as I am truly ſolicitous for his entertainment, I very ſincerely wiſh may be productive of as much genuine ſatisfaction and heartfelt pleaſure to him, or even to her, as it afforded me; although I muſt own, it was the aſſociation of ideas it originated in my boſom, that gave me to leap thoſe hedges, which have ſerved, from the days of the caſtle builder in Paradiſe, even unto the preſent time, as the ancient boundaries of a ſelf created order.

I think, however, I ſhall not again, even by the faſcinating charm of philanthropy, be betrayed into walks, which have been ſo ſeldom trod, except by the hallowed feet of the cloſe and uncommunicative proprietors.

Yet, notwithſtanding its influence over my conduct, the facts contained in the letter, merit the pleaſed admiration of every feeling heart: Here follows a faithful copy thereof.

To the Gleaner. Sir, However little you may be known in the metropolis of Maſſachuſetts, you will find by this addreſs, that your fame hath reached one of her remote dependants, and that you are at leaſt read in the good town of Harwich. It is not my deſign to retail the various opinions formed of your writings in this place, nor even to expreſs own my ſentiments thereof; for I have been, for many 154 N5v 154 many years, an irreconcileable enemy to the cuſtom of praiſing a man to his face; nay, I have not to charge myſelf, ſince I could write man, with any thing like adulation, even to a woman, whoſe underſtanding I have conceived one tenth part of a degree above par. No, Mr. Gleaner, nothing of all this; and had you been ten times more excellent than you are, though I ſhould have continued reading you with much avidity, yet, had I not a communication to make, which I have long with much impatience expected to ſee iſſuing from the preſs, and which I think will figure, moſt meritoriouſly, in the annals of benevolence,—my pen would have ſtill continued dormant. Regarding you as a man, in whoſe mental compoſition the milk of human kindneſs redundantly flows, I have for ſome months formed the deſign of uſhering my little narrative to public view, through the channel of your paper; but obſerving you engaged in a regular detail, I have waited until you have conducted your account to a convenient pauſe; not thinking it proper, or even entertaining a wiſh, to interrupt you in the midſt of ſuch intereſting occurrences; but learning by your laſt number, which I peruſed a few evenings ſince, that you have for the preſent ſuſpended your domeſtic ſketches, and wiſhing very ſincerely, that your Margaretta may figure as pleaſingly in the character of a matron, as ſhe has in that of a daughter, I haſten to execute my purpoſe, leſt I ſhould not be in time for an exhibition in the preſent month. I experience not the ſmalleſt apprehenſion, that the anecdote I am about to furniſh, will be viewed by the general eye as trivial or indifferent. The full period is at length arrived, when the intereſts of humanity are pretty well underſtood; and whatever circumſtance contributes to throw down the barriers, which have ſo long divided the common and extended family of mankind into ſections, circles, or parties, will, I have no doubt, be allowed its full proportion of merit. Well, but as you are a wiſe man, I take it for granted you are not a lover of prolix exordiums; and as I am ſenſibleſible 155 N6r 155 ſible that it is very ill judged, to render the dimenſions of the portal more ſpacious than the building, I ſhall therefore come immediately to the point. Captain Mayhew, a very worthy and reſpectable inhabitant of this town, and who is alſo a navigator of conſiderable merit, hath for ſome time been employed in the whale fiſhery, by Captain David Pearce, a very uſeful and enterpriſing merchant, in the town of Glouceſter, commonly called Cape-Ann. He was lately on his return from a whaling voyage, which had been uncommonly prolonged, ſinking under a ſcurvy of a moſt alarming and diſtreſſing nature. That truly ſhocking diſorder, ſo afflicting in its conſequences to the hardy ſons of the ocean, ſeizing him with every indication of a fatal termination, he was reduced to the moſt deplorable ſituation; the ſeamen too, were all languiſhing under the melancholy effects of this debilitating and mind affecting malady; and there was hardly ability left with a ſingle man, to diſcharge the duties which were abſolutely neceſſary to their common exiſtence. Captain Mayhew was deſtitute of every thing, which could be conſidered as a ſpecific, in this cruel diſeaſe; and the ſalted or dried meat, which they were obliged to ſwallow, hourly adding to the evil, gave it the moſt frightful appearance. Thus, in effect diſabled, he was reduced to the neceſſity of putting into the iſland of St. Helena. As the iſland of St. Helena is a domain of the Britiſh crown, and as Captian Mayhew was a ſubject of an American republic, ſo recently eſteemed a rebellious, and now a diſmembered territory, the probability was that the rights of hoſpitality would be but ſparingly exerciſed toward him; and it was only the urgency of his condition, that determined him to flee for ſuccour to ſo queſtionable a port. It happened for ſome time previous to the arrival of Captain Mayhew at St. Helena, that the fertilizing ſhowers had been withheld, and the inſufferable blaze of day, ſo genial when qualified by their bland and humid influence, now ſpread over the face of nature a ſickeningening 156 N6v 156 ening and deathful hue; the thirſty earth viſibly mourned the continuity of its intenſe and gairiſh rays; no ſilvery dews beſpangled her now yellow mantle; her once velvet covering became parched and heathy; the green vegetable lifted not its head, while even the ſtinted growth which the ground, thus circumſtanced, produced, were by this melancholy drought cut ſo surpriſingly ſhort, as to yield the inhabitants but a ſcanty and even penurious ſupport. This intelligence was as a death warrant to Captain Mayhew and his company; the fruits of the earth were become indiſpenſably neceſſary to their exiſtence; it ſeemed impoſſible to procure them, and they viewed death as inevitable. Daniel Corneille, Eſq. was at that time (and for the benefit of human nature, unleſs he is removed to a more extenſive ſphere of operation, I truſt that he ſtill is) governor of the iſland, and Henry Brooks, Eſq. deputy-governor. I confeſs I take a ſuperior pleaſure in penning the names of thoſe philanthropic gentlemen; and if the general tenor of their lives correſponds with their conduct to Captain Mayhew and his comrades, I pronounce, that both their names, and acts of liberality, ought to be engraved by the concentred rays of the ſun, upon the azure ſurface of the heavens. The governor’s private gardens, and grounds of every deſcription, were irrigated by means of aqueducts, which conveyed the water ſeveral leagues, from thoſe immenſe reſervoirs, the mountains; and in conſequence of being thus plentifully accommodated by the fructifying ſtreams, the vegetable productions of nature revelled there, in all the pride and vigour of a healthy and rich maturity; the hand of ſkilful and aſſiduous culture had been regularly employed; and in addition to the perfection of the plants, the moſt luxuriant abundance laughed around. How many there are, who would have reſerved the ripened fruit of ſuch unremitted care for themſelves, or for others of their own deſcription? How many there 157 O1r 157 there are, who would have trembled at the very idea of admitting a number of ſtrangers, of a grade, too, not accuſtomed to regularity, into grounds laid out by the hand of judgment, combined with the moſt exquiſite taſte, and kept with a very exact attention to order? How few there are, who would have ſought out the diſeaſed captain of an obſcure whaleman, and his unpoliſhed aſſociates! But governor Corneille and his deputy are citizens—they are citizens of the univerſe; and it appears that they are perfectly verſed in the rights of humanity. To their beautiful gardens, Captain Mayhew, the reſt of the ſick, were conducted; they were authorized to make an unreſtrained uſe of the neceſſaries with which they were ſtored, and a free acceſs was at all times granted them! The ſick and debilitated ſeamen ſtrolled at pleaſure there; under the wide ſpreading tree, upon moſſy ſeats they reclined; or, ſtretching themſelves in the foliage crowned arbour, as they ſlumbered upon the enamelled graſs, they inhaled the ſalubrious breeze, which, richly impregnated with the reſtorative effluvia, collected from a thouſand healthful ſources, new ſtrung their nerves, preſented the ſovereign panacea, communicating to the life ſtream, which had moved with morbid and ſlow paced languor, the animating and ſprightly glow, thus bequeathing to the whole ſyſtem returning agility. The tall, finely formed and white grooved celery; the medicinal water-creſſes, with every other antiſcorbutic, with benevolent avidity were plentifully furniſhed; and when, by theſe ſalutary means, ſuch a meaſure of ſtrength was obtained, as to enable them to purſue, with renovated ſpirit and returning alacrity, a voyage which Capt. Mayhew was ardent to terminate; by the ſame liberal hands they were amply ſupplied with every vegetable, and other requiſite, which could be procured in the iſland of St. Helena. It is, I conceive, hardly neceſſary to add, that both the governor, and deputy-governor, diſdained a pecuniary reward. The truly philanthropic man, conſciousO ſcious 158 O1v 158 ſcious that he is amply repaid by the feelings of his own heart for every benevolent action, poſſeſſeth too much integrity to accept a ſecond recompenſe; and I have only fervidly to wiſh, that the Corneille’s, and the Brooks’s, of every age and country, may ſtill find themſelves, from ſo rich and exhauſtleſs a ſource, reimburſed for every humane and benign interpoſition. It ſeemed as if Capt. Mayhew, who was ſtill in a degree enfeebled by the effects of his diſorder, had obtained the particular patronage of ſome powerfully propitious inviſible, whoſe agency was employed in cauſing the ſons of philanthropy to paſs in review before him. As he proceeded in his courſe, croſſing the equator, he met with ſeveral European ſhips, making their homeward paſſage from a Weſt-India voyage. By the commander of one of thoſe ſhips, who was a deſcendant of the Gallic nation, (and right ſorry am I, good Mr. Gleaner, that I cannot give you his name) he was hailed, who finding him a ſufferer from a malady ſo common to ſeamen in long voyages, moſt generouſly inſiſted on his accepting wines, cordials, vegetables, and live ſtock, to a very conſiderable amount; and when Capt. Mayhew ventured juſt to hint at the propriety of his receiving ſome kind of compenſation, this humane Frenchman nobly, liberally, and in the true ſpirit of cidevant French politeneſs, replied, Pardonez moi, Monſieur; my whole ſhip and cargo, were they neceſſary to your relief, ſhould, I aſſure you, be at your ſervice. What truly complacent ſenſations, muſt gladden the expanded heart, as it contemplates remote individuals, deſcendants of the ſame ſtock, when accidentally collected, thus benignly engaged in the exerciſe of good offices; thus benevolently contributing to the relief of their fellow men. But, Sir, I invade not your province; many a ſcattered reflection you will doubtleſs glean; while I, ſatisfied with having publiſhed this teſtimony of the gratitude of my townſman, Capt. Mayhew, and with an attempt, to the utmoſt of my poor abilities, to do juſtice to characters, which, by 159 O2r 159 by the divine influence of general munificence, were truly ennobled,—ſhall content myſelf with aſſuring you, that I very ardently wiſh the ſucceſs of your literary career, and that I am your conſtant reader, Robert Amiticus.

Philanthropy, I know thy form divine—eſſence of benevolence, gem of uncreated luſtre, originating from, and eſſentially deſignating the character of Deity! It is thou who can humanize and dignify the mind upon which thou deigneſt to glance; in every radiant walk we trace thy agency; thy being is celeſtial, and thy adminiſtration will continue coeval with the exiſtence of that great Firſt Cauſe, whoſe beneficent attribute thou art.

Spirit of energetic influence! with ſublime joy I mark thy ſalutary courſe; the face of miſery brightens at thy approach; the pallid cheek of ſickneſs is tinged by a momentary fluſh of pleaſure; the icy hand of penury ſuſpends its operations; melancholy gladdens in thy preſence; and the ſons and daughters of ſorrow, mingling their meliorated voices, exalt the dulcet ſong of gratitude; charity, white rob’d daughter of heaven! beneficence, liberal benevolence, genial humility, and every ſocial virtue, theſe all compoſe thy train, and follow where thou leadeſt.

Thy delight is in the happineſs of mankind; thou erecteſt no land-mark; diſtinctions, if we except thoſe of virtue, are unknown to thee; and the propitious expanſion of thy wiſhes, not circumſcribed by ſect, age, country, or even ſex, know no other bounds than thoſe which encircle the one grand, vaſt, and collected family of human nature. The features of thy ſeraphic countenance are not peculiarly maſonic, Pagan, Hebrew, Jewiſh, deiſtical, or Mahometan; and while thou experienceſt a rational predilection for the growth of merit, in every ſoil, thou bendeſt with mild equality and compaſſionate benignity upon the world of mankind; thou markeſt, with enkindling rapture, the progreſs 160 O2v 160 progreſs of knowledge; thou aſſiſteſt to unbind the ſhackles of ſuperſtition; thou aſſayeſt, with prompt alacrity, to level the promontories of arrogance, to exalt the lowly vallies; to make the rough places ſmooth, and the crooked ſtraight; and thou rejoiceſt to behold the emancipated and expanding mind. Thou adopteſt not the error, which repreſenteth genuine information as adminiſtering to the domination of ſorrow; but fully perſuaded of the progreſſive and ultimately happy deſtination of the creature man, thou art apprized of the eligibility and propriety of his qualifying himſelf, in this, his novitiate, for the ſtill higher grades, to which he ſhall aſcend. But, while thine eyes beam unuſual effulgence at the advancement of enlightened reaſon, thou haſt a tear ready for the ſons and daughters of ignorance, and thou diſpoſeſt the heart to commiſerate the ſufferer, of whatever deſcription.

Sovereign alleviator of human woes! penetrated with a glow of ineffable complacency, I behold thee amid thy ſplendid career; thou obſerveſt the victim of adverſity, and thou ſtoppeſt not to examine his local ſituation, his complexion, the mental arrangement of his ideas, or the faſhion of his garment; it is ſufficient for thee, that he is bowed down by affliction, and that he is a branch of that family, which an all-wiſe Regulator hath placed as probationers upon this earth; immediately thou originateſt a plan for his relief, and thou art bleſſed in an exact ratio as thou art ſucceſsful.

The children of indigence are thy peculiar care, and honeſt poverty is ever ſure of thy pitying eye and thy extricating hand; thou entereſt, with correct and equal ſalutations, the hut of penury; thou alloweſt for the feelings of the neceſſitous; thou approacheſt the poor with reſpect and with the utmoſt delicacy thou art found adminiſtering to their wants; the dignity of human nature is never degraded by thee; and man, made in the image of his Creator, however depreſſed, or ſinking under a variety of adventitious evils, faileth not to command thy veneration.

The 161 O3r 161

The boſom which is thy domain, is always awake to the bland effuſions of tenderneſs, all thy purpoſes are liberal; nor doſt thou content thyſelf with the theory of good, for to the ennobling practice of uniform munificence, thou art ſtill found ſtimulating thy votaries.

Bleſt genius of benevolence! thy dominion ſhall ultimately become a univerſal dominion; every malevolent paſſion ſhall flee before thee, and the ſalutary effects of thy extenſive operations ſhall iſſue in the eſtabliſhment of general harmony and never ending felicity.

NO. XVII.

Where’er the maiden Induſtry appears, A thrifty contour every object wears; And when fair Order with the nymph combines, Adjuſts, directs, and every plan deſigns, Then Independence fills her peerleſs ſeat, And, lo! the matchleſs trio is complete.

Ihave ſometimes been induced to think, after a ſerious attempt to inveſtigate the cauſes which have operated in the production of ſo many needy dependents of both ſexes, upon the bounty of, or civil requiſitions made upon, the more ſucceſsful, ſyſtematic or induſtrious members of the community; that the origin of this prevalent evil may generally, with a very few exceptions, be traced to that luxuriant ſource of folly, an unwarrantable, and irrational kind of pride, or falſe notions of gentility. Parents, in a certain line, either educate their ſons with a view to one of the three learned profeſſions, to a purſuit of the fine arts, or, apprenticing them to the merchant, or ſea-faring adventurer, conceive they have placed them in the road, which will moſt probably terminate in crowning them with opulence and reſpectability.

It is undoubtedly for the intereſt of ſociety, that a conſiderable proportion of our young people ſhould O2 be 162 O3v 162 be thus appropriated; but when it becomes evident that any particular department is overſtocked, a wiſe father ought certainly to turn his attention to thoſe branches of buſineſs, which, by being leſs occupied, give the youthful candidate a fairer chance of poſſeſſing himſelf of that competency, which is ſo neceſſary to the ſupporting real dignity of character. But gentlemen who conſtitute the particular grade to which I advert, look with diſdain upon every handicraft occupation; the whole routine of arts mechanic, or, in other words, uſeful employments, they regard with ſovereign contempt; and they would eſteem their ſons degraded beyond redemption, if they deſignated them by any one of thoſe callings, which have been appellated ſervile. I will juſt hazard a queſtion, relative to the propriety of the conjugation, which places ſervile as the adjective of mechanic. Doth not that man bid the faireſt for genuine independence, who poſſeſſes in himſelf the means, whenever he chooſes to call his induſtrious application into action, of ſupplying himſelf even from the wants of others, with the neceſſaries of life? And if ſo, is not the above mentioned attempt at approximation extremely heterogeneous?

Prejudices ſo abſurd are particularly ludicrous in a government, the genius of which is, to cultivate as great a degree of equality as will conſiſt with the requiſite order and well being of the Commonwealth; and yet, ſtrange to tell, perhaps there is no part of the world, where theſe unnatural diſtinctions, ſo humiliating to the mechanic, and ſo elevating to the ſuppoſitious gentleman, are ſo prevalent, or exiſt more forcibly, than in ſome of theſe American States; and, however obvious it may be, that the predominating bent, or predilection, with which nature may have endowed the boy, ought to claim ſome ſhare in the determination; it is, nevertheleſs, irrevocably decreed, maſter muſt be prepared to fill a gentleman like ſphere; and though it is very poſſible, that not a ſhilling of property may be reſerved for his commencing the career of buſineſs; yet, however below a mediocrity his talents confeſſedly 163 O4r 163 confeſſedly are, his education muſt be conformed to the proſpects which are formed of his future deſtination, to the ideas which his parents have entertained of family dignity, genteel life, &c; &c; During the hours of childhood, by arrangements the moſt ill judged, an undue exaltation is cheriſhed; by degrees he becomes habituated to conſider himſelf as ſuperior to various claſſes of his fellow men; his adoleſcence is paſſed in frivolous purſuits, and if his maturity is ſupine, indolent, or deſtitute of enterpriſe; if he wants genius, which is a gem as rare as eſtimable, or even if he is unſucceſsful, or unfortunate, (and who does not know that merit cannot always command its wiſhes?) he is, of neceſſity, thrown a uſeleſs burden upon the public.

I ſaid the probability was, that theſe unjuſtifiable prejudices, were more particularly the growth of the American world, than of any other ſoil; and I have hazarded this conjecture, from the compariſon I have been led to make, between a variety of facts that have paſſed under my own obſervation, and the records of other nations.

A printer! ſaid a young ſpruce coxcomb, who poſſibly might have had the honour to ſtand behind a counter, and who was fortuitouſly jumbled into the stage-coach with Mr. Bache, as it performed its tour of duty through a part of PennſylvaniaA printer! and, drawing himſelf up into a corner of the vehicle, with a ſupercilious air, he maintained an obſtinate ſilence during the remainder of a journey, which having, previous to his learning the occupation of young Bache, conceived, from his appearance, a high idea of his importance, he had commenced with inſignificant volubility; but he was ignorant that he with whom he journeyed, was the lineal deſcendant of the immortal Franklin; otherwiſe, it may fairly be inferred, that the eclat of his birth, might, in the opinion of this ſuperficial Billy Varniſh, have atoned for the mechanical complexion of his profeſſion.

A quondam acquaintance of mine, who is a merchant, not extremely remarkable for the moderation of his deſires to accumulate gain, was, ſome months ſince, 164 O4v 164 ſince, on the verge of ſuffering very conſiderably, from the undue influence of this very prejudice. He had appointed an intelligent young man to the command of a ſhip of his, during a long and intricate voyage. It happened, in the courſe of the navigation which the Captain was directed to purſue, that he found himſelf neceſſitated to put into a port in England, at a diſtance from the metropolis. A variety of circumſtances contributed to produce, in the affairs entruſted to his care, a very embarraſſing and diſagreeable event. He was compelled to depart full ſpeed for London, while his ſhip continued at anchor in Liverpool. An honeſt gentleman, with whom he had commenced an intimacy upon the Albion coaſt, gave him a letter to a trunk-maker in the capital, who, he informed him, was capable of doing him great ſervice. A trunkmaker! how, in the name of common ſenſe, ſhould a trunkmaker be inſtrumental in effectuating any important purpoſe? A deciſion upon the Captain’s buſineſs remained with the high court of admiralty; could a trunkmaker influence the determinations of that auguſt body? The ſuppoſition was ridiculous; it could never obtain the ſmalleſt degree of attention in the ſerious reflections of an American.

The Captain proceeded ſyſtematically; he applied to a certain commercial gentleman, well known in America, and whoſe extenſive exports to this new world, ſupply many of our capital dealers with large quantities of European commodities: By this reſpectable auxiliary, he was introduced to the American conſul reſident in Great-Britain, and the moſt favourable repreſentation that truth could authoriſe, was made. The conſul, however, received him rather roughly. Fatigued, perhaps, by a multiplicity of applications, he ſeemed not diſpoſed to interpoſe his good offices, in order to promote an accomodation of the difficulty; he inſiſted much upon the ill conduct of American ſeamen, and obſerved that if they perſiſted in thus careleſsly involving themſelves in ambiguities, and in flying in the face of thoſe adjuſtments, which had been legally 165 O5r 165 legally made, they muſt extricate themſelves as they could, or be contented to ſubmit to the conſequences; and he abſolutely declined addreſſing himſelf to the lords of the admiralty, or the adopting of any conciliatory meaſure, except the Captain returned to Liverpool, and brought with him certain evidence, or evidences, which he inſiſted would be the only proper vouchers of his integrity.

It was in vain that our young adventurer remonſtrated; that he repreſented the amazing increaſe of expenſe, which ſuch a journey, and the detention of the ſhip, would accumulate to his employer; it was to no purpoſe he ſuggeſted the poſſibility, that ſuch an enormous expenditure might iſſue in his own ruin. The conſul continued unyieldingly obſtinate, and the ſituation of the Captain was truly diſtreſſing! The merchant, to whom he returned to relate the ill ſucceſs of his application, had exhauſted the utmoſt of his influence, in preſenting him to the conſul; he was not particularly known to the officers of the admiralty, and he declined any further interference in the buſineſs.

It was in this moment of cruel anxiety, that the trunk-maker occurred to our ſea commander; yet the idea was the drowning man catching at a ſtraw; but having got, however, into the narroweſt and moſt dangerous frith, it might be neceſſary he ſhould ply his oars, if a full ſail would not avail him. He could at leaſt deliver his letter; and in a ſtate of vexation, almoſt bordering on deſpair, he preſented himſelf at the door of the trunk-maker, which opened, only not ſpontaneouſly, and he found himſelf in a ſhop of a ſpacious and thrifty appearance; it was furniſhed with a prodigious number of trunks, of various ſizes, and different degrees of elegance; and every arrangement proclaimed the induſtrious and ingenious mechanic. All this looked very well in its place; but all this, ſaid our agitated young man, is nothing to the purpoſe. The maſter workman ſoon made his appearance, and he regarded the ſtranger with intelligent civility. The letter of introductionduction 166 O5v 166 duction was produced, which being peruſed, the trunkmaker with an air of true old Engliſh hoſpitality, ſhook the ſon of Neptune by the hand. Walk in, Sir; walk in: You have got a little diſagreeably entangled, and I ſuppoſe your feelings are all up in arms. To a young man, undiſciplined in the ſchool of misfortune, the firſt onſets of diſappointment are truly painful; but the viciſſitudes of life are as well calculated to furniſh a rational being with hope as with fear; for light as ſurely ſucceeds the darkneſs, as the darkneſs the light. Probably you may be at a loſs to conceive in what manner my aſſiſtance can be of uſe to you, and as I am at preſent a little engaged, if you will throw your eye over them looſe papers, they may help you to a clue, which may unravel the myſtery.

The Captain, it will not be doubted, eagerly availed himſelf of this permiſſion; and ſo regular was the diſpoſition of the different eſſays, which this uncommon compting-houſe diſplayed, that a curſory glance was ſufficient to evince the literary abilities of the author; his conſequence to certain perſons high in office was extremely obvious; and it was apparent that his merit, rendering him neceſſary to the great, had procured him free acceſs to their private ear, and a conſiderable degree of influence over their determinations.

In two days our Captain received an invitation, to dine in a family way with the trunk-maker; and his reception at his patron’s was marked with an expreſſive ſmile, which indicated a happy termination of his difficulties. The trunk-maker had converſed with the lords in office, he had made the neceſſary repreſentations, and he had obtained explicit and indiſputable credentials for his client, who having gratefully partook of a plain, ſubſtantial dinner, received with tranſport his legal permit; and, returning to Liverpool, with a heart gladdened by the joys of emancipation, immediately reimbarked, proceeding with all expeditions to proſecute his voyage.

Was I the father of a family, the trunk-maker ſhould be my model; it would be my wiſh to furniſh the openinging 167 O6r 167 ing reaſon of my children with every help which might be neceſſary to produce them with advantage in the career of knowledge: I would aid them to figure in the moſt poliſhed circles; I would ſtimulate them to every laudably ſplendid purſuit; the avenues of literature ſhould be thrown open before them, and they ſhould receive as much information as it was in my power to procure for them: But as, with all my gifts, I ſhould be anxious to endow them with the means of obtaining as great a ſhare of independence as might conſiſt with humanity, I would certainly aim at inveſting them with ſome uſeful qualification, which might ſerve them in the laſt neceſſity, as a fund upon which they might draw ſufficient to command the neceſſaries of life.

But if the male part of our American world are, in the morning of their lives, too much neglected in this reſpect, females have abundantly more reaſon to complain. Our girls, in general, are bred up with one particular view, with one monopolizing conſideration, which ſeems to abſorb every other plan that reaſon might point out as worthy their attention: An eſtabliſhment by marriage; this is the goal to which they are conſtantly pointed, the great ultimatum of every arrangement: An old maid, they are from infancy taught, at leaſt indirectly, to conſider as a contemptible being; and they have no other means of advancing themſelves but in the matrimonial line.

Perhaps this is one of the ſources, from which originate the infelicities, too often witneſſed, in wedded life; the young creature, ardent in the purſuit, is ſedulouſly employed in diſplaying all her accompliſhments; fearful that if ſhe refuſes the preſent offer, no future ſuppliant may advance his ſuit; ſhe throws herſelf away upon the firſt pretender, though, poſſibly, he may be very ill calculated to embark with her upon the voyage of life.

Well, but ſhe hath gained her point; and the purſuit over, any further efforts would be uſeleſs; every attempt to pleaſe is given up; and the conſequencesquences 168 O6v 168 quences which muſt follow, are too obvious to need the pen of an obſerver to point them out.

I would give my daughters every accompliſhment which I thought proper; and, to crown all, I would early accuſtom them to habits of induſtry and order: They ſhould be taught with preciſion the art economical; they ſhould be enabled to procure for themſelves the neceſſaries of life; independence ſhould be placed within their graſp; and I would teach them to reverence themſelves.

Marriage ſhould not be repreſented as their ſumum bonum, or as a certain, or even neceſſary event; they ſhould learn to reſpect a ſingle life, and even to regard it as the moſt eligible, except a warm, mutual and judicious attachment had gained the aſcendancy in the boſom.

If they were thus qualified to adminiſter by their own efforts, to their own wants, the probability is, that impreſſions of this nature, would frequently prevent precipitation, and call into exerciſe that deliberation which ought, upon all occaſions, to be the concomitant of every important ſtep.

Girls, by the avidity and marked deſign of their operations, generally defeat their own purpoſes. I would have the fair minds of young women occupied by ſchemes of enjoyment, and by modes of living, which, depending principally upon themſelves and their natural connexions, would involve a greater probability of fruition.

Surely the ſituation of that young creature muſt be very pleaſing, who, by her ſweetneſs of diſpoſition, engaging manners, and many accompliſhments, hath endeared herſelf to the circles in which ſhe moves. Why ſhould contingent events be held up to her view, or made an abſolute part of her expectations? and if her hours are paſſed in endeavouring to augment her little income, whatever it may be, or in cultivating the means which may render her, as an individual, ſuperior to the caprices of thoſe about her, ſhe will certainly be leſs likely to look out of herſelf for happineſs.

But 169 P1r 169

But as I am fond of illuſtrating my ſentiments by example, I will in my next Gleaner produce a little narrative, which, while it will be calculated to elucidate, will, I flatter myſelf, both intereſt and pleaſe; and as I devoutly wiſh to compenſate the reader for the trouble he may take in travelling through theſe pages, I ſhall, of courſe, be highly gratified.

NO. XVIII.

The paths of diſſipation lead to death. Reaſon her barriers round our footſteps throws; But headlong folly leaps o’er every bound, And, taught by pride, the voice of prudence ſpurns.

When I was a young man, I had a friend, to whom I was particularly attached; we had lived from our boyiſh years in habits of intimacy; and I was of courſe an intereſted obſerver of all his movements.

His family was diſtinguiſhed by the marked integrity of even the minuteſt tranſactions of its individuals; my friend was the youngeſt born, and every branch, except himſelf and his eldeſt ſiſter, were eſtabliſhed in little families of their own. They were induſtrious and frugal, realizing, in conſequence of their own exertions, an income which enabled them to live in a genteel ſtyle; and as they were of that grade which is termed well born, their right to mingle in the politeſt circles was indiſputable. But, as I ſaid, living within compaſs, they were eaſy in their circumſtances, they were affectionate to each other, and always ready to relieve, to the utmoſt of their abilities, the neceſſitous of every deſcription.

My friend, at length, after making frequent viſits to New-York, preſented them with a daughter and a ſiſter, who, though both a beautiful and an amiable woman, had nevertheleſs received from education, different ideas of life. Gay, unthinking, and profuſe by nature, ſhe had never been accuſtomed to ſet bounds P to 170 P1v 170 to her inclinations; and though ſhe truly loved her huſband, ſhe was conſtantly involving him in difficulties, in order to ſupport a ſtyle of life to which his finances were inadequate, and which, however, the reciprocality of his attachment induced him to exert every nerve to maintain. All his connexions ſaw with pain that his ruin was, by haſty ſtrides, approaching; but the ſubject was delicate, and it was ſuppoſed that an interference would be ineffectual.

A period of ſeventeen years was marked by dreſs, equipage, and entertainments, while even the idea of economy never once moleſted the pleaſurable arrangements of the fair Amanda. At the expiration of this term, that ill-directed female was ſeized with the ſmall pox, of which ſhe ſoon became the victim; and her unfortunate companion, (who was before ſinking under the united preſſure of broken health and ſpirits, that were doubtleſs produced by a certainty of the rapid approach of thoſe calamities which his good ſenſe could not but acknowledge as the procurement of folly) was, in the courſe of a few ſucceeding weeks, inhumed in the ſame vault with the beloved object who had coſt him ſo dear.

Two beautiful females were the iſſue of this ill-fated marriage; they were not however deſtitute; for though the effects of the deceaſed Henry would not give his creditors ten ſhillings in the pound, yet the rites funereal due to the hapleſs pair, being decently performed, and the hallowed earth that encircled their cold remains embalmed by a filial tear, theſe lovely orphans were immediately ſheltered in the boſom of their friends.

Miſs Helen, then juſt fifteen years old, accompanied the ſiſter of Amanda to her abode in the city of New- York; and Miſs Penelope, who had nearly attained her fourteenth year, continued with the relations of Henry.

By way of exemplifying the force of example and the different characters, which the two young ladies from that period aſſumed, I ſelect, from a correſpondence that continued unbroken during their ſeparation, the ſubjoined letters.

Miſs 171 P2r 171 Miſs Helen Airy to Miſs Penelope. I declare, my dear Pen. I am utterly at a loſs to comprehend the meaning of your laſt letter; and indeed, if I made up my judgment by your general ſtyle of writing, I ſhould certainly conclude that you had paſſed your grand climacteric; but the preachments contained in your laſt, are abſolutely intolerable. Let me ſee—I want, at this preſent writing, one month of nineteen; and, if I miſtake not, unleſs ſhe hath very unceremoniouſly, and even irregularly, taken a miraculous leap over my head, my dear, good, ſober ſiſter Pen. will not have reached the very grave age of eighteen, until two tardy months have fully meaſured their ſlow paced round! I vow I would relinquiſh the pleaſures of the next ball night, juſt to take a peep at your ſweet face, were it only to count the wrinkles which I preſume your deep thinking muſt have implanted there! But to be ſerious—for once I will endeavour to meet my lovely Monitreſs (and dearly do I love my Penelope, notwithſtanding the air of ſuperiority, and ſtyle of reprehenſion, which her letters aſſume) upon her own ground; and, by way of reſponding in the moſt explicit manner to her catechiſing epiſtle, I will take a ſlight glance at the years which have elapſed ſince our separation. Upon my arrival in this city, the preſſure upon my ſpirits which I have already recounted to you, and which was occaſioned by the lamented death of our parents, by my removal from my native place, and from a ſiſter whom I held dearer than any thing elſe which this world contained, was almoſt inſupportable. However, the efforts of my kind aunt, with the united good offices of my numerous relations and friends, by degrees reſtored me to tranquillity; and as I have naturally a great deal of vivacity, my wonted gaiety did not long ſtand aloof. Since 172 P2v 172 Since that period—what hath taken place ſince that period? Poſitively I am a mortal enemy to reflection; and my couſin Caroline declares a young lady hath no buſineſs with it. So, my dear Pen. you muſt even receive, as the ſum total of viſiting, cards, balls and plays, that faſcinating comprehenſive little word, pleaſure; and this very pleaſurable mode of enjoying life, you, forſooth, preſume to chriſten by the odious term diſſipation; and my poor ſuperannuated grandmother, and my good old aunt Dorothy are alarmed at the diſſipated life which I lead; and becauſe, truly, I have no fortune, I am to make a mope of myſelf altogether. I remember this aunt Dorothy of ours never viſited my mother but ſhe left her in a fit of the vapours; yet if ſhe had intended us for the humble dependants of ſome wealthy fool, ſhe ſhould have forbid our receiving ſuch inſtructions as were calculated to unfit us for ſo ſervile a deſtination, though it is well known that the good old ſoul was always fond of our attaining every accompliſhment. For my part, though perhaps I may lay in bed until ten in the morning, and though I am not ſo egregious an ignoramus as to be governed by any of your ſtupid rules, and plodding regulations, yet I can make ſhift, when I am up, to work a ſprig upon my muſlin; to chant to the ſound of my piano forte, upon which, by the way, I am much improved; to put on the head-dreſs which I have received from my milliner with elegance; to figure in any polite aſſembly; or if, by way of variety, I ſhould chooſe to paſs an hour in my own dreſſing-room, I have always the prettieſt ſentimental novels imaginable at hand, to amuſe me. Now theſe qualifications my dear aunt M—, who hath been as the tendereſt mother to me, declares are quite ſufficient for a perſon in my line of life; and for calculations of every kind, and all peeps into futurity, as I pretend not to the leaſt ſkill in aſtrology, I leave all theſe occult matters to the wiſe penetration of my ſiſter Pen. One thing, however, my dear, that you may not be unneceſſarily concerned for your giddy ſiſter Helen, I will 173 P3r 173 I will juſt whiſper you—I can, whenever I think proper, procure myſelf the moſt genteel eſtabliſhment. Many ſighing ſwains are in my train; they do full juſtice, both by words and actions, to my charms; and though they have not yet ventured an explicit declaration, they wait but my imperial nod to ſubmit themſelves implicitly to my deciſive election. In the mean time, any little articles of which I ſtand in need, are liberally ſupplied by the ready generoſity of my friends; and I really experience much complacency in my ſituation, except (you will excuſe me, my dear) when I am broken in upon, by your wiſe lectures; and after all, my dear girl, though you riſe early, live ſyſtematically, and are as grave as the ſanctified wife of a ſober country parſon, yet I do not ſee that your proſpects are in any ſort better than mine; and I think the only advantage which you ſeem to have acquired over me, is the privilege of documenting your eldeſt ſiſter, whenever your economical diſpoſition of your time will permit you to ſpare an hour. Say, Pen. is not this true? Have you any matrimonial ſcheme in your little head? if you have, do in the name of laughter let us have it. O how delighted I ſhould be to ſee my dear ſage ſiſter ſoberly pacing to church with one of the ſtill life methodical enamorato’s by whom ſhe is ſurrounded; but I rather think, and if ſhe will indulge me ſo far, I will ſay, hope, that ſhe will have judgment ſufficient to ſpare my riſibles this trial. Now I talk of judgment, and am impelled by your remonſtrances to a kind of retroſpect, I recollect but one capital tranſaction, in which my judgment hath ever been called into action—You remember, upon the day of my departure from H—, that our uncle Horatio, one hour before I took my leave, preſented me with a hundred pounds, adviſing me to conſult my uncle and aunt M——in the diſpoſal thereof: But my indulgent benefactors thinking it right that I ſhould have the ſole and abſolute direction of this ſum, I locked it up ſafe in my dreſſing-box, until it was proper for me P2 to 174 P3v 174 to appear in colours, when I expended it in purchaſing as complete and as elegant a ſuit of clothes, if not as rich with blond lace, and every other appendage, as New-York can produce! There, my girl—as I know that my uncle Horatio preſented you with a like ſum, let us hear if yours was more advantageouſly diſpoſed of. In ſhort, dear Pen. I doubt not but I ſhall make out very well: We ſhall continue to exhibit the moſt enchanting contraſt in the world; I with my Caro Spoſo, (for married I intend to be) figuring in the politeſt circles, and you ſoberly ſitting at home, darning your huſband’s ſtockings, or combing your children’s heads. Yet, however we may continue antipodes in every thing elſe, I truſt that we ſhall meet in the centre of mutual affection; at leaſt I know, that in all events, I ſhall ſtill continue your truly attached ſiſter, Helen Airy. N. B. Remember me as you think proper to my grandmother, uncles, aunts and couſins. Miſs Penelope to Miſs Helen Airy. I thank you very ſincerely, my dear Helen, for every tender expreſſion which your letter contains. It is in vain you would aſſay to ſmother the feelings of your ſiſterly heart; the fire of natural affection diffuſes through your lovely boſom its genial heart. In your laſt half angry letter, it breaks forth in a variety of places; and I am ſoothed by the concluding aſſurance, that you will ſtill continue my tenderly attached ſiſter. I do aſſure you, my dear, I have learned to reſpect the ſuperior rights, with which ſome months elderſhip have inveſted you; and if I have been betrayed into any undue warmth, I am poſitive that your never queſtioned generoſity will forgive me, when you conſider that the fervour of my remonſtrances hath proceededceeded 175 P4r 175 ceeded entirely from my ſolicitude, reſpecting my beloved Helen. Perhaps, in my reſponſes, I may again be ſo unhappy as to offend; but pleaſingly confident of the advocate which I retain in your breaſt, and penning my remarks with all the frankneſs of ſincerity, I ſhall rely wholly upon your invoked candour, to award my pardon. No, my facetious ſiſter, deep thinking hath not yet furrowed my cheek; and had I no other view than the preſervation of the ſmooth poliſh of my complexion, it would be incumbent upon me to realize ſuch a mental fund, as would enable me to encounter with due equanimity the ills of life, thereby avoiding that hurricane of the paſſions, which in its progreſs not only levels intellectual tranquillity, but makes alſo dreadful ravages in the beauty of the fineſt face. I paſs over, without a comment, your account, with its ſum total, of your manner of paſſing your time; but I cannot forbear expreſſing the keen regrets I experienced, when my honoured grandmamma, reaching forth her hand for the letter, that had been announced from the child of our affection; from that child, for whom her revered boſom hourly heaves the tender and apprehenſive ſigh; my feelings, I ſay, were perfectly agonized, when I found myſelf neceſſitated to deny her a gratification which ſhe had fondly anticipated; but when I beheld the venerable matron, matured by wiſdom, and dignified by a length of years, every hour of which had been marked by propriety, and elevated by a uniform purſuit of virtue; when I was daily receiving proofs that her ſtrong mind, ſuperior to the decays of nature, was ſtill augmenting its acquirements, was ſtill more invigorated by obſervation, could I ſo far outrage her tenderneſs, or violate that deference which was due to her experience, as to put a letter, in which ſhe was ſo unworthily mentioned, into her poſſeſſion? Neither to my aunt Dorothy could I be more communicative—Alas! alas! But I will only ſay, that in the name of ſacred duty I conjure you no more to pen a line which I cannot read for 176 P4v 176 for perſons, who are at leaſt entitled to your inviolable reſpect. Our aunt Dorothy, my dear, wiſhes not to ſee us dependaent upon any one; ſhe is anxious to inſpire our boſoms with the noble ardour of independence; and to this end ſhe is ſolicitous that we ſhould cultivate, to their utmoſt extent, the talents we poſſeſs. The ſupplies which you receive from our York friends, are pleaſing inſtances of their generoſity; but can you not conceive a ſuperiour pleaſure in being able to adminiſter to your own wants? And do you not remember, that agreeably to the courſe of nature the probability is, that thoſe neareſt to you in conſanguinity, will be removed; and will you be content to remain the dependant upon the caprice, or even bounty, of more diſtant relations? You ſeem to queſtion if the arrangements which I have been directed to make, are more promiſing. I proceed, my dear, to ſketch them for you, and you may then be able to form an accurate judgment, relative to the comparative eligibility of our proſpects. To begin with the hundred pounds, of which you require an account. It was, agreeably to the direction of my aunt Dorothy, the very next day after its receipt, put into the hands of a ſubſtantial friend, who accounts with me for it, upon legal compound intereſt; if it had been a leſs ſum, I ſhould have diſpoſed of it preciſely in the ſame manner; nor have I ever yet availed myſelf of the profits of a ſingle penny ariſing therefrom. I will confeſs to you, that having obſerved the general approbation by which my aunt Dorothy was diſtinguiſhed, I have regarded her as my model. My time, ſince our melancholy ſeparation, hath been divided among my numerous friends; and they are ſo indulgent as to conſider my viſits rather as a pleaſing circumſtance. But though they are in general poſſeſſed of the means of living genteelly, yet I know that they are in the practice of economy. I do not chooſe to leſſen the patrimony of my couſins; and if 177 P5r 177 if I conſent to receive any pecuniary mark of their favour, it muſt be ſome trifle, which I accept as a memento of their affection. One month’s perſeverance, enabled me to riſe each morning, mechanically with the ſun; and this habit now conſtitutes one of the pleaſures of my life, nor would I relinquiſh it, was I empreſs of the globe. I do not neglect to purſue thoſe ſtudies, of which my dear and tender parents were careful to furniſh the rudiments; neither my reading, muſic, drawing, or geography are forgotten; they make a part of the employments of every day; they ſerve to improve and to poliſh my mind; and when I have made ſufficient progreſs therein, they will open to me, ſhould there be occaſion, new ſources of emolument as well as pleaſure. With regard to my apparel, the handſome dividend of that which was the property of my beloved mother, and which fell to my ſhare, is to me an ample ſupply of almoſt every article. You will perhaps be ſurpriſed, when I tell you I do not wear wrought muſlin; it is true, much of my time is devoted to the proſecution of this faſhionable and elegant employ; but my younger couſins are ornamented by the product of my induſtry, while I receive, for every hour of needle work, not neceſſarily appropriated to myſelf, a liberal compenſation; and, from ſums thus accumulated, I not only command the articles of which I am in want, I have not only made handſome additions to my original fund, but I always have in reſerve, little ſums, which I conſecrate to the relief of the neceſſitous; and, believe me, my dear Helen, that when I am arrayed in my decent plain muſlin, or milk white muſlinet, fitted cloſe to my little waiſt, I feel an innate conſciouſneſs of much greater propriety of character, the mediocrity of my circumſtances conſidered, than if I was arrayed in flowing robes of the fineſt texture which ever iſſued from the loom, in the moſt variegated tiſſue which art hath ever yet invented. It 178 P5v 178 It is really ſurpriſing, how much order and induſtry will accompliſh; and my retroſpect is truly pleaſing, when I reflect upon the different pieces of needle work, which I have, in the courſe of a few years, ſo advantageouſly completed. Yet my application is not unremitted; and I viſit, as often as is neceſſary, though I muſt confeſs, that upon ſuch occaſions, my fingers are generally employed. I ſometimes mingle in a ball-room; dancing is an amuſement of which I am peculiarly fond; and I have literally murdered ſome evenings at cards. An opportunity of ſeeing a good play, as they are with us ſo unfrequent, I have not to charge myſelf with ever miſſing; and I am careful to take as much exerciſe as will conduce to my health. Stimulated by my aunt, in every action, independence hath been my ardent purſuit; and I am ſolicitous to realize ſufficient, ſhould I be overtaken by ill health, to prevent my devolving as a burthen upon others. It is the wiſh of my aunt, as ſhe hath no immediate deſcendants of her own, to dedicate her little fortune, upon her demiſe, to charitable uſes; and as ſhe cannot conſcientiouſly gratify this her favourite plan, if ſhe leaves behind her any needy relation, ſhe is the more deſirous that her family ſhould, individually, poſſeſs the means of obtaining for themſelves an honourable ſupport. God forbid, that ever my dear Helen, or myſelf, ſhould, however remotely, curtail the ſums that may be employed for the ſalutary purpoſe of wiping the tear from the cheek of indigence. With regard to my matrimonial expectations, upon which you are ſo ludicrouſly playful, I have to ſay, that the idea of marriage makes no part of my preſent plans; this, my dear, is a calculation, at which you ſeem to be abundantly more expert than myſelf; it is a contingence which, being within the chapter of poſſibilities, may, or may not happen; if it ſhould, my arrangements muſt, in ſome reſpects, be different; if it ſhould not, I am contented; at any rate, I eſteem it an error, to reckon upon an event, which is at beſt but uncertain.tain. 179 P6r 179 tain. I am ignorant, if I have ever yet been regarded with particular attention by the other ſex; no one hath profeſſed himſelf a candidate for my election; and however aſſiduous any gentleman might be, I ſhould not deem myſelf authorized to ſet him down as a lover, except his declarations were of a nature the moſt explicit. To ſay truth, I am not over ſolicitous upon this head; having before me ſuch an example as my aunt Dorothy, I know that reſpectability, uſefulneſs, tranquillity, independence, ſocial enjoyments, and holy friendſhip, are to be found in a ſingle life; and I am induced rationally to conclude, that if minds are not congenial, if they are not diſcreetly, mutually, and permanently attached, a ſtate of celibacy is by far the moſt eligible. But having, by my circumſtantial replies, dimpled the blooming cheek of my charming Helen, perhaps by a ſmile of pity; I only add, the warm and tender ſalutations of her ſincerely affectionate Penelope Airy. N.B. Pleaſe to preſent my grateful reſpects to our York connexions, particularly to our uncle and aunt M——.

Miſs Helen put up her pretty lip—her ſiſter’s letter was unanſwerable; but ſhe was unconvinced, or at leaſt uninfluenced, and they both progreſſed on, in the different paths in which example had produced them.

The virtues of Penelope were ſoon diſtinguiſhed by an amiable man, who was indeed her congenial ſoul; his fortune was moderate, and his proſpects were good: A happy hymen was the conſequence, and they continue as amiable a pair as ever exchanged the matrimonial vow.

The diſſipated manners of Helen, her fondneſs for dreſs and ſhow, with the extravagant ſentiments which ſhe at all times avowed, deterred the ſenſible part of the male world from cheriſhing an idea of a ſerious connexion with a young perſon whom they conceived it 180 P6v 180 it impoſſible to domeſticate. Her uncle and aunt are no more; and their prodigality expended even the patrimony of their children. A ſimilar mode of living hath circumſcribed the career of all her boaſted maternal connexions; and Miſs Helen, now rapidly approaching the decline of life, hath become a fixed appendage to the family of her ſiſter; a dependant upon the liberality of thoſe, whom ſhe regarded with ſenſations bordering upon contempt: But their fine qualities will doubtleſs render that dependance as ſilken as poſſible.

NO. XIX.

Say, who is authoriz’d to probe my breaſt, Of whatſoever latent faith poſſeſs’d; If in my life no crimſon ſtains appear, Nor badge ſchiſmatic I am known to wear; If I obedient to the laws am found, By the ſame bands my brethren own, am bound, What is the mode of my belief to you, While I the track of rectitude purſue? Religion is ’twixt God and my own ſoul, Nor ſaint, nor ſage, can boundleſs thought control.

Iintroduce this nineteenth number of the Gleaner by a letter, which laſt evening’s poſt conveyed to my hand; and which I produce as an apology for the preſent eſſay.

Friend Vigillius, I do ſeriouſly confeſs unto thee, that I am not a little pleaſed with the light which ſeemeth to be within thee; yet feeling myſelf wonderfully at a loſs, what concluſion to draw concerning thee, I am jealous over thee with a godly jealouſy. From ſome precious gems which have been ſcattered up and down thy publications, I have been ready to think, that thou were truly of the fraternity of Friends, that thou hadſt obtained uncommon lights, and that thy heart was indeeddeed 181 Q1r 181 deed touched by that ſeraph, who, taking a coal from the altar, conſecrated therewith the till then unhallowed lips of the prophet Iſaiah. I muſt acknowledge that I have aſſiduouſly, and perhaps vainly, encouraged this idea; and moreover, that when I ſaw thee lead the comely maiden, whom thou haſt cheriſhed, to the altar, after the manner of the profane, with no ſmall inquietude I relinquiſhed my hopes in regard to thee. But if thou art not a Friend, the queſtion remaineth, What then art thou? I believe that thou meaneſt very well; and that thou haſt great goodneſs of heart at the bottom; but ſuffer an honeſt obſerver to ſet up for thee a land-mark; take care that thou art not miſled thereby, that thou ſtickeſt not faſt in the quickſands of error, or, that following an ignis fatuus, thou runneſt not on ſhore upon the ſhoals of miſconception. There is a fatal deluſion, which is now but too prevalent in our country; a deluſion, the fundamental principle of which, reſtoring the lapſed nature, finally returns every individual of the degenerate children of men to the ſtate of felicity which they have ſo notoriouſly forfeited: Verily I ſhudder at the bare penning of ſo pernicious and heterodox a vagary; and I am rendered the more fearfully apprehenſive, from a knowledge of the plauſibility with which its enthuſiaſtic advocates enwrap the ſoul-deſtroying hereſy! Many paragraphs in thy lucubrations, render me ſuſpicious that, under the influence of benevolence, thou haſt inhaled the ſtreams which have iſſued from ſo poiſonous a fountain; but again, from a number of choice ſentiments, which thou haſt occaſionally interſperſed, I am led to ſuppoſe that thou lookeſt upon thyſelf as a reſponſible being, that thou conceiveſt thyſelf accountable for thy actions, and that thou rationally concludeſt thou ſhalt receive a reward according to the deeds done in the body. Thus I am continually toſſed about in my opinion concerning thee; and thus am I induced to aſk thee two important queſtions. What doſt thou think of Q the 182 Q1v 182 the final ſtate of mankind? What are thy ſentiments of Jeſus Chriſt, and his redemption? I hope, friend Vigillius, that thou wilt excuſe this plainneſs of ſpeech, and that thou wilt not fail to number, among thy ſincere well-wiſhers and faithful friends, Zephaniah Doubtful.

As a general anſwer to friend Doubtful, it may be ſufficient to ſay, that the Gleaner aſpireth not to the dignified chair of the theologician; that whatever are his ſentiments, he hath entire complacency therein; that he is content with propoſing them to the reaſon of his family, without parading them to public view, or enforcing them upon any one.

Yet, thus called upon, though he doth not propoſe himſelf as a ſectarian, and though upon this occaſion, he may not avow the creed of the chriſtian Univerſaliſt; he yet craves the indulgence of his readers, while he takes leave to hazard a few remarks.

He is free to own, notwithſtanding the deſpotiſm of tradition, the prejudices of education, and the predominating ſway of revered opinions, that he cannot help regarding that plan as the moſt eligible, which repreſents the Father of eternity, as beneficently planning, before all worlds, the career of a race of beings, who, however they were immerſed in ills, and from the various viciſſitudes of time, plunged into a ſeries of misfortunes, were deſtined, nevertheleſs, to progreſs on to a ſtate of never ending felicity. Jehovah, while thus employed, appears auguſtly good, as well as auguſtly great, and every faculty of the mind rejoiceth to adore the paternal Deity.

We heſitate not to combine, in our ideas of the great Firſt Cauſe, with an unrivalled ſovereignty of power, that unerring preſcience, which, indeed, ſeems truly neceſſary to infinite wiſdom, and the fullneſs of the Godhead.

Would it not be impious, to ſuppoſe the Creator originating the vaſt deſigns of creation with a diſpoſition unpropitious to the well being of his creatures? Would 183 Q2r 183 Would it not be moſt abſurdly irreverent, to repreſent the creature as independent of the power which had formed him, and as unexpectedly eſcaping from the orbit in which he was placed? Would it not be blaſphemous to arm him with ſtrength ſufficient to fruſtrate the benevolent purpoſes which primarily gave him exiſtence? Is not that conjecture highly irrational which renders him capable of obtaining the knowledge of good and evil, without the permiſſion of that omnipotent Father of univerſal nature, who had moulded him agreeably to his own deſignation, who had ſhaped for him his little part, who had commanded him into being, who could make him whatever he pleaſed, and who could, in a single moment, recall the animating breath of life, which he is ſaid to have breathed into him? We can eaſily reconcile, with the arrangements of equity, allotments which may be clouded with miſery, through the lengthening period of many revolving years, provided that the horizon at length brightens upon us, and we are finally preſented with a happy termination.

The ſoul of man is indeed capacious; it can inhale, in one luxuriant moment, ſuch large draughts of divine enjoyments, as may in effect obliterate the painful remembrance of calamitous centuries; and, in a future deſtination, we may awake only to the ſacred rapture of corrected pleaſures. Nor do we know that ſentiments of this complexion are unfriendly to the intereſts of virtue; for, beſides the oft cited obſervation, that rectitude inſures its own reward, and that a ſtate of ſuffering muſt ever be conſidered as an appendage to vice; there is a view in which we may ſtill be regarded as probationers, as accountable beings; and rewards and puniſhments muſt ever remain in the hands of our common Father.

We conceive that the ſyſtem, which, bounding the ſalutary operations of Deity, confines his gracious interference to an elected few, while the many are conſigned to perdition, and which conſiders this awful decree as irreverſible, looks with a much more unfavourable aſpect upon the moral walk, than the denounced ſentimentsments 184 Q2v 184 ments of the Univerſaliſt; ſince it as effectually deſtroys every exertion to obtain the prize of future beatification, for the immutable determination of Jehovah hath unalterably fixed the deſtiny of every candidate. This diſcriminating plan, while it merits, in a high degree, the accuſation of unwarrantable partiality, (the moſt reprehenſible characters not ſeldom becoming the objects of its predilection) throws open, at the ſame time, the widely terrific gates of deſpair. It is moreover the parent of ſchiſm; and it inveſts the arrogant mind with every incentive to pride and undue ſelfeſtimation, authorizing the ſuppoſed privileged being to believe, that the eternal difference, which muſt of neceſſity forever exiſt between himſelf and the greater part of his fellow-mortals, may juſtify proceedings againſt them, for which a jury of philanthropy would find him guilty of high treaſon againſt the Rights of Man.

We think the hypotheſis, which is ever goading us to the performance of duty, by threats of the uplifted laſh, is not a little derogatory to the dignity of our nature. Generoſity and gratitude are plants which we wiſh to ſee cultivated in the ſoil of humanity. We would wiſh to ſee perſons proſelyted to the beauty of virtue; we would wiſh to ſee them in reality, ſenſible of the charms of a regular and meritorious life; in one word, we would wiſh to ſee them embrace innate goodneſs, merely for the ſake of its intrinſic worth.

I remember, ſome fifteen or ſixteen years ſince, being on a viſit to a friend in the capital of the State of Rhode-Iſland, that chance threw me one evening into a company, in which a certain transatlantic preacher, The author’s deſign in thus expreſſing herſelf of a perſon with whom ſhe boaſts the moſt intimate connexion, will be obvious to every intelligent reader. Concealment, even from the gentleman alluded to, was eſſential to her plan; and this manner of giving the anecdote, appeared the ſureſt path to the attainment of her wiſhes. well known for the liberality of his ſentiments, made no inconſiderable figure; this gentleman did at that time, 185 Q3r 185 time, and I am told that he ſtill continues to attract much attention in the religious world. Perhaps he may juſtly be ſtyled the father of the Univerſaliſts in this country; and however cenſurable I may be deemed, I freely confeſs that I was not, upon the occaſion adverted too, diſpleaſed at his ideas. Among other curious anecdotes and obſervations, which conſtituted his quota of the converſation, he produced a dream, which made no ſmall impreſſion upon my mind; whether he himſelf was favoured with this nocturnal viſion, or whether it was the privilege of a friend, I do not recollect; nor is it of importance to determine.

Its outlines were as follows: Sleep had ſpread over the cloſed eyelids its ſombre veil, and the illimitable region of fancy became illumined by a prodigious variety of luſtres; myriads of winged beings ſeemed to flit around; now, the empreſs of the ſlumbering hour crowded the ſcene with motley ſketches of every object which a teeming imagination could deviſe; and anon, as if ſolicitous to vary the entertainment of the night, a ſplendid ſolitude gradually pervading, extended itſelf around. It was at this moment that an intereſting form, robed in ſpotleſs white, and moving with inexpreſſible velocity, preſented herſelf before the ſleeper: Dignity was inſcribed on her very mien, her aſpect was majeſtic, and every look became expreſſive of ſome important deſignation; in her right hand ſhe graſped a blazing torch, and in her left ſhe bore a tranſparent vaſe, which, conſtantly iſſuing a copious ſtream, ſeemed to poſſeſs the properties of a living ſpring. Haſting along, with inconceivable rapidity, ſhe preſſed forward, and it was with difficulty that he detained her, while he humbly requeſted information reſpecting the nature of her office and employ; briefly ſhe replied, Know, inquiſitive mortal, that, commiſſioned by the Ancient of Days, I go forth, with this flaming torch, to light up a conflagration which ſhall conſume the heaven of heavens, while the exhauſtleſs fountain in my left hand ſhall pour forth a flood, whoſe waters ſhall utterly extinguiſh the devouring Q2 fires 186 Q3v 186 fires of Tartarean hell; and, know alſo, that when my miſſion is accompliſhed, then will the era be produced, in the which our God ſhall recognize ſome diſintereſtedly ſincere worſhippers.

The conſternation produced by this aſtoniſhing piece of information, diſpelled the ſomnific influence of the drowſy goddeſs; and the reflections which it originated in his boſom, muſt occur to every ſerious mind.

I have been amazed when I have liſtened to the declarations of thoſe, who have proteſted, that if a ſtate of retribution was not in reſerve, they would embark, with a full ſail, upon what they have termed the ocean of unlicenſed pleaſure, and that they would take in large draughts of illicit gratifications!—Surely, ſuch perſons have never yet awaked to the beſt enjoyments of life—are yet to receive the perceptions, which alone can entitle them to a rank among the dignified order of rational beings.

Independent of every future conſideration, how ſerenely rolls on the days of that individual, who is ſolicitous to employ his time, his talents, and his abilities of every deſcription, in a manner calculated to do honour to himſelf, and to conduce to the beſt intereſts of his fellow mortals!

View the well regulated family; no ſooner do their eyelids uncloſe, than their grateful oriſons ſpontaneouſly and individually aſcend the vaulted ſkies; with the firſt upriſing of the orient beam, they are aſſembled in the neatly furniſhed parlour, where, from the ſacred oracles, a portion for their improvement and conſolation is ſelected; where their common teacher, in words fitly choſen, energetic and conciſe, and in a manly and endearing tone of voice, offers up their united and early thankſgivings, ſupplications and praiſe, to the univerſal Sire of angels and of men.

This ſeparate and collected intercourſe with Heaven, will conſtitute them reciprocal guards upon themſelves and each other; they will be cautious of offending; their words and their actions they will conſider, and they 187 Q4r 187 they will be anxious to conduct as perſons privileged by a frequent acceſs to the Sovereign Diſpoſer of events.

The domeſtic departments will be filled in an allotted and regular manner; the affairs of the houſehold will go ſmoothly forward; the individuals will reciprocally aſſiſt each other; and plaſtic order, with affectionate harmony, will preſide among them. They will look abroad, and, finding a complacency in communicating good, they will feel it their intereſt, as well as their duty, to relive, to ſoothe, to ſuccour, and to ſupport, to the utmoſt of their ability, the ſuffering ſons and daughters of men; and while thus engaged in mitigating foreign woes, in extending the extricating hand, they will find that the bleſſings of heaven-born peace have become natal in their boſoms.

In the varied and intereſting offices of ſocial life, they will cheerfully engage; they are apprized of what their characters demand of them; and the happineſs of their extenſive connexions, they are careful to promote. As members of the community, they will diſcharge with propriety their parts, and they will ever reflect the higheſt honour upon their country. When they are overtaken by the unavoidable calamities incident to the preſent mode of exiſtence, in every affliction, they will naturally pour out their ſpirits in prayer: This is a privilege which will meliorate their ſufferings; and, accuſtomed to addreſs the great Origin of being, they will haſten with alacrity to the throne of grace. Whatever may be their employments or amuſements, in the courſe of the day, or during the cloſing evening, being careful to combine innocence withal—they will gladly turn from every inferior or trivial purſuit, and when the empire of night is commencing, they will re-aſſemble in the peaceful apartment, that will be thus conſecrated, and, by the mouth of their revered head, they will perform the evening proſtrations of their devoted ſpirits, worſhipping with ſincere hearts, enumerating the multiplied bleſſings of the day, and offering up their minglingling 188 Q4v 188 ling hallelujahs, thankſgivings and adorations. Their errors, of whatever nature, they will deplore with contrite hearts; but with child-like diſpoſitions they will approach, and they will be confident that their auguſt Father, who pitieth their infirmities, bendeth to their ſupplications a gracious ear. Calm, grateful, and diſburthened of their heavieſt load, they will retire to preſent their ſeparate ejaculations, and they will commit themſelves to the ſlumbers of the pillow with heart-felt tranquillity.

The theme is copious; I have rapidly hurried along; I could dwell untired upon the charms, and the unqueſtionable utility, attendant upon the preſent hours of an unoffending and uſeful life. But the fear that I may again exceed the pages, with which I am indulged by the obliging Editors of the Magazine, forbids my expatiating further.

No. XX.

Then are the ſhafts of diſappointment barb’d, When of her well form’d hopes the ſoul is robb’d.

All is not right at Margaretta’s—ſaid my poor Mary, ſome nights ſince, as ſhe laid her head upon her pillow. It was an involuntary expreſſion, and from the fullneſs of her heart it eſcaped her: She would gladly have recalled it, or at leaſt have palliated its effects, but it was too late, for the impreſsion was indelibly made—all is not right at Margaretta’s! Her words reverberated through the inmoſt receſses of my ſoul; they ſeemed to poſseſs a deadly power, which, at a ſingle blow, annihilated the ſerenity of my boſom. A thouſand painful ideas ruſhed in a moment upon my mind, and they originated the moſt alarming and affecting conjectures.

I had obſerved, that a kind of penſive melancholy had for ſome time clouded the fine open countenance of my wife; that her wonted equanimity was interrupted; that her ſlumbers were diſturbed and broken; and 189 Q5r 189 and that the admirable regularity of her movements were evidently diſcompoſed. As I poſseſsed a perfect confidence in her prudence, I had forborne to preſs her upon ſo diſtreſsing a change, well knowing, that whenever it was advantageous or proper, diſcretion would not fail of prompting her to pour into my ear the ſorrows of her heart.

Maternal affection had armed her with an anxious and vigilant attention to her daughter; ſhe had for ſome months marked a viſible alteration in her child; the dimpling ſmile of complacency no more ſpontaneouſly welcomed her approach; thick glooms encircled her brow; and while ſhe viſibly ſtruggled to preſerve appearances, the tenor of her ſoul was apparently loſt! Whenever Mary occaſionally looked in upon her Margaretta, if her viſit was unexpected, ſhe was ſure to find her bathed in tears; and the apologies which ſhe ſeemed to ſtudy, but ill concealed the diſcompoſure of an agonized boſom.

Mary, with all her penetration, could not divine the cauſe of an event, which ſhe ſo greatly deplored; ſhe imagined that her daughter was in poſseſsion of every thing which could conduce to the moſt pleaſing kind of tranquillity; and ſhe conceived that the grateful affections of her heart ought to be in conſtant exerciſe. Competency beamed its regular, mild, and equal bleſsings upon her; her infant was not only lovely and promiſing, but he ſeemed almoſt exempted from thoſe diſorders, which are uſually attendant upon his imbecile age; her own health was uniformly good; and though Edward Hamilton partook, of courſe, the morbid contagion of her grief, yet he was ſtill the penſively pleaſing and entertaining companion.

Mary concluded, that nothing remained, but for Margaretta to re-aſsume the accuſtomed equability of her temper, in order to the perfect reſtoration of that ſunſhine, which had for a ſeaſon illumed her hours; and tenderly intereſted, while her heart was torn by anxiety, ſhe could not forbear to interrogate—but the only replies ſhe could obtain were ſighs and tears, interrupted 190 Q5v 190 interrupted by broken aſsurances, that indeed ſhe was —ſhe was very happy; and that ſhe ſupplicated her dear Mamma to put upon every appearance the moſt candid conſtruction. Her mother, however, made wiſe by the obſervations ſhe had collected from books, from the ſtudy of her fellow mortals, and from a large ſhare of natural diſcernment, could not be thus eaſily deceived.

Curioſity was, upon this occaſion, her ſmalleſt inducement; and ſhe trembled at the impervious darkneſs of a cloud, which ſhe rationally apprehended involved the deareſt hopes of her Margaretta! Baffled in repeated attempts to fathom a myſtery, which had yielded her boſom a prey to the keeneſt anguiſh, ſhe changed the mode of her attack; and, addreſsing her daughter by letter, in the language of diſcretion, in the language of tenderneſs, ſhe penned the feelings of her ſoul.

To Mrs. Hamilton. Is it poſsible for Margaretta Hamilton to conceive her mother a calm ſpectator of that corroding inquietude, which is gradually and too ſurely undermining the peace of a child, who is, ſhe had almoſt ſaid, dearer to her than any other human being? As I have not been ſtimulated by an idle wiſh to obtain your ſecret, I am hurt that my inquiries have proved ſo ineffectual. Can Margaretta wiſh to veil herſelf from the eye of the guardian friend of her early years? Believe me, I ſeek only to probe the wound, that I may the more aſsuredly arreſt the progreſs of the envenomed poiſon, and be enabled to judge what preſcription may operate as a ſpecific. But, for the tender age of innocence, the advice of the phyſician is the ſuperſtructure of conjecture; and in this inſtance I am neceſsitated to follow the example of the benevolent practitioner, at all hazards aſsaying to throw in ſomething, which may poſsibly preſerve the opening life of thoſe budding joys, the growth of which 191 Q6r 191 which I had fondly hoped to have watched, until I had gratulated their confirmed maturity. When we gave our Margaretta to Edward Hamilton, we conceived that we had yielded her to the man of her heart; and, believing him to be every way worthy, we congratulated ourſelves upon the eſtabliſhment of the felicity of our child. What, my love, can have produced a change ſo affectingly agonizing? Whenever you appear tolerably compoſed, it is evident that you are acting a part. I tremble leſt your father ſhould penetrate the thin diſguiſes which you aſsume; and, ſanguine as his expectations in regard to you have been, it is difficult to ſay, what ſerious conſequences his diſappointment might produce. Oh, my child, my ſoul is torn by the moſt fearful conjectures! will you not endeavour to aſsuage the ſorrows of my heart? will you not at leaſt relieve me from the pangs of ſuſpenſe? Can it be, that Mrs. Hamilton is ſo far ſubjected to ſexual weakneſs, as to have delivered herſelf up to the moſt alarming chagrin, merely becauſe, perhaps, ſhe receives not from the huſband ſuch adulatory devoirs as diſtinguiſhed the lover? Surely I ought to regard this idea as inadmiſsible; and yet, the ſtrongeſt minds may have their moments of imbecility; and, my Margaretta, all accompliſhed, all lovely as ſhe is, muſt nevertheleſs ſtill be conſidered as a young and inexperienced woman. If this is indeed the ſource of your perturbed anxiety, I perſuade myſelf that ſome ſuch reflections as the following, will ere long awaken you to reaſon. It is impoſsible to change the order of nature. Delighted admiration of pleaſing novelties, is the ſpontaneous growth of every boſom; a ſecond view finds us more calm; a third, a fourth, may poſsibly rouſe us to pleaſure; but a conſtant repetition will create that indifference, which will conſtitute a perfect contraſt to the keen edge of our new-born feelings. The impaſſioned ardours of the ſoul muſt of neceſsity ſubſide; they 192 Q6v 192 they are but created to expire: But I pity the mind which prefers not the calm rational affections that ſucceed, to all the hurricane of the paſsions. Love, as it is commonly deſcribed, is undoubtedly a ſhort-lived being; it is a luxurious glutton, that invariably gormandizeth to its deſtruction; but from its perfumed aſhes ariſeth a ſtar-gemmed ſoother, that the wedded pair may either cruſh in the birth, or agree to cheriſh, as the ſecurity of their mutual happineſs. Eſteem may ſometimes be traced as the parent, but I think it will be found that it is oftener the offspring of love. Young eſteem, entwined by ſmiling confidence, enwreathed with ſweet complacency, how fragrant is its roſy breath, how neceſsary to the hymeneal career, and how much is it in the power of the affianced friends to render its exiſtence permanent! Behold your Edward in a large circle of ladies; doubtleſs, he is all attention; his features are animated; and if they are young, beautiful and ſentimental, he is all ſoul; he ſeems to tread on air, and he hath no eyes or ears, but for them; he will addreſs to them the moſt refined gallantries, and he will appear loſt amid a conſtellation ſo ſplendid. But think you, my love, that he would experience ſenſations thus highly wrought, were he to mingle every hour in their ſociety? and would you wiſh to exchange for ſuch mental gewgaws, if I may ſo expreſs myſelf, the ſolid pleaſures of endearing familiarity; the advantages reſulting from unbroken confidence, from a ſocial intercourſe, uninterrupted by the fopperies of language, and from all the matchleſs and ſerene enjoyments which wedded friends may know? Are you not apprehenſive that the continued clouds which gloom your lovely face, may prematurely deſtroy your bloom, and, by imperceptible degrees, alienate the affections of your huſband? If once you relinquiſh your place in his boſom, it will require a ſeries of the moſt arduous efforts to reſtore you to the poſseſsion you will have thus imprudently abdicated! I am 193 R1r 193 I am not an advocate for undue gentleneſs, or ſubmiſsive acquieſcence; ſuch conduct may border upon meanneſs; a woman ſhould be juſt too, ſhe ſhould reverence herſelf: I am far from conceiving that the female world, conſidered in the aggregate, is inferior to the male; but cuſtom hath eſtabliſhed a certain order in ſociety, and cuſtom is a deſpot, whoſe chains, I am fearful, it will be in vain that an individual will aſſay to burſt. I know too, that it is for the intereſt of every perſon who ſingly conſiders either him or herſelf, to cultivate an equal and ſerene temper of mind. If you array yourſelf in the garments of tranquillity, if you ſeek to clothe yourſelf with innate cheerfulneſs, habit will at length render you in reality complacent, and it will not be you who will derive the ſmalleſt ſhare of advantage therefrom. In ſhort, my dear girl, you have every inducement to call forth your moſt unremitted exertions. Parents tenderly anxious for your welfare—Parents, whoſe felicity, is inſeparably entwined with your own; a huſband acknowledged as highly deſerving, and a beauteous infant, whoſe little eyes are raiſed to you for protection, for inſtruction, and for peace: Oh! cloud not his budding life by a grief ſo ſtrange and unaccountable; his lovely cheek ſhould not thus early be waſhed by the tear of ſorrow. Oh, pierce not thus the boſom of her who hath reared you to womanhood, whoſe prime hopes of temporal enjoyment reſt with you, and who, in conſequence of that authority, which by high Heaven is veſted in her, demands of you an account of that latent woe, which, gaining ſtrength by concealment, is thus preying upon all your promiſed joys. Speak, I conjure you, ſpeak; and let your communications mitigate the pangs, which ceaſe not to lacerate the boſom of your afflicted and commiſerating mother.

The evening of the day, which had preſented the foregoing addreſs, returned Mary the ſubjoined reply.

R To 194 R1v 194 To my dear and honoured Mother. Pitying angels—and muſt I then ſpeak? aſsuredly I muſt—every conſideration unqueſtionably points out an explanation. I have ſunk, mortifyingly ſunk, in the eſtimation of her whoſe approbation I would die to preſerve; and I have inflicted upon her the ſevereſt anguiſh; yet, probably, her tender boſom may be diſburthened, by a knowledge that her Margaretta is not altogether ſo culpable as ſhe hath apprehended: And duty ſeems to impel an unreſerved confidence; for the honoured woman, to whom I am primarily indebted for every thing that can render life valuable, hath commanded me to be explicit. But ſtop!—can duties claſh? Ought the diſcreet female to accuſe him to whom ſhe hath voluntarily yielded her moſt ſacred and ſolemn vows? Can Margaretta criminate her Edward!!!! Yet, poſsibly, what I have to urge in my own defence, may not exhibit my Hamilton in a cenſurable point of view; from a mutable being we are not to expect immutability; and if my conjectures have their foundation in truth, though I may be wretched, I will not be unjuſt. It is neceſsary that I juſtify myſelf to my mother; but I will not dare to caſt a ſhade upon the character of a man, whom I regard as the firſt of created beings. Hardly three months after our marriage had elapſed, when Edward exhibited marks of a growing and deep-felt inquietude! an impenetrable gloom overſhadowed every feature! Had you witneſsed, as I have done, and ſtill do, the laſting and ſerious ſorrows of his boſom, your maternal remonſtrance would have been addreſsed to him, rather than to your unfortunate child. Often hath he regarded me with a fixed and melancholy attention; and when, alarmed and terrified, I have ſought the cauſe of his myſterious deportment, as if unable to command his grief, he hath fled with precipitation from my importunities. To induce him 195 R2r 195 him to diſcloſe the fatal ſecret of his heart, no means within my power have been left unaſsayed; and although failing in my well intended efforts, I have ſtill endeavoured to ſoothe and woo his ſteps to the ſweet and flowery paths of peace. With the ſevere eye of unrelenting rigour, I have examined my own conduct: Probably I am under the dominion of self-partiality; for, in regard to him, I cannot view myſelf as reprehenſible either in thought, word, or deed. When, by your direction, I announced to him my expectation of preſenting him with a little being, who would bring into the world with it, its claims to his fondeſt affections,—Oh, Madam! inſtead of the effect which we naturally imagined, the ſorrows of his heart became ungovernable; with convulſed and agonized emotions, he claſped his hands—Never ſhall I forget his exclamation; it ſounded like a death-warrant to my ear—Gracious God! wretch, wretch that I am!—— What he would have added, I know not; for, overpowered by my grief and my ſurpriſe, I ſunk lifeleſs at his feet; and when, by his endeavours, and thoſe of the attendants whom he ſummoned to my relief, I was recalled to ſenſe and to recollection, I found him kneeling by my bed ſide, aſsiduouſly and tenderly employed in my reſtoration, and his tranſports at beholding me, as he expreſsed himſelf, once more open my eyes to love and to him, at ſeeing the bloom again reviſit my cheeks, were, he declared, the moſt exquiſite he had ever experienced! You will not doubt, that I ſeized this tender moment, to expoſtulate with him relative to his heart-affecting and ſoul-piercing expreſsions of grief, and continued melancholy; but, although he beheld me, as I then ſuppoſed, with unabating affection, although he ſoothed my ſpirit by the moſt delicate and unequivocal aſsurances, he nevertheleſs turned a deaf ear to the voice of my ſupplication! Edward Hamilton hath a ſtrong and determined mind; fortitude is innate in his boſom; he can wear to the public eye, and even to the 196 R2v 196 the circle of his friends, a face of tranquillity, while his breaſt is a prey to the moſt perturbed ſenſations. Fearful of diſguſting him by my perſecutions, I baniſhed from my lips every expreſsion of my anxiety; and, as far as was in my power, I diſmiſsed from my features the inquietude of my boſom. I ſtudied, by my every movement, his pleaſure; and I flattered myſelf, that the birth of my child, by giving a new turn to his ideas, would reſtore my felicity. It is true that I had nothing to complain of, except the corroding grief, with which he evidently ſtruggled, and which, notwithſtanding his efforts to conceal it, was generally the companion of his private hours: For the reſt, I judged myſelf in poſseſsion of his heart, and his deportment was deſcriptive of the moſt refined and faithful attachment. Thus paſsed the days, until the arrival of my pangful hour. You, dear Madam, were a witneſs to the diſtreſsing agitation of his ſoul, during that perilous and tremendous period; you heard and repeated his fervid vows for my ſafety; they were muſic in my ears; doubtleſs they were ſincere, for the heart of Edward Hamilton is as tender as it is manly. You alſo witneſsed the rapt ſenſation of his grateful ſpirit, when he received his ſon; you heard and marked the paternal bleſsings, which he poured upon his youngling head; and, it is true, that the little creature is as dear to him, as the vital ſpark which warms him to exiſtence—but alas! this is the ſum total of my enjoyments! The anguiſh of heart, which is deſtroying the father of my child, ſeems daily to augment! The tears, of which he is apparently unconſcious, often bedew the face of my infant! Frequently, as if by mutual conſent, we gaze in ſilent ſorrow upon the dear innocent, and when Hamilton ſuppoſes himſelf unobſerved, his eyes and hands are raiſed toward heaven; and in all the majeſty of innate woe, he pathetically makes his appeal to the Searcher of all hearts, while rectitude, it ſhould ſeem, is the motto of his life. Yet, 197 R3r 197 Yet, I will not withhold ſome circumſtances, that have produced inferences, which my full ſoul hath recoiled at admitting. Alas, my mother! will you not eſteem me wretched, when I confeſs to you, that I have but too much reaſon to ſuppoſe myſelf the origin of his misfortune. Some weeks after the birth of my little William, I was alarmed by the frequent abſence of Hamilton; and as I forbore any remarks thereon, being unwilling to embitter, by my expoſtulations, the few moments which he allowed me, I continued ignorant of the manner in which he appropriated his time. Accident, at length, informed me that all thoſe hours of which he had robbed me, were devoted to Serafina! and from her he always returned a prey to the deepeſt and moſt fearful chagrin. The ſhock which my tenderneſs and my ſenſibility received, in a moment ſo replete with anguiſh, I aſſay not to deſcribe; but reaſon, I bleſs God, darted athwart the region of my ſoul her beamy influence. Serafina was the ſiſter of my heart; ſhe was a lovely and an amiable woman. Edward and Serafina had been educated together from early life; their habits of intimacy were confirmed; and I conſidered, that if her ſociety poſseſsed more charms than mine, Edward was unfortunate, but not culpable. I immediately formed the reſolution of ſoliciting her to become an inmate in our houſe; and when I made my propoſal to Hamilton, he received it with more ſatisfaction than my feelings could well tolerate; he kiſsed my hand with rapture; a gleam of joy vermilioned his cheek, and he flew to acquaint Miſs Clifford with the wiſhes which I had expreſsed. Serafina too demonſtrated the higheſt complacency; a reſidence with her Margaretta, ſhe was pleaſed to ſay, would complete her felicity; and ſhe could not heſitate, when a ſituation every way eligible was tendered to her acceptance. Our plan was no ſooner concerted than put into execution: Miſs Clifford was eſtabliſhed in this manſion, and Hamilton no longer wandered abroad! When I R2 am 198 R3v 198 am preſent, Hamilton hath never, for a ſingle moment, abated his marked attentions to me; and he regards Serafina in his accuſtomed manner; but if I unexpectedly join them, although they have apparently been engaged in the moſt affectingly intereſting converſation, they are immediately ſilent, embaraſsed and uneaſy! The fine eyes of Serafina are often drowned in tears, and the grief of Hamilton ſeems to know no bounds! Two weeks ſince, upon the morning of the day on which you ſurpriſed me yielding up my whole ſoul to ſorrow, ſuppoſing Hamilton in his cloſet, I took my needle-work, with a deſign, while ſitting beſide him, to make one more effort to allure him into the ſweet and flowery walks of tranquillity. He was not there— but an open piece of paper lying upon his ſcrutoire, written by the hand of Serafina, in which I ſaw my name in large characters inſcribed, caught my attention. I read it—its contents are indelibly engraven upon the tablets of my heart; and, with a trembling hand, I tranſcribe them for your peruſal. That I love not my own ſoul better than I do my Edward Hamilton, I truſt he will always be lieve. lieve. I have received his expoſtulatory letter, and by that love which we mutually avow, I conjure him to conſider, weigh, ponder, and reflect. Can Edward conſign Margaretta to ruin? Can he be forgetful of the intereſt and well-being of his infant ſon? If Hamilton will give to theſe claims their due weight, I perſuade myſelf that he will then liſten to the voice of pru dence—of dence—of that prudence which is in this inſtance, regent in the boſom of Serafina Clifford. I read, I ſay—and the agony of my ſpirit was inexpreſsible—with a wild air I turned toward the window; and, as if fate had determined to make me completely wretched, I beheld Edward and Serafina, arm under arm, walking down the gravel-walk of our little flower garden: This, at ſuch a moment, was too much. 199 R4r 199 much. With precipitate and unequal ſteps, impaſſioned almoſt to frenzy, I haſted from the cloſet, flying, as for refuge, to my own. It was at this diſtreſsing juncture, that you, Madam, looked in upon me; you ſaw, and your eye condemned the irregular expreſsions of a ſorrow to which you was a ſtranger; but I flatter myſelf that you will, in future, rather pity than cenſure your Margaretta. Real illneſs, through that fatal day, ſerved me as an apology for not making my appearance at dinner, or at evening tea time; and, in the courſe of the night, reaſon taught me ſufficient ſelf-command, to appear tolerably compoſed at breakfaſt the next morning. As I left the writing preciſely as I found it, there cannot be an idea entertained of the ſuſpicions which wound my boſom; and if it is mine to ſuffer, I am determined to ſuffer in ſilence.——Thus, dear and honoured Madam, you will ſee that I have no common cauſe of ſorrow—that I am not ſo very faulty as you conceived. Thus have I entitled myſelf to your advice; and thus you will be induced to pity your Margaretta Hamilton.

Mary heſitated not to diſpatch the following approbating reply.

To Mrs. Hamilton. No, my poor ſufferer, you do not ſtand in need of advice—perſervere as you have begun—Mr. Hamilton is a man of ſenſe and feeling; he will rouſe to a recollection of your virtues, and your reward will be great. Believe me, I glory in my child.——— My tears flow ſo faſt, I cannot add; and I can only ſay, that I am indeed your commiſerating and tender mother.
No. XXI. 200 R4v 200

No. XXI.

Worth, ſterling worth, amid the ordeal ſhines, Conviction gems it—truth the poliſh gives; Aſbeſtos like, it whitens in the flames, And in eternal records brightening lives.

Sitting, laſt evening, in the little apartment which I have devoted to pleaſures, properly termed ſentimental, I was endeavouring, while Mary was ſeated by my ſide, to amuſe the hours which ſhe employed at her needle, by a re-peruſal of Gibbon’s Roman Hiſtory. We had paſsed our afternoon, in a vain attempt to inveſtigate the cauſe of the infelicity of our daughter; we went over and over the ground, we traced and re-traced, we exhauſted the powers of retroſpection, until wearied amid the wilds of conjecture, we attained the preciſe point from which we at firſt ſat off.

I had forborne to queſtion either Mr. or Mrs. Hamilton, imagining that the diſcretion of Margaretta muſt inevitably become finally triumphant; and I conceived, beſides, that any interference, conſidering the exquiſite ſenſibility and delicate circumſtances of the parties, muſt unavoidably increaſe the evil we lamented.

But to delineate the agonized perplexity which tempeſted the boſom of Mary, is impoſsible! the perturbed ſigh, humid cheek, and ſwoln eye, proclaimed the anguiſh of her ſpirit; while ſhe in vain endeavoured to reaſsume the wonted fortitude and equability of her diſpoſition.

Laſt evening, however, wiping from her face the tear of maternal woe, and calling into action all thoſe efforts which it is the privilege of tender eſteem to embody, I ſo far ſucceeded in my attempts to ſoothe her mind, as to procure a temporary calm; and preſsing, as an auxiliary, my admired hiſtorian, my purpoſe was to draw her off, at leaſt for the moment, from 201 R5r 201 from the contemplation of the melancholy conſequences of her daughter’s marriage.

We had but juſt inveſted our penſive tete-a-tete, with a degree of apparent ſerenity, when Mrs. Hamilton, without being announced, ruſhed haſtily into the apartment. Our aſtoniſhment at ſo unexpected a viſit, was in no ſort abated by the wild extravagance of which her air and manner were deſcriptive; it was, however, the mania of joy; and, without giving us time for reflection or interrogation, throwing herſelf ſuddenly at my feet, with claſped hands, and all the delirium of rapture, ſhe exclaimed—O Sir! O my father! bleſs, bleſs, your happy child!—delay not to beſtow your benediction upon this, the moſt bliſsful period of her life; thus giving the paternal voice, to ſanction and complete that meaſure of felicity, which per haps haps her wayward and deſponding heart hath but ill deſerved.

Alarmed and apprehenſive, I would have folded her to my breaſt, at no moment heſitating to pronounce a bleſsing, which was ever the ſpontaneous dictate of my heart; but ere I could utter a word, ſpringing up and haſting forward, ſhe threw her ſnowy arms around the neck of Mary. O my mother, my more than mother! embrace your now not ſorrow ing, ing, but perfectly aſsured and extaticly enraptured Margaretta!

Mary, alternately claſping her to her boſom, and regarding her with looks of agonized terror, ſtruggled in vain for utterance; the impaſsioned feelings of her ſoul diſdained language, and the perturbed emotions which agitated her ſpirit, were expreſsed only by an affecting and deſcriptive ſilence.

For myſelf, I am free to own, that the ſcene had almoſt unmanned me; and, that trembling equally for my wife and daughter, I could not have ſupported it a moment longer. It was interrupted by the entrance of Edward Hamilton and Serafina. Ah, my love! cried Hamilton, why do you thus cruelly deprive me of your preſence; at a moment too, when you “ have, 202 R5v 202 have, as it were, renovated my exiſtence; when you have relieved me from a burthen that, by its mighty preſsure, had well near cruſhed my every hope of happineſs this ſide the eternal world; when you have new pointed every felicity, and taught me ſtill more highly to appreciate the ineſtimable worth of yourſelf, and of your ennobling affection! Were it poſsible I could call my Margaretta unkind, her abſence at ſuch a time, would be the only plea that could juſtify my accuſation. But who talks of accu ſation? ſation? Margaretta, like the Being from whom ſhe originates, and who hath formed her a near reſem blance blance of his bleſsed ſelf, unreſervedly forgives; and, influenced alſo by an example ſo fair, while urged by their own lenient benevolence, our revered bene factors, factors, parents, friends, will likewiſe condeſcend to ſign my acquittal; and thus their once almoſt deſ pairing pairing culprit, reſtored to peace and to them, will new plume his hopes, and, re-embarking upon the voyage of life, he will truſt that proſperous gales may attend his once ſhipwrecked proſpects.

Margaretta, encircled in the arms of her huſband, bent her ſweet face upon his boſom, while Serafina, enthuſiaſtically preſsing her hands to her lips, murmured in broken ſentences—Lovely and forgiving ſiſter! a ſiſter indeed! angelic Margaretta! May God in heaven greatly reward and forever bleſs my indulgent Margaretta.

But not to fatigue the reader, by the incoherently agitated manner, in which we finally obtained an explanation of theſe myſterious appearances, I will piece together materials which, through many breaks and pauſes, I received, and preſent a ſuccinct narrative of circumſtances, that have produced an ecclairciſement, which hath rendered Margaretta, in her own eſtimation, the happieſt of women.

The opening dawn of yeſterday preſented a ſerene autumnal morning, and the advancing day confirmed the pleaſing indications of its roſy harbinger.

The 203 R6r 203

The ripened fruits of autumn gathered in, the induſtrious ſwain once more hailed the interval which, crowning his hopes, permitted him to indulge a ſuſpenſion of his labours; the very air, gently moving the motley foliage of the grove, impregnated with the ſeeds of bland and ſocial peace, and diſburthened of the undulating and buſy clang, ſeemed to breathe the true ſpirit of grateful and unmoleſted contemplation; while all varying nature apparently wore the ſemblance of tranquillity.

Margaretta made the compariſon—ſhe could no longer ſupport the dreadful contraſt which her boſom exhibited; and, aſserting herſelf, ſhe determined to be peremptory in her demand of an explanation. For many hours ſhe revolved her important purpoſe; her ſpirit laboured with its intereſting deſign; her breaſt was the ſeat of inquietude, and her ſoul was heavily oppreſsed. How to preſent herſelf; how to introduce her ſubject; in what language to clothe thoſe ſorrows which ſhe had hitherto ſo aſsiduouſly ſought to veil from the eye of Hamilton—theſe were queſtions which ſtrongly agitated every faculty of her mind; but all her attempts to concert a plan of operation were ineffectual, until at length, tortured by reflection, heſitating, trembling and irreſolute, ſhe bent her ſteps toward that ſaloon, which Edward had conſecrated the ſcene of his moſt retired moments; thither, at certain hours of the day, ſhe knew that he repaired; upon this ſolitude ſhe had never before ventured to intrude; yet, by ſlow and ſolemn movements, urged by deſpair, ſhe now approached: She drew toward the receſs, the door was but half cloſed; Edward and Serafina, for the purpoſe of obtaining an uninterrupted conference, had previouſly retired there. Serafina was ſeated on a ſofa, her face bathed in tears; Edward, evidently overpowered by grief, reclined by her ſide; he preſsed the left hand of Serafina to his lips, while her right was thrown affectionately over his ſhoulder!

O Edward! with a voice almoſt choaked by ſorrow, exclaimed Miſs Clifford, why are you thus “ unkindly 204 R6v 204 unkindly perſervering? Falſe ſentiments betray you. My attachment to you is cloſely interwoven with my exiſtence. I ſtand upon the brink of a precipice, down which your unyielding obduracy will not fail to plunge me! Again I aſsure you, that my happi neſs neſs or miſery is involved in yours! If you become an exile from your country, doubtleſs I ſhall be the companion of your flight; but whither ſhall we go? in what receſs can we hide ourſelves? Is it poſsible that we can voluntarily conſign to irremediable ruin, the lovely and affectionate Margaretta? Is it poſsible that you, that a father, can deliberately reſolve to blaſt the juſt budding proſpects of him, who now, un conſcious of the threatened danger, lulled in the cra dle dle of innocence, ſmiles with celeſtial ſweetneſs?

Margaretta had entered unobſerved; ſhe had beheld the attitude of two perſons whom ſhe had accuſtomed herſelf not only tenderly to love, but reveringly to eſteem. The moſt envenomed pangs of deſpair at that moment pervaded her boſom—a feveriſh kind of anguiſh ſeemed to drink up the purple ſtream of life— her voice was loſt, and her ſight well near abſorbed. Unable to proceed, ſhe ſunk upon the ready ſettee, which the ſecond ſtep preſented—ſhe diſtinctly heard the exclamation of Serafina! !—and the powers of animation ſuſpending their operations, ſhe ſunk motionleſs upon the ſettee—a ſigh burſt ſpontaneouſly from her boſom—a ſigh, that might well be imagined the immediate harbinger of death; it firſt drew the attention of SerafinaHamilton ſtarted from his ſeat, and with mingling ſurpriſe, anguiſh and terror, they mutually flew to the ſuppoſed expiring ſufferer. Their applications were in part ſucceſsful; the active principle of life reſumed its functions, and a gradual reſuſcitation pervaded the ſyſtem. Reaſon, nevertheleſs, as if indignant at the outrages which ſhe had ſuſtained, ſtood aloof; and it was but too evident, that Margaretta poſseſsed not that fine arrangement which had hitherto regulated the feelings of her dignified and gentle mind.

Her 205 S1r 205

Her wanderings, however, imbibed the hue, and partook the prevailing bent of her natural diſpoſition; and amid her incoherent ramblings, the true ſituation of her ſoul was expreſsed.

In pathetic language ſhe lamented her own hard fate; and, addreſsing Serafina, whom ſhe believed to be Mary, ſhe queſtioned her in regard to the propriety and eligibility of a ſeparation from Edward. She ſaid that her attachment to her huſband could never know abatement; but (lowering her voice, as if fearful of being overheard) as he was devoted to another, ſhe thought it was becoming her character to relinquiſh her claims; ſhe wiſhed, indeed, that Edward and Miſs Clifford had ſooner underſtood the nature of their mutual attachment—But perhaps they might have much to plead in their own defence; and that, for her part, though ſhe was at a loſs to trace the origin of the calamity which had overtaken her, and could not juſtly accuſe herſelf of intentional error, yet ſhe wiſhed every body well. That they need not be reduced to the neceſsity of abandoning the country; for if ſhe could but obtain one of thoſe moſs-grown caverns, which ſhe had heard were ſo numerous in the dominion of Old Ocean’s God, in thoſe watery abodes ſhe would ſeek her deceaſed father; poſsibly too, her ſupplications might draw down the ſainted ſpirit of her injured mother; and if ſhe might be permitted to take with her the darling boy, for whom her laſt ſigh would ariſe, they would be a family of love—ſhe would ſoothe the woe-fraught boſoms of her parents—ſhe would prepare for her infant ſon an oozy bed, the ſea-green turf ſhould pillow his little head, and, by the murmuring waters of ſome coral grove, he ſhould be lulled to reſt.

Hamilton, agonized beyond expreſsion, in the frenzy of the moment, would have put a period to his exiſtence; but by Serafina, who is ever preſent to herſelf, he was wooed, and awed to ſome degree of compoſure.

Serafina, by the aſsiſtance of a faithful female, conducted Margaretta to her chamber; and, while ſhe S offered 206 S1v 206 offered up to Heaven her ſilent and fervid vows for the perfect reſtoration of her friend, ſhe availed herſelf of the idea ſhe entertained that ſhe was her mother; and, aſsuming the mildly commanding air, ſhe had ſo frequently obſerved Mary to wear, ſhe gently remonſtrated, preſsed and ſoothed, until ſhe had placed Mrs. Hamilton upon her pillow, when, ſeizing the exact criſis, in the ſofteſt key, ſhe proceeded to chaunt the moſt plaintive, harmonizing and dulcet ſtrains, within the compaſs of her muſical voice, until ſhe beheld the diſordered mourner embraced by thoſe ſlumbers, from which ſhe doubted not ſhe would awake, in the full poſseſsion of her charming intellects. Having thus effectuated this ſalutary purpoſe, leaving Margaretta to an attendant, her next care was to rejoin Hamilton.

It was impoſsible not to underſtand the nature of the ſuſpicions, which, it was apparent, had ſo deeply impreſsed the ſoul of Margaretta; and a retroſpection convinced them, that even in the boſom of apathy, reaſon, from a variety of circumſtances, would have originated conjectures. Edward acknowledged, that a deſperate diſeaſe demanded a deciſive remedy; he trembled for the conſequences; but his deareſt hopes now pointed out the moſt unreſerved confidence. Alas! had he known the heart of my daughter, how many pangs he might have ſpared her. But the limited pages of this publication forbid remarks.

Serafina, obtaining full power to act agreeably to her own diſcretion, returned to the chamber of Margaretta, fraught with a ſovereign ſpecific for her wounded ſpirit; when, diſmiſsing the girl, and ſeating herſelf beſide her, ſhe impatiently waited her releaſe from that ſalutary repoſe, to which ſhe had been ſo ſolicitous to conſign her.

Margaretta at length opened her grief-ſwoln eyes; the traces of deep-felt melancholy were viſible in her countenance; but reaſon, it was evident, had reſumed her operations, and the expreſsion of every feature was deſcriptive of a mild and affecting kind of reſignation.

How are you, my ſweet friend? ſoothingly queſtioned Serafina.

“Not 207 S2r 207

Not well, Serafina; returned Margaretta; and, after a moment’s pauſe, letting fall ſome tears, in an affecting tone of voice, ſhe added; I am, Miſs Clifford, the daughter of misfortune; my parentage was early announced; and though the interpoſition of my bleſsed friends and benefactors, would, by adopting me into their family, have ſnatched from me the bitter cup of adverſity, yet, to ſtruggle againſt the unalterable decrees of an all-wiſe Providence, it is in vain we aſsay!

Serafina, inexpreſsibly affected, delayed not her remedy, but immediately taking her hand, which ſhe bedewed with her tears, ſhe delivered herſelf to the following effect:—

You are undoubtedly an angelic woman; hardly any lot could be conſidered as fully adequate to your uncommon merit; yet, if my admeaſurement of the mind of Margaretta is juſt, the ſecret which I have to communicate, will baniſh from her boſom its moſt corroding ſorrows.

I ſhall make my recital in as few words as poſsible; and, although I may criminate the everlaſtingly abſent, yet I will not be ſo unjuſt to myſelf, as to ſuppoſe that the fact which I have to ſtate, will leſsen me in your eſteem. The boſom of my Margaretta is the natal habitation of candour; and, while I in form form her that Edward Hamilton and myſelf, owe our being to the ſame father, the ſenſation that is moſt prevalent in my breaſt, is a pleaſing kind of conſcious pride.

While Mr. Hamilton, the elder, tranſacted buſineſs in Europe, he ſaw and diſtinguiſhed my unfortunate mother. A circumſtantial narrative of the tender, though unwarrantable connexion, which was the conſequence, you will find in theſe ſheets, which are the hand-writing of my father: the characters are familiar to your eye, and I yield them cheerfully to the peruſal of ſome ſerene hour.

It appears, that the only fault of which my ill-fated mother could be accuſed, was her unjuſtifiable and “ fatal 208 S2v 208 fatal attachment to my father: the ſtruggles of her ſoul were great; her ſufferings were accumulated; a number of extenuating facts the narrative faithfully records; and the filial feelings of a daughter’s heart, naturally ſuggeſt a perſuaſion, that when, at the moment of my birth, ſhe yielded up her life, the ſacrifice may be regarded as an expiation for her indiſcretion.

My father called me by her name; and, returning to America, preſented me, then only ſix months old, to his lady, as an orphan, whoſe perſon and fortune were entruſted to his care by her expiring parents, and to whom he was determined to diſcharge the part of a tender and faithful guardian.

The ſoul of Mrs. Hamilton was the ſeat of unſuſ- pecting virtue, and ſhe received me to the boſom of commiſerating affection; but I had not paſsed my third year, when this excellent lady was ſummoned to the manſion prepared for her; and my father exchanged no ſecond vows. The attention which he paid to my education, hath often been remarked to you; and though, until I had completed my twelfth year, I viewed him only as my guardian friend, yet upon the tablets of my heart the ſincereſt veneration for his character was inſcribed. Edward, born during the abſence of his father, had only one year the advantage of me, and it was on the twelfth return of my natal day, that, leading us to his library, and putting into my hands thoſe papers, which I have now committed to yours, he thus expreſsed himſelf: Receive—Serafina Clifford—and the big tear rolled down his venerable cheek—receive the recital of your mother’s woes. I have marked, with a perturbed and anxious kind of pleaſure, the uncommon attachment by which my children diſtinguiſh themſelves; yours is the age of innocence, and your affections bud on the ſtem of virtue; but a little onward, and the paſsions of youth too often aſsume a baleful and fatal hue—theſe, alas! may perhaps precipitate you into a gulph of ruin——I judge it “ proper 209 S3r 209 proper to commit to you a ſecret—that I command you never, but in an hour of unavoidable neceſsity, to divulge——Know, Edward Hamilton, that Serafina Clifford is your ſiſter; ſhe is the daughter of your fa ther— ther—Know, Serafina Clifford, that Edward Hamilton is your brother; he is the ſon of your father; and upon the heads of my children may the bleſsings of Heaven de ſcend! ſcend! Here the emotions of his ſoul became too big for utterance; he was unwilling to ſubmit them even to the eye of duteous affection, and he haſtily withdrew.

For us, our boſoms were awake only to the mingling ſenſations of ſurpriſe and joy. I, for my part, never experienced a rapture ſo ſincere; and, no longer reſtrained by the preſence of our father, we flew into each other’s arms, eager to exchange thoſe vows of eternal amity, which we have ever ſince inviolably obſerved.

With one half of his ample fortune, my father, by gifts, inveſtitures and laſt teſtament, ſcrupulouſly endowed me; and, as I enjoy no maternal inheritance, my every pecuniary emolument is derived from him: Yet, he ſo well concerted his meaſures, as to lead every one concerned to imagine, that he was only relinquiſhing a truſt that had been repoſed in him.

The remainder of my account I ſhall paſs rapidly over. When Mr. Courtland’s pretenſions were ap parently parently approbated by you, my brother, ſtruggling in vain to riſe ſuperior to an attachment, which he then deemed unfortunate, ſought a remedy in ab ſence; ſence; and, flying for refuge to the ſouthern States, melancholy, and almoſt deſpairing, he aſsayed the various rounds of diſsipation; gaming became his favourite amuſement; and, in a few weeks, it is ſcarcely credible what immenſe ſums of money were ſquandered! Mortifying embarraſsments were the conſequence; and had it not been for the extraordi nary nary interpoſition of a friend of uncommon merit, his immediate ruin would have ſucceeded.

S2 “ Viewing 210 S3v 210

Viewing himſelf, however, as young, and unconnected, he was prepared to meet the frowns of fortune; and ſuppoſing he had obtained the cure of a paſsion, that had gained ſtrength with almoſt every added year of his life, he returned home, well pleaſed with his expedition. The event proved what an erroneous calculation he had made; and when he received your hand at the altar, he truſted that future ſucceſses, economy and application, would retrieve his affairs. What ſhall I ſay?—every month he hath accumulated misfortunes; and the rapid decline of his finances hath operated as a ſevere check upon his deareſt pleaſures. When you communicated to him your expectation of augmenting his felicity, by preſenting him an invaluable pledge of love, he was then ſtruggling under the preſsure of a recent diſappointment; he reflected upon himſelf as a prodigal, who had waſted the patrimony of the unborn. You muſt recollect his unguarded and impaſsioned expreſſions, with the alarming effects which they produced upon you. He accuſes himſelf as a wretch who hath deceived you; and he is miſerable. The generous forbearance of his ſouthern friend, hath hitherto upheld him; but that benevolent creditor hath himſelf become a bankrupt, and the ſtate of my brother’s affairs can no longer be concealed. My lovely ſiſter muſt ſoon have known, that her huſband is ſome thouſands in arrears, which he hath not a ſhilling to diſcharge. My fortune would completely reinſtate him; often have I tendered it——Interrupt me not, my love;—for Margaretta was eager to expreſs er feelings; I have written, I have repeatedly remonſtrated: To effectuate this favourite purpoſe of my ſoul, I have revolved a variety of plans; my nights have been ſpent in tears, and my days in attempts to conceal from you my chagrin.

Edward is withheld, by falſe principles of delicacy, from availing himſelf of what the laws of his country, but for the regulations of his father, would undoubtedly have inveſted him with: Gladly would I “ commit 211 S4r 211 commit myſelf wholly into the hands of my brother. The good or evil which awaits him, I would wiſh to ſhare; I would have but one intereſt between us, and I would be regarded only as the ſiſter of his heart.

But for him, he ſtyles himſelf a wretch who hath deceived and betrayed you, and, under this appellation, he ſhuns your preſence; he cannot bear to appear before your parents, the victim of extravagance; he meditates abſconding from America, and if he cannot be induced to relinquiſh his deſign, his ſiſter will bear him company in exile: But if matters can be adjuſted, Edward may receive my intereſt, at leaſt as a loan. If Margaretta can forgive, and will become my auxiliary, ſhe may yet poſseſs tranquillity; and ſhe will enſure to herſelf the eternal gratitude of two perſons, who will, upon all occaſions, devote themſelves to the promotion of her felicity.

As Miſs Clifford proceeded in her narrative, Margaretta had quitted her couch; ſhe had continued highly agitated, traverſing up and down her apartment. Now her claſped hands, raiſed eyes, and accelerated movements, expreſsed the big emotions which ſtruggled in her boſom; now ſhe threw abroad her hands in admiration, and now raiſed them to Heaven, in a delirium of joy: Vehemently ſeizing the firſt pauſe, ſhe repeated—Tranquillity!—Gracious God! —Can Serafina Clifford Hamilton—my divine ſiſter—my angel friend—my peace-ſpeaking, hope-inſpiring genius—can ſhe give ſo cold a term to the extatic rapture of this bliſsful moment? Creator, and Almighty Preſerver of my life, how have I deſerved this fullneſs of felicity, which, like a mighty torrent, now burſts upon me? O Edward! my faultleſs, my injured huſband! but inſtantly, on my knees, I will ſupplicate the benign tenderneſs of that manly boſom, to intercede in my favour.

Margaretta glided through the paſsage—Hamilton met her in an adjoining chamber; where, with a perturbed and anxious ſpirit, he had waited the reſult of what he termed the criſis of his fate. It was not in his 212 S4v 212 his power to prevent the humble poſture of his charming wife; Margaretta bent before him; and, with ſtreaming eyes and ſupplicating hands, beſought his pardon for the error, into which a haſty, inexperienced and ſuſpicious ſpirit had precipitated her. Edward in vain aſsayed to raiſe her; by the events of the day her reaſon was ſtill in a degree diſordered, and ſhe inſiſted upon receiving her forgiveneſs in form.

My God! cried Edward, flinging himſelf beſide her, this is too much; receive once more your of fending fending Hamilton; endeavour to eraſe from thy lovely boſom every painful remembrance of his paſt irregularities, and you may then number him among the happieſt of human beings. Dearer to my ſoul than the light of heaven, my Margaretta hath ever been: All amiably conſiſtent, and mildly good as ſhe is, ſhe hath not, ſhe never could be found in a reprehenſible walk; and conſequently, her huſband muſt have marked her progreſs with an approbating eye; conſequently, he can have nothing to con demn, demn, nothing to forgive.

The appearance of Miſs Clifford ſuſpended their tender contention; and Margaretta embraced the opportunity of haſting to impart to us, the aſtoniſhing change which had taken place in her favour.

The ſubſequent ſcene, in my reading parlour, naturally reſulted; and, I only add, that if there are, who do not greatly admire, and highly applaud the unequivocal demonſtrations of joy, with which my daughter received the knowledge, that ſhe muſt relinquiſh the independence of affluence, and deſcend to the humbling grade, which ſcanty and precarious circumſtances enrolls,—I pity the frigidity of their boſoms.

No. XXII. 213 S5r 213

No. XXII.

1793-12December, 1793. Majeſtic o’er the plains December bends, In flaky heaps, o’er hills and dales deſcends; With icicles his hoary head is bound, The tempeſt ſhrieks, the cold winds bellow round: Darkneſs ſupreme in gloomy triumph reigns; From time revolving, added ſubjects gains; Wide o’er our world his ſable mantle ſpread, The ſunny hours and breezy gales are fled. Yet howſoe’er replete with partial wrongs, Still to December ceaſeleſs praiſe belongs; Period auguſt! thy ſtar-gemm’d records give That ſacred truth which bids the mourner live; On thy broad diſk the ſplendid beam impreſs’d, Where unborn nations are ſupremely bleſs’d, Produced in thy train th’ expected morn, On which a liberating God was born; The general weal all potent to ſecure, To pay the forfeit, and our woes endure: While hallelujahs ſhould aſcend the ſkies, Pæans high wrought from ev’ry tongue ariſe. White boſom’d month, glad hearts thy footſteps hail, Sweeter thy carols than the vernal gale: With thee, the renovating work began, That immortality bequeaths to man; Surpriz’d, he glances o’er the vaſt profound, And marks, rejoicing, thy eventful round: So, on the veſtments of the long dark night, The day-ſtar dawns, bleſt harbinger of light; While the lorn wand’rer, erſt of hope beguil’d, Dragg’d doubtful on through many a dreary wild, Shapes to the opening gleam the matin ſong, And once more mingles with the cheerful throng.

My mind, much occupied and greatly exerciſed, by the deranged ſtate of Mr. Hamilton’s affairs, together with ſome other very painful and deeply lacerating events, hath not found itſelf at liberty to purſue, with wonted avidity, its accuſtomed avocations.

Thus circumſtanced, as a ſubſtitute for the ſubject on which I had intended to expatiate, I preſent, for the perusal of the reader, the contents of a folded paper I lately 214 S5v 214 lately picked up, in one of my ſolitary rambles; and which, being without a ſignature, it is not in my power to reſtore, in any other way, to its original proprietor. The ſentiments and language of this little performance, are evidently the devout and ſpontaneous breathings of a chriſtianized mind. And, as I think that the piece, altogether, may properly enough be characterized, a Eulogy upon the month of December, I have choſen to chriſten this Gleaner by the name of that celebrious portion of time.

Here followeth the Paper.

December—it is true thou haſt been fruitful to me of misfortunes; many a time haſt thou lacerated my boſom, by raviſhing from me my deareſt enjoyments; thou haſt ſtabbed me in the tendereſt part, and thy broadly wild and congealing eye hath ſeemed to glut itſelf with my tears; into thy frozen ear it is in vain that I have poured my ſorrows; harder than adamant, thou ſeemeſt to arreſt the ſtream of pity, and thou regardeſt my lamentations with ſtern and unrelenting ſeverity; thy ſtorms have been as a whirlwind to my ſoul; and thy tempeſts, up-rooting my peace, have well near whelmed, beneath the barren heaths of deſpair, my every hope. Fell Deſpoiler I have called thee—for thy hoary viſage hath ſtill for me been marked with terror—But hark! what ſweet voice is that which iſſues from yonder Angel of peace?—it ſoothes my ſpirit by the moſt conſolatory aſſurances—reaſon and religion it combines—with the Shepherd of Iſrael the commiſſion originates—and, with bland and gentle pity, deep in my boſom it implants immortal Hope. December—bleſt era!—thou art the natal month of the Saviour of the worldLet thy winds convey my individual ſufferings to that oblivion, to which the Redeemer hath, eventually, conſigned the woes of the exonerated children of men. To the private conſiderations of corroding ſorrow, let me no longer liſten—Let me gird up the loins of my 215 S6r 215 my mind, and look forward to that bliſsful conſummation, the dawning of which was preſented in thy adminiſtration. Hail! returning period—white-garbed month!— thou ſhalt ever be right welcome to my devoted boſom—Every moment which conſtitutes thy admeaſurement, ſhould be conſecrated as ſacred to the moſt refined enjoyments of the ſoul—Henceforth, waving my accumulated griefs, I will love thy flaky footſteps—I will anticipate their approach; and my ſpirit ſhall ſolace itſelf, by a confiding view of the accompliſhment of that arrangement, which was deſignated in thy apportioned round. December—bleſt period!—moſt illuſtrious in the order of time!—thou containeſt the natal day of the Son of God—and thy broad encircling eye extendeſt from the man of paradiſe, to that infant who ſhall lateſt ſwell the ſigh of humanity. Yes, I will love thy flaky footſteps—darkneſs cannot overſhadow thee—Thy ſhades but ſerve to render the brightening ſplendours of thy courſe the more conſpicuous. The natal day of the Son of God!—what records have engraven ſo ſtupendous, ſo ſalutary, ſo momentous a truth!—Thy hours regiſter his birth— the birth of the Prince of Peace—During thy progreſs, the Virgin brought forth her firſt-born ſon—and renovated nature ſmiled extatic—healing breezes chaſe the chills of winter—and celeſtial ſpirits cluſter round the haunts of men. Soft as the vernal ſhower his doctrine diſtilled—and the plant of perfection attained maturity—From the ſtorm he is a Hiding Place—and the burning eye of Divine Juſtice can never pierce that invulnerable envelopement, by which he hath encompaſſed the ſons and daughters of men—Sickneſs fleeth before him, and imbecility dwelleth not with him—Evil ſhall be exterminated from his dominion—rectitude ſhall adminiſter unto him—peace ſhall erect an immortal ſtandard—and innocence, adorned with chaplets of equity, ſhall be the gift of the Moſt High. The 216 S6v 216 The deaf ſhall hear his voice—the blind ſhall behold his day, rejoicing—the lame ſhall ſpeed before him —the dead, even the dead, ſhall hear the voice of the Son of God—and they who hear ſhall live! Bleſt thought!—the dead ſhall again be raiſed—And the hour approacheth, when, inmingling with departed ſaints, we ſhall rejoin that privileged and beloved circle, over whoſe open graves we have poured the comfortleſs, unavailing and corroding ſtream of ſorrow— But from every eye every tear ſhall be wiped away— nor ſhall the wide extended univerſe contain a ſon or daughter of adverſity. Such will be, ſuch is, the effects of his ſway, who firſt breathed in mortality during the diviſion of hours, which make up thy allotment. Hail, firſt of months! when I forget thy diſtinguiſhed auſpices, may I be dead to the voice of the charmer—when I ceaſe to mark with gratulations thy annual return, may the bleſt ſounds uttered by the tongue of our holy, ſacred, and animating religion, no more vibrate upon my heavy ear. Toward the cloſe of the month, which cloſeth our year, the Saviour was born—ſo, in the laſt day of time, when the divine arrangements are well near completed, the reſtitution of all things ſhall be made manifeſt, and the winding up of the great drama, bringing forward the accompliſhment of the deſigns of an all-wiſe Creator—Crimes of every kind ſhall be baniſhed from the family of man—the train of ills, which have infeſted the works of the Eternal Mind, ſhall accompany their origin; and ſin being annihilated, ſorrow ſhall be no more. Evangelic month!—again I repeat it—ſurely I will love thy days, O December! and the event produced under thy domain ſhall ever be right precious to my ſoul.!
No. XXIII 217 T1r 217

No. XXIII.

Juſtice an eye of fire ſhould broadly ope, Yielding to virtue the rich germ of hope; Each latent cauſe pervading to its ſource, Her firm deciſions potent to enforce. Fortune bandreau’d may blindly mark our way, While radiant juſtice ſpreads celeſtial day.

Taking my ſeat, the other evening, in a front box at the play-houſe, I was, previous to the drawing up of the curtain, not a little amuſed by the chit-chat of a couple of ſprightly girls, who occupied ſeats at my right hand. The houſe, the company, and the expected entertainment, alternately engaged their attention. I found, by their converſation, that they, as well as myſelf, were ſtrangers in the metropolis, and that the witneſſing the repreſentation of a play, was rather an extraneous occurrence in their catalogue of enjoyments.

In the name of wonder, ſiſter Peggy, exclaimed the youngeſt of the girls, who is that figure that ſeems placed as a ſentinel over yonder avenue, and who is at the ſame time ſo curiouſly bandeaued, that one might be ready to imagine him juſt ſtarting off upon a game of blind-man’s buff? That figure? ſiſter Clary, replied Peggy, why that figure, my dear, is the figure of Juſtice. O my conſcience, ſiſter, cried Clary, Juſtice, do you ſay? Why ſurely, Peggy, you muſt have made a monſtrous blunder; for I have heard a thouſand and a thouſand times, that Juſtice was nothing but eyes, and that ſhe could ſee every way at once. You are thinking of Argus, Clary: The poets indeed deſcribe him with his hundred eyes; but Juſtice, believe me, is always painted blind. Poh, poh, Peggy, you are certainly in the wrong; or, if it is as you ſay, your great writers, or painters, or whoever they be, muſt certainly all have been in a dream: Why I would not ſuffer a blind man to chooſe me a ſet of ribbons, much leſs ſhould he decide upon a queſtion,T tion 218 T1v 218 tion, which involved my life, my character, or even my eſtate.

The girl’s obſervation was the ſpontaneous language of nature, and truth and nature are generally upon the ſame ſide.

How long my fair neighbours continued their entertaining confab. I know not, for the ingenuity of Clary, throwing me into a train of thinking, from which I was only rouſed by the appearance of the players, I unfortunately loſt the remainder of their remarks.

The ſentiments of the lively Clary are certainly authorized by reaſon. Fortune is deſcribed as blind; and ſhe is ſaid to beſtow her benefactions moſt capriciouſly. The rich, it is thought, conſidered in the aggregate, derive not their claim to the diſtinctions with which they are inveſted, from the ſuffrage of virtue; Fortune is frequently laviſh of her favours to vice, while the good man is ſeen ſtruggling with all thoſe ills which are the accompaniments of penury. Yet did Fortune always thus deſignate, we might be ready to ſay ſhe had undoubtedly the gift of ſight, and that the depravity of her taſte led her to ſelect her favourites from the children of error. But to ſhield her goddeſsſhip from a concluſion ſo derogatory to her moral character, inſtances may be produced, where the votaries of rectitude baſk in the ſunſhine of her ſmiles; integrity is ſometimes crowned by her with affluence, and the upright, being liberally endowed, are appointed to adminiſter to the neceſſities of the ſons and daughters of adverſity.

Fortune, moreover, is extremely variable in her diſpoſitions, and in the conſtant revolutions of her wheel, thoſe who are to-day ſtanding tip-toe, upon the higheſt eminence, may to-morrow be precipitated into the abyſs of entanglements, embarraſſments, and comfortleſs deſpair. Ingenious therefore is the allegory which permits us to attribute the caprice of Fortune to her deficiency of viſion; and thoſe ancients were happy, who, thus regarding her diſtributions, conſoled themſelves in the deprivation of her favours, by the poſſeſſion 219 T2r 219 poſſeſſion of that intrinſic worth, which it is not in the power of ſo uncertain a being to deſignate or to beſtow.

But whatever may be urged for veiling the optics of dame Fortune, is undoubtedly point blank againſt hood-winking the goddeſs Themis, or Juſtice. I am aware that the deciſions of Juſtice ſhould ever be impartial, and that her viſual ray is ſaid to be thrown into the ſhade, to prevent the bias in favour of appearances, that her judgment would otherwiſe have received; but it ſhould be remembered that Juſtice, diveſt of fable, is one of the moſt dignified attributes of Deity; that it partakes the nature of its auguſt Original; and that it is, by conſequence, infinitely ſuperior to party.

Juſtice is enthroned far above all law, ſince no human arrangements can take cognizance of every poſſible event, and much muſt at all times be left to the ſpontaneous dictates of this illuſtrious vicegerent of Omnipotence.

Were I to perſonify Juſtice, inſtead of preſenting her blind, I would denominate her the goddeſs of fire; ſhe ſhould poſſeſs a ſubtle eſſence, which ſhould penetrate through, and pervade the inmoſt receſſes of the ſoul; by every inſignia of light I would ſurround and deſignate her; while among the ornaments which compoſed her creſt, a broad and never cloſing eye ſhould ſtand conſpicuous; ſhe ſhould poſſeſs the power to unravel the knotty entanglements of the moſt ſophiſticated web; piercing as the forked lightning, inſtantaneous and penetrating, ſhe ſhould diſcloſe, at a ſingle glance, the ſecret and crooked windings of the moſt profound labyrinth, while, patient and unerring, ſhe ſhould liſten with calmneſs to the various diſquiſitions of the intereſted claimant; and, careful to inveſtigate, her deciſions ſhould always accord with her own important nature and office.

Uniform in her awards, neither youth, beauty, nor innocence, ſhould poſſeſs a charm to ſoften her firm inflexibility; dignity, age, the venerable head of ſnow, theſe ſhould not awe ; adverſity ſhould not excite an improper 220 T2v 220 improper compaſſion, nor ſhould the tears of the widow, or of the orphan, unduly perſuade. Of unbending integrity, Juſtice ſhould feel, hear and ſee, but truth alone ſhould be the pole ſtar, by which ſhe ſhould ſhape her movements, and equity only ſhould conſtrain her determinations. To the ravages of wayward paſſions ſhe ſhould be at all times ſuperior; and her adminiſtration ſhould be under the regulation of wiſdom. Elevated beings are diſhonoured by the ſuppoſition, that they can poſſibly be influenced by improper or foreign repreſentations, and my delineation of Juſtice, armed at all points, ſhould be inacceſſible even to the ſuſpicion of imbecility.

Auguſt and dignified delegate of the great Firſt Cauſe! to thee the nations appeal, whatever form their governments may aſſume, whether democratical, republican, oligarchical, monarchical, or deſpotical—ſtill they are careful to give their doings the inveſtiture of thy ſacred name; they affect thy ſanction, they arreſt thy titles; the violation of thy laws, is the oſtenſible reaſon for the battles which they ſeek; and, aſſuming thy banners, they anticipate ſucceſs, exulting in victories, which, agreeably to thy allotments, the iniquity of their cauſe may forbid their ever obtaining. Nor is the general diſpoſition of great events alone under thy direction; thou takeſt cognizance of the minutiæ of human life, and with an unerring hand, thou directeſt all thoſe occurrences in the career of being, which the infidel is accuſtomed to aſcribe to the agency of a blind and undeſcribable chance. To thee the good man raiſes the eye of confidence; virtue is ſure of thy award; and the oppreſſed of all ages have flown to thee for refuge.

Thus far I had written, aiming, gentle reader, at thy amuſement—when Edward Hamilton looked in upon me. You are buſy, Sir, and I will not interrupt you. No, my ſon, I have always leiſure to receive your viſits. Sit down, Sir, and unfold the tale, to which your perplexed countenance is a preface. “I come, 221 T3r 221

I come, Sir, to take your direction in regard to the line of conduct which the untoward ſtate of my affairs renders it proper for me to purſue. I threw down my pen which I had till then held in my fingers; and, graſping his hand, I eagerly exclaimed—Juſtice, Sir, Juſtice muſt be your guide—you are an excellent young man, Mr. Hamilton; and I am happy in the aſſurance, that you will find no difficulty in following the courſe of the radiant director, which I take the liberty to point out as the guardian of your every ſtep. Endeared as you are to me, Sir, your very fault, the occaſion conſidered, ſerving to intereſt me ſtill more in your happineſs, I could at this moment with pleaſure diveſt myſelf of my little inheritance in your favour: Start not, Sir, (for he was extremely agitated at this ſuggeſtion) conſiderations of tenderneſs to the unborn, forbid my taking this ſtep, and the poſſeſſions of her father, muſt be ſecured to the children of our Margaretta. I approve much of your declining to avail yourſelf of the generoſity of Miſs Clifford. Juſtice would redden indignant at ſuch a ſacrifice. Nature, however legiſlators may have ordained, gave that young lady a right to the patrimony ſhe enjoys; and your fraternal affection ought not to ſuffer you to riſk property, the loſs of which would render ſo amiable a woman dependent and uneaſy.

Such, my ſon, hath been the uniform integrity of your commercial tranſactions, that, to abridge you of your liberty, not a ſingle creditor will preſent himſelf. Poſſibly you might go on to accumulate arrears; but Juſtice, inflexible and unyielding Juſtice, muſt here interpoſe; a full ſtatement of your embaraſſments, with an eſtimate of your poſſeſſions, muſt be immediately given in; not a ſingle article muſt be withheld; your family ſeat, which hath, for ſuch a number of years, continued the reſidence of hoſpitality, if you are allowed time to attempt its redemption, you will confeſs an obligation; meanwhile, it muſt be occupied to the beſt advantage; it may be converted into an annual income, which will conſiderably augment your finances ; T2 this 222 T3v 222 this houſe is large, and the hearts of your parents are open to receive you; hither, until the ſtorm be overblown, you muſt retire; and by the reſtoration of that ſociety, the loſs of which, I do aſſure you, we have not ceaſed ſecretly to regret, our domeſtic enjoyments will be inexpreſſibly advanced. Fortune is blind, and her diſpoſitions are extremely variable; you muſt perſeveringly purſue her; poſſibly ſhe may relent, and ſhould ſhe in future beſtow upon you her gifts, you muſt not fail to diſcharge, to the laſt farthing, every juſt demand which can be made upon you. I bleſs God that your own habits, and upright way of thinking, will irreſiſtibly ſtimulate you upon this occaſion. Bankrupt and limitation acts may ſucceed each other, and all theſe may be very well in their place; but the honeſt man will hear the voice of Juſtice, he will bend his ear attentive to her pleadings, and Virtue will be the motto of his actions.

Fame once wafted to my ear, a little narrative, which indelibly impreſſed my mind; and I have never reflected upon it, without the accompaniment of an exquiſite kind of complacency. I will give it you, my ſon, as an example.

A gentleman, engaged in the mercantile line, had followed buſineſs with little ſucceſs; his integrity, his efforts, and his abilities were unqueſtionable, and for many years they enabled him to make head againſt a tide of misfortunes, which would have overwhelmed a common capacity; his creditors themſelves, well convinced of the propriety and frugality of his arrangements, readily contributed the means, which his continued loſſes only converted into an accumulation of his arrears. Weary, at length, of a warfare that fate ſeemed to render ſo unequal, he ſummoned all thoſe to whom he ſtood indebted, and forcing upon them, according to the amount of their demands, an exact proportion of the intereſt which remained with him; after thus voluntarily diveſting himſelf of every ſhilling of property, he found, to his great regret, that it was only adequate to the diſcharging of a very ſmall part 223 T4r 223 part of his arrears; he received, however, from his approbating creditors, receipts in full; and, thus exonerated in the eſtimation of the law, he very ſoon made up his mind, relative to his future deſtination. A generous friend ſupplied him with a ſmall ſum, by the means of which he embarked upon a foreign voyage; proſperous gales ſoon wafted him to his deſired port, and he preſented himſelf with ſuch credentials as he merited. Shakeſpeare ſays, there is a tide in men’s affairs! he had embraced the favourable moment of opportunity; every thing he undertook was proſperous; all his tranſactions were marked and crowned by ſucceſs, and a few years ſaw him maſter of a very handſome property. He had kept no correſpondence with his friends during what he termed his period of exile; but he no ſooner attained that independence, after which his noble ſpirit had ſo long and ſo ardently ſighed, than he departed in a ſhip of his own, richly freighted, full ſpeed for his native country. Information of his return was conveyed to his creditors, through the medium of a card, ſoliciting their preſence at a public houſe, to partake of an entertainment which he had ordered for them. His creditors remembered him as an unfortunate, but an honeſt man, whoſe arrival they ſhould gladly welcome, and they obeyed with avidity his ſummons. The firſt compliments were marked by mutual expreſſions of ſatisfaction, and from the lips of the welcome claimants the warmeſt gratulations ſpontaneouſly iſſued. A ſuperb dinner, with much elegance, was ſerved up, and the covers being removed, the bottle was briſkly puſhed about; but who can expreſs their aſtoniſhment, when, in the midſt of their hilarity, every man was preſented with the full ſum he had ſo formally relinquiſhed, together with every ſhilling of intereſt, which would have been legally due, had they received promiſſory notes inſtead of the releaſes they had ſo voluntarily given! A generous contention immediately enſued; but our merchant convincing his friends of his ability, they finally yielded to his remonſtrances. They 224 T4v 224

They were, however, determined to exhibit a monument of their admiration and their gratitude; and they ſolicited and obtained permiſſion of the government to erect, in a public ſtand, a magnificent obeliſk, the faces of which were inſcribed with the name of the upright debtor, and with a circumſtantial account of the whole tranſaction.

How much more honorary is a virtuous fame, than the poſſeſſion of houſes or of lands. The law was not made for the votaries of integrity; their own feelings are ſufficient to them as a rule of action; and Juſtice, unerring Juſtice, is the great ſtandard of their lives.

No. XXIV.

Leaning on morals when the Drama moves, Friendly to virtue when the viſion proves— Leſſons adopting form’d to mend the heart, Truths meliorated, potent to impart; Her ſplendid fictions wiſdom will embrace, And all her ſcenic paths enraptur’d trace.

The various parterres, now putting forth their promiſing buds, in many ſections, in this our country, looks with a very favourable aſpect upon a man of my profeſſion; and I cannot but hope, that in the occupation of a Gleaner, I ſhall be able to cull many a fragrant flower, wherewith to compoſe a bouquet, that may throw an agreeable perfume over the leiſure hours of the ſentimental ſpeculator.

To expreſs myſelf leſs technically. The progreſs of the Drama, in this new world, muſt aſſuredly intereſt the feelings of every obſerver; and, being under the pleaſing neceſſity, in the routine of my excurſions, of viſiting many parts of the United States, and thus, having frequent opportunities of preſenting myſelf in our ſeveral theatres, from the elegant houſe in Philadelphia to the temporary reſorts of itinerant companies, in thoſe little country towns, which will invariably copy the examples they receive from the metropolis, I naturally,urally, 225 T5r 225 urally, in the courſe of my perambulations, pick up many obſervations, that may poſſibly ſerve for the amuſement of my readers.

The great queſtion which does, and ought to occupy the mind of every patriotic moraliſt, is the utility of licenſed ſtage-playing. Perhaps I may as well withdraw the word licenſed; for, in the preſent enlightened era and adminiſtration of liberty, the citizen would hardly conſent to an abridgment of thoſe amuſements, the evil tendency of which could not be unequivocally demonſtrated to his underſtanding; and the late ſtruggle in the State of Maſſachuſetts, evinces the futility of erecting barriers, not ſubſtantiated by reaſon.

The law in that State was outraged in its very face: the flimſy ſubterfuge of moral lectures deceived no one; and though, as I am informed, the theatrical prohibition is but partially repealed reſpecting the Boſtonians, and remains in full force upon the reſt of the State, yet it is notorious, that itinerant players are conſtantly marching and counter-marching from town to town, to the no ſmall diverſion of the good people of this very reſpectable member of the Union. But, without preſuming to intermeddle with the policy of the legiſlature, my deſign is, to hazard a few remarks upon the ſubject in general.

As I abhor the domination of prejudice, and, upon the ſtrongeſt conviction, regard it as a tyrant, that if once brought to the guillotine, would (provided it is not of the Hydra kind) leave an opening for the introduction of an era far more friendly to the progreſs of genuine and corrected liberty, than the murder of all the humane, virtuous and religious princes in the univerſe; ſo I moſt ſincerely deprecate its deſpotiſm; and whenever I ſeat myſelf, with the pen of inquiry, I am ſolicitous to raiſe a rebellion againſt encroachments, that, however ſanctioned by time, cannot, in my opinion, be conſidered in a court of equity, as legal or natural. The objections to theatrical amuſements are many and plauſible. I pretend not to decide for others; I would only inveſtigate. If 226 T5v 226

If I miſtake not—Waſte of timeImprudent expendituresEncouragement of idleneſs—and, Relaxation of morals, ſtand foremoſt in the catalogue of objections.

Prodigality of time, is indeed an irremediable evil; and if it can be proved, that an hour devoted to the theatre would certainly have been appropriated to any beneficial employment, for which no moment of leiſure will in future preſent, I, for one, ſhall be impelled to allow the validity of the allegation; and, I do hereby inveſt ſuch plea with full authority to detain every ſuch perſon from all dramatical repreſentations whatever: But, with the ſame breath I contend, that thoſe evenings which are immolated at the ſhrine of Bacchus, which are loitered in a tavern, in unneceſſary goſſiping, cards, ſcandal, and the numerous vagaries of faſhion, will be comparatively redeemed, if marked by an entertainment ſo incontrovertibly rational.

The complaint of exorbitant expenditures, is of a ſimilar deſcription. A friend of mine, who reſided for ſome time abroad, once informed me, that he had frequently been ſtopped, when in full career to the play-houſe, by a conſideration that the indulgence he was about to procure himſelf, would ſupply ſome tearful ſufferer with bread, for at leaſt one whole week. Now, all ſuch perſons, provided they can make it appear, they are not in the uſe of any as expenſive and more ſuperfluous gratification, ſhall be releaſed, upon their parole given, that they will abſolutely and bona fide employ their ſix ſhillings to the aforeſaid purpoſe.

To the third objection I cannot allow the ſmalleſt weight: Who, I would aſk, are the Idlers? Perhaps there is no mode of life which requires more aſſiduous and laborious application, than that of a good and conſiſtent actor. School exerciſes are certainly not the moſt pleaſurable employments of adoleſcence; and every adult can tell, how much more eaſily he could imprint the memory of his early years, than that retention which is the accompaniment of his matured life. But the ambitious and principled actor hath paſt the age of flexibility, and ſtill his days are, almoſt unceaſingly,ceaſingly, 227 T6r 227 ceaſingly, devoted to ſtudy: By frequent repetitions, ſuch is the conſtitution of the mind, the fineſt ſentiments too often pall; and the well informed, ingenious and meritorious performer is in danger of loſing his taſte for the higheſt mental enjoyments; while the entertainment which he produces for others, is the reſult of unremitted and painful labour to himſelf.

Why then, permit me to aſk, if he is ſolicitous to blend, with our amuſements, the higheſt poſſible improvement; if he profeſſedly purſues the means of living; if his manners and his morals are unblemiſhed; and if, by becoming ſtationary, he in effect takes rank with our citizens—why, I aſk, is he ſo lightly eſteemed? Surely, if, under the influence of reaſon, of gratitude and impartiality, I muſt unheſitatingly acknowledge, perſons ardently engaged in procuring for us a rational entertainment, are entitled to a degree of genuine reſpect, to encouragement, and even to patronage.

It is aſſerted, and the aſſertion does not appear unfounded, that a virtuous theatre is highly influential in regulating the opinions, manners, and morals of the populace.

Here we are naturally led to the fourth and laſt diviſion of our ſubject.

Relaxation of morals.—And I aſk, Doth not a virtuous theatre exemplify the leſſons which the ethic preacher labours to inculcate? I take it for granted, that none but a virtuous and well regulated theatre will be tolerated. In the ſouthern and middle States, Philadelphia particularly, no performance can make its appearance upon the ſtage, without paſſing under the previous examination of the governor and two other reſpectable magiſtrates, who, by their avowed approbation, become reſponſible to the public for the merit of the piece. Similar reſtrictions will, perhaps, be adopted, wherever the Drama ſhall progreſs; and my confidence in the truſtees of the Boſton theatre, repreſents to my view every apprehenſion, not only as ſuperfluous, but abſolutely injurious. Virtue 228 T6v 228

Virtue then will be adorned with all her native lovelineſs, and vice exhibited, deformed and miſhapen, as that deteſted hag, which Milton’s energetic pen hath ſo hideouſly pourtrayed. Is there a boſom that will not haſten to embrace the one? Is there a mind that will not ſhrink with horror from the other? The man of firmneſs, of principle, and of worth innate; the mild, the conſiſtent, the regular, the maternal fair one; theſe ſhall be rewarded with burſts of heart-felt applauſe; while the imbecile or irreſolute votary of error, the unprincipled betrayer, the fraudulent villain, the licentious, perverſe and abandoned female; theſe characters ſhall be ſtigmatized with reproach, exhibited in their native atrocity, and ſet up as beacons to deter our young people from purſuing a path, which will render them odious to every perſon poſſeſſed of ſentiment and virtue.

Socrates, Cicero, and even Cato, have mingled with the audience in a theatre; and as it is preſumed that the buffoonery of an Ariſtophanes will not be tolerated upon an American ſtage, it is pleaſingly believed, that the dignity of years, of wiſdom, and of virtue, will, in no inſtance, be outraged by the children of the Drama.

The Pompeys of our day, it is to be hoped, will learn many a uſeful leſſon; they will commence ſtudents in the ſchool of the rights of man; and, becoming proficients in the laws of equity and of nature, like the Roman general, they will retire from the theatre, converts to the virtuous and impartial deſignations of equality.

Religious worſhip, it is ſaid, gave birth to the Drama; and under proper regulations, it may ſtill conduce to acts of devotional piety. To Athens and to Rome, the theatre became a ſource of information, refined perception, and genuine morality; and we have only to avoid the cauſes which finally produced its degeneracy in the elder world, to continue it among us, in theſe States, an excellent exemplar and preſervative of rectitude. The theatre opens a wide field for literary exertions; and we anticipate a rich harveſt of intellectualtellectual 229 U1r 229 tellectual pleaſure and improvement. The ſons and daughters of fancy, the ſentimentaliſt, and the moraliſt; theſe will engage in the intereſting competition. They will conſider that their productions are not intended barely for the amuſement of a ſolitary hour; that the Drama, pointing every excellence, will imprint upon the heart the ſentiment of worth; that it may be in their power to faſhion, and to lead, a national taſte; that by exalting virtue, and adorning religion, rendering vice diſguſting, and ſtigmatizing infidelity, they will moſt effectually ſecond the endeavours of that revered body, profeſſedly engaged to beautify morality, and elevate religion.

We truſt that a ſpirit of laudable emulation will be excited; and while the ſummit of fame, in brightening perſpective, uprears its wreath-crowned head, writers will be animated to the ſplendid career, and with glowing ardour they will haſten forward to the deſired goal. How delightful the employ! the mind, while engaged in painting the native charms of genuine and philanthropic religion, catching the fervour of divine inſpiration, will neceſſarily become rectified and ameliorated by the delineation. Rectitude, adorned by her ſiſter graces, heaven-born contentment, conſequent felicity, and ever blooming joy—theſe will captivate every beholder. Economy, attired by her handmaid competence, with ſerene tranquillity, preſenting to view the peace reflecting mirror, will not fail of reclaiming from the paths of profligacy the moſt diſſipated wanderer; and frugality and equity will remain prevalent in the mind. Nor will the exhibition of vice be unattended with its ſalutary effects. Conviction will be pointed to the boſom of the aggreſſor; the deformity of atrocious offences, ſtriking by illuſtrating examples, will preſent the diſguſting figure, which the conſcious culprit will aſſuredly recognize, and the probability is, that abhorrence and reformation will enſue.

Shakeſpeare, that penetrating obſerver, ſkilful inveſtigator, and indiſputable judge of the human heart, U makes 230 U1v 230 makes his Hamlet ſay, I’ve heard, that guilty creatures at a play, have, by the very cunning of the ſcene, been ſtruck ſo to the ſoul, that preſently they have proclaimed their malefactions. I’ll have theſe players play ſomething like the murder of my father, before my uncle. And again; The play’s the thing, wherein I’ll catch the conſcience of the king.

If it may be preſumed, that the ſtated objections, thus conſidered, are obviated, I conceive it will not be denied that, from a chaſte and diſcreetly regulated theatre, many attendant advantages will indiſputably reſult. Young perſons will acquire a refinement of taſte and manners; they will learn to think, ſpeak, and act, with propriety; a thirſt for knowledge will be originated; and from attentions, at firſt, perhaps, conſtituting only the amuſement of the hour, they will gradually proceed to more important inquiries.

Clarinda Meanwell, the daughter of a gentleman whom I highly reſpect, whoſe education hath been upon the very beſt plan, continued nevertheleſs, for the firſt twenty years of her life, without manifeſting the ſmalleſt literary curioſity. It was impoſſible to intereſt her, even in the pages of a novel; and whatever ſhe learned, was more the reſult of a diſpoſition naturally conceding, than of voluntary application. A company of itinerant players viſited her native village; the night of exhibition was announced, every body, as they phraſed it, was going; but Miſs Clarinda could not be animated to a wiſh for the entertainment; her accuſtomed complacency of diſpoſition yielded her, however, the companion of her aſſociates; the piece was intereſting; it forcibly ſeized her faculties; it poſſeſſed, to her, in every ſenſe, the charms of novelty; for the world ſhe would not be abſent upon any future occaſion. In the courſe of the day preceding a theatrical entertainment, that ſhe might the better comprehend the ſeveral parts, the play-book was in her hand, a laudable ſpirit of inquiry obtained in her boſom, and with amazing rapidity ſhe ran through, and compaſſed the ſenſe of every volume within her reach. 231 U2r 231 reach. Hiſtory, geography, aſtronomy—in all theſe, her proficiency is prodigious; and, in one word, I hardly know a better informed, or more amiable young woman in the circle of my acquaintance. But Clarinda Meanwell is not a ſolitary inſtance; and as I have very frequently obſerved the good effects of dramatical repreſentations, I truſt that my readers are enough acquainted with a heart, the feelings of which I have, upon various occaſions, eſſayed to ſketch, to give me full credit, for that throb of deep-felt complacency, which I experienced upon receiving information of the elegant and ſuperb theatre, which hath ſo recently been erected for the reception of the Drama, in the State of Maſſachuſetts.

And here, gentle reader, I would with all my ſoul gratify thee by a full and complete deſcription of this well built and beautifully decorated manſion of the Muſes—ſuch as it appeared upon the firſt drawing up of the curtain; but from the multiplicity of ideas which then crowded the mind, it is impoſſible to prepare an accurate deſcription, and as I write for poſterity, I would not willingly leave a ſingle pillar, capital, architrave, entablature, or cornice, unnoted: Future opportunities may preſent, and, if I am not foreſtalled, a future Gleaner may delineate the building. My brother Ruſſell hath already informed thee, that the houſe was filled from the loweſt note to the top of the compaſs; and his obſervations upon the audience may be recognized by truth. The long expected era arrived; it was indeed replete with expectation— the interpoſing veil was thrown back, and that pleaſing actor, whoſe eulogy hath been ſo frequently pronounced, made his entrance amid the moſt unequivocal demonſtrations of ſatisfaction which a ſenſible, anticipating, and admiring aſſembly could exhibit. The effects of a reception, which muſt have been every way adequate to his wiſhes, were pleaſingly evinced, by a ſuſceptibility honorary to the manly character; and the prologue then firſt vibrated upon the public ear, with 232 U2v 232 with every advantage, which that truly claſſical performance ſo indiſputably merits.

That this prefatory addreſs is a genuine prologue, notwithſtanding every objection which hath been advanced, I take leave to affirm. What can ſo properly be conſtituted the harbinger of a dramatic performance, as a ſuccinct account of that drama it is intended to introduce? and what ſo natural for a general dedication of a theatre, as a delineation of the progreſs of the art, to which it is conſecrated? If variety, and richneſs of imagery, claſſical alluſions, ſound morality, nervous expreſſions, beauty of diction, and much information, conſtitute a firſt rate poem, the prologue is certainly inveſted with the faireſt pretenſions to the honorary palm. To point out all its beauties, it would be neceſſary to inſert the compoſition entire; yet I cannot forbear repeating the following charmingly figurative lines: Warm to the heart the chymic fiction ſtole,And purg’d, by moral alchymy, the ſoul. And again, The globe’s proud butcher grew humanely brave!Earth ſtaunch’d her wounds, and ocean huſh’d his wave.

The alluſion to the general deluge is ſtrikingly and inimitably beautiful. The poet was moſt happy in this thought: I think I have not ſeen it ſurpaſſed; and I queſtion if the Shakeſpearian panegyriſts have ever yet done that immortal bard more ample juſtice, than he hath received in theſe finely expreſſed lines: But hark! her mighty rival ſweeps the ſtrings:Sweet Avon, flow not! ’tis thy Shakeſpeare ſings!With Blanchard’s wing, in Fancy’s heaven he ſoars;With Herſchel’s eye, another world explores!Taught by the tones of his melodious ſong,The ſcenic muſes tun’d their barbarous tongue;With ſubtle pow’rs the crudeſt ſoul refin’d,And warm’d the Zembla of the frozen mind.The world’s new Queen, Auguſta, own’d their charms,And claſp’d the Grecian nymphs in Britiſh arms.

I have a ſtrong propenſity to go on tranſcribing; but, full many a time, hath the recollection of the ſtinted 233 U3r 233 ſtinted pages of a Magazine, damped the moſt fervid wiſhes of my ſoul. Mr. Paine hath certainly done himſelf great honour; and I congratulate my country on the poſſeſſion of a genius, which, in the very morn of manhood, hath boldly ſeized the golden fruit of maturity. The Poet muſt doubtleſs feel himſelf much exhilerated, as he contemplates the well earned guerdon of ſuperior talents; yet I dare ſay that he will wear his honours with becoming meekneſs; and when it is remembered, that Sophocles, the illuſtrious ornament and patron of the Grecian drama, abſolutely died of joy, upon obtaining from his competitors the prize of merit, adjudged him for one of his tragedies, our youthful bard will be tolerated in a conſiderable expanſion of pleaſurable feelings.

The play was admirably choſen; it is a time honoured piece; and it contains many ſentiments, which can never reverberate upon the ear of ſenſibility without ſpeaking to the fineſt feelings of the ſoul. In the very firſt ſcene, in the firſt act, our attention is forcibly arreſted, and we cannot avoid taking the deepeſt intereſt in the diſguiſed hero, although immured in the mines of Dalecarlia; and while ſtretch’d there, where reigns eternal night, the flint his pillow, and cold damps his coverings; yet we behold him bold of ſpirit, and robuſt of limb, throwing inclemency aſide, ſuperior to the lot of human frailty. With Anderſon, ſpontaneouſly, we breathe the voice of virtue, of cordial amity, from man to man, and that benignity that whiſpers to the ſoul, to ſeek and cheer the ſufferer.

The ſentiments of Anderſon, of Arnoldus, and of Guſtavus, are the very ſoul of valour, benevolence, patriotiſm, and every ſhining virtue. The ſubſequent diſcovery, the entrance of Arvida—the tenderneſs, the amity of heroes is perſonified, and we experience an exquiſite ſatisfaction, in yielding our applauſe to thoſe Dalecarlians, of whom Guſtavus ſays, I’ve ſearch’d theſe men, and find them like the ſoil, barren without, and to the eye unlovely; but they’ve their mines within them, and this the day I mean to prove them. U2 The 234 U3v 234

The character of Criſtiern is a complete exemplification of whatever is deteſtable in a tyrant: Perhaps no language can more conciſely group the traits, which go to the compoſition of the inſufferable deſpot, than the following: Wretches! ſhall I go poring on the earth, leſt my imperial foot ſhould tread on emmets?

The trial of Arvida is admirably conceived; it was an ordeal adequate to the warrior, the lover, and the friend. In the ſtruggles which lacerate his manly boſom, we take a deep and affecting part, and every feeling of benevolence would inveſt him with that honied balm, which he ſo well deſcribes—Yes, peace has ſweets that Hybla never knew: It ſleeps on down, cull’d gently from beneath the Cherub’s wing—no bed for mortals —Man is warfare—all a hurricane within.

Chriſtina’s deſcription of Guſtavus, is the breathings of virgin purity, and it cannot fail of captivating the boſom of virtue—But, O Heaven, what then was my amazement! He was chain’d, was chain’d, my Mariana! Like the robes of coronation, worn by youthful kings, he drew his ſhackles. The Herculean nerve brac’d his young arm; and, ſoften’d in his cheek, liv’d more than woman sweetneſs! Then his eyes! his mein! his native dignity! He look’d as though he led captivity in chains, and all were ſlaves around. When to the portrait, drawn by love and fancy, we add the finiſhing touches of the veteran ſoldier, we ſhall not heſitate to do homage to a model ſo perfect: Fear fled before; behind him rout grew loud, and diſtant wonder gaz’d—At length he turn’d, and, having ey’d me with a wond’rous look of ſweetneſs mix’d with glory—grace ineſtimable!—he pluck’d this bracelet from his conqu’ring arm, and bound it here—my wriſt ſeem’d trebly nerv’d; my heart ſpoke to him, and I did ſuch deeds as beſt might thank him—but from that bleſs’d day I never ſaw him more—yet ſtill to this I bow, as to the relics of my ſaint: Each morn I drop a tear on every bead, count all the glories of Guſtavus o’er, and think I ſtill behold him. Theſe animated and combining teſtimonials, prepare us to hear the illuſtrious chief himſelf;ſelf; 235 U4r 235 ſelf; and he arreſts, from every ſentiment of the ſoul, the full tide of approbation. Approach, my fellow ſoldiers, your Guſtavus claims no precedence here; friendſhip like mine throws all reſpect behind it—’Tis enough— I read your joys, your tranſports in your eyes; and wou’d, O wou’d I had a life to ſpend for every ſoldier here! whoſe every life’s far dearer than my own; dearer than aught, except your liberty, except your honour. But it is not enough that Guſtavus is the finiſhed patriot and undaunted warrior; the milder virtues too are natal in his boſom: Suſpicion cannot take root in a ſoil ſo noble. If thou haſt aught to urge againſt Arvida, the man of virtue, tell it not the wind, leſt ſlander catch the ſound, and guilt ſhould triumph. The interview between the matchleſs friends, is uncommonly high wrought, and ſupported too upon the beſt principles. Unlike our modern votaries of an illuſion, which they blaſphemouſly term honour, Guſtavus, innately elevated, eſteems it no diminution of his glory, to develop a myſtery, which was on the point of precipitating his Arvida into irretrievable ruin. How doth the explanation dignify the hero, and how generouſly pathetic is his defence of the beguiled chief: Unhappy man! my heart bleeds for thee: falſe I had ſurely been, had I like thee been tempted. But the ſelf-reproach which had planted all its daggers in the boſom of Arvida, proclaims him the proper object of a hero’s confidence, and we moſt ſincerely join iſſue in his concluſion: Pardon can expiate; it is the lethean ſweet, the ſnow of heaven, new blanching o’er the black’ning front of guilt, that, to the eye of mercy, all appears fair as the unwritten page.

To the boſom of filial piety, the apology of Chriſtina is a neceſſary and timely relief: Had I to death or bondage ſold my ſire, or had Guſtavus on our native realms made hoſtile inroad! then, my Mariana! had I then ſav’d him from the ſtroke of juſtice, I ſhould not ceaſe my ſuit for pardon. But if, though in a foe, to reverence virtue, withſtand oppreſſion, reſcue injured innocence, ſtep boldly in betwixt my ſire and guilt, and ſave my king, my father 236 U4v 236 father from diſhonour; if this be ſin, I have ſhook hands with penitence. Firſt periſh crowns, dominion, all the ſhine and tranſience of this world, ere guilt ſhall ſerve to buy the vain incumbrance. The addreſs of Auguſta to the kneeling beauty, is beyond expreſſion charming: Ha! who art thou, that looks ſo like the ’habitants of heaven, like mercy ſent upon the morning’s bluſh, to glad the heart, and cheer a gloomy world with light, till now unknown?

Upon the ear, hallowed by the benign voice of the Saviour of ſinners, the following ſentiment muſt harmoniouſly vibrate: Soft and ſweet as looks of charity, or voice of lambs that bleat upon the morning, are the words of chriſtian meekneſs! miſſion all divine—the law of love, ſoul mandate! Thus ſpake the man who from the breaſt, from out the ſwathing-bands, ſtepp’d the true child of honour. The ſcene between Guſtavus and the venerable matron to whom he owed his being, together with the tender fears of that ſoul-affecting bud of innocence, his infant ſiſter, is almoſt too much for the feelings of humanity; and the ſenſations of my boſom ſpontaneouſly thanked the judicious Manager, who expunged the whole ſcene of the lifeleſs bodies, the bier, &c; The heart of ſuſceptibility is ſufficiently wrung, while liſtening to the agonized chief. Then she’s gone—Arvida! Anderſon! forever gone!—Arnoldus, friends, where are ye? Help here! heave, heave this mountain from me—O Heaven, keep my ſenſes!—ſo we will to battle; but let no banners wave: Be ſtill, thou trump, and every martial ſound that gives the war to pomp or levity; for vengeance now is clad with heavy arms, ſedately ſtern, reſolv’d, but ſilent. I confeſs, I am happy to find the princeſs of Denmark again in the path of duty—what juſtneſs of ſentiment—Patience and peace poſſeſs thy mind; not all the pride of empire e’er gave ſuch bleſs’d ſenſations, as one, one hour of penitence, though painful; let us hence, far from the blood and buſtle of ambition. Be it my taſk to watch thy riſing wiſh, to ſmooth thy brow, find comfort for thy cares, and for thy will, obedience; ſtill to cheer the day with ſmiles, and lay thee nightly down beneath thy ſlumbers. Guſtavus, 237 U5r 237

Guſtavus, the victorious Guſtavus, is ſtill the ſame as in the mines of Dalecarlia. No, matchleſs men! my brothers of the war, be it my greateſt glory to have mix’d my arms with yours, and to have fought for once, like to a Dalecarlian—like to you. The fires of honour, of a new born fame, to be tranſmitted from your great memorial, to climes unknown, to age ſucceeding age, till time ſhall verge upon eternity, and patriots be no more. And again, Fear not, the fence of virtue is a chief’s beſt caution; and the firm ſurety of my people’s hearts, is all the guard that e’er ſhall wait Guſtavus. I am a ſoldier, from my youth; yet, Anderſon, theſe wars, where man muſt wound himſelf in man, have ſomewhat ſhocking in them; truſt me, friend, except in ſuch a cauſe as this day’s quarrel, I would not ſhed a ſingle wretch’s blood for the world’s empire.

The royal maid is alſo ſtill conſiſtent, ſtill equal with herſelf, when pleading for a father, for a dear, much lov’d, if cruel, yet unhappy father. But far ſurpaſſing all that is excellent, ſhe burſts upon us with more than mortal glory, when, with all the dignity of ſex, we mark, to the lov’d, victorious, ſupplicating chief, her incomparable reply—Now aid me, all ye chaſter powers that guard a woman’s weakneſs!—’tis reſolv’d—thy own example charms thy ſuit to ſilence. Nor think alone to bear the palm of virtue—thou who haſt taught the world, when duty calls, to throw the bar of every wiſh behind them. Exalted in that thought, like thee I riſe, while every leſſening paſſion ſinks beneath me. Adieu, adieu, moſt honoured, firſt of men! I go, I part, I fly, but to deſerve thee! And again, in return to the hero’s remonſtrance— The bond of virtue, friendſhip’s ſacred tie, the lover’s pains, and all the ſiſter’s fondneſs, mine has the flame of every love within it. But I’ve a father, guilty if he be, yet is he old; if cruel, yet a father. Abandon’d now by every ſupple wretch that fed his years with flattery, I’m all that’s left to calm, to ſoothe his troubled ſoul to penitence, to virtue; and perhaps, reſtore the better empire o’er his mind, true feat of all dominion—Yet, Guſtavus, yet there are mightier reaſons—O farewel! had I ne’er lov’d 238 U5v 238 lov’d, I might have ſtaid with honour. This finiſhing of the character of Chriſtina, is unexpected, and, in my opinion, completes the beauty and ſymmetry of the performance.

It is impoſſible to give language to the feelings of an attentive and ſuſceptible audience during the repreſentation of this maſterly compoſition. The finiſhed elegance of the building, the ſurrounding lights, the brilliant aſſembly, ſo ſtrikingly contraſting the ſtage ſcene, where was exhibited the country of Dalecarlia, the tents in perſpective, the hardy veterans, arrayed in martial order, paſſing in review, &c;. &c;. all this, together with the novelty of arrangements, ſo far ſurpaſſing what we had ever before witneſſed, was, in truth, inexpreſſibly captivating.

The diſtant country of the admired chief ſeemed in reality extended to our view; and, for myſelf, I am free to own, that as I glanced my eye from the ſtage, to the throng of reſpectable citizens, occupying the pit, boxes, and galleries; as I obſerved the marked attention in the never deceptive eye, the ſolemn ſtillneſs, the tender tear upon the cheek of beauty, and the humid eye of manhood, with the alternate burſts of applauſe, betokening congenial virtues—as I marked theſe effects, the agitation of my boſom became well near ungovernable.

On the performers, perhaps, I ought not to hazard a remark. As an American, comparatively new to obſervations of this nature, I cannot be ſuppoſed a competent judge; yet, ſo complete was my ſatisfaction, that I did not hear without pain, that many individuals expreſſed diſpleaſure; and I can only account for this by a ſuppoſition that there expectations were too high raiſed to admit of gratification in the preſent infancy of our Drama.

Surely it ought to be remembered, that the plant, however luxuriant, doth not, immediately on being removed to a foreign ſoil, continue its priſtine vigour; and candor hath already obſerved that the prohibited play then firſt arreſting the attention of the performers, could 239 U6r 239 could not, in ſo early an exhibition, obtain, in the repreſentation, the perfection of which it is doubtleſs ſuſceptible. Yet we think it muſt be acknowledged, that Mr. Powell, in the character of Criſtiern, inſpired all thoſe abhorrent feelings which the poet intended to originate; that Mr. Jones ſupported with admirable ſkill the part of Trollio, and that the Swediſh prieſt, by ſo finely contraſting the treachery and baleful talents of the infamous biſhop, preſented to the mind a moſt agreeable relief. Such ſhould always figure a herald of genuine religion.

Gratitude and faithfulneſs, in the character of Laertes, were perſuaſively delineated by his repreſentative. Mr. S. Powell ſeemed indeed Arvida; and Guſtavus ſhone upon us enriched with native ſplendour.

In the female parts, the beauty and propriety of filial piety, the captivating magic of the tender paſſion, the dignity of the princeſs and the woman, were ſtrikingly exemplified by Miſs Harriſon; her pronunciation was diſtinct, her emphaſis generally proper, and her geſtures naturally expreſſive.

The Spartan virtues perſonified in Auguſta, and entwining all the tenderneſs of the maternal character, demanded the moſt glowing, dignified, and deeply affecting action. We conceive the firſt theatrical abilities were requiſite to the performing this part with propriety.

The young Guſtava was truly intereſting; nor was there a ſympathizing mother preſent, whoſe boſom did not throb to ſnatch from the envenomed talons of the fell deſtroyer the ſoul-affecting innocent. Mariana was not deſtitute of merit; ſhe ſeemed to deſerve the place ſhe occupied in the confidence of the royal virgin.

To the comic powers, exhibited upon that evening, ample juſtice has been done. Unequivocal demonſtrations of applauſe reſounded from every corner of the houſe, and, for my part, I congratulate the ſons of Momus with all my heart; for, having never yet been able 240 U6v 240 able to conceive the ſmalleſt evil in laughter, ſimply conſidered, I cannot but give my vote in favour of corrected mirth. Mr. Collins, Miſs Baker, &c;. &c;. theſe have all received the tributary laurel; and I do not feel in the leaſt diſpoſed to enter my caveat upon this occasion.

The Gleaner confeſſes that his expectations were more than anſwered; but the Gleaner hath never witneſſed the theatrical abilities of a Garrick, or a Siddons; nor is he certain he ought to regard this as a misfortune.

It is always invidious to point out faults; at leaſt it is to me an unpleaſing taſk. From an infant ſtage I look for improvement. The time will arrive when the performers will in no inſtance O’erſtep the modeſty of Nature. Even tragedy may deal too much in ſtarts: It ſhould be energetic; it ſhould be pathetic; but the pompous ſwell and ſtrut, make no part of its excellence. Eaſe and elegance are the naivette of comedy, and its features are the features of poliſhed and corrected nature.

But I repeat, I look for improvement; gradually we ſhall progreſs; the performers will think more of the audience, and they will, by conſequence, appear to think leſs; in other words, they will ſeem to forget the circles that attend them. Their frequent appeals by eye and hand will inſenſibly ſubſide; and, through the whole of the repreſentation, they will ſee the propriety of addreſſing the perſon, or perſons, to whom they are ſuppoſed particularly to ſpeak. In one word—the audience will refine the players, and the players will refine the audience.

No. XXV. 241 W1r 241

No. XXV.

Truth, though envelop’d round in myſtic folds, Still brightens to the contemplative mind; Th’ enraptur’d eye each latent charm beholds, Tracing the plan by righteous Heav’n deſign’d.

Ihave often thought, that ſerious and well diſpoſed believers of the heathen mythology, muſt have found themſelves wonderfully impelled to acts of devotional piety. It was ſcarcely poſſible for ſuch perſons to purſue their courſe in any direction, which did not preſent to their external optics, or to the eye of their imagination, beings who were, in their eſtimation, proper objects of adoration. A reſpectable writer deſcribes the vaſt univerſe as the ſolemn temple of the pagans; and, we may add, that in every diviſion of this ſuperb fane, altars, ſacred to their various rituals preſent. The empire of fancy is thronged by perſonified ideas; the profopopœia is eaſy, and gods and goddeſſes cluſter in every walk. Heſiod, in his genealogical hiſtory of the heathen deities, delineates thirty thouſand of theſe dignified beings, and an indulgent imagination readily inveſts them with their peculiar properties and offices.

To the child of fancy, ſheltered in the ſequeſtered grove from the intenſe heat of ſummer, the ſalutary breeze which gently agitates the leaves is the roſy breath of the winged zephyrus, and the murmuring of that ſtream, which winds its glaſſy courſe, is the ſoft ſighing of a river nymph, while, with equal ingenuity, amid the pelting ſtorm, he conſiders the hoarſe bellowing of the winds as the ſonorous voice of ſome potent god.

Neptune graſps his trident, and holds dominion in the vaſt world of waters. Pluto, borne in his ſable chariot, bears the keys of ages and of death; while Jupiter, aſcending the ſkies, mounts his throne of ivory, extending in his right hand the avenging thunder-bolt, W and 242 W1v 242 and in his left the ſceptre of ſovereignty. To theſe ſucceed a train of ſubordinate immortals, all poſſeſſing their peculiar attributes, and occupying their various departments. Of the ſeaſons of the year, the fruits of the earth, and the different ſtages of life, infancy, adoleſcence, maturity, and old age, a preſiding deity took charge. In the catalogue of divinities, every virtue found its patron and its patroneſs; nay, among this multifarious generation of immortals, even the reprehenſible paſſions were not deſtitute of their protectors. The ſincere votary of this mythology, I ſay, muſt have been continually ſtimulated to acts which his directory aſſured him were proper and neceſſary; and, for my own part, I am free to own, that however fanciful reaſon may conſider this fabulous hierarchy, I ſee no impropriety, in ſtill allowing it, in the works of imagination, a viſionary being; and poetry, certainly, even to the preſent era, gathers ſome of its moſt ornamental flowers from this magical, or legendary garden of antiquity.

The hiſtory of the heathen gods and goddeſſes is ſo interwoven with the occurrences of ancient times, that it is impoſſible to peruſe thoſe venerable pages with advantage, without a competent knowledge of their various characters and powers. I remember, when Margaretta was a child, I began a little biographical volume, which entitling a Theogeny, the better to captivate her attention, I threw into doggerel verſe. My deſign was, to give a ſuccint account of thoſe deities who had figured in hiſtory, and who ſtill hold their rank in ſome of our beſt poetical performances. An attention to buſineſs prevented my completing this bagatelle; but I am not ſure that I ſhall not look it up, giving it a form, and the laſt poliſh, for the benefit of her children.

If we trace the traditionary fables which make up the bulk of the pagan ſyſtem, we ſhall generally find they originate in ſome momentous and incontrovertible truth; and however they may have been combined and adulterated, in the various channels through which they 243 W2r 243 they have adventitiouſly paſſed, they ſtill retain ſome features, which, to the eye of obſervation, ſufficiently evince their auguſt parentage.

Through the labyrinth of error, the ſcriptuarian often follows a clew, which leads him directly to the fundamental principles of that revealed religion, which he reverences as of God, which he believes to be moſt holy, and which he receives as the ground of his preſent tranquillity, and his future hopes.

That chaos, which Heſiod dignifies by the appellation of The Father of the Gods, Moſes ſimply calls The earth, without form and void. Heſiod’s relation is undoubtedly an allegorical account, wherein the various parts of nature are perſonified, of that hiſtory of the creation, which the Hebrew writer, in language natural and beautifully ſublime, ſo inimitably narrated. Writers have appeared, who have ſuppoſed the fable of Prometheus to have taken riſe in the character of Noah; others imagine they trace the features of the ſecond founder of mankind in Deucalion. Plauſible reaſons are adduced for theſe conjectures; but perhaps we hazard leſs, in yielding credence to the reſpectable Bochart, who conceived this favourite of the Almighty to have been worſhipped, in ſucceeding times, by the name and attributes of Saturn. The golden age which is placed under the adminiſtration of that deity; the tranquillity, friendſhip, and innocence, which is ſaid to have reigned in the boſom of every deſcription of mankind; the perpetual ſpring which invariably flouriſhed; the temperate ſerenity of the atmoſphere, neither veiled by gathering clouds, nor deformed by burſting ſtorms; theſe, and ſimilar arrangements, undoubtedly proclaim the interpoſition of ſome philanthropic prince, or benefactor of the race.

The hiſtory of the Deucalion flood, if not a deſcription, by another name, of the general deluge, bears, nevertheleſs, ſtrong marks of affinity thereto. Lucian, giving ſome account of Syria, where it is ſaid the deluge of Deucalion originated, aſſures us, That the Greeks aſsert in their fables, that the firſt men being “of 244 W2v 244 of an inſolent and cruel diſpoſition, inhuman, inhoſpitable, and regardleſs of their faith, were all deſtroyed by a deluge—the earth pouring forth vaſt ſtreams of water—(in the Moſaic language, the fountains of the great deep were broken up)—ſwelled the rivers, which, together with the rains, made the ſea riſe above its banks and overflow the land, ſo that all was laid under water: That Deucalion alone, ſaved himſelf and family in the ark: That two of each kind of wild and tame animals, loſing their animoſity, entered into it of their own accord: That this Deucalion floated upon the waters, until they became aſſuaged, and that he then repaired the human race. Writers alſo deſcribe the eminence which arreſted the courſe of this veſſel: and by the authority of the celebrated biographer, Plutarch, we catch a glimpſe of the iſſuing dove which Abydenus denominates a certain fowl, that being twice let out of the ark, and finding no place of reſt, returned into the veſſel.

The metaphor of Pandora, it is conceived, may be eaſily developed. The beauty, wiſdom, various intellectual endowments, matchleſs eloquence, and harmonic powers, with every other combining charm, which ſo eminently diſtinguiſhed that accompliſhed viſion, are pictureſque of the aſſemblage of graces that dignified and adorned our general mother, while yet, arrayed in ſpotleſs innocence, ſhe preſided the ſovereign lady of thoſe bliſsful regions, which her preſence rendered ſo truly intereſting, and which ſhe was ſo well calculated to embelliſh. The miſchief conſequent upon the diſobedience of the firſt woman, are exactly figured by the catalogue of ills which followed the opening of Pandora’s box; and poor humanity hath ever ſince been doomed to lament the diſcord, anarchy, anger, envy, calumny, crimes in their variety; wars, famine, diſeaſes, peſtilence, decrepitude, old age, and death, which eſcaped thence—yet hope, bleſt hope, remained at bottom, and the chriſtian inveſtigator will not fail, in this expreſſive figure, to recognize the promiſe given to 245 W3r 245 to the fair delinquent, ere yet her trembling footſteps were exiled from that elyſium, which, previous to her devious wanderings, ſhe was ſo well ſkilled to cultivate and beautify.

The fable of Typhon, and the reſt of the giants, with the daring temerity of thoſe hideous monſters; their audacious inſult upon the reſidence of the celeſtials, and their levelling war with the gods; all theſe aſtoniſhing circumſtances may find their origin in the Hebrew hiſtorian, who deſcribes the earth as bearing a race of men of uncommon ſtature, and complicated atrocity; who delineates the tower of Babel, and the defeat of that impious confederacy. The deſign formed by Agamemnon, of immolating, upon the altar of idolatry, his unoffending daughter, may be nothing more than a vitiated tradition of that illuſtrious period in the life of the patriarch Abraham, which exhibits him as preparing, at the command of the Almighty, to ſacrifice as a burnt offering, that ſon, then a beardleſs youth, among whoſe deſcendants he had been taught to expect the Shiloh, to whom the gathering of the people ſhould be. But however amuſing the tracing this analogy may be, were I to purſue ſo fruitful a ſubject, I ſhould aſſuredly multiply words beyond the indulgence of my readers.

It is evident from ſacred and profane hiſtory, that in the beginning, one only Omnipotent, Omnipreſent, and Omniſcient Sovereign of the univerſe, was deemed a proper object of adoration; and this unknown Being was devoutly hailed as life, light and wiſdom. All created beings were ſuppoſed to be beneficently directed by a ſelf-exiſtent and eternal mind to the preſervation, protection, and final felicity of the whole. This great Firſt Cauſe, ere yet the imagination of men had clothed him in the habiliments of caprice, was addreſſed under ſeveral appellations. Perhaps the rational religioniſt of every age hath found no difficulty in adopting the language of SenecaBy Jove, ſays that celebrated Roman, the wiſe men among the ancients, did not mean ſuch a one as we ſee in the capitol, W2 and 246 W3v 246 and other temples, but the Guardian and Ruler of the univerſe, a Mind and Spirit, the Maſter and Artificer of this mundane fabric, whom every title ſuits. Would you call him Fate? you will not err; for he it is on whom all things depend: The Cauſe of cauſes. Would you call him Providence? you are in the right; for by his wiſdom is the world directed; hence it moves unſhaken, and performs its every office. Would you call him Nature? ’tis not amiſs; ſince from him all things proceed; and by his Spirit we live. If you call him the World, ’tis well; for he is all in all, and exiſting by his own power. It is not ſtrange that a lively and pious imagination, ſhould gradually deify the attributes and favours of ſo unſearchable, auguſt, and beneficent a being. Thus the family of the gods claim their origin; and, in proceſs of time, the depravity of mankind endowing them with abſurd and reprehenſible paſſions, rendered them in their deſcriptions altogether like unto themſelves. Reſpectable perſons of both ſexes were next preſſed into this ſacred order, and thus the multifarious catalogue was ſwelled to an enormous ſize. The joys, the ſorrows, the apprehenſions, and the calamities of mankind, ſupplied the materials from which the convenient deity was ſhaped; the apotheoſis was conferred, and divine honours were next in courſe.

It is needleſs to inform thee, gentle reader, that I am no pagan. The heathen ſyſtem is long ſince exploded; and we have, by common conſent, circumſcribed their deities within comparatively narrow bounds; but yet it may be a queſtion, whether in ceding to them the empire of imagination, in leaving the domain of fancy open to their juriſdiction, we have not aſſigned them circles which are ſufficiently ample. However, be this as it may, I am free to own, that while I trace in the Jupiter of antiquity many of the features of that Omnipotent, who preſideth over the informed mind of more refined ages, arguing from analogy, I am fond of conceiving, that not a few of their ſubordinate traditions originating in truth, may thus poſſeſs a right to claim their anceſtry in the inviſible world. A plaſtic 247 W4r 247

A plaſtic and beneficent hand, faſhioning and upholding the great and various productions of nature, is momently evinced, both to ſenſe and to reaſon. A thouſand circumſtances aſſure me that I exiſt by the omnific power of a ſelf-exiſtent Being; an innate perſuaſion of immortality triumphs in my boſom; I confidently expect a never ending futurity. Thoſe who are departed are not loſt; they have only obtained an earlier emancipation; in the general aſſembly I ſhall rejoin them—the ſocial virtues, commencing on earth, ſhall be perfected in heaven; amity ſhall wear a never dying wreath; and, progreſſing in knowledge, we ſhall of courſe recognize thoſe with whom, while habited in garments of mortality, we have taſted the pleaſures reſulting from a ſentimental intercourſe.

The doctrine of guardian ſeraphs—this alſo makes a part of my creed. Some bright celeſtial was commiſſioned at my birth, to preſide over my infantile years, and to continue the attendant of my mortal career. During the hour which ſhall terminate my preſent mode of being, he will be buſy round the bed of death, and he will gratulate, with ineffable tranſport, the liberated ſpirit. Myriads of beings tread this globe unſeen, both when we wake and when we ſleep. I perſuade myſelf that truth guided the pen of the poet in this aſſertion. The groſs film of mortality veils for the preſent the viſual ray; yet there are, who have been ſo favoured, even while ſojourning in terreſtrial abodes, as to catch a glimpſe of thoſe natives of Elyſium; and the period haſtens when the wide expanſe ſhall be outſpread before us. But beſide thoſe beneficent ſeraphs who, with angelic vigils guard our path, the ſhades of departed friends hover round; and, when worn by ſickneſs or by ſorrow, the gradually attenuated machine admits, through apertures thus made, the dawning light of paradiſe. Theſe tenderly intereſted and ſympathizing denizens of the celeſtial world, not unfrequently, with mildly ſympathizing aſpect, ſtand confeſſed to the patient ſufferer, pointing him, with the finger of affiance, to that opening heaven, upon which he 248 W4v 248 he is ſo apparently verging: And hence perhaps it is, that the period of diſſolution is ſeldom to the expiring individual, marked with thoſe horrors, which in a ſtate of health and vigour are commonly anticipated. Poſſibly the felicity of thoſe who have bid adieu to time, may not be completed until the final conſummation, which ſhall preſent the family of man entire. They may witneſs our actions; when our conduct is marked by regularity and propriety, we inſure their approbation. When, deviating from the line of rectitude, we engage in reprehenſible purſuits, we incur the cenſure of beatified ſpirits, and they experience that kind of pain to which immortals of this deſcription may be ſubjected; the luſtre of celeſtial viſages are dimmed; a tranſient cloud obſcures their brightening joys, and the pearly drop of regret ſuffuſes the radiant eye of ſeraphic pleaſure.

What a forcible incentive to a perſeverance in the career of virtue, do conſiderations of this nature furniſh! The eye of my mind is at this moment thrown upon an amiable and elegant woman, whom I have long known; her whole life hath exhibited a uniform exemplification of every ſocial, every humane, and every endearing excellence; her conjugal engagement hath been remarked, for ſome uncommonly ſplendid traits, and the chaſte correctneſs of her manners have been regarded as the pattern of feminine demeanour. Her married life hath compriſed a period of forty years. She has never been a mother, and yet perhaps the annals of her ſex cannot produce a more perfect model of the maternal character. No leſs than twenty orphan girls, at different periods of time, with great care, aſſiduity and tenderneſs ſhe hath genteelly educated. By her aſſiſtance and patronage, they are comfortably eſtabliſhed, and they look up to her, as the revered ſource of their every enjoyment.

She is even now, in the preſent advanced ſtage of her life, ſurrounded by a virgin train, who pay her honours, ſurpaſſed only by thoſe which they devote to heaven. She hath her ſtated days of feſtivity, the return 249 W5r 249 return of which are very frequent, when ſhe ſummoneth her children, as ſhe calls them—all thoſe who have taken rank in families of their own, to join with her in tender and grateful commemorations. No ſovereign, attended by the dependants upon his bounty, ever looked round with half the exultation, which, upon theſe occaſions, glows in, and elevates her boſom. The figure is not good—ſhe is not a ſovereign, ſhe is a tender parent, regarded with the cheerful eye of duteous affection, by the little community which her own hand hath formed to virtue and to happineſs.

It was on one of thoſe convivial days, that, induced by curioſity, I lately looked in upon her. She was ſeated in the midſt of the pleaſed and pleaſing aſſembly. Methought I had never ſeen an object more intereſtingly beautiful: Yes, beautiful, for the wrinkles of her face poſſeſſed more charms, than adorn the red and white of the poliſhed ſkin of that giddy flutterer, whom all the energy of ſentiment could never raiſe to the ennobling ſwell of elevated thought or exemplary action. Dignity was impreſſed upon her every feature, and it was impoſſible ſhe could fail of inſpiring the venerating glow of admiration. I was coxcomb enough to pay her a flouriſhing compliment, which I concluded with pronouncing deciſively—The reward of your benevolence, undoubtedly, Madam, will be very great.

Echoing my laſt words with inimitable grace, ſhe replied, Will be very great? Truſt me, dear Sir, I have no arrearages to demand. If, as you ſay, I have obtained the approbation of the good, that approbation is of itself a rich reward; and, Mr. Vigillius, placing her hand upon her breaſt, I have peace at home; the plaudit of my own boſom is indeed of countleſs worth; beſides which, the duteous complacency at this moment imprinted upon the countenances of theſe dear girls, is in truth a great and immeaſurable reward; every decent geſture, every proper action, every grateful expreſſion, have ſtill continued to me, through a courſe of many years, a ready ſource, from which I have momently derived a ceaſeleſs and abundant recompenſe.ompenſe 250 W5v 250 ompenſe. And, Sir, if you will indulge me ſo far, I will confeſs a ſentiment which hath, through life, very forcibly operated upon my mind. I have ever ſuppoſed myſelf conſtantly under the inſpection of numerous, although viewleſs, witneſſes of my actions. Theſe encircling ſpectators I have regarded as beings of the angelic order, aſſociating with thoſe ſpirits who were once clothed in mortality; and the approbating ſmile of celeſtial joy, which I have conſidered as illuming the ſeraphic countenances of the progenitors of theſe my adopted children, while they have ſeen me buſied about their offspring, engaged in eradicating the evil, pruning the luxuriant growth of ſentiments, equitable in their ſource, and in directing and cheriſhing the principles of rectitude. Such obſervance, and ſuch complacent applauſe hath frequently given energy to my efforts, placed me buoyant upon the utmoſt ſtretch of that invention, which is ſometimes neceſſary to allure to virtue the ſteps of youth, and abundantly ſtrengthened, encouraged, and confirmed me in thoſe walks, which lead, as I conceive, to the paradiſe of the good. And, Sir, you will give me leave to add, that ideas of this kind obtaining in my mind, operate at once as an incitement to regularity of conduct, and conſtituteth a fund, from which I can freely draw the largeſt compenſation.

The Gleaner joins iſſue with theſe conjectures; by this controverted hypotheſis, he confeſſeth his mind is eſſentially influenced; nor can he, gentle reader, conceive it dangerous to embrace opinions which probably are the offspring of truth, which wear an auſpicious aſpect upon the intereſts of mankind, which produce benevolence in their operation, which furniſh motives for goodneſs, and which ſtimulate to every proper, every becoming action.

That ſcepticiſm, which is the growth of falſe reaſon and degenerated philoſophy, may abide during the calm ſerene of the vernal or ſummer breezes, which make up the gentle and proſperous gales of life; but, being the ſuperſtructure of falſe and inſidious concluſions;ſions; 251 W6r 251 ſions; in other words, being bottomed upon the ſand, it will fall before the mountain torrent, before the combined and deſolating ſtorms of wintry time; and, bending under the accumulated preſſure of mighty ills, the dweller in humanity will of neceſſity lift up his mental eye to ſome propitious, although inviſible power, who, he will conceive, is adequate to his aſſiſtance.

By the ſelf poized hero, and the worſhipper of chance, the Gleaner, henceforward, may be accounted a ridiculous viſionary: But he is perſuaded that the Chriſtian religioniſt will enliſt upon his ſide—for in the oracles of his God, the ſcripturian will find, that the Author and Finiſher of his faith, hath ſanctioned the idea of guardian ſpirits, where he pronounces that the angels of the sojourners in mortality, do always behold the face of Omnipotence.

The immediate diſciples of the Redeemer ſpoke confidently of the angel of Peter: And the apoſtle to the Hebrews characterizes the angels, as ſpirits, miniſtring unto the heirs of ſalvation. Upon our knowledge of deceaſed perſons, the ſcene diſplayed upon the mount of transfiguration, decides: For Peter ſaid—Lord, if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for Moſes, one for Elias, and one for thee. And Jeſus ſpeaketh of ſitting down in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham, Iſaac, and Jacob.

The Gleaner, perceives, while embracing this perſuaſion, viz. the doctrine of angels and of ſpirits, that a moſt pleaſing tranquillity pervades his mind; and he cannot willingly relinquiſh it, except, in exchange for ſentiments, that he can conceive more divinely conſolatory, or more morally influential.

No. XXVI. 252 W6v 252

No. XXVI.

Written 1794-04April, 1794.

Now, by my manhood, my full ſoul diſdains Theſe dark’ning glooms, which ſuddenly pervade; True dignity an equal part ſuſtains, Lending its calm and perſervering aid.

That melancholy pauſe, and extreme dejection, which at this preſent ſo apparently pervades every order of citizens among us, is, methinks, rather derogatory to the American character. The queſtion, relative to opening the temple of Janus, ſeems to be agitated with unbecoming warmth; and a zeal, not properly tempered by knowledge, is, I conceive, ſtrikingly exemplified by every party.

That our country hath, during a moſt auſpicious period, been borne forward upon the full tide of proſperity, no one but the embittered, the cynical, or the intereſted incendiary, will deny. Peace, with her olive wreath, was to us the celeſtial harbinger of unexampled felicity; agriculture hath flouriſhed in primeval beauty, foſtered on the boſom of liberty, and fanned by the genial airs of the meek-eyed goddeſs, it is rapidly approximating the higheſt perfection of which it is ſuſceptible. Our manufactures have ſurpriſingly advanced. Our navigation is extenſive; almoſt every ſtream conveys the well freighted bark; and our commerce, wafted by the breezy gale, hath accumulated riches upon the far diſtant ſhore. Whether trade ought not to partake in ſome degree the nature of its favourite elements; and whether under the general regulations of rectitude, it would not find its own advantageous and equal balance, may be conſidered as problematical: at any rate, unaided by treaties of commerce, our merchants, obtaining the object of their wiſhes, have, in many inſtances, found their enterprizes crowned with uncommon ſucceſs.

The 253 X1r 253

The arts and ſciences are alſo attaining naturalization in our ſoil; and literature, bleſt ſource of rational elevation, literature hath enliſted its votaries: The extenſive and energetic movements of the ſoul are afloat; the ſciences and the virtues love the venerable ſhades and ſequeſtered haunts of liberty; and, cultivated ſucceſsfully in this new world, we had hoped they would become patrons of frugality, temperance, and that holy religion, which ſmootheth the bed of death.

Our citizens, intuitively, as it ſhould ſeem, had become ſenſible of that indiſcriminate advantage, derived to the community in general, where each individual receives from the common fund, and where every member contributes his quota, for the benefit of the whole; in one word, every one ſeemed ſenſible of the bleſsings of a good government, and federaliſm was the baſis, on which we were ſucceſsfully building the ſuperſtructure of every thing uſeful, every thing virtuous, every thing ornamental. What a fearful and deſtructive hydra is faction! War is its eldeſt born, and with the eye of the baſiliſk it ſeeketh to annihilate the cherub peace. Dreadful is the progreſs of war; it is retrograde to almoſt every virtue; the duties of benevolence it inverteth; it enjoineth upon every individual to afflict and haraſs by every poſsible means. Cultivation is no more. Deſtruction, with ſhocking exultation, exerciſeth in every goodly walk its fatally blaſting influence. Population laments its murdered millions; the earth is humectated by the blood of our fellow creatures; and thoſe infernal demons, diſcord and malice, are glutted by the calamities of the human ſpecies. A late elegant writer inimitably pourtrays the conſequences even of ſucceſsful war; perhaps a review of the picture may be of uſe.—We muſt fix our eyes not on the hero returning with conqueſt, nor yet on the gallant officer dying on the bed of honour, the ſubject of picture and of ſong; but on the private ſol dier, forced into the ſervice; exhauſted by camp ſick neſs neſs and fatigue; pale, emaciated, crawling to an hoſpital with the proſpect of life, perhaps a long life, X “blaſted, 254 X1v 254 blaſted, uſeleſs, and ſuffering. We muſt think of the uncounted tears of her who weeps alone, becauſe the only being who ſhared her ſentiments is taken from her; no martial muſic ſounds in uniſon with her feelings; the long day paſses, and he returns not! She does not ſhed her ſorrows over his grave, for ſhe has never learnt whether he ever had one. If he had returned, his exertions would not have been remembered individually, for he only made a ſmall imperceptible part of a human machine, called a regiment. We muſt take in the long ſickneſs which no glory ſoothes, occaſioned by diſtreſs of mind, anxiety, and ruined fortune. Theſe are not fancy pictures; and if you pleaſe to heighten them, you can every one of you do it for yourſelves. We take in the conſequences, felt perhaps for ages, before a country which has been completely deſolated, lifts its head again; like a torrent of lays, its worſt miſchief is not the firſt, overwhelming in ruin towns and palaces, but the long ſterility to which it condemns the track it hath covered with its ſtream. Add the danger to regular governments which are changed by war, ſometimes to anarchy, and ſometimes to deſpotiſm. Add all theſe, and then let us think when a General performing theſe exploits is ſaluted with Well done, good and faithful ſervant, whether the plaudit is likely to be echoed in another place. But however deplorable the calamities of war, ſuch is the nature of the preſent ſcene of things, that there are circumſtances which fully involve the neceſsity of appealing to the ſword. When our deareſt, eſsential, and moſt important intereſts are invaded, when our exiſtence, as a nation, is put to the hazard, when negociations fail, when we are ſubjected to contumelious indignities, when we are deſpoiled of our property, and ſtripped of the hopes of redreſs—in emergencies thus preſsing, every ſentiment of ſelf-defence will throw the gauntlet for the battle. That it is preciſely upon theſe evil times we have fallen, many reſentfully and vehemently pronounce; and, not yet freed from 255 X2r 255 from the jealouſies and entanglements of European politics, while the hemiſphere of the elder world is thus dreadfully tempeſted, nothing but an overweening ſelf-partiality, could lead us to expect eſcaping at leaſt the outſkirts of the hurricane; but if we have been unwarrantably and unneceſsarily injured, and if our abilities are adequate to the contention, let every American play the man for his country. Let not our faces thus gather paleneſs; but, when properly authoriſed by the authority which we have conferred, let us combine, hand and heart, to work out our own political ſalvation; and if our cauſe is thus righteous, the God of armies will again lead us forth, and doubtleſs the palm of victory will be ours.

But deliberation here maketh a pauſe—Againſt whom ſhall we commence hoſtilities? So many are the wrongs which we are ſaid to have ſuffered from the maritime belligerent powers, that an unprejudiced American will heſitate againſt which to prefer the loudeſt complaints; and the inveſtigations made in the general council of our nation, ſo nearly poizeth the ſcale of depredation, that the cloſeſt obſerver, uninfluenced by party, is at a loſs to decide upon the queſtion. Yet, it is ſaid, our obligations to France, furniſhing a balance in her favour, ought in equity to deſtroy the equipoiſe; and indeed it is greatly to be wiſhed the conduct of that nation had been ſuch, as to have ſanctioned the moſt unlimited election of her intereſts. If, when emerging from the benighted clouds of deſpotiſm; if, when exonerating herſelf from the intolerable oppreſsion of unlimited authority, ſhe had known where to erect the barriers; if ſhe had not outraged every feeling of humanity, moſt atrociouſly committing acts, at which even the boſom of ſtoiſm agonizes at every pore, over which rectitude muſt pour the never failing tear, and at which fortitude hath learned to weep; if ſhe had ſupported the conſtitution which ſhe ſwore to maintain, we ſhould doubtleſs have felt for her like veneration, as when the gallant and virtuous La Fayette, directing her councils, led 256 X2v 256 led forth her armies, and, pointing her ſteps to victory and fame, extorted the mingling and unheſitating applauſe of an admiring world. But alas! France exhibits, at this period, a ſpectacle, from which lacerated truth indignantly haſtes, at which reaſon ſtands aghaſt, while morality and holy religion have received from baſe and murderous hands a fatal ſtab.

Perhaps the only advantage which the revolutionary tribunal can boaſt over the lettre de cachet, or the juſtly execrated Baſtile, is, that not prolonging the ſufferings of its victims, it haſteth to beſtow upon them, through the inſtrumentality of the executioner, a ſpeedy emancipation from its tyranny. Whole hecatombs have been immolated; every perſon who differeth in opinion from the ruling faction is arreſted, tried, and executed. The federaliſt findeth no mercy; and even an avowed wiſh to qualify their boaſted indiviſibility, by a ſingle feature of the American government, is eſtimated as treaſonable. With regard to our obligations to France, it ought ſurely to be conſidered, whether gratitude can ever teach us to abet, even the moſt liberal and diſintereſted benefactor, in deeds of darkneſs and of death: And, when it is remembered, that the welltimed aid, from which we derived advantages ſo indiſputably beneficial, was procured through the inſtrumentality of him, whom we then hailed as our magnanimous ally—which ally hath, by the moſt ſanguinary men and meaſures, been, by violent hands, arreſted in the middle of his days! when theſe circumſtances are adverted to, they may poſsibly be regarded as an extenuation of our crime, although barely for the ſake of evincing our loyalty to the Gallic name, we ſhould not conceive ourſelves obligated to leap the bounds of rectitude.

Yet, ſtrange as it may ſeem, faction hath introduced its cloven foot among us; with aſtoniſhing effrontery it hath dared to lift its baleful head; and, drawing the ſword of diſcord, it is preparing to ſheath it in the vitals of that infant conſtitution, whoſe budding life expands ſo fair to view, and whoſe docile texture, yielding ample 257 X3r 257 ample hope to cultivation, enſures the mellowing growth to every deſired improvement. Is not the idea of murdering in the very cradle ſo promiſing an offspring, a conception which can have received a form only in the maddening pericranium of hell-born anarchy? Is there an individual who will not devoutly ſay—May the Parent of the univerſe ſhield our country from the progreſs of that Tartarean fiend which hath ſo long deſolated France! Yea, we confidently pronounce that every patriotic boſom hath glowed with indignation, and every virtuous ſentiment hath recoiled from the frenzy of that parricide, which ſo licentiouſly ſuſpended over the head of our matchleſs Chief, the execrable guillotine! over the head of that venerable patriot whoſe boſom is the ſeat of every virtue; whoſe diſintereſted efforts for the public weal, ſtand unrivalled in the records of immortal fame; whoſe ſuperior talents, and whoſe revolving hours are invariably appropriated to the general good; whoſe unyielding magnanimity, hath gleamed athwart the darkeſt and moſt diſtreſſing moments, the luminous rays of manly hope; who, far from bending beneath the load of national depreſſion, hath conſidered every event, with the firmneſs of inflexible virtue; who, like another Atlas, hath ſtill ſupported the mighty fabric of a various and complicated government; whoſe penetrating genius, and expanding reſources, unravelleth the intricacies of duplicity, and preſenteth the extricating hand of wiſdom; who glows with the rapture of the hero upon every inſtance of national elevation—in one word, who was the illuſtrious leader, the boaſt, and the very ſoul of our armies, and who continues the brighteſt gem in the enfolding robes of peace.

Will ye not veil to the father of your country, ye aſsociated declaimers? Is it your element to arraign, to cavil, to cenſure, and to exerciſe a kind of fanciful deſpotiſm? Why will you thus pervert talents capable of rendering you, to this younger world, the richeſt bleſsing? Yet, if ye will ſtill pertinaciouſly proceed, the hand of freemen can never arreſt your courſe; X2 for 258 X3v 258 for ſtill ye are cheriſhed by the genial influence of that liberty, whoſe equal ray, in imitation of its great prototype, invigorateth the poiſonous as well as the ſalutary germe.

But, ſuffer a fellow-citizen to make the inquiry— What is your object? Why are you thus ſtudious to create diviſions? Why are you ambitious of forming an ariſtocracy in the midſt of your brethren? Ought not the nation at large to conſtitute one vaſt ſociety of people, bound by common ties, common wiſhes, and common hopes? Hath any part of the Union conſtitutionally delegated their powers to you? To whom will you appeal? The late envoy of France, in effect, at leaſt, threatened an appeal to the people! But ſurely, neither the quondam ambaſsador or his adherents have ſufficiently attended to the origin, nature and completion of our happy conſtitution.

If ever any government might, ſtrictly ſpeaking, be characterized, in a rationally republican ſenſe, the government of the people, the regulations made for the adminiſtration of order, in theſe States, is indubitably that government. This is an axiom which I ſhould imagine could never be controverted. Perhaps, the manner of obtaining and eſtabliſhing our government, hath not, in every reſpect, a parallel. Delegates appointed by the free, unſolicited, uncorrupted, and unanimous voice of the people, were, by the people, inveſted with authority to weigh, ponder, and reflect; they aſsembled, they deliberated, examined, compared, and finally arranged. To the conſideration of the ſovereign people, the reſult of the collected wiſdom of our Continent was preſented; every article, every ſentiment was examined, in every poſsible view; it was analyzed and ſcrutinized, in the completeſt, moſt uncontrolled, and rigorous manner. Orators embodied the whole force of their eloquence; writers exerciſed their moſt energetic talents, and in the ſtrict examination the beſt productions of the preſs were engaged: Every member of the community had an undoubted right to inveſtigate; public bodies lent their luminous aid; and, in the momentousmentous 259 X4r 259 mentous reſearch and expected deciſion, friends and enemies alike combined. Behold the cataſtrophe— how loudly doth it pronounce the eulogy of our conſtitution—how doth it dignify and eternize the American ſyſtem! One State and another, time after time, gradually and deliberately, adopt and ratify a plan, which ſo evidently embraceth the intereſts of the people at large. In ſome of our governments, the ſanction yielded is unanimous, and, in every part of the Union, the large and reſpectable majority of the people, is unexampled in the annals of legiſlation.

Surely, I ſay, a government thus originating, thus ſanctioned, and thus eſtabliſhed, may be unequivocally pronounced, in every proper ſenſe, the government of the people. To whom then, from ſuch a government, can we appeal? The anſwer is obvious; but, may our political Hercules cruſh the Hydra faction, however multifarious may be its powers of miſchief, or however widely diffuſed its poiſonous influence.

In this era of general conſternation and perturbed ſuſpenſe, it is undoubtedly our wiſdom to abide the reſult of thoſe inveſtigations and debates, which properly conſtitute the department of gentlemen, whom we have commiſsioned to take upon them the adminiſtration of public affairs. If the Gleaner might be permitted to breathe a wiſh, it would be for the general obſervance and eſtabliſhment of order, and that every citizen would learn, habitually, to venerate offices and characters devoted to, and engaged in, the adminiſtration of juſtice, and to which every good and worthy member of the community is alike eligible.

The Gleaner, from a ſeries of accurate and unimpaſsioned obſervations, is induced earneſtly to hope, that the general government will ſtill continue to preclude all illegal interference, all foreign, unconſtitutional, and unbecoming influence. And he confeſses, that he experienced the enthuſiaſm of approbation, when he obſerved in the public prints, that dignified movement of Congreſs, which directed the galleries to be vacated, upon an indecent attempt made, to approbate men and 260 X4v 260 and meaſures, by teſtimonies, proper only to mark the merit of the votaries of the ſock and buſkin. Yea, verily, this new world is the heritage of liberty; but it is of that liberty which decidedly avoweth her ſyſtem, her regulations, her laws, her ſubordination; to all of which ſhe exacteth the moſt ſcrupulous obedience. I am not ignorant, that licentiouſneſs too often aſsumes the ſacred name of liberty: Licentiouſneſs, engendered by darkneſs, nurſed by ignorance, and led forth by impudence; murder and devaſtation are her miniſters; hell-born ambition is her incentive; and the moſt confirmed and rigorous deſpotiſm remaineth her invariable object.

Liberty! heaven deſcended goddeſs, rational and refined—No, ſhe hath not a ſingle feature of the audacious impoſtor, who, with ſuch aſtoniſhing effrontery, artfully arrogateth her character and offices, and who, by a ſeries of execrable machinations, after clothing herſelf in the ſky-wrought robes of the bright celeſtial, demandeth her honours, procureth againſt her the moſt ſhocking and libellous declamations, and woundeth her in the upright exerciſe of thoſe pure and wholeſome inſtitutions, which are replete with the moſt ſalutary and benign influence, upon the morals and happineſs of our ſpecies. Nay, the blighting and contagious breath of licentiouſneſs, ſtigmatizeth decent and corrected liberty, as the moſt degenerate and ſervile traitor! and, denounced by anarchy, the terms, uſurper, deſpot, and tyrant, with every other frightful appellation which the black catalogue can produce, is liberally and indiſcriminately beſtowed upon her. Between liberty and licentiouſneſs we cannot trace the ſmalleſt analogy; they have been ſtrikingly and beautifully contraſted. Liberty has been compared to an informed, elevated, and well regulated mind; her movements are authorized by reaſon; knowledge is her harbinger; wiſdom adminiſtereth unto her; and all her interpoſitions are mildly beneficent: Tranquillity reſults from her arrangements; and a ſerene and equal kind of contentment is her eldeſt born. Licentiouſneſstiouſneſs 261 X5r 261 tiouſneſs is ſaid to reſemble the unbridled and tumultuous career of him, who, intoxicated by the inebriating draught, and having renounced his underſtanding, would invert the order of nature; eager to pour the inundation which ſhall level every virtue, and annihilate every diſtinction, he exulteth in his fancied proweſs, riots amid the confuſion which he creates, and unduly exalting himſelf, he poſteth full ſpeed to deſtruction.

But my ſubject unexpectedly growing upon me, the fear of exceeding my limits induces me to poſtpone its termination to a future Gleaner.

No. XXVII.

Neceſſity her various grades deſigns, And with ſubordination peace combines.

Isaid that genuine liberty recognized her ſyſtems, her laws, and her regular chain of ſubordination; to all of which ſhe exacted the moſt ſcrupulous obedience; and, if this were not true, I confeſs that I, for one, ſhould be inclined to deprecate her domination. Surely, that ſtate muſt be fruitful of calamities, which admitteth not an acknowledged ſuperior; where every perſon hath, in every reſpect, an abſolute and uncontrollable right to conſult his own feelings, ſubmitting himſelf to no other empire than that of his wayward paſſions.

It is not, in every ſenſe, true, that Nature is equal in her productions. The ſame plaſtic hand that formed a Newton, lends exiſtence to an oyſter. Nature levels and diverſifies her wide extended lawns, winds her ſerpentine walks, and ſpreads her ample fields; but ſhe alſo erects her mounds, faſhions her knolls, elevates her acclivities, and piles together her ſtupendous mountains. The ocean rolls one vaſt world of waters; but the little ſtream murmurs gently and pleaſingly along. The huge leviathan and the polypus, are alike inhabitantsitants 262 X5v 262 itants of the ſea. The elephant and the tatou, the oſtrich and the humming bird, reſpire in our world, while naturaliſts are at a loſs even to name the numerous grades, which make up and complete the ſhades between theſe extremes. A various growth of flowers pleaſe the eye; vegetables ſuſtain and nouriſh; fruits regale the palate; and poiſonous plants, obtaining a luxuriant growth, rear their baleful heads. To trace the varieties of nature, is indeed a fruitful avocation; the region of fancy is ſtocked with reflections, while, to the curious obſerver, engaged in the purſuit, hardly an hour revolves, which produces not an acceſſion of ideas.

Light and ſhade are productive of the fineſt effect; the eye is offended by a continuity of the ſame objects; hills and vallies, ſucceeding each other, furniſh the moſt enchanting views; the interjacent plain is pleaſingly terminated by the ſequeſtered grove; the glade beautifully diverſifies the foreſt; and yonder tall majeſtic eminence is gracefully ſkirted by the enamelled meadow which is outſpread beneath. The ſeaſons ſucceed each other, and the revolutions of day and night, poſſeſſing their peculiar charms, are ſalutary and grateful. Nor is this multiformity obſervable only in the leſs nobler parts of the creation: The human being has varieties, which may almoſt be pronounced endleſs. The degrees of intellect, if we may judge by effects, are very unequally proportioned. Now a luminous genius darts through the complicated arrangements of nature; its pervading ken is ſubtil and energetic; its powers are adequate to reſearches the moſt profound; it inveſtigates, and obſcurity is no more; the arcana of ages, yielding to its animated and elucidating progreſs, relinquiſheth the impenetrable veil; its verſatility, and the depth of its obſervations are aſtoniſhing; and, amid the blaze of refulgent day, it lifts its aſpiring head. But the natal place of this luminary, the ſame village, perhaps the ſame family, uſhered into being the unfortunate idiot, whoſe faculties are ſcarcely adequate to the abſolute calls of exiſtence. Some dignifiedfied 263 X6r 263 fied minds, born to all the energy of being, devote their time and talents to inform, to rectify, to improve, and in every ſenſe to benefit mankind; others again, are ſo abſorbed in ſelf, that were it not for the catalogue of their individual wants and wiſhes, we ſhould not know that they continued to vegetate. If perſons of this deſcription have any principles but that of ſelf love, they are ſo completely under the direction of, and aſſimulated by this their ruling paſſion, that it is difficult to trace, in their actions, the ſmalleſt veſtige of a foreign influence. Is it juſt to refuſe to merit its unqueſtionable dues? Is it equitable to deny to virtue the palm of honour? Or, ought we to heſitate in doing reverence to a ſuperiority indubitable and decided?

Where is unvaried equality to be found? Not in heaven, for there are principalities and powers: Not, certainly, in any of the diſtributions which we have traced on earth; for it is unqueſtionable, that variety conſtitutes one of the principal beauties in the arrangements of nature. Nor is it the growth of the Tartarean regions; for there the arch fiend exerciſeth thoſe powers, which proclaim his regality; and, even Licentiouſneſs hath her choſen favourite whom ſhe conſtituteth chief of the ſavage band of murderers. I do not ſay, that my reading and obſervation are ſufficiently extenſive to decide; but were I to hazard a conjecture, I would ſuggeſt, that, from the days of that firſt murderer who ſlew his brother, the levelling ſcheme hath, ſtrictly ſpeaking, continued a chimera, floating only in the brain of the ſpeculatiſt, or figuring ſplendidly in the theories, which his fertile imagination hath commiſſioned to iſſue from the preſs.

Perhaps the late Doctor Johnſon, who may be ſtyled the monarch of literature, however rich in reſources, could not have hit on an argument more effectually calculated to flaſh conviction upon the feelings of a certain female hiſtorian (of no inconſiderable merit, notwithſtanding) than when waiting upon her, in her decent apartments in the city of London, and aſſuming the humble and ſerious features of conviction, he addreſſeddreſſed 264 X6v 264 dreſſed her to the following effect:—Madam, influenced by your good ſenſe, and the irrefragable ſtrength of your arguments, you at this moment behold before you, the proſelyte of your opinions. I am at length confident, that the children of men are all upon an equal footing; and, Madam, to give you proof poſitive that I am indeed a convert, here is a very ſenſible, civil, worthy, well-behaved citizen, your footman; I make it my requeſt that he may be permitted to ſit down and dine with us. Doctor Johnſon, upon this, or ſome ſimilar occaſion, made a remark, which, agreeably to the general tenor of his obſervations, carrieth its evidence along with it, and which the experience of every day may ſerve to corroborate. Your levellers, ſaid the Doctor, wiſh to level down as far as themſelves, but they cannot bear levelling up to themſelves; they would all have ſome people under them; why not then have ſome people above them? I would no more deprive certain characters of their reſpect, than of their money. I conſider myſelf as acting a part in the great ſyſtem of ſociety, and I do to others as I would have them do to me. There would be a perpetual ſtruggle for precedence, were there no rules to diſcriminate rank.

There is no calculating the diſorders which may result from relaxing the ſeries of ſubordination; if conviction is ſuſpended, we need but make the trial. I am ſurrounded by a family of men and maid ſervants. I am placed upon extenſive grounds, which call for the regular aid of cultivation, for all the various routine of agricultural attention. The vernal ſeaſon is haſting forward—the morning is delightful. On a day ſo propitious much buſineſs may be accompliſhed: With the early dawn I quit my pillow, I ſupplicate Mary to direct her woman to prepare me an immediate breakfaſt; ſhe, careleſſly, pronounces me quite as eligible to that taſk myſelf. I apply to Abigail, who refers me to another, and another; and, as equality admitteth no diſtinctions, the probability is, that I am finally brought back again to Mary herſelf. Poſſibly, after many entreaties,treaties, 265 Y1r 265 treaties, the females may all combine; one bear a cup, another a ſaucer; a table is dragged from that apartment, and a tea-kettle from this; ignorant of each other’s plans, and having no one to direct, the proceſs is impeded and confuſed, and when at length the motley aſſemblage is completed, and the refection preſented, the ſpoiled tea, coffee, chocolate, and bread and butter, all evince the oppoſite hands employed in their manufacture. But this is the fair ſide of the buſineſs; they might have engaged in a tumultuous fracas, and, conſigning the whole apparatus to deſtruction, they might have left me no other conſolation, than that of ſoothing my vexation, by ſinging, in Homeric numbers, the diſmal craſh of that eventful morning.

Well, but to proceed. Breakfaſt over, I ſally forth. I adviſe that the cattle be yoked, and that ſuch a parcel of manure be conveyed to yonder ſterile ſpot. Jonathan inſiſts that the horſe-cart is ſufficient to drag it. Thomas is of his opinion. William ſides with me, and we prepare for a trial of ſtrength; equally divided, our oppoſition bars our purpoſe; from words we proceed to blows; the females are alarmed; they take their ſides; the plot thickens; appearances grow formidable; a doughty battle enſues; bloody noſes are the conſequence; and the day is ſacrificed to diſcord. Every morning is thus uſhered in; every portion of time is marked by oppoſition. Now the land ſhall be hedged with buſhes, anon the ready rock ſhall preſent the barrier, and again the wooden encloſure is all the rage. To-day we will plough, to-morrow we will ſow. Nay, you are too early, you are too late; this is ſufficient, that is not enough; we will go hither and thither, every where, and no where.

Thus roll on the days, weeks and months. Autumn is at the door, the lands are uncultivated, and famine, with its meagre ſtride, is rapidly advancing to our borders. Meanwhile, even in this tumultuous era, my houſe, my eſtate confeſſeth a potentate. Anarchy reigneth ſupreme, and deſolation adminiſtereth her commands. To prevent, or to guard againſt conſequences,Y ſequences, 266 Y1v 266 ſequences, which every ſober ſentiment muſt deprecate, becomes impoſſible; no member of the family hath authority to interpoſe the dictatorial document, and the commands of the fiend are perforce obeyed. Who ſhall prevent the ſpreading evil? If licentiouſneſs is ſucceſsful in her impoſture; if, aſſuming the maſk of liberty, ſhe completeth her deception; if we proſtrate before this baleful deſtroyer, where, I demand, is my ſafety? What ſecurity can I have, that my neighbour, whoſe ſinewy arm can bear away the prize of ſtrength, will not ſnatch from me that patrimony, which, deſcending from a virtuous line of anceſtors, I have preſerved, at the expenſe of laborious days, and many a ſelf-denying conflict? Surely, language, in attempting an enumeration of the calamities of licentiouſneſs, is baffled in the deſcription! and even conception muſt fall ſhort of the miſchiefs which ſhe produceth.

But if the theory of equality is not practicable in the contracted circle of domeſtic life, much leſs will that experiment ſucceed which would realize it, in regard to the heterogeneous collection of beings who conſtitute a nation. Doth not Liberty aſſociate her laws, her regulations, and her diſtinctions? Is not good government the baſis on which ſhe erecteth the ſuperſtructure of all thoſe operations ſo beneficial to mankind? Yes, Liberty, ſacred and genuine Liberty, draweth with preciſion the line, nor will ſhe permit a litigation of the inherent Rights of Man. She alloweth no imaginary claims; ſhe is fearful of diſturbing the regular ſucceſſion of order; ſhe is fond of the neceſſary arrangement of civil ſubordination; and ſhe dreadeth that tumultuous and up-rooting hurricane, which, inmingling the various claſſes of mankind, deſtroyeth the beautiful gradation and ſeries of harmony, again reſtoring all that wild uproar, reſulting from the rude and miſhapen domination of chaos. Yes, we repeat it, that people, that nation, that tribe or family, which is deſtitute of legiſlation, regulation, and officers of government, muſt unqueſtionably be in a deplorable ſituation. The ſtrong will invariably oppreſs the weak; 267 Y2r 267 weak; to the luſty arm of athletic guilt, imbecile innocence will fall a prey, and there is no power to redreſs! Hence the time regiſtered axiom, It is neceſſary to relinquiſh a part, for the preſervation of the whole. Liberty delegates her powers, and to this effulgent goddeſs, her anointed miniſters, with that integrity and patriotic firmneſs which becometh the ſervants of a patroneſs, who ſtill regards the children of men with an eye of benignity, fail not to render up their accounts.

Let us ſuppoſe a people in a ſtate of nature, and let us ſuppoſe them made up of all thoſe varieties of conſtitution, intellect, paſſions, and corporeal ſtrength, which are commonly found in a community. Experience hath convinced them, that anarchy is pregnant with every evil; and they finally combine to form the league of government. What is the mode for the adminiſtration of juſtice, which we would recommend to ſuch a people? Poſſeſſed by a wiſh to render permanent, and give the requiſite dignity, energy, execution, and obedience to the ſocial order which we ſhould aim at eſtabliſhing, we ſhould be ſolicitous to adopt in our form of polity, that gradatory junction which would cement and bind together, in an amicable and mutual exchange of good offices, the various claſſes of citizens. Fancy, for a moment, inveſts me with the venerable and honorary character of a legiſlator; and, for the purpoſe of forming, for a ſet of well diſpoſed men, a code of regulations, I imagine myſelf ſeated, with the pen of inquiry in my fingers, and my deſign being to compile a government of laws, rather than of individuals, I am naturally ſolicitous to promulgate inſtitutions, which ſhall be at once ſalutary, efficacious and pleaſing. With a view of tracing and combining an eligible plan, I might turn over huge folios of information, and, purſuing a ſcience of ſuch vaſt importance to mankind, which in its operations is capable of the higheſt public utility, or which may become the root of every evil, inveſtigation can hardly be too ſcrupulouſly exact. But what would be the reſult of an application to variousrious 268 Y2v 268 rious writers? Doubtleſs we ſhould find ourſelves involved in a labyrinth of oppoſite teſtimonies; and, confuſed by a multiplicity of contradictory and perhaps fallacious opinions, reflection would be abſorbed, and deciſion at a ſtand.

The ancients have remarked, that, cultivated by the hand of liberty in the dwellings of freedom, the arts and ſciences flouriſhed with invigorated charms; that neither the Perſians or Egyptians underſtood their beauties; that from the Greeks, although too often engaged in hoſtilities, and ſtruggling in the toils of poverty, they obtained maturation; that they declined with that freedom, once the glory of the Grecian republics, and that, with their auguſt patroneſs, winging their etherial way to celebrious Rome, they there continued their ſplendid career, until the immolation of liberty, in that imperial city, muffled in dark and portentous clouds thoſe intellectual luminaries; and hence, from theſe incontrovertible facts, it is confidently aſſerted, that the arts and ſciences can never flouriſh but in the ſoil of freedom. Yet, in oppoſition to a concluſion which may have been too haſtily formed, we are told, that modern Rome and Florence have enwreathed with perfection, ſculpture, painting, muſic and poetry; and that Florence, after the uſurpations of the family of Medici, made the moſt rapid proficiency in thoſe arts. Arioſto, Taſſo, Galileo, Raphael, and Michael Angelio; theſe illuſtrious painters, poets and mathematicians, it is obſerved, were not born in republics. Reubens, it is ſaid, collected and eſtabliſhed his ſchool at Antwerp, and not at Amſterdam; and in Germany, the true poliſh of manners is rather to be found at Dreſden than at Hamburgh.

France hath undoubtedly furniſhed a ſtriking example of the proſperity of literature in an abſolute government. Philoſophy, poetry, dramatic eminence, oratory, hiſtory, painting, architecture, ſculpture, muſic—theſe have received the moſt extenſive cultivation, and the higheſt honours in the kingdom of France: And we are moreover aſſured, that the cidevant ſubjects had 269 Y3r 269 had aſtoniſhingly meliorated that moſt grateful and beneficial of all arts, l’Art de Vivre, the neceſſary and ſocial art, which involves a mutual interchange of ſentiments.

Thus contradictory are thoſe ſtreams of information, which yet may have originated in the fountain of wiſdom. The ſuperſtructures of governments have generally been raiſed upon apprehenſion and compulſion; in ſuch circumſtances, error hath been almoſt unavoidable, and it can never be matter of wonder, that human ſyſtems are ſuſceptible of improvement.

In the novelties of Lycurgus, the features of artifice and fraud are but too prevalent. Solon, although the votary of wiſdom, and undoubtedly the mild and beneficent friend of mankind, yet even Solon entertained deſpotic ideas of the powers veſted in him, and we cannot forbear obſerving, that he conſidered himſelf as poſſeſſing an optional authority, to implant the germe of deſpotiſm, or to emit the rays of bland and corrected freedom. Numa, by virtue of the goddeſs Egeria, might have originated the groſſeſt impoſitions; and it is an indubitable truth, that the rights of man are irreconcileable with a relinquiſhment of that privilege of inquiry, which may erect a barrier to the inundation of evil. Turning, for a moment, from all thoſe reſervoirs of knowledge, which, nevertheleſs, I muſt ever unceaſingly venerate, I wave the occupation of a Gleaner, and ſimply lighting the torch of reaſon at the flame of experience, I will, for the organization of my ſketch of immunities, conſult thoſe ſentiments and concluſions, which are the natural growth of a plain mind.

Common ſenſe pronounces, that a people deſtitute of a leader, and deſtitute of legiſlation, loudly demand the protecting hand of a guardian power; and, liberty adds, that a chief ſhould be obtained by the joint ſuffrages of the people at large. To this end, they muſt be convened in their ſeveral diſtricts, where, uninfluenced by party or by paſſion, let them commiſſion him, whom they eſteem moſt worthy, to aſſume that auguſt Y2 title— 270 Y3v 270 title—The Father of his Country; and, after reciprocating the moſt ſolemn engagements, after conſecrating him by their joint affections and benedictions, let them inveſt him with authority to lead them againſt their combined enemies, to fight their battles, and, by the wiſdom of his regulations, to procure them victory, and to guarantee their juſt immunities. Let this their choſen patriot be aided by a general council, conſiſting of delegates according to the number of the people. Let theſe delegates be appointed by a deciſion, influenced only by the intrinſic worth of the candidates. Let them form two diſtinct deliberative bodies, or houſes, properly qualified and authorized to act as checks upon each other; and, let theſe three branches be inveſted with powers, fully adequate to all the purpoſes of legiſlation. To the departments thus appointed to theſe high offices of truſt, let the utmoſt veneration be annexed; but I would ordain, that the individuals who filled them, ſhould, after a ſtated time, be removable at the pleaſure of the people. Even the Firſt Magiſtrate ſhould hold his place but in conſequence of frequent re-elections; and for high crimes and miſdemeanors, he ſhould be conſidered as amenable to the laws. Upon legiſlative acts he ſhould poſſeſs only a conditional negative; and while his fellow-citizens were aided by his counſels, they ſhould be ſecured from his encroachments. He ſhould always be conſidered as the Chief Warrior of the people; but in the formation of treaties, he ſhould call in, at leaſt, one branch of the legiſlature, and the ſame concurrence ſhould be neceſſary to the appointment to offices. The commerce or currency of the nation ſhould not be ſubjected to the preſcriptions of its Executive, nor ſhould he arrogate, in matters of conſcience, even the ſhadow of juriſdiction. As a faithful and vigilant friend of the people, he ſhould be unwearied in his informations, recommendations, and all ſuch conſtitutional meaſures, as he ſhould conceive would conduce to the public weal; and, during his adminiſtration, he ſhould be careful to exact a faithful obedience to the laws. If in 271 Y4r 271 in any ſingle inſtance I entruſted him with diſcretionary or abſolute power, it ſhall be in granting reprieves, or remiſſion of offences; for, as I would always give the ſcale to preponderate on the ſide of mercy, ſo I would arm the Executive with the lenity of clemency, while I debarred him the exerciſe of meaſures unduly ſanguinary.

Yet with the dignified and honorary diſtinctions of government, I would be careful to inveſt the Man of the people. Ambaſſadors, and other public miniſters, ſhould mingle in his train, and every rational inſignia of reſpect ſhould ornament his department. His office ſhould enſure the higheſt reſpect; and I would yield obedience to the individual as long as he was entitled to public confidence and reſpect.

The judicial power ſhould be ſeparate from the executive, and I would inveſt it with as large a ſhare of independence as could conſiſt with reciprocality and union; while the degree of guilt involved in crimes of almoſt every deſcription, ſhould be determined by the empannelled peers of the culprit. But all this is only collecting the inſtruments, while the code of inſtitutions are yet unfaſhioned. True, but as legiſlative acts ſhould be the reſult of the moſt mature deliberation, we will ſearch in the great volume of nature, we will turn over the leaves of experience, and thus ſelecting the gems, and from time to time accumulating our ſyſtem, we will finally preſent the luminous compendium to the conſideration, and, as we hope, to the acceptation of unprejudiced reaſon. Meanwhile, ſkimming the ſurface of my ſubject, I preſent only the rudiments of a ſyſtem, which fancy hath pleaſingly contemplated.

Doth the reader exclaim—Surely theſe hints are nothing more than the lineaments of the conſtitution of the United States! Well, honeſt friend, they are the lineaments of nature—the lineaments of liberty—they make a part of that contract to which ſhe conſents; and, without entering into the complex and admirable intertexture of thoſe united and ſeparate governments, which 272 Y4v 272 which conſtitute our federaliſm, we pronounce, that theſe are the leading features of that ſubordination, without which, genuine liberty would no longer irradiate our hemiſphere.

May the parties which are originated, ſtimulate the exertions of her real votaries; may no deſcription among us ever aſſume the gorgon head of faction; and, may the mutual jealouſies, diſſentions and ambition, which pervade, ſerve as antidotes to each other. Parties, in a ſtate of civil and political liberty, have been compared to the paſſions of an individual; and, as the paſſions are ſaid to be the elements of life, ſo the animated and reſuſcitating ſpirit of party is obſerved to be eſſential to the exiſtence of genuine freedom. Be it ſo; and may the public weal, the public tranquillity, be, by every means, promoted.

No. XXVIII.

Rich are the ſplendors of that golden day, Which breaks triumphant on a night of ſtorms; The fleecy clouds purſue their azure way, And every heart with grateful tranſport warms: So oft when wrapt about in ſhades of woe, When the lorn boſom ſwells the length’ning ſigh, In copious ſtreams when tears of anguiſh flow, And mem’ry can no beamy ray ſupply, Some bleſt event burſts radiant on the ſight, And every ſenſe proclaims the new-born light.

With ſenſations of ineffable complacency and high glee; with feelings, the felicity of which it would be difficult if not impoſsible to delineate, I ſet me down, upon this 1794-05-2727th day of May, 1794, to recount unto the good-natured reader an event, which, if I have not been extremely erroneous in my calculations, will render him, in no inconſiderable degree, a partaker of my joy.

I ſay, good-natured reader; for, without incurring the charge of credulity, I conceive I may fairly preſume,ſume, 273 Y5r 273 ſume, that perſons of this deſcription have, from time to time, been conſtrained to take an intereſt in the fate of Margaretta Melworth Hamilton. I ſay, good-natured reader, becauſe the Gleaner hath never yet had the arrogance to conceive his powers ſufficiently energetic to arreſt the attention of the phlegmatic, the ſaturnine, or the faſtidious. Individuals poſseſsing minds caſt in theſe moulds, he hath conſidered as inacceſsible, and he hath imagined them turning from the pages of the Gleaner, with all the frigidity of apathy, with all the glooms attendant upon rigorous ſeverity, diſguſt, or contempt. Nor doth he enter this remark as a complaint; he hath been humble enough to content himſelf with the eſteem of the candid and ſincere; in the boſom of ſenſibility he fondly conceives he hath obtained a place, and he is ambitious of rendering his efforts worthy that degree of conſideration with which they may be regarded. Addreſsing then the humane, the benevolent, and the ingenuous; in one word, thoſe who are willing to be pleaſed, he hardly heſitates in promiſing himſelf at leaſt a hearing: and, he is free to own, that he poſseſses ſuch a comfortable ſhare of ſelf complacency, as to become confident, that whenever he conſecrates his efforts by the name of the daughter of his affection, he enſures a ſhare of approbation; nor will he conſent that this idea ſhould be imputed altogether to an over-weening conceit of his own abilities; for ſurely it muſt be acknowledged that an amiable and meritorious woman, ſtruggling with misfortunes, is an object which virtue muſt ever regard with commiſeration and applauſe. For the officious length of this exordium, I ſupplicate the indulgence of thoſe gentle ſpirits, upon whoſe favour I have preſumed; a candidate for the patronage of benignity ſhould haſten to gratify the feelings of ſuſceptibility, and after narrating a few previous arrangements, without further delay, I ſhall paſs on to a developement, which hath not only inveſted our daughter with high affluence, but hath, moreover, reſtored to her a bleſsing, which ſhe entertained not the ſmalleſt conception of ever being permitted to poſseſs.

My 274 Y5v 274

My laſt communications relative to Mrs. Hamilton, crowned her with thoſe honours which bloom moſt becomingly upon a female brow; the propriety of her conduct in the matrimonial career could not be queſtioned, and her patient merit was, in her own opinion, amply rewarded, by a diſcovery that neither misfortunes or caprice had robbed her of, or in the ſmalleſt degree abated the affectionate attachment of him, to whom her gentle heart was unreſervedly devoted.

That tumultuous delirium of joy, of which the ſketch of the ſcene in my reading parlour, in the month of November laſt, can have given but an incompetent idea, gradually ſubſided into an exquiſitely pleaſing calm. Peace, with every accompaniment, which ever cluſters in the train of tranquillity, was reinſtated in her boſom; roſy confidence, fruitful in the ſoil of conjugal complacency, again lifted its auſpicious head, and the rich perfumes which it breathed around, ſcattered thoſe ſalutary ſweets that gave to every object a face of pleaſure. Margaretta ſeemed to regard poverty as the angel of ſerenity: Indeed a true knowledge of her circumſtances had relieved her from a mighty preſsure, which, becoming quite inſupportable, had well near broken the ſlender thread of her exiſtence; and an aſsured knowledge that ſhe ſtill poſseſsed thoſe undivided regards, which ſhe had ſtrong reaſon to believe no longer reciprocated, very naturally, for a time, abſorbed in her gentle boſom every other conſideration.

Some days delightfully ſerene, thus rolled on. I knew that the burſting ſtorm, the tremendous and uprooting hurricane muſt ſucceed; but I trembled to diſturb the innocent and unreflecting felicity of the moment. Mr. Seymour, the generous young man who had extricated Hamilton from his difficulties, while hopeleſs love produced him a wandering fugitive in the ſouthern States, had failed for ſome thouſands; and although repeated letters, glowing with friendſhip and matchleſs generoſity, penned by the hand of Mr. Seymour, aſsured us, that he would ward the 275 Y6r 275 the blow from us, to the extremeſt verge of poſsibility; yet as he continued, for the ſafety of his perſon, a priſoner in his own houſe; as all his books, bonds, and papers, of every kind, were ſubmitted to the inſpection of his creditors; and, as he aſsured himſelf that a fair adjuſtment, producing an amicable compromiſe, would uſher in his liberating hour, the utmoſt credulity could not flatter us with continued exemption. Mr. Hamilton too, had many other creditors, and they became much more ſuſpicious, inquiſitive, and troubleſome, than we had expected.

The ſcene once opened, my knowledge of mankind induced me to fear a rapid ſucceſsion of diſtreſsing events; and neceſsity, therefore, impelled me to obtrude upon the halcyon hours of my children conſiderations which threw open the avenues of uncounted cares, and great inquietude. Serafina Clifford continued unwearied in her remonſtrances; ſhe was eager to diſpoſſeſs herſelf, in favour of her brother, of every ſhilling which ſhe poſseſsed; and againſt the ardour and generous impetuoſity of her attack, honour, juſtice, and fraternal affection, although embodied for the purpoſe, maintained but a doubtful combat; until availing myſelf of the rights inveſted in me by my paternal authority, I was reduced to the diſagreeable alternative of interpoſing a poſitive prohibition.

Miſs Clifford, in a kind of frenzy, claſped the little William to her boſom, and calling upon the ſhade of her departed father to witneſs her engagements, ſhe vowed henceforward to devote herſelf and fortune entirely to him; adding, I will, my lovely child, be indefatigable in guarding the ſoil of thy infant mind from the admiſsion of that fatal germ, which never fails to produce a growth of falſe principles, of prin ciples ciples that proſtitute the ſacred names of honour and integrity, beſtowing them upon an unſocial kind of pride, a barbarous ſentiment, which compels its ad herents, although placed upon a precipice of inter minable ruin, to diſdain the aſsiſtance of that friend ſhip ſhip which is warm, natural, glowing, and ſincere; “ of 276 Y6v 276 of that friendſhip, which, as it originates affinity and gratitude, as it is the reſult of the fondeſt attachment, and meliorated by deliberate eſteem, can ſurely nev er er be regarded as problematical. Sweet innocent! may the kindred blood that ſwells thy little veins, render thee one day leſs obdurate than thy dear in flexible flexible parents. From this moment the intereſts of Serafina and thine are inſeparably interwoven.

Fear not, gentle reader, by virtue of the patriarchal dignity which I have aſsumed, I will, upon a proper occaſion, grant unto the ſaid Serafina Clifford, a full and free abſolution from this her inconſiderate vow, which I ſhall take care to impute to the irreſiſtible impulſe of an impaſsioned moment.

In concert with Mr. Hamilton, without delay I took meaſures to place the property in his poſseſsion, beyond the reach of any ſingle creditor; regulating it in ſuch a manner, as would inconteſtibly be moſt for the advantage of, and yield unto every claimant an equal and handſome dividend. Thus prepared for a contingency that we had but too much reaſon momently to expect, I requeſted Mary once more to call into action that admirable addreſs which ſhe had ſo repeatedly exemplified. Go, my love, ſaid I, with all thy winning graces, and affectionate perſuaſion; with all thy angel ſoftneſs, and reconcile our daughter to that revolution in her proſpects, which muſt place her again a reſident in this family. Margaretta was far advanced in her ſecond pregnancy, and we judged it neceſsary to obſerve, in regard to her, the utmoſt delicacy; but we had not yet learned properly to appreciate the mind of our amiable child. Thoſe particulars, which are generally ſo alluring to a young woman, were not conſidered by her, of ſufficient importance to give her eſsential or laſting pain. An eſtabliſhment, ranking as the head of a family, preſiding at her table, giving laws to a train of ſervants, receiving viſits in her own houſe, with a number of et-ceteras, which have frequently the power of faſcinating a young mind, were regarded as conſiderations comparatively of little or 277 Z1r 277 or no moment; and while conſcious ſhe poſseſsed the affections of the man of her heart; while ſhe retained his ſociety; while ſhe could claſp to her throbbing boſom her lovely infant; while indulged with the preſence of Miſs Clifford, now more than ever endeared to her, and bound to her ſoul by motives of the moſt delicate and indiſsoluble tenderneſs and eſteem; while ſhe enjoyed the approbating countenance of her parents, her ſuperior underſtanding could ſcarce forbear a ſmile at the ſolicitude we diſcovered reſpecting her removal; and, relinquiſhing her elegant apartments, I verily believe without a ſingle murmur, ſhe haſtened, together with her amiable friend, to thoſe parental arms which were ever open to receive her.

Trials, however, awaited her. It was neceſsary that Mr. Hamilton, who was anxious to accelerate the hour that ſhould honourably exonerate him from his embarraſsments, and who was extremely deſirous of making proviſion for the growing family which he had in proſpect, ſhould immediately apply to ſome buſineſs, which might afford an expectation of putting him in poſseſsion of wiſhes ſo indiſputably laudable. A ſhip bound for Europe, in which he was offered, with the probability of great commercial advantage, a very lucrative and honorary birth, propitiouſly preſented. Of an opening ſo fortunate, intereſt loudly called upon him to avail himſelf; the favourable gale of opportunity was not to be ſlighted. But his heart bled for his Margaretta; yet manly deciſion heſitated not, and every thing was in train for his departure. We conceived it adviſeable to conceal our purpoſe from my daughter as long as poſsible; and it was not until two days previous to the period deſtined for his embarkation, that I took upon myſelf the painful taſk of diſcloſing to her an event, which we judged muſt inevitably take place. Mary, Miſs Clifford, Edward and myſelf, ſeated with Margaretta, in a retired apartment, had for ſome time been employed in obſerving her; while on her part ſhe ſeemed wholly abſorbed in contemplating the features of the little William, who, ſleeping on a pillow before her, diſplayedZ ed 278 Z1v 278 ed a countenance truly cherubic. Soul of ſenſibility! moſt unwillingly did I recall her from her maternal reverie! but neceſsity apparently impelling, I thus addreſsed her:

What is there that Mrs. Hamilton would not ſacrifice, to advance the happineſs of the little being, whom ſhe hath introduced into exiſtence? Margaretta ſtarted—it ſeemed as if her apprehenſive boſom comprehended, in a ſingle inſtant, the agonizing intelligence which ſhe was about to receive. She continued, however, ſilent, while urged by neceſsity, I reluctantly proceeded—There is a duty incumbent upon parents, towards their children, and from the moment of their birth they are bound to every poſsible exertion, which they can rationally ſuppoſe will contribute to their real felicity. Upon Margaretta Hamilton claims of this ſort will ſoon be multiplied, and the probability is, that a long train of ſons and daughters will riſe up and call her bleſsed. Margaretta will not ſurely be found deficient in her maternal character; the expenſes attendant upon the education of young people, their advancement in life, eſtabliſhment, &c; how quickly will they ſucceed. It is happy, that when a ſingle means of acquiring property fails, there are others which preſent.

The ocean opens its hoſpitable arms to the unfortunate man, from whom every other reſource is cut off; while the dangers, ſuppoſed peculiarly incident to a ſeafaring life are in reality chimeras, calculated only to appal perſons unaccuſtomed to reflect. Thoſe who acknowledge the ſuperintendence of Providence, the exiſtence of Deity, if they aſcribe to him thoſe powers and properties which are eſsential to the being of a God, muſt acknowledge, that his protecting arm is, upon all occaſions, ſtretched forth; that he can preſerve upon the mighty waters with the ſame facility with which he upholdeth the dweller upon the land. The truth is, we are immortal until the ſeparating warrant paſses the great ſeal of Heaven; and the breath arreſted by a deſignation ſo inevitable, no arrangement can redeem. 279 Z2r 279 redeem. I flatter myſelf, my beloved Margaretta, that your mind, equal, energetic, and conſiderate, would not ſuffer itſelf to be over much depreſsed, ſhould the viciſsitudes of life produce contingencies, unavoidably condemning you to a few months abſence from Mr. Hamilton; two or three voyages might perhaps entirely retrieve his affairs, and you would ever after have the ſatisfaction to reflect that you had contributed every thing in your power; every thing which fortitude and uniform exertions could achieve, in order to re-inſtate your Edward in that independence to which he was born. I was proceeding—but I had not been ſufficiently cautious. My daughter, during my harangue, frequently changed colour; the lily and the roſe ſeemed to chaſe each other upon her now mantling, and now pallid cheek; ſhe trembled exceſsively; and upon my particular application to her, the agitation of her boſom, becoming inſupportable, ſhe ſunk breathleſs into the arms of that paſsionately beloved, and truly afflicted huſband, who haſted to prevent her fall.

My God! exclaimed Hamilton, it is too much; reſtore, compoſe, and ſoothe this ſuffering angel, too often exerciſed by pangs of ſo ſevere a nature; and do, with a wretch who hath betrayed and undone her, whatever ſeemeth to thee good.

Mary and Serafina ſoon recalled the fleeting ſpirit of the lovely mourner. Hamilton once more kneeled before her, and the copious tears, with which he bedewed the hand that he alternately preſsed to his boſom and to his lips, called forth a mingling ſtream from the eyes of the beauteous ſufferer. The ſcene was inexpreſsively tender, but the humid drops upon the face of my daughter annihilated at leaſt one half of my fears upon her account. And can you, Sir in a tremulous accent ſhe exclaimed—can you condemn my Edward to bondage, perhaps to irretrievable ſlavery? What means my love? Ah, Sir! do you not recollect Britiſh depredations? Do you not recollect the ruthleſs and unrelenting rigour of that “ fate 280 Z2v 280 fate which awaits the captive, doomed to wear out a wretched life under the galling yoke of an Algerine deſpot? Might I but have been ſpared at this time! might a ſtep ſo fatal to my peace, at leaſt have been deferred, until the face of affairs wore, to the poor, deſolate, and exiled voyager, a more confirmed aſpect, I think I could have acquieſced. For a moent ſhe pauſed; ſighs, expreſsive of the deepeſt anguiſh, burſt from her boſom. Again ſhe reſumed— Gracious Heaven! what an extenſive and wide ſpreading error hath my early indiſcretion proved! and perhaps its cruel conſequences will follow me to the lateſt period of my exiſtence! Had I waited the parental ſanction, ere I lent an ear to a wretch, practiſed in the arts of deception; had I not blindly and precipitately given the reins to reprehenſible inclination, I ſhould never have liſtened to the pernicious voice of adulation; the faithful heart of my Edward would not have received a corroding wound; he would not have been impelled to a voluntary baniſhment; he would never have had recourſe to an expedient, which hath too ſurely involved in ruin my terreſtrial hopes! Forgive me, O my parents! forgive me, O thou beſt of men! and thou ſleeping innocent, forgive, O forgive thy wretched mother! It is now indeed that Margaretta is completely undone!

I was immeaſurably affected; yet I knew that my daughter would ſoon become capable of reaſoning. She poſseſses, in an uncommon degree, the power of accurately diſcuſsing points, in which ſhe is the moſt deeply intereſted; but altogether unprepared for the preſent calamity, reaſon had been violently forced from the helm, and we unitedly endeavoured to reſtore her to that reflection, to which we well knew ſhe was eminently adequate. The ſoothings of unqueſtioned friendſhip are the ſweeteſt ſolace; they yield a balm which is endowed with the ſovereign power of mitigation, and they are a conſolation in almoſt every ſorrow. It was neceſsary to bend the mind of Margarettagaretta 281 Z3r 281 garetta to our purpoſe, and a few hours accompliſhed our wiſhes; gradually we opened our plan; ſhe ſaw the propriety of every arrangement; the neceſsity for the ſteps we had taken, and the idea, then firſt held up, of the poſsibility that the time was not far diſtant, which might legally immure her Hamilton within the walls of a priſon, produced the expected effect. Waving her ſnowy hand with peerleſs grace, ſhe preſsed it upon her cloſed lips, and bowing her afflicted head, thus tacitly gave that expreſsive, although melancholy aſsent, of which, from the beginning, conſidering the juſtneſs of her way of thinking, we had made ourſelves ſure. Two days, as I ſaid, only remained, and they were marked by a deeper ſorrow, than any which has yet pierced the boſom of my daughter! It will not be doubted, that we called into action every motive which could give energy and firmneſs to her feelings; yet, while penſive reſignation dwelt upon her lips, her altered countenance and debilitated frame evinced the ſtruggles of her ſoul. It was a trial upon which ſhe had never reckoned; in every event, ſhe had calculated upon the ſupporting preſence of her huſband, and that ſhe was thus unprepared for the ſtroke, muſt apologize for the agonized emotions with which ſhe ſubmitted to the blow! The evening at length arrived, which we conceived deſtined to uſher in the morning, upon which our adventurer was to depart for a neighbouring town, in order to his embarkation, and its progreſs was noted by the heart-felt ſighs of corroding anguiſh.

But juſt at this juncture, unfortunately, as I then imagined, our Federal Government interpoſed the late embargo, and joy once more mantled upon the cheek of Mrs. Hamilton. Thus it is, we ſubmit to neceſsity; we are convinced of the utility of certain arrangements, and we are conſtrained, by conviction, to yield our aſsent to events which, nevertheleſs, pierce the boſom with the barbed arrows of affliction: Yet, if an interpoſing hand breaks the order to which we had reluctantly ſubmitted; if we are conſcious that we Z2 have 282 Z3v 282 have no how aided in producing the incident; if we have, in every reſpect, acted up to our duty, we ſeem to forget the good we had expected; we rejoice in a change, which emancipates us from thoſe ſorrows we had impoſed upon ourſelves; we ſeem to have attained the goal of felicity; and, for a little moment, we become unmindful of thoſe compulſory conſiderations, which had urged the application of a remedy, acknowledged indiſpenſably requiſite. Margaretta, notwithſtanding the good ſenſe of which ſhe is miſtreſs— notwithſtanding the remonſtrances of reaſon—not only regarded the embargo as a reprieve, but involuntarily breathed her wiſhes for its continuance; and I produce it as an irrefragable fact, that our country contains not a ſingle partizan, whoſe boſom glowed with more ill-adviſed zeal, for the extenſion or renewal of this ſame embargo. The 25th inſtant, however, arrived— it paſsed—the fleet and welcome footſteps of no new commiſsioned expreſs gladdened the ear of impetuoſity —and the embargo expired—Hamilton was again on the eve of his departure. Yeſterday, exactly at one o’clock, we were aſsembled in the dining parlour. This very morning was to have witneſsed the agonized moment of ſeparation—and melancholy dejection brooded in the countenance of Margaretta.

My ſervant, a man whom I have loved for theſe forty years, entered:—A ſtranger, Sir, is importunate to ſee you. Admit him, by all means. Margaretta was haſting from the parlour; ſhe was ſolicitous to hide her grief from the obſervation of the unintereſted; but the ſtranger was cloſe upon the heels of the ſervant, and not being able to make her eſcape, ſhe withdrew to the window.

The gentleman, the ſtranger, I ſay, entered; upon his features were imprinted the ſtrongeſt marks of perturbed and tender anxiety; and, moreover, they were features with which I was confident I had long been familiar, although, for my ſoul, I could not recollect at what time, or in what place, they had met my view. He, however, fixing his inquiring eyes, with impatient ſolicitude, 283 Z4r 283 ſolicitude, on the face of my wife, and drawing up a heavy ſigh, thus laconically apologized:

Excuſe me, Madam, excuſe me, Sir—but my feel ings ings diſdain ceremony. The ſcrutiny under which the countenance of Mary paſsed, was ſoon performed; and Miſs Clifford next engaged the attention of a man, who, but for the benign aſcendancy, which, amid the moſt tumultuous agitation I had ever witneſsed, was ſtill conſpicuous in his countenance, I ſhould have concluded, entirely deprived of reaſon.

You are lovely, he exclaimed, addreſsing Miſs Clifford, but you are not the angel—at leaſt, I think you are not—of whom I am in purſuit.——Tell me, Mr. Vigillius; tell me, ye incomparable pair! ye who have ſtill continued the matchleſs guardians of my long loſt and unceaſingly lamented Margaretta, what apartment in this happy dwelling contains my only ſurviving treaſure? Margaretta, who had ſought to hide her ſorrow-marked viſage from the gaze of a ſtranger, now, loſt in aſtoniſhment, mechanically turning from the window, preſented to his view her tearful face; ſhe catched a glance, and, faintly ſhrieking, would have ſunk upon the floor, had not the ſtranger, whom we now regarded with a kind of indignant horror, ſnatched her to his embrace! Our reſentment, however, ſoon gave place to all thoſe enraptured emotions, which the acceſsion of high and unexpected felicity originates in the boſom, when, in a voice expreſsive of paternal tenderneſs, of paternal tranſport, he ſoothingly ſaid—

Compoſe yourſelf, my lovely, my admirable, my inimitable child! It is a father’s arms that are at length permitted to enfold his long loſt Marga retta retta!!! Arbuthnot, thou ſhalt no more invade my rights; it is again given me to poſseſs my child, and all her beauteous mother ſtands confeſt! Saint ed ed ſpirit—this hour ſhall render thy elyſian ſtill more bleſsed!

Margaretta ſhrunk not from his embraces: Strange as it may appear, her agitated ſpirit did not entirely ſuſpend 284 Z4v 284 ſuſpend its functions; and while ſhe ſeemed, in the arms of the ſtranger, an almoſt lifeleſs corſe, her lips yet moved, and every charming feature received an extatic kind of ejaculatory impreſsion.

Among the trinkets belonging to her mother, which had come into her poſseſsion on the death of Mrs. Arbuthnot, was a miniature picture of her father: Perhaps there was not a ſingle day, on which ſhe did not gaze with filial devotion upon this picture. It was a ſtriking likeneſs; and, by its general contour, her mind was ſtrongly impreſsed. Hence the effect produced, by a ſingle glance at the original; and it was a frequent obſervation of this picture, that occaſioned the confuſed recollection, for which, upon the firſt appearance of the ſtranger, I was at a loſs to account.

It cannot be matter of wonder, that at an interview ſo aſtoniſhingly intereſting, not an individual retained that ſelf-command, ſo requiſite to common forms: At length, however, recollection reſumed, in a degree, its office. Mary conducted Mrs. Hamilton to a ſofa, when, a flood of tears unlocking for her the powers of utterance, with a look of profound and dignified veneration, ſhe quitted her ſeat, and ſuddenly kneeling before the honoured man, in this devotional attitude, with claſped hands, and in broken accents, ſhe perturbedly queſtioned—Art thou a ſpirit bleſt—diſpatched from Heaven’s high court to ſoothe thy ſorrowing child?—or art thou indeed my father? Haſt thou never taſted death? and, if thou haſt not, by what miracle didſt thou eſcape thoſe tremendous waves, which we have ſuppoſed commiſsioned for thy deſtruction? Mr. Melworth, forſooth, to ſay it was he, his very ſelf, raiſed his kneeling child, and again claſping her to his paternal boſom, in ſtrains of exquiſite tenderneſs, affectionately replied—

Be comforted, my love; be compoſed, my heart’s beſt treaſure; I am indeed thy father. At a proper time, thou ſhalt be made acquainted with every particular; and, in the interim, as I have been informed of thy embarraſsed circumſtances, know, that “ riches, 285 Z5r 285 riches, more than thou canſt want, are in my gift. Thou ſhalt introduce me to thy worthy huſband. I am apprized of the whole of thy ſweetly intereſting ſtory; and thy happineſs ſhall, if poſsible, be equal to thy merit. Margaretta, wild with tranſport, now raiſed her eyes and hands to Heaven, and the moſt extravagant and incoherent expreſsions of joy were upon her lips. Then he ſhall not go, ſhe exclaimed— Avaunt, ye brooding fiends, that hover round the land of murder!—ye ſhall not intercept the virtuous career of Hamilton—ye ſhall not pre ſume ſume to manacle thoſe hands that have, a thouſand times, been ſtretched forth to wipe the tear from the face of ſorrow—Avaunt, ye hell-born fiends!—Al giers, giers, united for his deſtruction, ſhall not detain him; for lo, a bleſsed father deſcends from heaven, to ſave his well near ſinking Margaretta!

Edward, who, from the entrance of Mr. Melworth, had remained, as it were, entranced, or petrified by aſtoniſhment, rouſed by his fears for the reaſon of Margaretta, now coming forward, proſtrated himſelf at the feet of Mr. Melworth. No one poſseſsed ſufficient compoſure to introduce him—nor was this neceſsary; the ſtrong ſenſations which pervaded his almoſt burſting heart, inſcribing upon every manly and expreſsive feature, veneration, joy, gratitude, and apprehenſion, emphatically pointed him out, and rendered a doubt impoſsible.

But why continue a ſcene, which may, perhaps, be conceived, but which words can never delineate? Our mutual congratulations; our mutual expreſsions of felicity; the beſt affections of which humanity is capable; the moſt rapturous ſenſations of delight; theſe were all in courſe—and theſe were all afloat; and I will only add, that Edward will not proceed on his voyage—that Margaretta is happy—that every creditor ſhall be amply ſatisfied; and I hereby advertiſe—let them produce their ſeveral claims; they ſhall receive to the laſt farthing, yea, and liberal intereſt too. Seymour— generous Seymour!—if this Magazine ſhall reach thee, 286 Z5v 286 thee, before thou heareſt from thy friend, know, that the hour of thy emancipation is at hand, and that a full reward awaiteth thee, for all the munificent deeds which thou haſt ſo munificently deviſed.

And, gentle reader, for thy conſolation, I give thee my word and honour, that the very next Gleaner, by recounting to thee every particular, relative to Mr. Melworth, which ſhall come to my knowledge, ſhall, if it is within the compaſs of my power, amply gratify a curioſity, which thou needeſt not heſitate to own, and which I ſhould have been mortified in the extreme, not to have excited.

No. XXIX.

The deed of worth is regiſter’d on high, Own’d and approv’d in worlds beyond the ſky— Nor only ſo—we feel an anſwering glow, Which but the virtuous action can beſtow; Nor theſe alone—an earneſt oft is given, Immediate good—the award of righteous Heaven.

The author, who leaves nothing to the imagination of his readers, is frequently accuſed of blameable arrogance; and it is often aſserted that, puffed up by an over-weening ſelf-conceit, he vainly ſuppoſes, that the germ of fancy can flouriſh no where but in the ſoil of his own wonderful pericranium.

Now, as the fact is, that I am anxiouſly ſolicitous to avoid every occaſion of offence, I ſhall (taking into conſideration the feelings of ſenſibility, and properly influenced by an idea of the ingenuity which is its accompaniment) wave the deſcription of thoſe delightful ſenſations, which, in rapturous ſucceſsion, were the natural appendages of the introduction of the father of Margaretta. The extatic fondneſs with which he hung upon the accents of his daughter—the mingling pleaſures and regrets—the big emotions which ſurpriſed his ſoul, as he traced each lovely feature—thoſe well-known features, which exhibited to his view a beauteousteous 287 Z6r 287 teous tranſcript of thoſe that he had early learned to admire in the face of her departed mother—the exquiſite ſenſations with which he traced the kindred lineaments—comparing them ſeparately and collectively with a miniature of his lady, which he wore in his boſom, and which might have paſsed for an exact copy of Mrs. Hamilton—the glowing expreſsions of paternal tenderneſs, with which he folded the little William to his boſom—the marked approbation, unequivocally demonſtrated toward every movement of the huſband of his Margaretta—the manly and complacent regards the he beſtowed upon Miſs Clifford— the ſweet incenſe of expanſive and immeaſurable praiſe, that he addreſsed to me, ſtyling me the ſaviour, the benefactor, the genuine father of his poor orphan girl —the elevated regards, ſhort only of adoration, which he devoted to my dear Mary—thoſe charming effuſions, conſiſting in expreſsive looks, broken words, and unambiguous geſtures; effuſions which were the ſpontaneous growth of uncommon felicity, the reciprocity of exquiſite ſatisfaction which we abundantly inhaled— All this, and whatever elſe the ſoul of ſenſibility can conceive, gladly do I refer to the glowing mind of the feeling ſentimentaliſt; and I do hereby inveſt imagination, in the utmoſt latitude of its powers, with full ſcope; it is impoſsible it can paint too high; language is indeed inſufficient, and the moſt vivid tints of fancy can alone pourtray.

Nay, gentle reader, I take upon me to aſsert, that however elaborately thou mayeſt finiſh thy picture, after thou has beſtowed upon it thy laſt touches, it may, after all, fall vaſtly ſhort of the original; and, right ſorry am I, that my powers are ſo circumſcribed, as to render it impoſsible for me to place it in its genuine luſtre before thee. But, finite efforts, being doomed to ſubmit to a neceſsity, the effects of which it muſt ever be unavailing to lament; we will, without further preamble, proceed in our narration. And here I would not have thee conceive, that I am ſo unreaſonable as to condemn thee to the drudgery of accounting for the ſudden 288 Z6v 288 ſudden appearance of Mr. Melworth, nor can I conſent, that, ſetting me down as a deſcendant of Merlin, thou ſhouldſt place in my hand the magic wand; inveſt me with the powers of incantation, the gift of working miracles, or, of ſummoning ſpirits from the vaſty deep. No, believe me, I am no conjurer, and the better to baniſh every idea of a ſupernatural interpoſition, I haſten to bring forward the promiſed facts. Imagine then, that the tumultuous and perturbed ſenſations of ungovernable tranſport, which were conſequent upon the late developement, are ſucceeded by that kind of ſatisfaction which is the reſult of high complacency in the preſent, and the moſt agreeable anticipations of the future; or by that ſtate of tranquillity, which muſt always be conſidered as a deſirable ſubſtitute for the hurricane of the paſsions, whatever may be the magnitude of the event which produced it. The extreme of joy and ſorrow, originating commotions as deſtructive to the order of the mental ſyſtem, as the uprooting ſtorm to the apparent harmony of the natural world; the mild and equal diſpoſition cannot but regard as a relief, the regular ſucceſsion of events. Imagine that our happy circle is retired to the little apartment ſacred to ſentimental pleaſures; to that apartment, upon which the ſtep of inconſiderate levity, or indifference, obtrudeth not. Margaretta is ſeated between her enraptured father, and that huſband, who experiences for her exemplary worth, with every riſing hour, augmenting admiration and new eſteem. Mary, Serafina and myſelf, complete the group, and Mr. Melworth, preſsing the hand of Mrs. Hamilton, thus commences his intereſting communications.

I obſerved, my dear, the ſweet bluſh that tinged thy lovely cheek, upon my mentioning in terms of reprehenſion, the name of Mrs. Arbuthnot; yet you muſt allow for the feelings of a deſolate father—but for her unforgiving and obdurate ſpirit, the probability is, that your angelic mother would, at this delightful moment, have partook, and doubled all thoſe exquiſitely charming ſenſations, which ſwell a parent’s boſom, 289 Aa1r 289 boſom, and which preſent ſuch an ample compenſation for every evil. From the hour which bleſsed me with the hand of my Margaretta, ſhe continued ſedulouſly intent on procuring a reconciliation with her ſiſter; for the companion of her youth the ſigh of her boſom ſtill aroſe, and while the utter improbability of obtaining her wiſhes embittered our moſt pleaſurable moments, her intenſe and unavailing ſolicitude viſibly impaired her health!

I flattered myſelf that the period which gave thee, my love, to her arms, would ſupply that void in her heart, which, however ardent the attachment of your ſex to the man of their choice may be, ſuch is the delicacy of the female mind, a tender and reſpectable female friend can alone fill. Your mother, my dear, was early left an orphan. Her ſiſter had for a long period reigned ſupreme in her boſom. Fate preſented her not a Mrs. Vigillius; goodneſs ſo unexampled is not the growth of every clime; neither was a Serafina Clifford contained in the circle of her connexions. Yet, as I had hoped, the birth of her daughter opened a ſource of new and exhauſtleſs pleaſure; and when ſhe claſped her lovely infant to her boſom, ſhe forgot, for a moment, her ſiſter; but memory, too faithful to its office, officiouſly preſented the mirror.—Dear implacable Henrietta! ſhe exclaimed, why wilt thou ſtand aloof? why wilt thou refuſe to heighten the tranſports of this delicious period? Thy preſence, thy ſanction would indeed add a completion to my felicity, which would mark me the most bleſsed of women!

The novelty, however, the ſoft endearments, the thouſand nameleſs perturbations, and tender intereſt of the maternal character, were powerful alleviations, and the tranquillity of the mother was in a meaſure reſtored. Eighteen halcyon months revolved, when fate, as if envious of our felicity, preſented me with a proſpect of obtaining great emolument, by engaging on board a ſhip bound for the Eaſt-Indies. I was flattered by the idea of obtaining for my Margaretta and her infant, an elegant independence, and that reſolution Aa which 290 Aa1v 290 which became the ſuperſtructure of a baſis ſo proper and ſo deeply laid, could not be eaſily ſhaken. Margaretta, while ſhe acknowledged the eligibility of my plan, ſhrunk from its execution. Her tenderly apprehenſive boſom foreboded a thouſand evils. Yet the heroiſm of her character can never be too much admired.

Go, my Charles—with emotions of tender and unutterable agony, ſhe exclaimed—ſince it muſt be ſo, go!—and may the upholding hand of Heaven be, in every event, thy never-failing ſupport! Repeatedly ſhe ſobbed out the convulſed and agonizing adieu, while ingenious in inventions to retard my departure, ſhe preſsed me to her throbbing heart. Oh! my love, in broken accents ſhe whiſpered, if we meet again, we ſhall then be happy. But alas! alas! ſhe could not add. Yet ſtill her claſped hands and ſtreaming eyes continued to ſupplicate the protection of that God, on whom her firm reliance was invariably placed. I was inexpreſsibly moved. My ſoul was little leſs tempeſted; yet the ſplendour of my proſpects, my previous arrangements, my pledged honour, all urged me on; and, by one violent effort, I tore myſelf from the moſt beloved of women! Our mutual ſufferings may be regarded as a prediction of the fatal event. It was decreed that we never more ſhould meet! Propitious gales attended the firſt part of our voyage, and I had began to anticipate the rich harveſt that a few painful ſeaſons would enable me to lay at the feet of my heart’s beſt treaſure.

We had already doubled the ſouthern extremity of the great continent of Africa, commonly called the Cape of Good Hope; and, ſhaping our courſe northeaſt to the continent of India, we were proceeding will all diſpatch—when, lo! on a ſudden, the ſcowling atmoſphere gathered darkneſs; dreadfully portentous the winds of heaven aroſe. Waves beat on waves frightfully tempeſtuous. The tumultuous ocean ſeemed to laſh the contending ſkies. Louder and louder the deſtructive whirlwinds bellowed round. Hoarſe 291 Aa2r 291 Hoarſe thunders roared terrific peals ſucceeding peals. The heavens poured forth a deluge of rain, and the forked lightnings were all abroad. Surrounded on every ſide by the tremendous world of waters, aſsiſtance was impoſsible—no aſylum preſented. The ſeaman’s art was in vain, and death, in its moſt ſhocking form, appeared inevitable. But to deſcribe the horrors of our ſituation is beyond the reach of language. In the latitude in which we then were, there is a large ridge of rocks, they are pointed out in moſt of our ſea charts; but if our pilot was aware of them, it was not in his power to avoid them; they accelerated that fate which, imagining the ſhip might live many hours, I had not ſo ſpeedily expected; and, bilging inſtantly upon one of thoſe rocks, a ſecond ſtroke ſevered her in twain! The ſhrieks of the mariners were ſhocking beyond expreſsion. How long they ſurvived, or what efforts they made, I am not able to ſay; for, ſeizing a part of a ſhattered raft, upon which, floating at the mercy of the winds, and waves, while I momently expected diſsolution, I commended my ſpirit to that God whoſe protection and whoſe favour I had never ceaſed to invoke.

And how many of the children of men have been conſtrained to aſk, What circumſtances are beyond the reach of Omnipotence? He who holdeth in the hollow of his hand, the great deep, ſuddenly huſhed the winds; and, driven upon a ſmall uninhabited iſland, my firſt ſenſations, it will not be doubted, ſpontaneouſly iſsued in the moſt grateful oriſons to the God of my life, who had thus graciouſly interpoſed for my preſervation. But ſoon the image of my Margaretta, clothed in the habiliments of immeaſurable woe, harrowed up my ſoul; her forlorn and helpleſs ſituation —her unprotected infant!—My God! madneſs was in the thought. I was on the point of again plunging into that ocean from which I had ſo recently eſcaped; but the good hand of upholding Deity ſtill prevented me, and was ſtill my ſhield. Gradually the heavens reſumed a ſerene aſpect; my mind too became aſtoniſhinglyingly 292 Aa2v 292 ingly calm; and, drying the only veſtments which now remained to me upon a ſun-beat rock, whoſe craggy ſides received the moſt intenſe rays of that luminary, beneath the foliage of a ſheltering tree I ſtretched my weary limbs. Sleep ſpread over me its downy mantle, and I obtained a temporary oblivion of thoſe lacerating reflections, with which ſucceeding hours, in dreadful order, appalled my ſinking ſpirits.

Neceſsity compelled me to ſearch out the good, if any remained, which was yet within my graſp. At the ſalutary ſtream I ſlaked my thirſt; the nutritious berry, zeſted by hunger, afforded me a delicious repaſt, and by one ſoothing hope I was ſtill buoyed up: I traced unequivocal veſtiges of the human ſtep— ſhips, I was poſitive, had recently touched there—I might yet recognize my fellow man—I might yet be borne to my native iſle. Deſpair, however, too often gained the aſcendancy, and at ſuch intervals, inexpreſſible anguiſh overwhelmed my ſoul. But it is impoſsible to paint the unequalled calamities of his ſituation, who is thus circumſtanced. Even the glowing imagination of a Thomſon could only ſketch them. Yet, not a revolving hour but heard me, to the liſtening echo, repeat—

Unhappy he! who from the firſt of joys,

Society, cut off, is left alone

Amid this world of death. Day after day,

Sad on the jutting eminence he ſits,

And views the main that ever toils below;

Ships, dim diſcover’d, dropping from the clouds;

At evening to the ſetting ſun he turns

A mournful eye, and down his dying heart

Sinks hopeleſs; while the wonted roar is up,

And hiſs continual through the tedious night.

But forever bleſsed be the all-gracious Diſpoſer of events! the term of my ſufferings was cut ſhort. It was the employment of my firſt rational moment, after I had been thrown upon the iſland, to make, with a part of my clothing, a ſignal of diſtreſs. Upon a prominent angle aſcended a ſmall acclivity, on the ſummit of which ſtood the tall trunk of a tree, that contending 293 Aa3r 293 contending ſtorms had ſtripped of its branches. To this diſrobed trunk I contrived to faſten the beacon of my diſtreſs, and I conſecrated it, with many ſupplications to Him who was alone able to ſave.

The morning of the fifth day (after I had ſo providentially eſcaped the waves) broke divinely ſerene. An amazing continuity was outſtretched before me. With folded arms, and an aching heart, I contemplated the extenſive main. The frightful ſolitude, the awful ſtillneſs to which I was condemned, aroſe dreadfully terrific to my ſoul. I threw abroad my anxiouſly inquiring gaze; a cloud ſeemed to gather at a diſtance—It is not a cloud—What can it be?— Swiftly it approaches—Great God! is it poſsible?— Saviour of ſinners! it is, indeed, the white ſails of a Heaven directed bark!—It is bending toward me!—Ah! it recedes, and my bounding ſpirit dies within me!

Again, however, its altered courſe bore rapidly down upon my deſolate abode. The inſignia of calamity reared not in vain its petitioning head. The neceſsary arrangements were made. The boat was manned. My heart leaped exulting; it was too big for its priſon. My tongue refuſed utterance, while, with that commiſerating cordiality, which ſeamen know ſo well to practiſe, and which is a characteriſtic trait of their order, I was received on board the ſhip. To complete my joy, the captain and crew were Engliſh. The captain was a humane and venerable man, who had numbered more than threeſcore years: A ſhower of tears relieved my burſting heart. I told my tale of woe, and he regarded me with even paternal goodneſs. Few know how to reſpect the unfortunate; ineſtimable are the ſoothings of benevolence to the children of adverſity.

A tedious voyage was now to be performed; and although a proper ſenſe of the divine interpoſition in my favour, forbid every murmur, yet a recurrence to thoſe pangs which I well knew would lacerate the gentle boſom of her my ſoul held moſt dear, could not fail of pointing the keeneſt arrows of affliction! Ten long Aa2 months, 294 Aa3v 294 months (dating from the time of my departure) performed their tedious round, ere the white cliffs of Albion again met my longing gaze. With what extacy did I leap upon the ſtrand. To the parent ſoil I lowly bent my head; with filial lips I kiſsed the kindred turf, and my bounding ſpirit, ſtruggling with its mingling ſenſations, poured forth the rapt oriſons of a ſhipwrecked, exiled, reſcued, and reſtored man! On the wings of ſpeed I haſted to my native village; to that village which I ſuppoſed contained my only treaſure. But what became of me, when, poſting to the apartments of Margaretta, I found them occupied by ſtrangers!—Yet, hope ſtill whiſpered ſhe had removed to ſome other abode; and I haſted to the dwelling of a friend, from whom I learned the ſum of my misfortunes!!

You are, my friends, acquainted with the feelings of the heart. Every feature in your expreſsive countenances are vouchers of your ſenſibility—Why ſhould I aim at delineation!

When to the height of hopeleſs ſorrow wrought,

The fainting ſpirit feels a pang of thought,

Which, never painted in the hues of ſpeech,

Lives at the ſoul, and mocks expreſsion’s reach.

I drop the curtain over a train of ſucceeding ills; ſickneſs, loſs of reaſon, comfortleſs calamities!

Mrs. Arbuthnot, when ſhe accompanied her huſband to Ireland, bore my child with her. My aged, widowed mother, gently remonſtrated. My ſuppoſed death, and the demiſe of Margaretta, had centered her every remaining wiſh in the little prattler. Mrs. Arbuthnot plead the dying injunctions and bequeſt of her ſiſter. This was deciſive. The regulations ſuggeſted by the everlaſtingly abſent ſhould be deemed inviolably ſacred, and my mother with floods of unavailing tears ſubmitted. A few painful weeks devoted to heartfelt regret, had ſucceeded a ſeparation judged unavoidable, when my unfortunate mother received a line from Mrs. Arbuthnot, acquainting her that the little Margaretta was no more. This proved a finiſhinging 295 Aa4r 295 ing ſtroke. So many calamities, in ſuch ſwift ſucceſſion, treading upon the heels of each other, brought down the grey hairs of my aged parent with ſorrow to the grave. Could ſhe have been ſpared to have witneſsed the returning footſteps of the ſon of her youth, a gleam of joy would have diffuſed its genial and ſolacing influence over her parting ſpirit. But Heaven decreed otherwiſe, and ſhe cloſed a life, the ſorrows of which had accumulated with every added moment! What could induce Mrs. Arbuthnot to pen a miſrepreſentation, calculated to pierce with ſo keen a ſhaft the boſom of an aged and ſorrow worn ſufferer, I can only conjecture. Probably ſhe might be influenced by her plan of paſsing the child for her own; or, ſhe might imagine that my mother, being inveſted with the rights of a parent, would again demand the child, ſhould the contingencies, peculiar to a ſoldier’s life, remove Captain Arbuthnot (whom it was well known ſhe determined to follow) to a remote or foreign deſtination; and it may be preſumed that ſhe made up the matter in her own mind, by a conſideration that if ſhe returned her niece to our village, the extreme age of my mother, would ſoon leave her deſtitute of every natural guide.

For me, after a long and debilitating fever, obtaining a ſtate of convaleſcence,—youth, and a conſtitution uncommonly good, ſoon completed my reſtoration. The ſame intereſt which had before placed me on board an Eaſt-India ſhip, procured me a ſecond employment. I made ſeveral ſucceſsful voyages. I accumulated riches; and at length ſaw myſelf poſseſsed of affluence. But alas! tranquillity was not in the gift of affluence. In the variety by which I was ſurrounded my heart took no intereſt; and it refuſed to acknowledge a ſecond attachment. Yet I determined to regulate my feelings by the dictates of fortitude, and to bend my wayward ſpirit to a ſtate of acquieſcence in the deſignation of that God who ruleth in the heavens. I became a citizen of the world; and, conſidering myſelf born for the univerſal family, and for the emolument 296 Aa4v 296 emolument of my fellow men, I induſtriouſly made the moſt of every acquiſition. Under the influence of this ſentiment I proceeded in the career of life; and if my path produced not thoſe high ſcented perfumes, of which the exquiſite ſucceſsion of domeſtic enjoyments is ſuſceptible, I was, notwithſtanding, ſo far favoured, as to obtain a degree of compoſure. Thus rolled on ſucceeding years, until upon an uncommon fine night, three months ſince, feeling no diſpoſition to retire to my chamber, I felt conſtrained to devote an hour to a contemplative walk, and after having ſtrolled ſome moments upon the road-ſide, I bent my ſteps toward St. George’s fields, where, experiencing an unuſual kind of perturbation, with folded arms, and raiſed eyes, I continued my deſultory aberration.

Methought the ſhade of my Margaretta accompanied my ſteps: The ample heavens, the ſtarry luminaries, the full orb’d moon, the blue expanſe; theſe all combined to image the beauteous form of her, on whom fond remembrance ſtill regretting dwelt.

An aſsociation of ideas gave birth to a wiſh, to paſs ſome moments beſide a ſketch of thoſe waters, on which, bidding an eternal adieu to the injured ſufferer, I had heretofore cruelly embarked; and toward Weſtminſter bridge I rapidly took my way, which having reached, with an expedition for which I could not account, I deſcended the ſteps of the landing place; but no ſooner had I put my foot upon the third ſtair than an unuſual daſh of the waters of the Thames, for which the ſtillneſs of the night rendered it impoſsible to aſsign a reaſon, ſtill further accelerated my movements. I haſted forward, and was only in time to ſeize by his garments, an unfortunate man, who had plunged into the ſtream, with the unwarrantable purpoſe of putting a period to his exiſtence. I remonſtrated againſt the atrocious audacity of the deed that he had well near perpetrated, in terms expreſsive of the horror which it inſpired. For a time he preſerved an indignant kind of ſilence; and when he deigned to utter himſelf, he breathed only expreſsions of reſentment, for 297 Aa5r 297 for what he termed my officious interpoſition. It was manifeſt that his reaſon was diſordered, and pity grew in my ſoul. I addreſsed him in the language of commiſeration, and he gradually became ſoftened and communicative.

Generous ſtranger, he exclaimed, I give thee no mark of confidence in the brief recital, which as an apology for my ſuppoſed raſhneſs, your apparent commiſeration demands. To him, who is reſolved on death, the diſcloſure of ſecrets which effect only himſelf, can be of little importance. Know then, that, born to affluence, I was bred a gentleman. Know alſo, that, purſuing my pleaſures in a neighbouring kingdom, I ſaw and loved a beauteous woman. I wooed and won her. Her parents were no more; but her brethren, her ſiſters, a numerous family, her fortune, her country, her religion—all theſe ſhe forſook, and fled with me to our Albion coaſt. Indiſcretion and misfortunes have robbed me of every penny which I poſseſsed. I have no means of obtaining the common neceſsaries of life; the few articles of which I have not yet diſpoſed, will not diſcharge the debts already contracted. Thoſe flatterers, who baſked in the ſunſhine of my fortune, have now utterly forſaken me. My wife, my beloved wife, and her helpleſs children, are reduced to the laſt extremity. I have left no means unaſsayed, by which I could preſume upon relief; but every effort hath proved ineffectual, and I have now quitted my Almira, with an expreſsed hope, for which, alas! there is no foundation. She will expect me with the returning ſun; but ſhe will no more behold me. I can no longer exiſt a witneſs of thoſe ills, of which I have been the wretched cauſe! Need I add, that I was eager to ſpeak, to this ſon of ſorrow, the words of conſolation? Conſidering myſelf as the banker of the unfortunate, his draught upon me was indiſputable; and the rays of night’s fair empreſs, lent a light ſufficiently ſtrong, to evince the authenticity of its characters.

I accompanied my new claimant, now incredulous, and now frantic with joy, to his dwelling. I had determinedtermined 298 Aa5v 298 termined to keep guard the remainder of the night. We entered ſoftly. His little family had retired to reſt. I inſiſted that he ſhould inſtantly ſpeak peace to his beloved. I inſiſted that he ſhould not reviſit the parlour, until the riſing ſun ſhould enable me to commence my propoſed arrangements. I will repoſe, ſaid I, in this eaſy chair; or here are books, with which I may amuſe myſelf. Awed by that tone of authority which I had aſsumed, with looks of aſtoniſhment, and the moſt profound obeiſance, he left me; and ſleep being beyond my reach, I endeavoured to obtain ſufficient compoſure to amuſe myſelf by reading. I turned over the books—it would not do. A new and painful kind of agitation hurried my ſpirits; at length a parcel of Magazines ſeized my attention. I glanced confuſedly upon the bundle. The Maſsachuſetts Magazine caught my eye—an American production—curioſity was enliſted; I opened one and another; an irreſiſtible impulſe ſtill urged me on; the firſt page of the Magazine for 1792-03March, 1792, arreſted my eye—Bleſs me, cried Margaretta,—you will recollect, Sir, that you thus commenced the enchanting narrative.

The appellation Margaretta vibrated intereſtingly upon my ear; it was the ſweet taliſman of a thouſand mingling ſenſations; no power on earth could have prevented my reading on. I accompanied you in your journey to South-Carolina, and I entered with you the city of Charleſton. The little Margaretta’s tap at the door poſseſsed a faſcinating power—the introduction of the lovely cherub penetrated my very ſoul; I waited impatiently for the iſsue; I attended at the bed of death—but, great and good God! what were my ſenſations when I heard from the lips of Mrs. Arbuthnot, the well known ſtory of my Margaretta’s ſufferings—when I learned that the dear pledge of our ſacred loves was yet alive! when I recognized her in the perſon of the little petitioner—when I became aſsured that ſhe had been received by ſuch protectors! I ſhrieked aloud, wrung my hands, wept, laughed, proſtrated myſelf in adoration of a preſerving God— 299 Aa6r 299 God—traverſed up and down the apartment, until, at length impelled by perturbed anxiety, I was conſtrained to trace my daughter’s wondrous fortune through the various Magazines, which, until the cloſe of the month of November laſt, preſented themſelves in order before me. How did my full ſoul bleſs her godlike benefactors! During the connexion with Courtland, the moſt tumultuous agitations tempeſted my boſom; but the cataſtrophe, I conceived, gave her honoured guardians a title to almoſt divine honours. Again I became a prey to all thoſe agonizing fears which can lacerate a father’s heart. Even of Miſs Clifford, I muſt confeſs, that I was not a little ſuſpicious. My feelings againſt thee, my ſon, were replete with indignation; and I beſtowed upon thy ſuppoſed inconſtancy a parent’s malediction. But November preſented the extatic eclairciſsement. I ſaw that nothing was wanting, but what I poſseſsed abundant ability to ſupply; and, in broken and almoſt frantic ejaculations, I ſobbed out my gratitude. The dawn at length broke. Memorable, ever memorable night! Never, never can I be forgetful of the events which thou produced!

An early hour preſented the now not deſpairing Altamont. He led his Almira by the hand. I had cautioned him not to ſhock the delicacy of her feelings, by a recital of the extremity to which he had been precipitated; and he had been diſcreet enough to follow my advice. He had ſimply informed her that Heaven had ſent him a friend, and this information had proved ſufficient to excite the moſt lively emotions. Altamont began a ſpeech expreſsive of his gratitude; but I cut him ſhort, by deciſively pronouncing, that fate had ordained me eternally his debtor. My diſordered countenance, and the energy of my manner, alarmed him; and he in his turn became doubtful of my reaſon. I gave him, however, a ſimple relation of facts. I held up the divine pages. Had I not met thee; had I not conſented to deliver to thee that dividend of our common Father’s intereſt, with which 300 Aa6v 300 which he has entruſted me for thy behoof, I had not met theſe bleſsed records; I had not received intelligence, which hath communicated to my ſoul immeaſurable felicity. Thus amply hath our God rewarded me for deſigning an act of common juſtice.

Grateful tears of rapture, it will not be doubted, we mingled. Every thing was ſpeedily adjuſted to the complete ſatisfaction of Altamont and his Almira. With the firſt ſhip, I embarked for America. The name of Colonel Worthington, of New-Haven, was my clue; and I bore with me the heaven inſpired Magazines. From Colonel Worthington I learned every neceſsary particular. I was told, my ſon, of your intended voyage, of the conſequent anguiſh of my daughter’s ſoul. I bleſs God that I am in time to prevent its proſecution. Every individual ſhall receive his dues; that good young man, your forbearing friend, the benevolent Seymour—every one ſhall be happy!

Unwilling to leave the curioſity of the reader ungratified, during the tardy revolution of another month, I have felt myſelf neceſsitated to curtail the narrative of Mr. Melworth. Many uſeful obſervations are omitted. The frequent interruption, breaks, and pauſes, occaſioned by the ſuſceptibility of Mrs. Hamilton, and the agitation of her father; the unbounded and venerating gratitude of Edward; and the combining admiration, and rapt felicity of our whole party; all this was in courſe, and to every thing of this ſort, I muſt repeat, that the ſilently expreſsive touches of that vivid pencil, which is found in the glowing hand of fancy, can alone do juſtice.

Already our young people have reſumed their elegant family ſeat. Miſs Clifford is ſtill the companion of Margaretta. Amelia Worthington is now a congratulating viſitor at Hamilton-Place. Mr. Melworth is for the preſent a reſident in that ſweetly romantic manſion; and this very morning, 1794-07-02the ſecond day of July, one thouſand ſeven hundred and ninety-four, witneſſing the birth of a daughter to Margaretta, hath ſeemed to complete our family felicity.

No. XXX. 301 Bb1r 301

No. XXX.

Indulgent nature breathes a plaſtic glow, From which unnumber’d ſoft endearments flow; About the heart her kindred ties ſhe flings, And cloſely twines the ſympathetic ſtrings; Her ſilver cord with touch magnetic draws, And yielding minds confeſs her gen’ral laws.

The multifarious ligaments which bind families together, being the handy-work of nature, and eſſentially or cloſely interwoven with our exiſtence, that ſhock muſt be indeed violent, that can burſt them aſunder. It is true that a long continued ſeries of diſobligation may obſcure the vivid glow of thoſe images, which nature and habit have impreſſed upon the intellect. Unkindneſs is the opaque body, which intercepts the ſunny beams of luminous and inborn tenderneſs; but the eclipſe is ſeldom total, and the cheering influence of affection is frequently invigorated, and often becomes the more tranſcendent, for the momentary obſtruction, by which it ſeemed well near enveloped.

Surely that heart muſt be ſtrangely deficient, which the pleaſing ſenſations that are attendant upon the firſt ſtage of being, hath not indelibly impreſſed; and, that mind is unwarrantably implacable, which, intrenched by inexorable inflexibility, is incapable of being rouſed to the tenderneſs of recollection; which is not ſoftened by the remonſtrances of nature, furniſhed with arguments, drawn from a ſeries of endearing and ſubſtantially beneficial proofs, of a generous attachment. Yet I know there are a variety of combuſtibles, which although perhaps not radically natives of the human ſoil, having, however, obtained a growth therein, and once taking fire, it is difficult to ſay where the conflagration may end. I am aware there are injuries which pride and ſelf eſtimation, conſider as unpardonable. It is a melancholy truth there are obdurate hearts; and, it may be, that the ſtrong winds Bb of 302 Bb1v 302 of paſſion may obliterate, or uproot from the boſom every proper ſenſation of the ſoul. But granting that the empoiſoned plant may become rampant in the rancorous breaſt, the Gleaner, while engaged in the routine of his profeſſion, hath at no moment bound himſelf to ſelect the noxious weed; he confeſſes he is fond of culling the flowers of humanity, and that, with theſe, as often as may be, he is ſolicitous to furniſh and adorn his page.

To the well regulated mind, the contemplation of family harmony is inexpreſſibly pleaſing. The philanthropic ſpeculator views the little ſociety unalterably attached, bound together by the ſtrong cords of mutual affection, and riſing ſuperior to the adverſe influence of ſeparate or ſelfiſh claims, as a miniature of that vaſt family of man, which futurity ſhall ſee collected under the protecting auſpices of a benign and paternal God. Order, unbroken confidence, celeſtial tenderneſs, energetic love—in this auguſt aſſembly, theſe ſhall all triumphantly officiate. Peaceful angels ſhall hover round; diſcord ſhall find no entrance there; offences ſhall be no more; but truth, ſky robed innocence, unimpeached integrity, unblemiſhed virtue, and undeviating holineſs, ſhall be eſtabliſhed, from everlaſting to everlaſting, and of their dominion there ſhall be no end. Yes, it is pleaſing to trace the ſtriking reſemblance which is exemplified in the animated ſketch. Mild, affectionate and judiciouſly indulgent parents; duteous and confiding ſons and daughters; mutually complacent, and unequivocally attached brothers and ſiſters. The royal bard of Iſrael, ſtrikingly, feelingly, and poetically delineates the family of love: Behold how good, and how pleaſant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Well might the ſacred poet ſummon the aid of a ſplendid fancy, and arreſt the moſt expreſſive figures to image the fine effects and pleaſing utility of domeſtic complacency; the rich perfumes which conſecrated the anointed prieſt of the Hebrew tribes, the fertilizing dew deſcending upon Hermon’s verdant ſummit, and reſting with genialnial 303 Bb2r 303 nial influence upon the adjacent eminence; theſe but ſhadow forth the ſublimity of that union, upon which our God hath commanded a bleſſing, which originates a dignified and bliſsful immortality.

Yes, it is pleaſing to trace the ſtriking reſemblance which is exemplified in the animated ſketch. The contemplation of domeſtic harmony ſoothes and elevates the mind, and although it is undeniably true, that the philoſopher will extend his regards from the little group which conſtitutes his relative circle, to friends, to country, to the univerſe at large, until he commences a citizen of the domain of heaven; yet he will not refuſe to acknowledge thoſe ardors, thoſe hopes, and thoſe fears, which upon his opening mind, in the white winged hours that marked his dawn of being, were, by the ſtrong hand of nature, irreverſibly engraved.

Affection is very properly ſaid to deſcend; and it is generally true, that while we venerate with pious duty the authors of our being, while our hearts are warmed for them by love and reverence, we are in the ſame moment impelled to acknowledge for our offspring, augmented and more energetic tenderneſs. Nature, it is ſaid, hath implanted theſe ſuperior and irreſiſtible ſenſations, for the purpoſe of nerving our efforts for the preſervation and advancement of the infant candidate; but, be this as it may, in whatever wiſe regulations it hath originated, the fact is indubitable. Family ties of every deſcription are variouſly reſpectable, and variouſly eſtimable, in their various departments: I have been lately led to an appreciation of their comparative value by a diſquiſition on which I was a ſilent attendant, that aimed at deciding what relative character deſerved the preference. The inveſtigation was rather curious than important; but it ſerved, however, to amuſe, during a vacant hour, which might have been worſe appropriated.

The attachment of a well informed and tender father, to an amiable and grateful daughter, has been ſaid to reſemble that which is experienced by a guardian angel, to the being who is committed to his charge —tender, 304 Bb2v 304 —tender, delicate, and diveſted of all that can debaſe, the paternal eye regards with immeaſurable complacency, his beauteous, his dependent child; and the fineſt feelings of his ſoul become embodied. To protect her from every ill he is ſedulouſly attentive; his judicious cautions hover round her inexperienced ſteps; his protecting arm would preſent the invulnerable ſhield; and his auſpices are thoſe of wiſdom. Ever vigilant, ever upon his guard, to ſave her, even from the imputation of diſhonour, he would conſider his life as a comparatively trivial ſacrifice. It is true that he is impaſſioned, but his ardours are thoſe of virtue; his affections are pure, innocent, laudable, elevated, and refined; and, originating in nature, originating in God, they will be perfected in heaven. All this is irrefragably juſt, and yet I take leave to obſerve, that the fraternal department, when filled by a good and virtuous mind, more exactly anſwers the ideas which I have indulged, of that attendant cherub, ordained to tread with holy vigils, the deſtined path of the expecting voyager. In contemplating the character of a father, however beneficial its offices, we can hardly forbear recollecting, that, having produced the being which is cheriſhed, the conſequent attachment may be the reſult of that ſelfiſh principle which ſo univerſally, more or leſs, actuates the human mind; and, it is undeniably true, that the operation of a ſelfiſh principle eſſentially diminiſhes the luſtre of the moſt beneficial and exemplary action.

A brother, it hath been divinely obſerved, is born for adverſity; a gentle and confiding female can hardly boaſt a more agreeable or diſintereſted relation; the general arrangements of nature authorizes a hope, that his protection will continue coeval with her mortal career, and if he fulfils the duties of the fraternal name, he will ſtill continue a natural, patronizing, and conſolatory reſource. What eye is not charmed by a view of the marked and delicate attention, which is paid by an elegant young man to the gentle and accompliſhed maiden, who is the daughter of his father and 305 Bb3r 305 and of his mother. Grant that opportunities of this kind are extremely rare, the ſenſations derived therefrom are, nevertheleſs, in a ſuperior degree, pleaſing. The attachment of a brother to a ſiſter, if it is genuine and ſincere, if it correſponds with the deſignation of unadulterated and upright nature, partakes the exquiſite delicacies and refinements of love, devoid of its tumultuous caprices, or intereſted and ungovernable fervors; with ineffable ſatisfaction it yields that protection, to which nature and education combine to give the ſex a claim. It is not ſtinted in its regards; it is tender, elevated and refined; it is generous and communicable; it is ſympathetic and permanent. A true brother unites the duties of the paternal, with the more equal, ſweet, and ſocial pleaſures of the fraternal intercourſe; the heart of a brother heſitates not to acknowledge the bland, endearing, and indiſſoluble ties of amity. A true brother is at all times a guardian friend; he rejoiceth in his fraternity; and, I repeat, that his attachment may claim kindred with thoſe ſentiments, which are ſuppoſed to actuate the tenderly watchful ſeraph, who, commiſſioned by the high court of Heaven, enters with the firſt moment of our exiſtence upon his truſt, and fulfils his celeſtial miſſion, by attending through every ſtage of life his progreſſing charge.

Richardſon exhibits the character, proper to a brother, in the moſt vivid and glowing hues; but if his Grandiſon originated not in fiction, the portrait doubtleſs owes many embelliſhments to the incomparable pen of that inimitable writer. It is a melancholy fact, that eminent virtue, of whatever deſcription, is a gem that the hand of nature, however indulgent, hath too ſeldom produced. Yet, for the honour of humanity, I cannot deny myſelf the gratification of affirming that I, at this moment, contemplate more than one brother who hath uniformly ſupported that endearing character. Who, as far as circumſtances have called them forth, have amply proved their title to rank in the ſame grade with Richardſon’s finely imagined delineation. Bb2 Much 306 Bb3v 306

Much do I regret that I am not authorized to name thoſe fair examples, which, through a courſe of years, I have been accuſtomed to admire. But the emblazoning voice of fame might poſſibly tinge their cheeks with the hue of diſapprobation; for it is certainly true, that genuine merit Does good by ſtealth, and bluſhing finds it fame. Yet, if, while ſketching the outlines of characters ſo replete with excellence, their celebrity ſhould induce the finger of perception to point out the living portraits, the Gleaner preſumes he ought not to be made reſponſible for conſequences which, by the foreign traits wherewith he hath ſtudiouſly diverſified his deſcriptions, he hath been ſolicitous to avoid. It is indubitably an exalted and ſublime kind of pleaſure which we derive from a view of tranſcendent worth; and that writer ſhould at leaſt be conſidered as venial, who, fond of contributing to enjoyments reſulting from an unexceptionable ſource, is careful to collect inſtances which adorn and elevate his ſpecies. A laudable motive is juſtly admitted as an advocate for the propriety of an action. If it iſſues pure from the fountain of rectitude, we are not, I have conceived, to be regarded as reſponſible, for the adventitious mixtures which it may connect, as it winds its courſe through the murky grounds of opinion, malevolence, miſconception or detraction. But, be this as it may, the reflections to which this eſſay owes its being, have originated in a view of real life; and the probability is, that if virtuous, informed and judicious parents were multiplied among us, family attachment would be continued, and individuals, branching out in their ſeveral directions, would ſtill, however, reverting to their ancient ſtock, continue encircled by the bonds of amity. Character may ſome time preſerve its aſcendency over education; but education will, nevertheleſs, remain a powerful agent in the formation both of the heart and the manners; and obſervation convinces us, if the principals exhibit the pattern, the family will generally be endowed with the virtues, the graces, and the elegance of humanity. Happy 307 Bb4r 307

Happy in my connexions—I have known many characters highly worthy of imitation. I have known fathers dignified by the integrity of their hearts, the clearneſs of their underſtandings, and the humane and indulgent liberality of their ſentiments. I have known mothers, who, ſuperior to the frivolity and want of character, which is rendered by education, and ſubſequent events, peculiarly feminine, have contributed much to the emolument and elevation of their family. Poſſeſſing minds capacious and extenſively cultivated, truth ſeems to receive from their lips additional ornament; they expreſs themſelves with elegance, preciſion, and fluency—their language is the language of propriety, and they add a grace to every ſentiment which they utter: the ſincerity and candour of their diſpoſitions are equalled only by the frankneſs which is conſpicuous in the manners, and gentleman-like deportment of their reſpectable coadjutors in the voyage of life, and all their plans for the regulation of thoſe who are entruſted to their care, are marked by wiſdom and unanimity.

From ſuch parents we expect a reſult happy for the individuals immediately under their tuition, and auſpicious to ſociety at large. They will early endeavour to endow the minds of thoſe ſons and daughters, whom they rear to maturity, with the fortitude ſo neceſſary in the voyage of life; they will faſhion in the opening mind a diſpoſition which will teach acommodation to the unavoidable evils conſequent upon humanity; they will cultivate that ſpirit of patient reſignation which is ſo proper for the dependent being, whoſe part it is to ſubmit without a murmur to the ſtrokes of Providence, and when called upon to reſign into the hands of their Creator God, any of theſe little individuals, who are rendered by nature and habit incalculably dear, an opportunity being thus furniſhed to enforce their precepts by example, no impious expreſſions will eſcape their lips; the ſighs which they will ſwell, will be the ſighs of ſubmiſſion; with holy acquieſcence they will bend to the decrees of Heaven; in 308 Bb4v 308 in no inſtance violating the conſiſtency of their characters, they will ſupport with uniform propriety, the Chriſtian name, and they will poſſeſs that applauſe which ſhould invariably attend the benevolent and the good. In the families of ſuch parents, regularity preſides. The morning is uſhered in by the devout breathings of cheerful and ſolemnized ſpirits, and the return of ſober ſuited evening, witneſſeth their grateful and pious oriſons. The various duties of humanity are punctually diſcharged, and the hours of leiſure are uniformly devoted to the cultivation of the minds of thoſe children, whom they deſign as natural friends to each other, and as uſeful and ornamental members of the community to which they appertain.

It was from ſuch a ſtock that the venerable and truly reſpectable Hortenſius deſcended; and, having marked with uncommon ſatisfaction the ſerene pleaſures which gild the evening of his days, we wave the privilege of a noveliſt, whoſe character places in his gift a choice of heroes, and hazard the mentioning a character, the original of which, having continued through revolving years the boaſt of fraternal records, may perhaps immediately occur to the reader, who is at all converſant in the liſt of thoſe worthies, that in our Columbian world have given ſplendor to the preſent day.

Hortenſius was bred to buſineſs, and his probity through all the complicated ſcenes in which he hath been engaged hath remained unimpeached. Frugality and induſtry are conſiderable traits in his character; his efforts are crowned with ſucceſs, and he is in poſſeſſion of affluence. A ſevere diſappointment in early life, relative to the maiden of his election, ſteeled his heart againſt every ſubſequent approach of the tender paſſion, and ambitious of the title, Citizen of the World, he devoted himſelf to a ſeries of beneficent actions, conſulting in every movement the felicity of the family of man.

Hortenſius was exemplary as a ſon, and it was one of his principal enjoyments, to rock the cradle of declining age;” 309 Bb5r 309 age; his parents continued in life to extreme old age, and after gently ſloping for them their paſſage out of time, he laid them decently in the earth, bedewing their exit with a manly and a filial tear. In the metropolis, where he was uſhered into being, he hath ſuſtained through ſucceeding years, and with unblemiſhed reputation, the office of an upright and important magiſtrate, and he is beloved and reſpected as univerſally as he is known. Hortenſius is learned, religious and cheerful, and his liberality is only circumſcribed by his abilities. But if you would give the finiſhing touches to the character of Hortenſius, you muſt borrow the pen of his ſiſter.

This amiable woman, although accuſtomed to his benignity, can hardly mention him, eſpecially if you advert to his benevolence, without tears. To the numerous family, of which he is the head, he at once diſcharges the duties of a parent, and a brother; but, by her, he is conſidered as meriting epithets more tender, more reſpectful, and more expreſſive than language hath yet faſhioned; and her tongue untired, delights to expatiate upon his many virtues. She was in the bloom of life widowed of her deareſt hopes, and the hour which marked the exit of him, with whom ſhe had exchanged her youthful vows, who had been the deliberate choice both of affection and of judgment, and to whom ſhe was devoted by every motive which can endear a boſom friend, that fatal hour yielded her a monument of woe! while the virtues of her loſt companion, ſeemed amply to juſtify thoſe demonſtrations of heart-felt anguiſh, which, notwithſtanding the length of years that have ſince elapſed, ſhe ſtill occaſionally indulges. A number of infant ſons and daughters, incapable of eſtimating the amount of their deprivation, while they augmented her grief, armed her with reſolution to attempt encountering the ills of life. Yet, deſtitute of property, (for a train of pecuniary misfortunes had preceded the demiſe of the father of her children) unaccuſtomed to any arduous effort, and rendered imbecile by ſorrow, the probabilityability 310 Bb5v 310 ability is, ſhe muſt have ſunk under the preſſure of calamity.

But Hortenſius ſaw, he pitied, and he flew to reſcue. A commodious and elegant habitation was prepared; his ſiſter and her little family were put into immediate poſſeſſion thereof; and, taking apartments for himſelf under the ſame roof, he became her ſolace, her companion, and her protector; and he was, at once, the guardian, the ſupport, and the preceptor of her children. Their education has been the moſt liberal which our country can afford; her eldeſt ſon is now a barriſter of diſtinguiſhed eminence; her daughters are apportioned and married into the genteeleſt families, and they are conſidered as ornaments of their ſex; while the glad emotions of their grateful hearts unreſervedly hail the good Hortenſius as their father and their friend; and they equitably acknowledge higher obligations to him, than they could have owed to the author of their beings, whoſe indiſpenſable duty it would have been, to have reared and cheriſhed them.

A view of Hortenſius, placed in the midſt of the charming group, is gratifying to the beſt feelings of the heart; he experiences the rapture of a parent, while the children of his affectionate bounty, attached by affinity, gratitude, love, and veneration, behold him as a guardian ſeraph, clothed in the habiliments of humanity, by that watchful Providence, who deſigned him their benefactor, their guide, and their truly munificent reſource! Doubtleſs, the firſt of bleſſings will be found in his train. Nay, he is already in poſſeſſion of that ſweet peace of mind, which goodneſs boſoms over.

No. XXXI. 311 Bb6r 311

No. XXXI.

Turn how we may, avoid it how we will, Innate conviction muſt attend us ſtill; Religion follows as our guardian ſhade, Ardent to bleſs, though impiouſly betray’d. Our every breath Omnipotence proclaims; A God Omnific varied nature names; The breeze is his—the uprooting whirlwind’s roar— The gentle rill—the waves of every ſhore; ’Tis God directs the day—and God the night, As erſt he ſpake, and Nature ſprang to light.

No—Atheiſm will never do. The prime procurer and miniſter of the French arrangements, at length accedes to this axiom; and Gallia, having guillotined her ſoveriegn, and blaſphemouſly ſought to dethrone and annihilate the Monarch of Heaven, becomes, in her preſent reſolutions, ſolicitous to re-eſtabliſh the Deity in her ſyſtems, to inveſt the Supreme with thoſe divine honours, which the language of nature haſteth to beſtow, which the dictates of reaſon invariably award.

Oppoſed, from principle, to thoſe ſanguinary decrees, which, pronouncing the death-warrant of whole hecatombs of my ſpecies, fail not to let looſe the dogs of war, I will confeſs, that I have not felt for the name of Robeſpierre any of thoſe cordialities which conſtitute the aggregate of amity. The anarchy and conſequent enormities, prevalent in France, together with thoſe licentious principles, which have apparently been ſo generally embraced, I have conſidered as replete with incalculable evils, as the baleful precurſors of every ill whioch can afflict humanity! Such my ſentiments, I expected not from the report of Robeſpierre, thoſe ſtrong and glowing ſenſations, which, whenever I attend to the voice of truth, moſt delightfully expand my ſoul—But I have read—and, charmed with the prevalent contour of the compoſition, the energy and beauty of the diction, and the demonſtrative propriety and 312 Bb6v 312 and ſublimity of the obſervations—while I do homage to the tranſlator, I cannot but join my ſuffrage to thoſe applauſes, by which America has marked the new-born piety of the French politician.

It is true that, as being a member of the proteſtant community, I am neceſsitated, by my creed, to renounce all ſupplications made to ſaints, whatever eclat may have attended their canonization. I may not feel at liberty to cry out, Oh! Sancta Robeſpierre, ora pro nobis; yet if he, in reality, ſhall at length purſue the mild dictates of truth and reaſon, every ſentiment of my ſoul will combine to wiſh him God ſpeed. An admirer of the report in the groſs, I yet conceive that the following extracts can hardly be too often repeated, can ſcarcely be too ſtrongly inculcated, or too deeply engraven upon the tablets of reflection. What was the wiſh of thoſe, who, in the boſom of the conſpiracies with which we were ſurrounded, in the midſt of the embaraſsments of ſuch a war, at the moment while the torch of civil diſcord was ſtill ſmoking, ſuddenly attacked all kinds of worſhip by violence, to eſtabliſh themſelves as the furious apoſtles of annihilation, and as the fanatic miſsionaries of atheiſm? Attend only to the happineſs of your country and the intereſts of humanity; cheriſh all opinions and inſtitutions which conſole and elevate the mind; reject thoſe which tend to degrade and corrupt them; revive and exalt all thoſe generous ſentiments and thoſe great moral ideas which they have wiſhed to extinguiſh; reconcile by the charms of friendſhip, and the bonds of virtue, thoſe citizens whom they have wiſhed to divide. Who has given thee the miſsion of announcing to the people, that the Deity does not exiſt? To you who are attached to this barren doctrine, and who are not animated in the cauſe of your country, what advantage do you derive from perſuading man that a blind force preſides in his deſtiny, and ſtrikes by chance his virtues or his vices; and that his ſoul is only a tranſient breath which is extinguiſhed at the tomb? Will the idea of his annihilation inſpire him with more pure or more elevated ſentiments than that of 313 Cc1r 313 of his immortality? Will it inſpire him with more reſpect for his fellow men, or for himſelf; more attachment to his country; more firmneſs in braving tyranny; more contempt for death or pleaſure? You who regret a virtuous friend, do you not delight to reflect that the moſt valuable part of him has eſcaped deceaſe? You who weep over the corpſe of a ſon or a wife, are you conſoled by him who tells you that nothing more of them remains than a vile heap of duſt? Unfortunate men, who expire under the ſtroke of an aſsaſsin! your laſt ſigh is an appeal to eternal juſtice! Innocence, on the ſcaffold, makes the tyrant turn pale in his triumphal car: Would it have this aſcendancy if the tomb put upon a level the oppreſsor and the oppreſsed? Miſerable ſophiſt! from whence do you derive this right of rending from innocence the ſceptre of reaſon, and of placing it again in the hands of vice; to throw a melancholy veil over nature, to drive misfortune to deſpair; to encourage vice, to afflict virtue, to degrade humanity? The more a man is endowed with ſenſibility and genius, the more is he attached to thoſe ideas which aggrandize his being, and which elevate his mind; and the doctrine of men of this character ſhould become that of the univerſe.

Ah! how can thoſe ideas differ from truth? At leaſt I cannot conceive how nature could have ſuggeſted to man any fictions more uſeful than theſe realities; and if the exiſtence of a God, if the immortality of the ſoul, were only dreams, they would ſtill remain the moſt ſplendid of all the conceptions of the human mind.

The idea of the Supreme Being, and the immortality of the ſoul, is a continual invitation to juſtice: It is then ſocial and republican. He who can replace the Deity in the ſyſtem of ſocial life, is, in my opinion, a prodigy of genius; and he, who without having replaced him, only endeavours to baniſh him from the mind of man, appears to me a prodigy of ſtupidity or perverſity. If the principles I have hitherto developed are errors, I am deceived in what the world unite to revere. Obſerve with what art Ceſar, pleading in Cc the 314 Cc1v 314 the Roman ſenate in favour of the accomplices of Cataline, loſt himſelf in digreſsion againſt the doctrine of the immortality of the ſoul; ſo well calculated did theſe ideas appear to him, to diſtinguiſh in the hearts of the judges the energy of virtue; ſo cloſely did the cauſe of vice appear to him, connected with that of Atheiſm. Cicero, on the contrary invoked againſt the traitors both the ſword of the law and the thunder of the gods. Socrates, when dying, converſed with his friends on the immortality of the ſoul. Leonidas, at Thermopyles, ſupping with his companions in arms, at the moment of executing the moſt heroic deſign that human virtue ever conceived, invited them for the next day to another banquet in a new life.

A great man, a real hero, eſteems himſelf too much to be pleaſed with the idea of his annihilation. A villain, contemptible in his own eyes, and horrible in thoſe of other men, perceives that nature cannot afford him a more ſplendid boon than that of his annihilation. Religion collects mankind together, and by collecting them together you will render them better; for when men are thus aſsembled, they endeavour to pleaſe each other, which can only be effected by thoſe things that render them eſtimable. Give to their reunion a great moral and political motive, and the love of virtuous things will, with pleaſure, enter their hearts; for mankind do not ſee each other without pleaſure.

I had but recently peruſed the whole of this very excellent moral report, when one of the beſt informed, and moſt ſentimental of my friends, put into my hands a piece ſelected from the London Morning Chronicle of 1793-11-29November 29, 1793.

To the matured judgment of this friend I am in the habit of paying high deference; and he conceived, that whether we regarded the little narration as a fact, or an ingenious reproof of the conduct of the predominant party in France, it contained a ſufficient quantum of good ſenſe to merit preſervation. It is a proper ſupplement for the celebrated report of Robeſpierre, and in my office of caterer for my readers, perhaps I could 315 Cc2r 315 could not do better than to offer it to their acceptance. I ſubjoin it, therefore, with an added wiſh, that it may contribute as largely to their pleaſures, as it did to the ſatisfaction of the Gleaner.

A few days after the biſhop of Paris and his vicars had ſet the example of renouncing their clerical character, a curi from a village on the banks of the Rhone, followed by ſome of his pariſhioners, with an offering of gold, ſilver, ſaints’ chalices, rich veſtments, &c; preſented himſelf at the bar of the houſe. The ſight of the gold put the Convention in very good humour, and the curi, a thin venerable looking man, with grey hair, was ordered to ſpeak. I came, ſaid he, from the village of——, where the only good building ſtanding (for the chatteau has been pulled down) is a very fine church; my pariſhioners beg you will take it to make a hoſpital for the ſick and wounded of both parties, they being equally our countrymen; the gold and ſilver, part of which we have brought you, they entreat you will devote to the ſervice of the State; and that you will caſt the bells into cannon, to drive away its foreign invaders. For myſelf I am come with great pleaſure to reſign my letters of ordination, of induction, and every deed of title, by which I have been conſtituted a member of your eccleſiaſtical polity. I am ſtill able to ſupport myſelf with the labour of my hands, and I beg you to believe that I never felt ſincerer joy than I now do in making this renunciation— I have longed to ſee this day; I ſee it, and am glad.

When the old man had done ſpeaking, the applauſes were immoderate. You are an honeſt man, ſaid they all at once; a brave fellow, you do not believe in God; and the Preſident advanced to give him the fraternal embrace. The curi did not ſeem greatly elated with theſe tokens of approbation; he retired back a few ſteps, and thus reſumed his diſcourſe:

Before you applaud my ſentiments, it is fit you underſtand them; perhaps they may not entirely coincide with your own. I rejoice in this day, not becauſe I wiſh to ſee religion degraded, but becauſe I wiſh to ſee it 316 Cc2v 316 it exalted and purified. By diſsolving its alliance with the State, you give it dignity and independence; you have done it a piece of ſervice which its well-wiſhers would never have had courage to render it, but which is the only thing wanted to make it appear in its genuine luſtre and beauty. Nobody will now ſay of me, when I am performing the offices of my religion—It is his trade—he is paid for telling the people ſuch and ſuch things—he is hired to keep up a uſeful piece of mummery. They cannot now ſay this; and therefore I feel myſelf raiſed in my own eſteem, and ſhall ſpeak to them with a confidence and frankneſs, which before this I never durſt venture to aſsume.

We reſign, without reluctance, our gold and ſilver images and embroidered veſtments, becauſe that we have never found, that looking upon gold or ſilver made the heart more pure, or the affections more heavenly: We can alſo ſpare our churches; for the heart that wiſhes to lift itſelf up to God, will never be at a loſs for room to do it in;—but we cannot ſpare our religion, becauſe, to tell you the truth, we never had ſo much occaſion for it. I underſtand that you accuſe us prieſts of having told the people a great many falſehoods. I ſuppoſe this may have been the caſe; but till this day we have never been allowed to inquire, whether the things which we taught them were true or not. You required us formerly to receive them all without proof, and you now would have us reject them all without diſcrimination. Neither of theſe modes of conduct become philoſophers, ſuch as you would be thought to be. I am going to employ myſelf diligently, along with my pariſhioners, to ſift the wheat from the bran, the true from the falſe: If we are not ſucceſsful, we ſhall be at leaſt ſincere.

I do fear, indeed, that while I wore thoſe veſtments which we have brought you, and ſpoke in the large gloomy building which we have given up to you, I told my poor flock many idle ſtories. I cannot but hope, however, that the errors we have fallen into have not been very material, ſince the village has in general 317 Cc3r 317 general been ſober and good; the peaſants are honeſt, docile, and laborious; the huſbands love their wives, and the wives their huſbands; they are fortunately not too rich to be compaſsionate, and they have conſtantly relieved the ſick and fugitives of all parties, whenever it has lain in their way. I think, therefore, what I have taught them cannot be ſo very much amiſs. You want to extirpate prieſts; but will you hinder the ignorant from applying for inſtruction, the unhappy for comfort and hope, the unlearned from looking up to the learned? If you do not, you will have prieſts, by whatever name you will order them to be called; but it is certainly not neceſsary they ſhould wear a particular dreſs, or be appointed by ſtate letters of ordination. My letters of ordination are, my zeal, my charity, my ardent love for my dear children of the village—if I were more learned, I ſhould add my knowledge; but, alas! we all know very little; to man every error is pardonable, but want of humility.

We have a public walk, with a ſpreading elm tree at one end of it, and a circle of green round it, with a convenient bench. Here I ſhall draw together the children as they are playing round me. I ſhall point to the vines laden with fruit, to the orchard, to the herds of cattle lowing round us, to the diſtant hills ſtretching one behind another, and they will aſk me how theſe things came? I ſhall tell them all I know or have heard from wiſe men who have lived before me; they will be penetrated with love and veneration; they will kneel, I ſhall kneel with them; they will not be at my feet, but all of us at the feet of that good Being, whom we ſhall worſhip together; and thus they will receive within their tender minds, a religion. The old men will come ſometimes from having depoſited under the green ſod one of their companions, and place themſelves by my ſide; they will look wiſhfully at the turf, and anxiouſly inquire—Is he gone forever? Shall we be ſoon like him? Will no morning break over the tomb? When the wicked ceaſe from troubling, will the Cc2 good 318 Cc3v 318 good ceaſe from doing good? We will talk of theſe things; I will comfort them; I will tell them of the goodneſs of God; I will ſpeak to them of a life to come; I will bid them hope for a ſtate of retribution.

In a clear night, when the ſtars ſlide over our head, they will aſk what thoſe bright bodies are, and by what rules they riſe and ſet? And we will converſe about different forms of being, and diſtant worlds, in the immenſity of ſpace, governed by the ſame laws, till we feel our minds raiſed from what is grovelling, and refined from what is ſordid.

You talk of Nature—this is Nature; and if you could at this moment extinguiſh religion in the minds of all the world, thus would it be kindled again. You have changed our holy days; you have an undoubted right, as our civil governors, ſo to do; it is very immaterial whether they are kept once in ſeven days, or once in ten; ſome, however, you will leave us, and when they occur, I ſhall tell thoſe who chooſe to hear me, of the beauty and utility of virtue, and of the dignity of upright conduct. We ſhall talk of good men who have lived in the world, and of the doctrines they have taught; and if any of them have been perſecuted and put to death for their virtue, we ſhall reverence their memories the more—I hope in all this there is no harm. There is a book, out of which I have ſometimes taught my people: It ſays, we are to love thoſe who do us hurt, and to pour oil and wine into the wounds of a ſtranger; it has enabled my children to bear patiently the ſpoiling of their goods, and to give up their own intereſt to the general welfare. I think it cannot be a very bad book. I wiſh more of it had been read in your town; perhaps you would not have had ſo many aſsaſsinations and maſsacres. In this book we hear of a perſon called Jesus; ſome worſhip him as a God; others, as I am told, ſay it is wrong to do ſo;—ſome teach that he exiſted before the beginning of ages; others, that he was born of Joſeph and Mary. I cannot tell whether theſe controverſies will ever be decided; but in the mean time, I think 319 Cc4r 319 think we cannot do otherwiſe than well in imitating him; for I learn that he loved the poor, and went about doing good.

Fellow citizens, as I travelled hither from my own village, I ſaw peaſants ſetting amongſt the ſmoaking ruins of their cottages; rich men and women reduced to deplorable poverty; fathers lamenting their children in the bloom and pride of youth; and I ſaid to myſelf—theſe people cannot afford to part with their religion. But indeed you cannot take it away; if, contrary to your firſt declaration, you chooſe to try the experiment of perſecuting it, you will only make us prize it the more, and love it the better. Religion, true or falſe, is ſo neceſsary to the mind of man, that you have already begun to make yourſelves a new one. You are ſowing the ſeeds of ſuperſtition at the moment you fancy you are deſtroying ſuperſtition; and in two or three generations your poſterity will be worſhipping ſome clumſy idol, with the rights perhaps of a bloody Moloch, or a laſcivious Thamuſar. It was not worth while to have been philoſophers, and deſtroyed the images of our ſaints for this; but let every one chooſe the religion that pleaſes him: I and my pariſhioners are content with ours; it teaches us to bear the evils your childiſh or ſanguinary decrees have helped to bring upon the country.

The curi turned his footſteps homeward; and the Convention looked for ſome minutes on one another, before they reſumed their work of blood.

The Gleaner is aware, that the republiſhing of the foregoing, cannot fail of unveiling him to the gentleman, from whom he received the manuſcript; but he has ſuch perfect confidence in the indulgence and honour of the diſpoſition of his reſpected friend, and in that of thoſe with whom he ſtands immediately connected, as to reſt aſsured that they will not betray a ſecret, which he, the Gleaner, hath delayed to reveal to the deareſt of his aſsociates.

No. XXXII. 320 Cc4v 320

No. XXXII.

Eaſy the burden, lightly borne appears, Content her poppies ſtrews—a wand ſhe bears, Whoſe magic pow’r can latent peace unfold, Changing the iron to an age of gold.

The value of an equal and accommodating diſpoſition, cannot, I conceive, be too highly appreciated, too energetically inculcated, or too often expatiated upon. Such, and ſo frequent are the viciſſitudes of life, that an unbending mind, refuſing to yield to that neceſſity which is impoſed upon its exiſtence, is broken by the boiſterous winds which are abroad, and too frequently proſtrated by thoſe calamities, or adverſe tranſitions, to which an acquieſcent ſpirit finds it wiſdom, with humble patience, to ſubmit. The burden becomes light by being well borne. I have not forgot that this is an old adage, but I repeat, that its antiquity doth not deduct the ſmalleſt particle from its rationality; theſe venerable old ſaws frequently contain the very pith and eſſence of ſentiment, and I have often thought that the pen appropriated to the pointing out their excellence, might be much worſe employed.

Say, thou diſcontented and repining mortal, what emolument haſt thou derived from continually tracing the dark ſhades in the picture? Haſt thou received injuries, and doſt thou find thy recompenſe in eternally brooding thereon? Do ſuch contemplations meliorate thy virtues, or promote the ſunſhine of the ſoul? Are the genial and ſalutary airs of tranquillity originated or wafted forward by reflections, which wound the mind, and fire the boſom with indignation?

Health of body, ſerenity of ſoul, ſweet complacency, ſprightly mirth—all theſe are among the victims of cheriſhed, gloomy and corroding reſentment! The ſoul of the vindictive is the region of horror, and the moſt black and baleful paſſions harbour there. What are the 321 Cc5r 321 the pleaſures of the angry man? It is undeniably true that he is his own tormentor; and if he throws the reins upon that implacability and inveterate revenge which ſo fearfully predominate in his breaſt, his moſt uniform or confirmed enemy could hardly deviſe means more adequate or better calculated for the deſtruction of his felicity. Have not the attentions I have received been commenſurate with that merit, with which my ſelf-partiality hath inveſted me? Have I to complain of cold indifference or neglect from thoſe upon whom nature, circumſtances, or amity, had furniſhed me with indiſputable claims? Have I not only been defrauded of thoſe dues to which the inviolable laws of ſociety hath entitled me; but hath inſult, and even outrage been alſo added? Well, it is really a pity-moving ſituation, and I would certainly turn as often as poſſible from the view. Canſt thou derive either ſatisfaction or profit from an enumeration of thy grievances? I pity the malignant ſpirit, which can delight to prey upon food on which the fiends aſſembled in Pandemonium might joy to riot. Reader, if thou wert ever angry, then haſt thou experienced the ravages which the war of the paſſions maketh upon thy peace—like all other wars, deſolation follows in the train, and reaſon can never eſtimate their profit; yet, if upon a fair calculation, the ſum total proves thee a ſingle drachm, or even a half drachm, nay, the hundredth part of a ſcruple the gainer; I will then conſent that thou ſhalt in future vex thyſelf to a ſkeleton more hideous than the brain of fertile poeſy ere conjured up, though ſickening envy, or yellow jealouſy, or fell revenge, ſtalked full in view—Yes, cried Maria, the ſenſations which are attendant upon the contemplation of a virtuous action, are undoubt edly edly divine. I would paſs by a thouſand ſuppoſed injuries, but I would dwell forever upon the contemplation of genuine worth. The reflections which are the accom paniments paniments of offences do not exerciſe, they do not invigorate, the finer feelings of the ſoul. I liſtened to the pleaſing matron, continued Maria, I liſtened with rapture, for her tongue expatiated upon the philanthropy of Alberto.

“My 322 Cc5v 322

My son, ſaid ſhe, was on a voyage; he was a ſtranger, and he took rank among the loweſt grade which made up the ſhip’s company—my ſon fell ſick; he was dangerouſly ill; gloomy was his ſitua tion—but tion—but Alberto commanded the ſhip; he ſought out my ſon; he ſoothed his woes; he lodged him in his own cabin; he attended him in perſon, and my ſon was reſtored to health. Immeaſurable are my obligations to Alberto; and his name, next to that of the Supreme, is entitled to my utmoſt veneration. Alberto is my brother; I am many years his ſenior; I have known him the moſt beauteous of infants, and he gladdened the hearts of his parents. How ſweet are the praiſes of a brother! Alberto, dear Alberto, for this, and many ſimilar anecdotes of thy ſhort life, I will remit unto thee all, and every one of the peccadillos, which, ſhading thy character, do but ſerve to render thy virtues the more conſpicuous. Yes, the genuine benignity of thy ſoul ſhall ſerve as a ſponge wherewith to obliterate all recollection of thoſe aſperities, that the rough contour of thy in born born integrity ſo frequently preſents.

The election of Maria exemplified her accuſtomed penetration; for reiterated obſervation of proper and becoming actions, has upon the heart the moſt ſalutary effect. Was I called upon to delineate the path which would moſt aſſuredly lead to as great a ſhare of happineſs as is compatible with humanity, I ſhould dictate to the candidate for felicity, a frequent recurrence to the fair ſide of perſons, circumſtances and events; almoſt every thing may be viewed in different mediums, and even the various emphaſizing of any given narration, may furniſh the ſame fact with features directly oppoſite. Reſolve then to view every occurrence in the very beſt poſſible light; and if there is a pleaſing conſtruction, ſeize with avidity the ſuppoſition which points to complacency. Make, I beſeech thee, the experiment; determine to be pleaſed for one week, and then tell me how ſmoothly fled the hours. Here I am aware of an objection; misfortunes may await, 323 Cc6r 323 await, the preſſure of which may cloud even fortitude itſelf. This is certainly true, and yet it ſhould be remembered that habitual equanimity can blunt the edge even of the real calamities of life, and that every evil is undoubtedly mitigated by patience.

Reſolution can do much, the embodied faculties of the mind, diſciplined by virtue, are equal to almoſt any ſituation; and they effectually arreſt the progreſs of that fretful ennui which is commonly the offspring of indolence, and ſtrongly marks the want of thoſe efforts that are ſo proper to a rational being.

Murmuring, repining, captious diſcontent, invidious cavilling, theſe are fiends armed at all points againſt our repoſe; diſagreeable recollections, wounding ſarcaſms, irritating recriminations—theſe are hunted after, as if they were ſome hidden treaſure, and they ſtab our choiceſt comforts; they are the dark aſſaſſins, who, aiming at the vitals of tranquillity, fatally deſtroy our peace. Of what conſequence is it who was the aggreſſor? humanity is ſubjected to error, and that immacculate Being, to whom alone belongeth undeviating rectitude, hath given us a dignified example of forgiveneſs. Take the advice of a friend; make the moſt of life; enjoy with avidity; reverence virtue, make it the goal of thy wiſhes; purſue and overtake, cultivate philanthrophy; give ample ſcope to every benign ſuggeſtion; take not upon thyſelf the character of a public accuſer, or cenſor; but, leaving this invidious office to thoſe to whom it may legally belong, accuſtom thyſelf to expatiate upon the good qualities of thy aſſociates, upon the benefits accruing from an intercourſe with thy connexions, and upon the eligibles of life: Tread lightly upon offences; if thou ſhouldeſt awake the ſleeping miſchief, it will ſting thee to the ſoul; its envenomed ſhafts will find their way to the deepeſt receſſes of thy ſpirit. Do not magnify or even inveſtigate the ill offices which have been done thee; few circumſtances can juſtify the perturbating ſcrutiny; anger will grow in thy boſom. How ſhocking, how deforming is anger! Seneca’s deſcription of anger is not too high coloured; 324 Cc6v 324 coloured; and it is juſt as true at the preſent day, as it was near eighteen hundred years ſince. Seneca, upon anger, may not be in your library; I take leave, therefore, to tranſcribe an extract from his admired page.

He was much in the right, whoever he was, that firſt called anger a ſhort madneſs; for they have both of them the ſame ſymptoms; and there is ſo wonderful a reſemblance between the tranſports of choler and thoſe of frenzy, that it is a hard matter to know the one from the other. A bold, fierce and threatening countenance, as pale as aſhes, and in the ſame moment as red as blood; a glaring eye, a wrinkled brow, violent motions, the hands reſtleſs and perpetually in action, wringing and menacing, ſnapping of the joints, ſtamping with the feet, the hair ſtarting, trembling lips, a forced voice; the ſpeech falſe and broken, deep and frequent ſighs, and ghaſtly looks; the veins ſwell, the heart pants, the knees knock; with a hundred diſmal accidents that are common to both diſtempers. Neither is anger, only a bare reſemblance of madneſs, but many times an irrecoverable tranſition into the thing itſelf. How many perſons have we known, read, and heard of, that have loſt their wits in a paſſion, and never came to themſelves again? It is therefore to be avoided not only for moderation ſake, but alſo for health. Now, if the outward appearance of anger be hideous, how deformed muſt that mind be that is haraſſed with it? for it leaves no place either for counſel or friendſhip, honeſty or good manners; no place either for the exerciſe of reaſon, or for the offices of life. If I were to deſcribe it, I would draw a tyger bathed in blood; ſharp ſet, and ready to take a leap at its prey; or dreſs it up as the poets repreſent the furies, with whips, ſnakes and flames. It ſhould likewiſe be ſour, livid, full of ſcars, and wallowing in gore, raging up and down, deſtroying, grinning, bellowing, and purſuing; ſick of all other things, and moſt of all of itſelf. It turns beauty into deformity, and the calmeſt counſels into fierceneſs: It diſorders our very garments, and fills the mind with horror. How abominable then is it in the ſoul! Is 325 Dd1r 325 Is not he a mad-man who hath loſt the government of himſelf, and is toſſed hither and thither by his fury, as by a tempeſt; the executioner of his own revenge, both with his heart and hand; and the murderer of his neareſt friends? The ſmalleſt matter moves it and makes us unſociable and inacceſſible. It does all things by violence, as well upon itſelf as others; and it is, in ſhort, the maſter of all paſſions.

Say, my fair friend, doth the portrait diſguſt thee? Fly then, lovely ſentimentaliſt, from the very firſt approaches of the fell deſtroyer; rude and miſhapen, it aſſimilates into its own frightfully ſhocking aſpect the fineſt features; and, beneath its horrid and imperious ſway, proſtrate beauty fades, and is extinct; its depredations on the ſweet tranquillity, proper to thy ſex, are marked with the moſt aggravating and unnatural circumſtances:—Gentle woman ſhould ſtudiouſly ſhun that queſtionable path which may remotely terminate in the moſt diſtant approximation to the hell-born fiend: for every mild, every bland and ſocial virtue, ſhould conſtitute the aggregate of the female character. How charming is the ſunſhine of the ſoul! how friendly to the growth of mental life is the milk of human kindneſs! how divine is the precept—Bear one another’s burdens, and ſo fulfil the royal law of love.

But ſtop—let me not preſumptuouſly invade the province of the preacher. The fact is, thought hath followed thought, until, having overſhot my purpoſe, I have widely deviated from my original plan: Indeed, the want of regularity is not the leaſt of the inconveniences which are the accompaniments of the vagrant tribe—but my humble pretenſions muſt, at all times, be my apology.

My deſign was, to have devoted this Gleaner to the conſideration of the utility of ſupporting with equanimity, the unavoidable misfortunes incident to life: And I was furniſhed with an exemplification of the advantages I had in view to delineate, during a tour I lately made through the out-ſkirts of one of the eaſtern States: Thus the eccentricity of my occupation too often deranges my moſt favourite views, and I am Dd neceſſitated 326 Dd1v 326 neceſſitated to admit the multifarious produce of an excurſive or fugitive imagination; yet, although thrown from my courſe, I will not be prevented from preſenting my example; I think it cannot fail of ſtriking agreeably, and it may poſſibly give birth to thoſe very identical reflections it was my wiſh to embody.

It was on a beautiful morning of April laſt that, ſeeking the pleaſures of ſolitude, I wandered from the company at our little inn, and, mounting my horſe, I threw the reins upon his neck, determining to leave to chance the direction of my ramble. We were equally ſtrangers to the road, and a few miles in a country hardly emerging from a ſtate of nature, conducted us to a thick wood, when, ſecuring my horſe to the trunk of a tall tree, I prepared to penetrate a coppice which preſented the only veſtige of the wants or ingenuity of man, which the eye could trace; and, proceeding onward to the extremity of the wood, which bordered a few acres of ground, equally remarkable for the ſterility of its ſoil, and the ſtrong indications it bore of the perſevering patience and uncommon induſtry of its proprietors, I was rouſed from my reverie by a number of voices that, arreſting my attention, immediately drew me forward to the place from whence they proceeded. I ſuſpected the employment of our ruſtics, and, leſt I ſhould interrupt operations ſo proper to the ſeaſon, I made my advances with care. The opening ſcene preſented a poor built cottage, which, in language unequivocal, proclaimed induſtrious poverty; the heathy appearance of the grounds evinced the ſtinted produce, with which they repaid the maſter’s culture; a few ſheep and a ſingle cow, whoſe thin forms demonſtrated the ſcanty pittance on which they fed, ſtood forth additional vouchers of the penurious ſoil. But a fertilizing ſtream, which murmured by, and bore in its boſom various deſcriptions of the finny tribe, diverſified the view, and gave birth to the pleaſures of hope.

A well looking man was buſily employed in turning up and ſhaping the glebe; a ſentimental carol vibrated upon his tongue, and his features were expreſſivepreſſive 327 Dd2r 327 preſſive of content. A graceful female at a little diſtance, round whom no leſs than eleven children, of different ages, were collected—was directing the eldeſt boy, a roſy-cheeked youth, in ſetting ſome plants, while ſhe herſelf committed to the prepared earth, thoſe ſeeds from which ſhe cheerfully anticipated the diſtant harveſt. The veſtments of the family were the veſtments of penury; and if they could be conſidered as garments, they were entitled, for ſo reſpectable an appellation, to the unwearied diligence, which, ſtill following the well worn robe, had ſo repeatedly repaired each time-made breach, as to render it impoſſible to decide, of what hue or texture it was originally poſſeſſed: Yet the voice of gladneſs echoed round, and the hilarity of the heart ſeemed impreſſed upon every feature.

I contemplated, with folded arms and grateful admiration, the uncommon group. The face of the matron was not immediately turned toward me, neither had the ſhepherd obſerved me; but the children had begun to amuſe themſelves with my figure, when their mother, having finiſhed her employ, was drawn by their innocent mirth to the ſpot on which I was fixed. I have already confeſſed mingling ſurpriſe and pleaſure at the gay tranquillity, which was apparently the appendages of a ſcene ſo barren of good, and ſo remarkably devoid of the eligibles of life; but no language can expreſs my aſtoniſhment, when, in the countenance of the penuriouſly garbed matron, I recognized the once opulent, truly amiable, and highly deſerving Flavilla!

Gracious God!—ſpontaneouſly I exclaimed—Is it poſſible? do I in reality behold the long idolized, and ever charming Miſs Kneller? Flavilla, accuſtomed to the viciſſitudes and caprices of events, uttered no perturbed exclamation; but, with that genuine dignity, which nature delights to confer upon a conſciouſneſs of innate worth, with a grace and manner which I have not often ſeen equalled in a drawing-room, preſenting her hand, ſhe expreſſed her ſatisfaction in an interview ſo unexpected; and, leading me to her humble abode, we were ſoon joined by Honorius and the little 328 Dd2v 328 little family. I had known Flavilla from early youth: She was born to affluence, and her education had been in the firſt line. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kneller, had no other child; and this daughter, promiſing in every view, was, of courſe, regarded as an ineſtimable treaſure. Honorius was the man of her heart, and her union with the youth ſhe loved, and who reciprocated her attachment, received the cheerful ſanction of the authors of her being.

Soon after the marriage of Miſs Kneller, her parental friends paid the great debt of nature, leaving Honorius and Flavilla in poſſeſſion of an ample fortune. But, from this period, thick clouds begin to gather, and they experienced a moſt diſtreſſing reverſe of circumſtances. The career of their misfortunes was uſhered in by a dreadful conflagration, in which their manſion-houſe, containing many valuable articles, was reduced to aſhes; a ſeries of calamities ſucceeded, until, at length, of all their vaſt poſſeſſions, ſcarce a veſtige remained; yet a principle of rectitude triumphed in their ſouls; of their inborn integrity, the malice of their fate could not diveſt them; and diſcharging, with intereſt, the laſt farthing for which they were indebted, with the poor pittance which was left, they retired, like Thompſon’s Laviniafar from theſe ſcenes that knew their better days, and purchaſed in this remote ſpot—’twas all they could—the barren grounds from which they have ever ſince obtained a ſcanty and hard earned ſubſiſtence. Their original ſtock conſiſted of thirty ſheep, one cow, and a yoke of oxen; the ſheep were almoſt immediately deſtroyed by the wolves; the cow fell a victim, probably, to the ſteril ſoil to which ſhe was confined; and, in an attempt to level a tall tree, one of their oxen was killed upon the ſpot. Succeeding years has reduced to the loweſt ſtate the neceſſaries which made up their perſonal and family wardrobe, and it has not been in their power to poſſeſs themſelves of the ſmalleſt ſupplies! Yet, ſtrange to tell, neither time nor ſorrow hath been able to infix their deadly fangs in the boſom of Flavilla; health dances in her veins, and beauty glows upon her cheek; her ſmiles 329 Dd3r 329 ſmiles ſtill diſplay the dimples of youth; and in her mildly expreſſive eye, corrected vivacity yet beams. It was impoſſible I could forbear expreſſing my aſtoniſhment and my admiration! and when I inquired by what means they had, Flavilla eſpecially, ſupported ſuch an uncommon meaſure of tranquillity, in the midſt of ſuch a calamitous reverſe of circumſtances, Flavilla replied—

It is ſimply this, we have conſidered the brevity of life, and the certainty of our removal to another, a better, and a more permanent ſtate of being; we have adopted, realized, and reduced to practice, the ſentiment of an admired poet; we have been taught by experience, that earth-born cares are vain; that man wants but little here below, we have fully known; and we do not expect to want that little long.

To contribute to the relief of Flavilla, or her family, is impoſſible; for ſince the diſcovery of her retirement, in regard to which ſhe hath enjoined the ſtricteſt ſecreſy, however ingenious I have been in my attempts to augment their finances, I have ſtill found myſelf, and with a firmneſs almoſt unexampled, uniformly repulſed. To have put Flavilla in poſſeſſion of every thing which her ſituation ſeemed to claim, would have been the higheſt luxury which benevolence could have taſted; but while I regret, as an individual, her ſteady rejection of all pecuniary aſſiſtance, I cannot but admire the genuine elevation of her high-ſouled ſentiments. She liſtened, it is true, to thoſe remonſtrances with which, after more indirect methods had failed, I ventured to addreſs her; but ſhe liſtened only to aſcertain her rejection.

No, Sir, with all the calmneſs of inborn ſuperiority, ſhe replied, I am but too much obliged in receiving your munificent propoſals, but no one ſhall ſay that he hath enriched either Flavilla, or her family. Flavilla, and her family, will depend only upon Nature, and Nature’s God; habit hath reconciled us to our ſituation; we are reſigned, we are contented—beſides, my friend, the proſpect now gradually brightens upon us; by rigid economy, we have replaced our ſtock; our Dd2 chidren 330 Dd3v 330 children are growing up; my boys will aſſiſt their father; we have already laid the foundation of a little tenement, in which we expect to meet a tranquil cloſe to waning life. Labour will ameliorate even the ſteril earth; many hands will bear from ſome more friendly ſpot the rich manure; the increaſe of our own fields ſhall yet ſpread us a plenteous board. See yonder flax, already it aſſumes a promiſing and healthy aſpect. The fineſt threads are ſpun by my girls, and even by myſelf. Lydia is miſtreſs of the weaving buſineſs; William has a fine mechanical genius, his looms are nearly complete, and the well made web, the product of our own induſtry, will ere long furniſh us with decent and becoming veſtments.

Happy, deſervedly happy woman! felicity, more than wealth can give, is thy well earned portion.

Felicity haſteth from the diſcordant ſpirit of the captious murmurer, although the child of affluence, and enveloped in gold and purple; it haſteth to the boſom of contentment; it ſeeketh ſhelter in the breaſt of equanimity, beſtowing on its votaries, although dwelling in a humble cottage, the choiceſt of its bleſſings.

No. XXXIII.

Ambiguous movements wear a faulty hue, In paths oblique, ſuſpicion will purſue; While the ſweet flow of confidence bequeaths That treaſur’d peace, a rich perfume which breathes.

Disguises are frequently the convenient aſylums of villany; and as they are always queſtionable, they are with propriety always ſuſpected. To trace the labyrinth of folly, into which the flagitious delinquent is precipitated, requires more than human penetration. Many are the windings and doublings of the proficient in error; all his paths are intricate; he is fruitful in ſubterfuges, and he is enveloped in myſtery. I do not ſay that virtue hath never worn a veil, or that integrity may not ſuppoſe it neceſſary to hold up falſe lights; but I contend that the practice of deceptionception, 331 Dd4r 331 ception, being an expedient that muſt be acknowledged extremely hazardous, ought never to be reſorted to but in the laſt extremity; and I am free to own, I have found a ſingular pleaſure in indulging a hope, that truth and innocence will generally bear their own weight.

The ſmooth ſurface of the limpid ſtream out-ſpreads its azure flow to the moſt curious inveſtigation; the orient luminary of day emits a flood of light; it iſſues forth a tranſcendent body, elevated in itſelf, while its ſplendours are confeſſed by every eye; and the upright ancient wiſhed for a glaſs in his breaſt, that the poſſibility of concealment might be thus eraſed from the catalogue of his abilities. Ambiguity caſts a veil over the moſt irreproachable life; it originates the invidious ardours of ſpeculation; and it gives to the features of virtue the contour of folly. I confeſs I am charmed by frankneſs of ſoul; ingenuity and integrity of manners, carry with them their title to my unreſerved eſteem, and upon the honeſt ſincere man, reaſon, unbiaſſed by faſhion or habit, is ever ready to pronounce a eulogy. I abhor duplicity in every form; doubtful meanings, double entendres, playing upon words, with every bagatelle of this deſcription, are, in my opinion, at leaſt inelegant and unbecoming; nor can I allow that they make any part of manly ſenſe, true wit, or genuine humour. In a fair, open, conſiſtent manner of thinking, converſing and acting, there is both dignity and propriety; and an elevated reputation is the well earned reward of perſevering and unequivocal worth. We liſten, with unreſtrained pleaſure, to the man of unimpeached honour; to him, whoſe upright ſoul hath never been entangled in the wiles of deceit, who hath never debaſed himſelf by an alliance with falſehood, nor ſported with the credulity of his aſſociates; who, worſhipping at the ſhrine of truth, hath ſtill held her inviolate, regarding all her inſtigations as ſacred, and diſdaining to purchaſe the ſmile of levity at the expenſe of that jeſt which borrows its humour from a breach of veracity; and it is then that we confer upon him the moſt honorary diſtinction, when, with unlimited confidence, we repoſe upon his word the moſt unheſitating faith.

It 332 Dd4v 332

It is dangerous to amuſe ourſelves with the ſemblance of vice; the habit of uttering merry falſehoods, will ſoon blunt the fine edge of our feelings, and we ſhall eaſily ſlide into the moſt ſerious and capital violations of truth. Integrity dignifies a character; frankneſs is truly amiable, and if the offence is not highly enormous, ſoftened by the ingenuity of a candid acknowledgement, we are ready to preſs the offender to our boſoms; we allow him a ſecond leaſe of our eſteem, and it depends altogether on himſelf, whether we ſhall ever again ſerve upon him a writ of ejection. A moment of concealment is a moment of humiliation; and although circumſtances may ſometimes render it neceſſary, yet, it is certain, that when the paths of innocence are encompaſſed by ambiguity, the luſtre of her crown is dimmed; her blooming honours ſeem to wane, and we heſitate, while uttering thoſe applauſes which ſhould be reſerved to enwreath the brow of unequivocal merit. Myſterious arrangements excite ſuſpicion; conjecture is afloat; jealouſy is rouſed; the ærial miſchief feeds upon the thinneſt diet, and peace evaporates in its graſp. Monimia is perturbed and agitated; not an hour in the day but a variety of tormenting ideas ſucceed each other in her mind; and the moſt vexatious inquietude, is the deſpot of her dreams. Monimia once boaſted of her felicity, and her preſent ſufferings are the offspring of conjecture; delicacy forbids her to queſtion, and yet her tranquillity will never be reſtored, until ſhe learns to what fair hand her loved Eugenio was indebted for the expreſſive device ſo elegantly enwreathed, and ſo curiouſly cut, which hath recently come into his poſſeſſion, and which he carefully preſerves in the cover of his watch. Clariſſa is agitated and unhappy; ſhe accidentally diſcovered in the eſcrutoir of Horatio, a lock of hair; it was beautifully gloſſy; ſhe is poſitive that it never made a part of her own auburn treſſes; it was neatly folded in ſome lines, ſweetly pathetic, and tenderly poetical: Perhaps the rape of that immortalized lock, which Dan Pope has ſo ſweetly ſung, although it intereſted the celeſtials, was not productive of more real anguiſh—and I perſuade myſelf that everyry 333 Dd5r 333 ry ſuſceptible fair one will drop a tear over the ſorrows of Clariſſa. Cordelia, whoſe attachment to her nuptial lord is ſtill unbroken, hath paſſed months of diſſatisfaction, occaſioned by her incertitude, relative to the diſpoſal of a pair of ſleeve-buttons, which ſhe formerly preſented to her Henry as a pledge of love.

But theſe are all unjuſtifiable ſources of inquietude—they are the imbecilities of the mind, and, originating in the caprice of affection, they are of too ſmall moment to merit attention; and they are, be ſides, ſides, too reprehenſible to be countenanced.

I grant they are at preſent comparatively ſmall; yet if I am unhappy, I am unhappy, whatever may have produced the evil; and when the peace of a family, or even of an individual is involved, a full explanation, with every attempt to ſoothe, is as neceſſary as it is generous; and it ſhould always be remembered, that the unextinguiſhed flame, which, raging with increaſing violence, purſues its deſolating career, and iſſues in the moſt diſtreſſing conflagration, was once a lambent ſpark, whoſe genial warmth might eaſily have been ſuppreſſed, and whoſe agency, under a judicious direction, might have produced the moſt beneficial effects.

Yes, the peace of families is too often ſacrificed to falſe delicacy, and to an ill-judged ſilence on facts and circumſtances, which ought to have been ſcrupulouſly narrated and critically examined. Inviolable ſecreſy, preſerved for any conſiderable length of time, ſuppoſing the event we are ſolicitous to conceal of importance to thoſe with whom we are intimately connected, is hardly within the chapter of poſſibilities; a word, or even a look, accidentally tranſpiring, will give the alarm; the truth, however latent, is thus in part divulged; curioſity commenceth the purſuit, and a clue is obtained, which may be juſt ſufficient to introduce the intereſted perſon into a labyrinth, from which, never being able to extricate himſelf, he may be deſpoiled of all that treaſured ſerenity, which he had vainly hoped would ſerve as a fund, for the ſupport of a life of rational enjoyment.

A lovely woman at this moment ruſhes upon my recollection; 334 Dd5v 334 recollection; ſhe is not perſonally known to me, but although the vaſt Atlantic rolls its waves between us, yet, with reiterated pleaſure, I have frequently traced the lineaments of her fair mind, as I have ſeen it pourtrayed in many a well-written page, the product of her inimitable pen. She hath, I am told, a pleaſing exterior, and her underſtanding is elevated much above the level of mediocrity. Nature, when ſhe beſtowed upon her uncommon parts, endowed her alſo with an exquiſite tenderneſs of ſoul. Her imagination is lively and fertile, and ſhe has a taſte capable of diſtinguiſhing, and highly enjoying the beauties of poetry. Early enliſting in the ſervice of the Muſes, ſhe became one of their moſt ſucceſſful votaries; and, from the beautiful parterres which ornament the Parnaſſian grounds, ſhe hath ſkilfully and happily combined many an elegant fancied bouquet. She was always a nymph of the ſober-ſuited train, and to airs the moſt penſively melodious her lyre was uniformly attuned.

Sweet Eliza! in the enchanting walks of poeſy, thy feet have ceaſed to ſtray; that confirmed melancholy, which the ſunny beams of hope can no longer impreſs, will no more permit thee to attune the neglected chords; the voice of the chantreſs is forever mute, and the lovely minſtrel hath forgotten to charm. Unhappy fair one! the roſe of thy tranquillity is blighted, and thy violets, alas! have all withered.

It is to the ill-judged ſilence of Eliza, and her maternal parent, that her misfortunes muſt be imputed, The ſtory of her life is ſimple: I owed unreturnable obligations to her father; it was to him I was indebted for the ſyſtematic and rational mode of thinking, which has conſtituted the moſt tranquil and refined moments of my exiſtence. He was a man in the literary line; his writings are copious and energetic; and for ſtrength of argument, perſpicuity of diction, and ſelf-evident demonſtration, he hath never yet been ſurpaſſed; but having attained, in his favourite purſuit, the higheſt poſſible excellence; he became nearly abſorbed in thoſe contemplations from which originated ſo large a part of his felicity, and reprehenſiblyhenſibly 335 Dd6r 335 henſibly inattentive to every conſideration which he deemed of leſs moment. It too often happens that real or original genius, although rich in reſources, and diſtinguiſhed by the moſt ſhining qualifications, is nevertheleſs found deſtitute of thoſe very neceſſary requiſites, which can alone beſtow a capability of a beneficial intercourſe with mankind.

Mr. Mortimor, the father of Eliza, made his nuptial choice with ſo little diſcretion, as to exchange the marriage vow with a woman, who, at the very moment ſhe met him at the altar, knew herſelf to be the wife of another! With this perfidiouſly abandoned ingrate, he lived in total ignorance of her criminal connexion; and laviſhing upon her every proof of an attachment almoſt unexampled, until the perjured miſcreant, having ſtripped him of every valuable article which he poſſeſſed, found means to abſcond with the paramour of her choice, at a period when the treacherouſly betrayed Mortimor was engaged in the diſcharge of ſome benevolent offices, which his philanthropic diſpoſition had impoſed upon him as duties.

It was not until after her elopement, that the turpitude of her life was diſcloſed to him; and yet he could not, even then, although convinced of her atrocity, be perſuaded to take meaſures calculated to bring her to condign puniſhment! Many years elapſed before the wound he had received admitted a cure; his tenderneſs of ſoul, and his innate ſenſe of rectitude, ſtill combated his peace, and reaſon, for a long time, plead in vain. At length, however, the lenient hand of aſſuaging years, aided by the intellectual accompliſhments, and prepoſſeſſing exterior, of a truly deſerving female, effectuated the moſt ſalutary change. Hope once more dawned in his boſom; it gleamed like ſome heavenly viſitant athwart the melancholy region of his benighted ſoul; by degrees it obliterated the gloomy ideas which hovered there, and he again aſſerted the native dignity of his character. To the ſweet ſoother of his ſorrows, his hours of leiſure were invariably devoted; a ſentimental intercourſe commenced; it was ameliorated by the ſtricteſt amity, and it terminated in an attachment of the tendereſt kind.

Hymen 336 Dd6v 336

Hymen once more light for Mortimor his ſacred torch; and had he attended to ſome legal ſteps, which ſhould previouſly have been taken, the auſpices under which he entered into this ſecond engagement, would have been moſt happy: Yet, thoſe arrangements, which ſlower ſouls would have deemed indiſpenſible, muſt have occaſioned delays; the proceſs of the law was tedious; Mortimor had many enemies; obſtacles might be interpoſed; and if upon application he ſhould not be able to obtain the neceſſary form of divorce, his expectation of happineſs would be defeated. What was to be done? Concealment was a ready reſource; and, wrapping himſelf about in the veil of ſecreſy, in his own retired apartment, in the preſence of the holy prieſt and a few ſelect friends, he plighted his willing faith. Mrs. Mortimor (ſtill received merely as the friend of her huſband) retained her family name; and, although many might ſuſpect, thoſe only who were bound to ſecreſy could deciſively pronounce.

At length, however, revolving months uſhered into the world the infant Eliza; and impenetrable myſtery ſtanding centinel at her birth, ſhe was produced in ſociety by the name of Montague; and her parents introduced her as the orphan daughter of deceaſed relatives. Indeed, having conducted their engagement with ſo little obſervance of forms, however innocent in intention and in fact the parties in reality were, the ſevere penalty annexed by the laws of England, againſt that irregularity or breach, a deſcription of which would undeniably involve their connexion, rendered it incumbent upon them carefully to avoid an explanation.

Eliza was educated with the moſt ſcrupulous attention; ſhe was nurtured by the hand of elegance, and trained to the obſervance of every virtue. As early as her opening reaſon authorized a confidence ſo important, under the ſtrongeſt injunctions of inviolable ſilence, ſhe was made acquainted with the ſecret of her birth; and that diſcretion, armed by filial piety, with which ſhe guarded a communication on which was ſuſpended the life of her father, abundantly juſtified the repoſing a truſt of ſuch a nature in ſo tender a boſom. 337 Ee1r 337 boſom. Fifteen happy years were paſſed by Eliza, amid the ſoft endearments of parental tenderneſs; each cheerful morn was uſhered in by new proofs of provident care, and the feathery hours were all marked by gentle admonitions, tender cautions, or well-judged advice; and each returning evening ſaw her encircled by thoſe arms, and preſſed to the faithful boſoms of perſons, who ſealed upon her balmy lips their wiſhes for the repoſe of the night, always concluding their pious benedictions by ſo natural an avowal of feelings, which were the genuine offspring of a ſpecies of tenderneſs that perhaps cannot be ſurpaſſed. How fatal for Eliza was the hour, that juſt at this period robbed her of a father, who, actuated by a ſpirit of univerſal benevolence, and breathing the mildeſt and moſt benign expreſſions of philanthropy, glowed with uncommon tenderneſs for a daughter, whom, in his moſt unimpaſſioned moments, he could not but acknowledge as highly deſerving, every way amiable, and compriſing in herſelf the ſum total of a father’s wiſhes.

The demiſe of Mr. Mortimor preſented a moment, in which it would have been wiſdom to have opened on ſociety, with a full and unequivocal eclairciſſement. Death had placed the victim the law would have demanded, beyond the reach of its penalties; and, clothed in the habiliments of conſcious integrity, they had then nothing to hazard by an explanation. The prieſt, who joined the hands of the parents of Eliza, could, at that juncture, have been produced; and the few friends who were preſent at the marriage, were ſtill in exiſtence.— Alas, alas! they are now conſigned to the ſilent tomb! and, ſtrange to tell, letting ſlip the golden ſeaſon of opportunity, Mrs. Mortimor was ſtill known by the name of Laughton, while Eliza was addreſſed by that of Montague!

It is certain that reſerves, except impoſed by neceſſity, are never juſtifiable; and the neceſſity of myſtery, ceaſed with the death of Mr. Mortimor. From this period five ſucceeding years performed their annual round, ere the diſcreet Eliza ſelected from the circle of thoſe who reſpectfully preſented themſelves as candidates for Ee her 338 Ee1v 338 her election, a youth with whom her gentle heart could unheſitatingly conſent to inweave the ſilken bands of tender, conjugal and indiſſoluble amity. But her choice once made, ſhe deferred not to baniſh from the boſom of him ſhe approbated, that perturbed ſuſpenſe that ſo fatally corrodes each promiſed joy; and although her every ſtep was pointed by virgin delicacy, yet did ſhe ſkilfully enwreath therewith a noble and dignified frankneſs, which huſhed that tumultuous whirlwind of the paſſions, that hath ſhipwrecked the peace of many a manly breaſt. Pity ſhe was not permitted to be uniformly explicit; but the maternal prohibition was ſtrangely and unaccountably interpoſed, and her nuptials were ſolemnized under that diſguiſe, which, although juſtifiable for a time, was moſt imprudently continued, and ſhould never have been worn in the preſence of a man, whom, in every other reſpect, ſhe had honoured by the moſt unbounded confidence; but ſhe remained perſeveringly, reprehenſibly ſilent! and this ſilence hath been fatal to her peace. The firſt years of her wedded life were uncommonly ſerene; ſhe bore to Altamont many fine children; and none but tranquil days ſeemed written for her. How precarious are terreſtrial joys! An untoward accident ſuddenly reverſed the ſcene. A paper, written by herſelf, and addreſſed to her mother, breathing the language of ambiguity, deeply fraught with myſtery, and yet obſcurely hinting at the truth, unfortunately met the eye of Altamont! To the niceſt ſenſe of honour Altamont is exquiſitely alive—the ſoul of ingenuity is his, and the delicacy of his ſentiments refuſeth to tolerate the moſt diſtant appearance of deception. He drank in the contagious lines; every word operated as an envenomed draught; and while he ſhrunk from the fearful contents, they became, in effect, like thoſe ſubtil poiſons, which are ſaid to procure immediate death; for they infixed their deadly fangs in the very vitals of that tranquillity, which he had fondly hoped was beyond the malice of fate.

Inſtantly the fiend, deſpair, embodied its miniſters; they were buſy about his heart; complacency was chaſed 339 Ee2r 339 chaſed from his boſom; the ſmiles of benevolence are no more; a deep and ſettled melancholy lowers upon his brow; and the ſullen ſilence which he obſtinately obſerves, effectually bars an eclairciſſement. His houſe, once the ſeat of ſocial happineſs—now, alas! dire ſuſpicion, dark conjecture, and baleful jealouſy, hover there; and although months and years have revolved, no beam of elucidation hath yet illumined thoſe heartfelt glooms, by which he is enveloped. The tear is upon the cheek of Eliza; and her dream of happineſs, of terreſtrial happineſs, is gone forever.

The deep melancholy which impreſſed the mind of Altamont, was immediately ſucceeded by the moſt alarming eſtrangement; his temper ſeems totally ruined. He regards the partner of his ſufferings with a miſtruſtful kind of indignation; ſhe has loſt his confidence; ſhe has every reaſon to believe ſhe no longer poſſeſſes his affection; and, the probability is, that was ſhe now to come forward with a full and undiſguiſed explanation, it would produce no ſalutary effect; her vouchers, as we obſerved, are numbered with the dead; Altamont is haughty and implacable, and Eliza, having once indiſputably deceived him, it is to be feared that he will yield her no future credence!!!

No. XXXIV

Ten thouſand ills from falſe concluſions riſe; Inveſtigation oft new views ſupplies. With cautious ſteps let wary judgment tread, And all her lights elucidation ſpread.

Ihave, for many weeks back, been largely in arrears to correſpondents; and I have frequently contemplated a Gleaner, which ſhould be wholly occupied by their various addreſſes, obſervations, and complaints. But ſuch of my friends, whoſe letters have been long ſince received, will have the goodneſs to forgive my publiſhing thoſe which have more recently come to hand, when they obſerve, that the intereſting ſubjects they take up, require immediate attention. And, 340 Ee2v 340 And, in the interim, I give them my word of honour, that my firſt unappropriated Eſſay ſhall be devoted to their ſervice. Having thus premiſed, I proceed to bring forward three explanatory letters.

Letter I. To the Gleaner Upon my word, Mr. Gleaner, I believe you are a ſly old fellow, after all. Let me tell you, Sir, it ill ſuits with your aſſumed gravity, to be thus foiſting yourſelf into the ſecrets of all the young, handſome, married women of your acquaintance. Mighty fine, mighty fine, truly. Delicacy, forſooth, forbid Monimia to queſtion her huſband; but delicacy, it ſeems, did not think proper to interfere, while ſhe contrived to pour her pity-moving tale into the boſom of nobody knows who—one who is here, and there, and every where, and very poſſibly not of much importance any where. A perfect Proteus to the imagination, aſſuming a thouſand fantaſtical forms, and becoming ſtationary in no one reſpectable character; a bird of paſſage, emigrating from ſtate to ſtate, and picking up a ſcanty pittance, after a whole month’s toil, which but ill repays the labour of travelling through the dull pages he is ſo ſtudious to multiply. You may think me ſevere, Mr. Gleaner, but I have the ſatisfaction of knowing I am juſt; and I add, that you might have gone on with your itinerant gleaning, to the end of the chapter, for me, if you had not rouſed the feelings of an injured huſband, by thus palpably inſinuating, that you are a greater favourite with his wife than he is himſelf! Really, Mr. Morality, you make a very pretty conſiſtent, heterogeneous figure; and I ſhould like vaſtly to have your motley image ſtuck up in a printſhop, by way of relief to the ſtudies of the chubbyfaced ſchool-boy, as he trudges along the academical way to his daily labours. The wiſe man ſays, that laughter doeth good like a medicine; and it is undeniably true, that the ludicrous is a wonderful ſpecific in every intellectual complaint. But let me whiſper you, good Mr. Prig, you are a coxcomb; 341 Ee3r 341 coxcomb; and you may bleſs your ſtars that I am not able to collect the trio, which you have huddled together in your laſt Gleaner; for, if I could name my fellow-ſufferers, we would unite together in obtaining a moſt ſignal revenge; but you are ſuch a doughty hero, and, withal, ſo evaneſcent a ſpright, that you elude the force of common exertions. How you became acquainted with Monimia’s tale of ſorrow, is an enigma, of which it will be conceived that delicacy forbids me to ſeek an explanation! The probability is, that you have practiſed upon her ſimplicity, and, inſinuating yourſelf into the good graces of the afflicted fair one, by ſome illicit methods, you have at length obtained her confidence; and, as I am one of the beſt natured men in the world, extending the ſceptre of my clemency, I ſhall view, with proper indulgence, the imbecilities of nature. Doubtleſs, I could have reſtored the tranquillity of my wife, without troubling either you or myſelf with my obſervations; but, beſides that I conceive your temerity merits chaſtiſement, as you have impertinently precipitated me, and an affair which was wholly mine, to public view, I am induced to believe, that the eclairciſſement hath thus acquired a kind of right to publicity. Monimia will remember, that I not long ſince paid a viſit to my relations at B— My kinſman S―― has a daughter, not yet twelve years old, who is very ingenious, and handles her ſciſſors to admiration; ſhe cut my watch-paper, and ſhe will be proud of furniſhing Monimia with any little fancy pieces which ſhe may wiſh. On my return home, I made a diſplay of my acquiſition. Monimia, haſtily and tremulouſly, made ſome round about inquiries, relative to the fair artificer—theſe I would not underſtand—I diſlike every ſymptom of ſuſpicion in ladies; ſuſpicion looks ſo like jealouſy, and jealouſy looks ſo like want of confidence, I remained ſilent, and affected a kind of, what the ladies call, delicate embarraſſment. Perhaps I was wrong; but I had been appriſed that the impreſſion made by ſo light a thing as a watch-paper, could have been ſo ſerious, I ſhould certainly have endeavoured to eraſe it. I have, Mr. Meddler, the honour—the honour—no, that’s wrong—I have not the honour—I have the condeſcenſionEe2 ſcenſion Ee3v 342 ſcenſion to be, with honeſt wiſhes for your reformation, and little or no eſteem, your conſtant reader, Eugenio. Letter II. To theGleaner. Mr. Vigillius, As you have given your examples under fictitious names, I am not furniſhed with a rational cauſe of anger; and yet, Sir, you have ſo well pointed circumſtances, that it is impoſſible for the real claimant to avoid aſſuming habiliments, which can fit no one but himſelf. Myſtery is indeed the parent of conjecture, and concealment moſt ſurely engenders ſuſpicion. Authors are doubtleſs juſtifiable, in procuring every warrantable illuſtration of their ſentiments, and of thoſe inferences which they wiſh to deduce; and even a deſire to inform, or to improve, is entitled to grateful reſpect. If my Clariſſa, or her favoured Altamont, can furniſh either amuſement or inſtruction to the Gleaner and his numerous readers, any little anecdote, relative to us, is extremely at their ſervice. My Clariſſa is more dear to my ſoul than the life-blood which warms me to exiſtence; ſhe hath not, ſhe never had, nor ever can have, a rival in my affections. She reigns ſole miſtreſs in my heart, and to her peerleſs virtues my every thought does homage. Yet, while I avow a fealty ſo unreſerved, I am bold enough to confeſs my property in the beautifully gloſſy lock of hair, a diſcovery of which has been ſo ſurreptitiouſly obtained; that I have treaſured up this lock of hair, I alſo acknowledge; nor will I conſent to part with it, until the laſt breath ſhall quiver upon my lips. Further, my own hands ſevered the conteſted lock from the head of a lovely female, who was dear to me as nature, as amity, or as my fondeſt hopes of happineſs. All this is moſt true; and it is likewiſe true, that this female was not Clariſſa! Are you immeaſurably aſtoniſhed? Step to the other ſide of the piece, and it will aſſume another hue. I am not a native of America; I have lived only five years in this paradiſe of liberty. I had a ſiſter—good God! 343 Ee4r 343 God! how unfortunate was that ſiſter! amiable as virtue, and indulgent as Heaven; ſhe merited every thing ſhort of adoration, from that world which perſecuted her, almoſt from the firſt hour of her exiſtence. Execrable world!—the virtues of a Clariſſa were neceſſary to reconcile me to an abode among thy deeply deſigning and treacherouſly murderous inhabitants! I have forborne to narrate to my Clariſſa the ſtory of my ſiſter’s woes; her misfortunes were too ſtrongly marked with anguiſh, to be impoſed upon the exquiſitely tender feelings of that ſuſceptible boſom, which melts with ſoft regrets at the tale of woe, and which has a ſigh even for the common ills of life. Nay, thoſe deplorable circumſtances which hovered round the ſteps of my ill-fated ſiſter, I have ſedulouſly ſought to blot even from my own memory. I would remember only her virtues, her angel goodneſs, her beauteous image, and her ſaint-like fortitude; but, alas! thoſe recollections are ſo interwoven with the cruel events of her life, as to render a ſeparation impoſſible. Orphanaged in her earlieſt bud; the ſport of caprice, malice and duplicity, through the unſuſpecting morn of life; and, in her marriage choice, placing her virtuous confidence in a man, who, by a ſpecious exterior, villanouſly deceived her; who wore the garb of integrity, honour, generoſity, and a mild and conceding diſpoſition of ſoul, on purpoſe to betray her eaſy faith; who no ſooner exchanged the nuptial vow, than throwing off the maſk, and commencing tyrant, he became unweariedly ingenious in his devices to torment the victim of his power; who perſecuted her to the death, nor ſuſpended, for a ſingle moment, his ſavage and deteſted operations, until, with a broken heart, ſhe yielded up her breath, falling the martyr of aſſumed prerogative, cruelty and deſpotiſm. Angelic ſufferer! mild and ſubmiſſive, thou uttered no complaint; not a vindictive expreſſion eſcaped thee; and had thy murderer poſſeſſed but common prudence, the knowledge of thy unprecedented wrongs would have been conſigned to the grave with thee. Through all thy hard fortune, I followed ſtill an impotent ſpectator of thy injuries; but, while appearancesces 344 Ee4v 344 ces were preferred, cuſtom forbid a brother’s interference, and an impeachment of thy huſband’s character would have been an incurable wound to thy delicacy. What ſhall I further ſay? He who made her, regarding her with ſacred pity, the pity of a God, her emancipation was accelerated, and ſhe drew her laſt breath in my arms! I ſaw her lovely boſom ſurceaſe the corroding ſigh; I ſaw her heavenly form quietly diſpoſed upon the bed of death; and, my Clariſſa, it was in that agonized moment, that I ſevered from its kindred treſſes, the ſhining ringlet, which, ſtraying from its incloſure, fell unconſcious upon her ſnowy forehead. I grieve that it hath been to you the ſource of inquietude; but its value, at that diſtreſſing period, appeared to me immenſe; nor has reaſon or time eſſentially depreciated its importance. I could never perſuade myſelf to part with it to an artiſt, who would have oſtenſibly returned it to me, in the form of cherubs, urns and inſcriptions; for I have ſtill preferred contemplating its natural beauties; and I employed my firſt ſerene moments in preparing thoſe lines, in which to enſhrine it, that have been erroneouſly called poetical. For the gratification of the curioſity of your readers, Mr. Gleaner, I take leave to ſubjoin a copy of them: Ah! then is the conflict no more? And hath ſhe forgotten to weep? Will nought the bleſt viſion reſtore? Hath pity no laurels to reap? How loud was that ſhriek of deſpair! The bloſſoms of hope are all ſhed; No altars to friendſhip I rear, For friendſhip and honour are fled. The ties are all broke which remain’d, The ſtorm hath uprooted my peace; Dark malice its purpoſe hath gain’d, And love from my boſom ſhall ceaſe. How bright was the morn of her days! How charming the bud of her years! Her form, it tranſcended all praiſe, And her ſorrow was virtue in tears. How ſoothing the words of her tongue! While harmony wafted the ſtrain, The chauntreſs melodiouſly ſung, And gladden’d the liſtening ſwain. Bright honour enliſted the fair, Maria, her prieſteſs, ſhe hail’d; Ordained her paths to prepare, The virgin her altars unveil’d. But envy, with ſerpentine tread, And ſcorn, with its mercileſs ſting, The wiles of deſtruction outſpread; How deadly the arrows they fling! What glooms have pervaded the plain, The ſhepherds are ſilent around, Neglected each ſweet flowing ſtrain; So deep is the feſtering wound. And muſt I her counſels reſign, The guide and the ſtar of my youth? Muſt friendſhip no longer be mine, Integrity, kindneſs, and truth? Alas! no lov’d ſolace ſuſtains; How deep is the void in my breaſt? This ringlet is all that remains Of what I ſo largely poſſeſs’d! Dear veſtige of pleaſures enjoy’d, By cruelty ſnatch’d from my graſp, By rancour inſatiate deſtroy’d, Tho’ ſtill the ſweet ſhadows I claſp. Memento of friendſhip poſſeſs’d, On nature which bloſſom’d and grew, And deep on my boſom impreſs’d, As innocence tender and true. Although you unconſcious entwine, Yet beauty your texture deſign’d; Sweet relic of charms that were mine, Of elegance bland and refin’d. My penſive regrets you ſhall aid, Companion of every woe, Of ſorrow the taliſman made, While my tears all unceaſing ſhall flow. The 345 Ee5r 345 The reader will indulge his own reflections; and I have choſen this method of making my communications to Clariſſa; as the emotions which ſwell my boſom, when I would attempt to retrace the misfortunes of my injured ſiſter, are too big for utterance. I am, Sir, with due reſpect, and unfeigned wiſhes for your private felicity, and public celebrity, your moſt obedient humble ſervant, Altamont. Letter III. To theGleaner.Courteous Gleaner, If Cordelia will take the trouble to order her ſervant to make the proper inquiries at Mr. Lovegold, the jeweller’s, in Middle-ſtreet, ſhe will find that her ſleeve-buttons are laid up there, for the purpoſe of obtaining the neceſſary repairs. As Cordelia and you ſeem to underſtand one another, I thought beſt to give her this information through the channel of your paper. I am, moſt profound and ſage Sir, the inconſiderate, and timely admoniſhed Henry. Malice doth merit, as its ſhade, purſue.

I could very modeſtly propoſe myſelf as a new proof of the truth of this oft-cited ſentiment, which, if I miſtake not, time and obſervation hath elevated into an approved axiom. I could, I ſay, leaving thoſe who are offended to chew the cud of reſentment, eaſily conſole myſelf, by ſo convenient an appropriation; but I freely confeſs, that I ſet a high value upon the opinion of the world; I mean the worthy part of the world, to be ſure; and that thus ſtimulated, I feel myſelf impelled to make my defence, by producing a ſhort ſketch of my plan of operations.

When I was firſt ſeized with the mania of ſcribbling, I very wiſely endeavoured to combat it by much deliberate conſideration, and many a ſalutary antidote. Wiſdom, attired in the alluring habiliments of tranquillity, and armed with the rhetoric of reaſon, ſagely advanced 346 Ee5v 346 advanced her plea, and with great perſpicuity, and energy of argument, ſhe advocated that kind of ſerenity, which is the accompaniment of the unambitious man; who, gliding down the ſtream of time, inhaleth not the feveriſh gale; but wafted onward by the equal breath of contentment, partakes its mildly influence, and lives but to bleſs the gently undulating zephyr, that is thus ſilently impelling him athwart that ocean, upon which the adventurous voyager is fated to contend with hopes and fears, and with all thoſe tumultuous winds of paſſion, which frequently involving him in a fearful hurricane, fail not to wreck his peace, whelming beneath their tremendous waves the brighteſt moments of his exiſtence! Wiſdom pointed out the wretched ſtate of inquietude, anxiety, nightly watchings, and daily fatigues, to which that unhappy and miſguided wight is condemned, who, betrayed by an ignis fatuus, is allured from the humble vale of ſoft and ſilent repoſe; from the calm poſſeſſion of each ſocial and domeſtic enjoyment, to encounter the various ills attendant upon a purſuit of artifical good. Wiſdom enumerated a hoſt of weary toils, of woe-begone regrets, of unrecompenſed deeds of worth, of thankleſs achievements, and of barbed diſappointments; and ſhe painted in glowing colours the ingratitude of that world to which I would madly devote thoſe hours, that might otherwiſe revolve, marked by the moſt refined, rational and exquiſite ſatisfaction.

Wiſdom delineated the thorny circles which begirt the hill of fame; ſhe bid me haſte from the magic of her voice, from the mad contagion of her votaries; and, ſheltering in the ſweet and flowery walks of humility, ſhe conjured me to emboſom my aſpiring views in the deepeſt receſſes of my native ſhades; and, that ſhe might forever daſh my proud pretenſions, and invigorate that deſpair, which, with icy graſp, and torpid influence, hovered round my ſteps, ſhe repreſented in forms tremendouſly terrific, thoſe deadly fiends, that with ghaſtly features, and unrelenting rigour, eternally guard the glittering domes of fame. Envy, with ſnaky locks, empoiſoned veins, and peſtilential breath —Malice, 347 Ee6r 347 —Malice, with tongue envenomed, armed with ten thouſand ſhafts of inſtant death, and ſmiling at deſtruction—Pale diſappointment, marked by ſorrow’s train, with ſad and ſolemn ſtep, heaving corroding ſighs, quaffing her copious tears, and in deſpondence garbed —and, laſt of all, deep ſhame, with face averted, eyes withdrawn, and red conſuming anguiſh, confeſſed thy power, heart appalling, ſpirit wounding, ſoul abaſhing ſcorn. Afflicting ridicule—ſatires dread ſting—the critic’s whip, which hiſſed along the air—with every plague which a poor author ever knew—theſe Wiſdom ſummoned, and in fearful order the direful phalanx ſtood.

Yet my aſpiring mind, ſteeled for the conflict, all in armour clad, and ſhielded by temerity—aſſuming reſolution, and armed by pertinacity, preſumed with daring ſteps, and enterprizing raſhneſs, to penetrate the embodied oppoſition, and Reaſon plead in vain. Headlong ambition, all precepts notwithſtanding, continued inflexibly perſevering, and triumphed in the conflict. Ambition ſelected its ornaments, and it wore on its left breaſt, cloſe to the heart, a bouquet, whoſe perfumed buds were, with intrepid daring, ſnatched from the ſtock of ever blooming hope. In this it prided much, and fondly fancied that ſome future day, bedecked with ſunny beams, would give the deathleſs flowrets to enwreath its time diſtinguiſhed, time adorned brow. Thus breathing mid ſuch odoriferous airs; incenſe ſo ſweet inhaling, intoxicated reaſon, treading enchanted ground, by magic ſpells enfolded, and wrapped in gay deluſion, its firmneſs loſt—Ambition ſeized the reins—the die was caſt—and helter-ſkelter round the world we drove.

But, ſeriouſly, although thus raſhly embarked, judgment occaſionally officiates; and while temerity ſets at the helm, ſhe often, matron like, interpoſes her cautionary directions, and to be duly influenced by her counſels, is a prime object, even in the arrangements of ambition.

There is hardly any thing I have ſo much feared, as the ſands of oblivion; and that I might produce a ſtream of ſufficient depth to fleet my little ſkiff, my faculties, 348 Ee6v 348 faculties, diligently exerciſed, have been almoſt conſtantly employed. Mankind have generally furniſhed my reſervoir; and I have ſet in the circles which I frequent, induſtriouſly improving a hint, marking the ſentiment of worth, catching every unwrought gem, and eagerly availing myſelf of thoſe circumſtances, which I conceived I might honeſtly appropriate. Names I have been careful to conceal; and ſtudiouſly embeliſhing events, and qualifying them to convey amuſement, information, or even inſtruction, I have produced them as candidates for the attention of a vacant moment. Thus occupied, it will ceaſe to be matter of ſurpriſe, that I have treaſured even the whiſpers of converſation; my ear is conſtantly on duty, and it hath proved to me a truly faithful ſcout. Collected in myſelf, I am often regarded as a mute in ſociety; but I am careful to hoard every remark, and bearing the multifarious burden to my working hive, it undergoeth a chymical proceſs; and, after receiving in my pericranium the deſtined form, it is with all due humility ſubmitted to public obſervation.

Thus Eugenio, if he will give his candour full play, may perceive, that without being the favourite confidante, of all the young, handſome married women of my acquaintance, I may, the loquacity of the ſex conſidered, legally become poſſeſſed of ſecrets, which are whiſpered to ſelect friends, which are gathered from myſterious words, and which ſometimes reſult from thoſe expreſſive looks, in which the female world are ſuch proficients, and which they ſo well know when to aſſume. On the whole, while I have generally aimed at utility, I have ſtudiouſly endeavoured to avoid all occaſion of offence; but if my honeſt intentions have not been crowned with ſucceſs, as it is impoſſible to recal the paſt, I can only aſſure Eugenio, and every reader of his deſcription, that I will be indefatigably induſtrious to render my future numbers leſs exceptionable.

End of Volume First.

1 A1r

The
Gleaner.

A
Miscellaneous Production.
in Three Volumes.

By Constantia .

Slow to condemn, and ſeeking to commend, Good ſenſe will with deliberation ſcan; To trivial faults unwilling to deſcend, If Virtue gave, and form’d the general plan.

Vol. II.

Publiſhed according to Act of Congreſs.

Printed at Boston,
By I. Thomas and E. T. Andrews,
Faust’s Statue, No. 45, Newbury-Street. 1798-02Feb. 1798.

2 A1v 3 A2r
The 5 B1r

The Gleaner.

No. XXXV.

Wiſdom with careful hand her flow’rets ſtrews, Knowledge in its perſuaſive charms ſhe ſhews; She tempts the voyager o’er the deſtin’d way, And wins him by indulgence to obey. Blows, in her ſyſtem, ſeldom find a place, True worth is not the offspring of diſgrace; The flexile plant bends to the vernal gale, While in the blaſt, its leaves and bloſſoms fail.

Take away this child, ſaid the late benevolent Dr. Cooper, while ſeated with the celebrated Dr. Franklin, in a little retired breakfaſting parlour—Take away this child—her queſtions interrupt our converſation, and are an impertinent intruſion upon the enjoyments of an hour, devoted to an entertainment of the higheſt kind. Nay, nay, cried the philoſopher— let her ſtay, let her ſtay; ſhe is a ſtranger in our world, and ſhe has a right to make her inquiries relative to the manners and cuſtoms of the people, among whom, the probability is, ſhe has many years to ſojourn.

Men and women are too haughty, and form too elevated conceptions of the diſtance between them and the little race of mortals who are, for a ſeaſon, their dependants. There is a freedom of acceſs, and a chaſtized familiarity, which is very compatible with a due ſpirit of government; but mild dignity is an aſſociation too little known, and too rarely exemplified in the prefent order of things.

The truſt repoſed in parents and preceptors, is indeed important; the character of the riſing generation Vol. II. B is 6 B1v 6 is in their gift, and the peace or anarchy of ſociety muſt reſult from them. When we conſider how few parents are endowed by nature, or qualified by improvement, for the judicious diſcharge of duties ſo eſſential, we are almoſt ready to give our voice in favour of that plan, which, in a certain celebrated community, placed their youth under the tutelage of the State, commiting their education to perſons deliberately choſen, and properly qualified for their high office. Yet, againſt this arrangement, the authority derived from the Father of the univerſe, forcibly pleads! The feelings of the parent indignantly revolt; and my right to direct my own child, is, in my own eſtimation, unqueſtionable. Well then, there remains but one remedy— Let the cultivation of the minds of the man and woman, in miniature, be of that deſcription which will, in future, enable them to aſſume with advantage, the guardianſhip of their deſcendants.

Much, in this momentous department, depends on female adminiſtration; and the mother, or the woman to whom ſhe may delegate her office, will imprint on the opening mind, characters, ideas and concluſions, which time, in all its variety of viciſſitudes, will never be able to eraſe.

Surely then, it is politic to beſtow upon the education of girls the moſt exact attention: Let them be able to converſe correctly and elegantly, (in their native ſtrains) with the children they may uſher into being; and, ſince the pronunciation is beſt fixed in the early part of life, let them be qualified to give the little proficients a pleaſing impreſſion of the French language; nor, it is conceived, ought it to be conſidered as unſexual, if they were capacitated to render the rudiments of the Latin tongue familiar. An acquaintace with hiſtory would capacitate mothers to ſelect their nurſery tales from thoſe tranſactions which have actually taken place upon our globe, and thus uſeful knowledge would ſuperſede fairy legendary witches, and hob-goblins, Geography alſo might be introduced, and the little prattlers, by information that the great globe whereon they 7 B2r 7 they move, has received the form of that orange which ſo pleaſingly regales their palate, would, ere they were aware, be uſhered to the avenues of inſtruction. Aſstronomy too may lend its aid; the blazing fire may repreſent the ſun, and the little bird revolving to its flame, on which they ſo impatiently wait to feaſt, under the direction of the well informed and judicious tutoreſs, may gradually account for light and heat, the grateful viciſſitudes of night and day, with the alternate ſucceſſion of the ſeaſons; and thus would the taſk of the future preceptor be rendered eaſy, a thirſt for knowledge created, and the threſhold of wiſdom ſtrewed with flowers.

But children commonly paſs from the hands of their parents to that of their tutors at a very early period; and was I inveſted with the powers of legiſlation, or was the gift of conferring honours mine, there is no order of citizens which I would ſo liberally endow, and raiſe to ſuch diſtinction, as thoſe individuals who devote themſelves to the education of youth. But then they ſhould be perſons unqueſtionably qualified for their office, and entitled beyond all controverſy to the approbation of their country. Arduous is the undertaking—the firſt abilities are requiſite—and it is impoſſible to rate too high the worth of thoſe who are thus ſuitably accompliſhed. Permit me, reader, to ſketch the outlines of the character of a Preceptor whom I ſhould delight to honour. Imagination this moment preſents him—he blends exquiſite ſenſibility with uniform patience—he is remarkably enduring—never haſty or impetuous—calmly deliberate in all his movements— carefully inveſtigating, nor ever inflicting puniſhments, but ſuch as both in quantity and quality are righteouſly due. He poſſeſſeth extenſive knowledge of the ſcience or ſciences which he teaches—he is free from every external blemiſh, and remarkable for no unfortunate ſingularity—his manners are elegant, and in the beſt ſenſe of the word deſcriptive of the gentleman. He is celebrated for benevolence—he is an indiſputable philanthropiſt—he poſſeſſeth the happypy B2v 8 py ſecret of aſſimilating dignity and condeſcenſion— his inborn integrity is undoubted, and he is maſter of ſufficient addreſs to obtain an entire aſcendency over the minds of his pupils—a ſtranger to prejudice, he is, ſtrictly ſpeaking, impartial—and, to ſay all in one word, he embodies every virtue of which humanity is ſuſceptible: Nor is the ſketch too highly wrought, for it is aſſuredly true, that to accommodate the mind to the various diſpoſitions to be found in a large ſchool, and ſo to underſtand the intellectual arrangement of each individual as to be capable of rendering him the important ſervices, which are neceſſary, muſt indiſputably require every excellence, and the utmoſt perfection of our nature.

The auſtere man can never be ſucceſsful; he will baniſh ſmiles from the face of that ſeaſon which is made for joy; and if the ſtudent is not uncommonly endowed by nature, he will create in him an averſion to his book. Severity will always operate upon the opening mind, like the chilling blaſts of winter upon the tender plant; it droops its blighted head, its powers are rendered torpid, its ſtrength is proſtrated, and it is well, if the progreſsing principle (if I may ſo expreſs myſelf) which is at preſent latent, doth not become wholly extinct. Blows are the moſt eaſy expedient, and are, perhaps for that reaſon, too often reſorted too—the caſtigation of the boy, frequently gratifies the paſſions of the maſter, and he is ſometimes vindictive and inhuman in his puniſhments. If the giving a wrong ſound to a letter, or forgetting a ſentence, is to be marked by blows—what reſource, permit me to aſk, has the Preceptor in the event of capital crimes? A man who is himſelf free from error, or, which will have the ſame effect upon his pupils, who is ſtudious to conceal his foibles from their knowledge, who is ſolicitous to attach them to his perſon, and who carefully impreſſes an idea of his own affection toward them, who labours to obtain their confidence, and makes free uſe of that noble incentive, Praiſe—ſuch a man will ſeldom, I imagine, find it neceſſary to have recourſe to ſeverity; and 9 B3r 9 and it is inconteſtibly true, that puniſhments, eſpecial-; ly blows, ſhould be repeated as ſeldom as poſſible; for aſſuredly, nothing can be obtained by rendering the little offender callous, familiarizing him to diſgrace, or baniſhing from his boſom the hope of unblemiſhed reputation. The firſt offences of children, whatever may be their nature, ſhould invariably be conſidered as venial; and it would be always right, if practicable, to convict them without a witneſs—we cannot be too ſolicitious to ſpare them the firſt bluſh of guilt; the ſecond will not be ſo deep, and they will too ſoon leap the boundaries of innocence. I would affect to ſuppoſe them incapable of the turpitude of a criminal action; and I would conſtantly repeat, while there remained the leaſt ſhadow of probability for ſuch an avowal, that I was confident they would never debaſe themſelves by the infamy of deliberate vice; thus, it is poſſible, that the fear of forfeiting our ſuppoſed good opinion would engage them ſilently to tread back the path they have reprehenſibly entered.

I remember, ſome time ſince, being greatly ſhocked at receiving an account of an arrangement (which I would fain hope is ſingular) in a certain ſchool of ſome celebrity, ſituated in one of our ſea-ports not far diſtant from the metropolis. Rewards are offered, and every method taken to prove a crime—ſay, for example, a falſehood. While the child, in all the ſimplicity of infantile confidence, remains unconſcious of the conſpiracy formed againſt him! Irrefragable conviction is at length obtained, and the culpril is immediately proclaimed throughout the ſchool—he is entered upon the lying liſt, and takes his feat upon a range which produces him a proper ſubject for the ill-natured ridicule of the whole flock. Nor is this enough—his name is written in capitals with the ignominious term, Liar, at the end of it. The defamatory ſentence is poſted up in ſome conſpicuous place, for the inſpection, not only of the children, but of every individual who may happen to viſit the ſchool; and this mark of infamy once affixed, is not taken down as long as the aggreſſor continues a ſtudent in this ſeminary!!! My face B2 glows 10 B3v 10 glows with indignation, while penning this relation. What has the little wretch to hope for under ſuch tuition; after ſuch a procedure, (labouring under the weight of a moſt opprobrious verdict, and the victim of unwarrantable ſeverity) where will he find ſpirits to purſue, with the requiſite alacrity, his appointed ſtudies? Or how can he advantageouſly receive leſſons from the mouth of him, who has thus unmercifully bliſtered his reputation? Are not the ill effects of this arrangement both upon the ſchool in general, and the offender in particular, ſufficiently obvious? Is not undue degradation, envy, rancour, implacability, everlaſting diſgrace, and conſequent deſpair, thus ſyſtematized, and embattled againſt that order, harmony, and improvement, which would inevitably reſult from the adoption of a mild ſpirit of government? Gracious God!—but let me exerciſe the patience that I would recommend as the uniform companion and boſom friend of the preceptor, and of which a view of the ſituation to which the foregoing diſcipline, or, more properly ſpeaking, infamous tyranny, muſt reduce the offending ſtudent, had well near deprived me—and let me, with all due deference to the general merit, and ſuperior abilities of the gentleman, who will feel himſelf intereſted in this repreſentation, calmly aſk, would it not be more judicious to aim at acting the part of an inviſible ſpy, continuing a ſilent obſerver of every action until the tranſgreſſion is evident or ſtrongly ſuſpected, and even then would it not be well to follow the offender by private admonitions—to addreſs his reaſon; to enliſt his affections; to delineate in forcible language his error, and energetically to deſcribe the tremendous conſequences of an obſtinate adherence to guilty purſuits? Public ſhame, in the receſs of a private interview, might be flaſhed in his face; probably he would ſhrink from its horrors, and the hope of eſcaping ſo indelible an evil—might enſure his dereliction of vice.

Many of my readers will recollect the method purſued by Ganganell, when an inferior Eccleſiaſtic, for the 11 B4r 11 the recovery of a beloved and notorious offender; and all who do, will not fail to applaud. It is, however, a melancholy truth, that theſe mild efforts will not always procure a reformation. But ſurely, previous to a publication of diſgrace, a conſultation of parents or guardians ſhould be obtained; and as thoſe deeply intereſted characters ought invariably to coaleſce with the preceptors in whom they confide, no important ſtep ſhould be taken, without their knowledge and approbation. I am aware that this precludes the idea of ſecrecy in regard to ſchool diſcipline; and I muſt confeſs, that I ſeriouſly wiſh the telling tales out of ſchool, was no longer held up as a bug-bear to children, and that the terror it has ſo long excited, was entirely aboliſhed. Rectitude ſubmitteth its adminiſtration to the ſtricteſt ſcrutiny; the more it is known, the more it is admired; and the arrangements of equity ſoliciteth inquiry.

The magnitude of my ſubject, bars the ſuppoſition that it can be too warmly expatiated upon. Children, I inſiſt, ſhould be brought forward with gentleneſs. The wiſe king of Iſrael was not always wiſe; and when he is found ſo petulantly exclaiming, Spare the rod and ſpoil the child, the probability is, that, crowded upon by the ill-regulated offspring of his illicit and multifarious amours, he had loſt that balance of equanimity, which is ſo proper to the philoſopher. The tutor ſhould never be permitted to act the part of a deſpot; he ſhould ever be free of acceſs, and while he uniformly preſerves a mild ſpirit of government, the pupil, under proper regulations, ſhould be permitted a ſufficient latitude of inquiry.

Every anxious parent experiences the difficulty of obtaining a preceptor, to whom he can confide the care of his children. But if the emoluments of the office were proportioned to the ſolicitude and importance of the undertaking, if it was more honorary, and if there were greater diſtinctions annexed thereto, an adequate number of candidates, of meritorious candidates, would preſent. Countleſs advantages would accrue 12 B4v 12 accrue to families, and conſequences the moſt beneficial, would reſult to the community at large.

The ancients, we are told, formed ſuch juſt ideas of the nature and momentous conſequences of education, as to eſteem the cultivation of the minds of their young people among their moſt dignified offices; and perſons of the firſt conſideration, poſſeſſing affluence, and obtaining general confidence, engaged in the arduous taſk, delighting to employ themſelves in ſhaping the principles, and pointing the views, of thoſe who were to ſucceed them in the great drama of life. And was not this perfectly right? The good preceptor is of courſe ennobled; and no juſt reaſon can be given why he ſhould not take rank in the higheſt grade of the community. For my own part, I again repeat, that deliberate reflection upon the nature of his duties, and the magnitude of thoſe effects which frequently depend upon his regency, has conſtrained me to regard him as more conſequential, and of higher importance, than even the authority which is conſtituted ſupreme in any country; nay, further, that ſchool dame, reduced by adverſe circumſtances to confer the rudiments of inſtruction, and to call into action the latent ſeeds of worth, is of more value (ſuppoſing ſhe judiciouſly and faithfully performs the truſt repoſed in her) in the great ſcale of excellence, than ſhe, who, from conſiderations of wealth or beauty, receives the adulation of gathering crowds. This is an obvious truth, inaſmuch as it is the exertions of the tutoreſs, ſucceeded by the more extenſive operations of the preceptor, that will render eaſy the ſeat of the magiſtrate, and ſupercede the neceſſity of coercive interpoſition, giving univerſal order to take place, as naturally as the hours ſucceed each other, or as the bleſſings of light proceed from the orb of day. From whence is derived the felicity of families? Undoubtedly from a due regulation of the individuals of which they are compoſed, and particularly from a proper arrangement of the young people who conſtitute ſuch important parts thereof. From what ſource reſults the well-being of the great body 13 B5r 13 body of the people? Indiſputably from the information, correct movements, and order of its members. And is not the due qualification of teachers, and the faithful diſcharge of the duties of their office, the broad and ſolid baſis, on which is erected the ſuperſtructure of whatſoever is neceſſary in the economy of private life, public uſefulneſs, or general celebrity? I ſay then, if theſe things are true, let us encourage by every means the worthy preceptor; let us cheriſh him as the origin of virtue; and while we diſcountenance every veſtige of tyranny, let us firmly reſolve to ſtrengthen the hands of thoſe, to whom we have deliberately confided the care of our children.

No. XXXVI.

My ſon muſt ſtudy—Learning is a prize Her ample ſtores the mental fund ſupplies— And firſt a parent language he muſt trace, Its ſubtleties, its value, and its grace: The various parts of ſpeech diſſect, combine, And in their ranks the govern’d words confine: Thus the foundation takes its proper place, Emboſom’d ſcience riſing on its baſe.

Good Mr. Gleaner, ſaid a rural friend of mine, I think you loſe ground by the prolixity of your numbers; and, to ſay truth, you often remind me of Farmer Straggleford, who whimſically erected a number of huge enormous granaries, which, when completed, remained monuments of his oſtentation, for having rendered himſelf, by his prodigious exertions, and the extenſiveneſs of his plans, an inſolvent debtor; his buildings, of courſe, contain nothing of value, indeed they are nearly unoccupied, and he is regarded as a poor bankrupt, who has been the fabricator of his own conſpicuous inſignificancy. Now, had neighbour Straggleford contented himſelf with a ſnug little barn, he might have kept his grounds, and, ſtoring it every year with the ripened produce of the ſeaſon, he might— Say 14 B5v 14 Say no more, Brother Thrifty, cried I—ſay no more; I perfectly underſtand you, although it muſt be confeſſed your illuſtration is rather far fetched; yet, truſt me, it ſhall be my endeavour in future to circumſcribe, as much as poſſible, my excurſive rambles; and agreeable to this determination I abridge a number of ſheets, that I had entitled an eſsay on education, confining myſelf to a few obſervations, which I moſt unfeignedly wiſh may be duly conſidered.

The queſtion whether private or public education is of the moſt general utility, has agitated the minds, and employed the pens, of many ingenious writers; but the ſubject, as far as I am informed, ſtill remains problematical; nor ſhall I arrogantly pretend to decide where thoſe Doctors of literature ſo widely diſagree. Yet the Gleaner, without incurring the charge of temerity, may perhaps be permitted to aſk whether it would not be wiſdom to defer the choice of public or private tuition, until the diſpoſition of the child is aſcertained? The modeſt, diffident mind, may ſtand in need of all thoſe ſtimulatives that are in the gift of a large ſchool. Retiring efforts are often rouſed to action by emulation; and that fame which a conſpicuous ſituation frequently confers, may at once allure, and give a motive to ambition. There are minds, peculiarly attuned to all the ſenſibilities, which are at once the cement, the ornament, and the ſource of thoſe gentler virtues that connect, that meliorate, and that actuate beings who combine, and who are formed to cultivate the endearing charities, the elegancies, and the bleſſings of ſocial life. To accommodate an intellect of this deſcription to the multifarious and frequently diſcordant ſcenes that are to be encountered in a world, where ill-judged aſperities too often wound the exquiſitely delicate feelings of ſuſceptibility, a various and extensive intercourſe with mankind may be neceſſary. But the boy, whoſe bold aſpiring temper precipitates him upon an undue aſſumption of importance, who ſuddenly ruſhes forward to thoſe diſtictions, which are only proper to maturity; such a boy, methinks, should receive 15 B6r 15 receive the checks of retirement; ſhould be formed to knowlege and to virtue, amid the ſhades of ſequeſtered life; care being taken to furniſh him with thoſe views, which may gradually accuſtom him to a proper eſtimation of himſelf.

My wiſhes, relative to the inſtruction of young people, compriſe every thing which can be conſidered as uſeful or ornamental; but I am eſpecially ſolicitious, that they ſhould be made critically acquainted with that language, in which they are deſtined to converse, tranſact buſineſs, and adjuſt their pleaſurable purſuits. Some of my acquaintace have made greater proficiency in many branches of ſtudy, than in their mother tongue; and I know perſons who can paſs rapidly through a Latin author, who cannot eaſily trace the lineage or deſcription of the ſeveral parts of ſpeech in their native Engliſh; who cannot readily decline a noun; who heſitate with reſpect to the caſes nominative, poſſeſſive, and objective; and who are at a loſs to follow the verb through number, perſon, mood, and tenſe.

Latidius ſhould be a good Latin ſcholar; he has recieved the honours of a univerſity; and yet it is a fact, that Latidius cannot write a billet, in which an Engliſh grammarian will not be able to point out, I had almoſt ſaid, as many errors as there are lines! Is Latidius cenſurable for his deficiency? Perhaps he is much leſs ſo than thoſe who had the direction of his education. Great care was taken to uſher him into the world, perfectly accompliſhed in every requiſite except his vernacular tongue; but, while engaged in the ſtudy of the dead languages, he was never taught a due deference for, or proper eſtimation of, his own.

I ſshould not be ſatisfied, if my ſons and daughters did not ſpeak, read, and write Engliſh, grammatically, critically, and even elegantly. Perhaps the accurate obſerver may, at this moment, ſhrewdly remark—Surely, he who takes upon himſelf the character of Dictator, or arrogantly aſſumes the ſeat of the Cenſor, ought to be perfectly free from the errors which he condemns. This is assuredly 16 B6v 16 aſſuredly true; and, to the well-meaning and candid objector, I calmly anſwer—I have no where propoſed myſelf as a model: It may be, that I am experimentally qualified to deſcant upon the diſadvantages attendant upon early inattention. For aught thou knoweſt, the Gleaner may have been doomed to the toilſome drudgery of gleaning his information, when years, diminiſhing the flexibility of the mental faculties, have rendered it difficult for them to receive impreſſions; and, if I am thus circumſtanced, I may be allowed to delineate the inconveniences of, and energetically to lament a deficiency from which I ſo eſſentially ſuffer. Admitting, I ſay, this to be the caſe, I may, with the ſtricteſt propriety and the utmoſt conſiſtency, proceed to point out the ſhoals which too often impede, and frequently wholly arreſt my progreſs.

One thing is certain; for the riſing generation, the devout oriſons of my ſpirit are daily breathed. I have written primarily for my amuſement—Truth is my pole ſstar—I would contribute my mite to benefit my fellowmortals—I have not deſigned ill—and, if I err, I humbly entreat thoſe who confer on my pages the honour of a peruſal, to impute my errors rather to my head than to my heart.

The modern literati are generally ſufficiently liberal in the eulogies which they beſtow on the ancients; and, as imitation is commonly the offspring of admiration, is it not wonderful, they do not more frequently tread in their ſteps? Neither the Greeks nor the Romans incumbered themſelves with a variety of tongues; their own language always obtained a juſt pre-eminence, and never failed of engaging their earlieſt and moſt unremitted application. The reſult was, natural children were qualified to converſe, and to expreſs themſelves on paper, with elegance and accuracy; they were initiated, in the morning of their days, into an acquaintance with all the varieties of grammar; they could delineate the ſeveral parts of speech; the intricacies of their language were rendered familiar to their underſtandings; they were capable of determining its compaſs,paſs 17 C1r 17 paſs, and of analyzing every ſentence; they could, with the greateſt preciſion, reſolve each component word, placing it under its original head or deſcription; And hence, it is ſaid, (and the conjecture is founded in reaſon) proceeded thoſe works of educated genius, which have ſtood the teſt of time, extorting a tribute of applauſe from every ſucceeding generation.

If I miſtake not, (and upon this occaſion I do what I ſeldom do—truſt to the tenacity of my memory) there were periods, when the Romans, meaſuring the importance of their language by the dignity of their national character, diſdained the ſtudy even of the Greek tongue. Victors are fond of impoſing their laws, their cuſtoms, and their language; and the univerſal prevalence of any particular mode of ſpeech, would be one ſtep toward the introduction of univerſal dominion. National attachment ſhould, therefore, dictate the ſtudious cultivation of a national language; and it may be worthy the exertions of an enlightened legiſlature, to erect a ſtandard, to raiſe, to dignify, to perfect, and to poliſh a common tongue.

Is the ſtudent deſigned for the profeſſion of any particular art or ſcience, a vernacular language muſt be the vehicle of his ideas. Gentlemen at the bar deliver their harangues in their mother tongue; in native ſtrains they addreſs the impannelled jury, and juſtice frequently hangs upon their forcible, intelligent, and well conſtructed periods. The ſacred Orator addreſſes his liſtening audience in familiar accents. The Repreſentatives of our free, ſovereign and independent States—Senators enrobed with power—Chief Juſtices delivering their ſolemn charges—and our auguſt Preſident, the Patriot Washington, inveſted with all that authority which virtuous liberty can confer, with every intervening grade—are all found delivering their ſentiments, and arreſting attention, in the well known ſounds which deſignate the Engliſh tongue.

Letters are indiſputably the elements of language; and the due arrangement, and fit conſtruction of thoſe words which they compoſe, is the broad baſis on which Vol. II. C towers 18 C1v 18 towers the arts and ſciences, forming, in their ſeveral orders, a ſuperſtructure replete with elegance, beauty and uſefulneſs. It is from this ſource that the orator muſt draw his materials; poets too ſubmit to its admeaſurement; and the grave hiſtorian muſt be tried by its rules. Indeed, an early acquaintance with the nature, conſtruction and latitude of a vernacular language, is of ſuch importance to every claſs of people, that is is wonderful there ſhould be found parents and preceptors who can preſerve their equanimity, while conſcious that thoſe committed to their charge are, in this truly eſſential part of education, almoſt totally neglected.

The train of reflections introduced by my ſubject, at this moment preſents to my mind a perſon, who is now ſuffering much from this unnatural omiſſion; and, as examples often enforce conviction more effectually than general remarks, I preſent him by way of illuſtration.

Leontius, born in the midſt of affluence, was nurſed in the lap of plenty; and being the only ſon of deſerving parents, who were generally judicious in their arrangements, his education was regarded as a matter of the greateſt moment. No expenſe was ſpared; and his preceptors were rewarded for their exertions not only with a liberal, but with a laviſh hand. He had hardly completed his ſixth year, when it was judged neceſſary he ſhould commence his ſtudies of the Latin tongue; and from that moment, hurried on from one ſtage of erudition to another, no portion of time was found to attend to his progreſs in that language, from which he was in a great meaſure to derive his future reſpectability. It was abſurdly ſuppoſed, (if indeed it ever obtained a place in the reflections of either parents or tutor) that Engliſh would be a matter of courſe; and thus the boy was left to form unto himſelf a ſtyle, juſt as whim or caprice might direct. For a place at a celebrated ſeminary he was early preſented a candidate; his acceptation was full and honorary— he paſſed through the univerſity, attending the accuſtomedtomed 19 C2r 19 tomed routine of inſtruction, and, enriched with academical applauſe, he received his firſt degree. Thus endowed, he made his entrée upon ſociety, better qualified to figure in any walk than as an Engliſh ſcholar. Without arrogating the gift of prophecy, it was eaſy to predict an event, which was preciſely that which reaſon would have calculated. Awkward and untaught, his education had in effect produced him a ſtranger to thoſe ſcenes in which he was hourly called upon to take a part. If he aſſayed the, to him, arduous taſk of entertaining his friends with an Engliſh book, falſe pronunciation, emphaſis, and accent, were viſible in every paragraph; comma’s aſſumed the diſtinction of full ſtops, while the finely turned period loſt all its beauty: Colons, ſemicolons, notes of interrogation and admiration, theſe were all promiſcuouſly huddled together; and while by one continued monotony of ſound, ideas were jumbled, and the auditory nerve diſguſted, it was in vain that his hearers fatigued themſelves by an expectation of the ſentiment of an author. Harmonious accents, delicate inflexions of voice, and that animation, or energetic propriety, which is the vehicle of intelligence—of theſe he had no idea; he ſeemed in effect the determined foe of good reading, and he ought to have been arraigned as the murderer of ſenſe. Candour would, however, have appeared as his advocate; and ſhe might truly have ſpecified, that ſuch erroneous concluſions had obtained in his boſom, as taught him to regard every thing merely Engliſh with a ſenſation bordering upon contempt; and, ſhe would have added, that he had been unavoidably precipitated upon theſe concluſions, by the total ſilence of his preceptors. As a writer, too, Leontius is highly deficient; and a girl who is dependent upon her needle for her ſupport, ſuppoſing ſhe has been properly educated, ought to bluſh if ſhe could not ſurpaſs him in the correctneſs of her epiſtolary productions.

Yet it was expected that our young gentleman would attain eminence, deſerve well of his country, and make his way to popularity among a race of beings who ſpoke, 20 C2v 20 ſpoke, wrote, declaimed, and tranſacted their commercial concerns, altogether in Engliſh. Leontius was bred to no buſineſs; he was, as has been intimated, born to high pecuniary expectations, and it was preſumed that his natural and acquired abilities would raiſe him to diſtinction. His exterior is dignified and prepoſſeſſing; and, notwithſtanding his deficiencies as an Engliſh ſcholar, high ideas of his literature are entertained. He early wedded the diſcreet and beautiful Henrietta, and ſoon became the father of a family; his parents and the friends of his youth have ſunk into the grave, and misfortunes have robbed him of that patrimony, which, in the warmth of a youthful imagination, he had calculated as exhauſtleſs.

For Leontius what now remains? Education hath unfitted him for the preceptor of his own children— he is unqualified for every thing that is ſimply Engliſh; and while nature has endowed him with abilites which might capacitate him to become the bard, the eſſayiſt, or even the hiſtorian of his country, education interpoſes its effectual barriers.

The want of an early and critical knowlege of a vernacular tongue, is deeply felt by a writer; and employment, which might otherwiſe be advantageous and pleaſing, becomes real drudgery, and the experience of perſons thus circumſtanced, will oblige them to confeſs that it is ſomething late to begin the ſtudy of a language, after the age of adoleſcence hath paſſed away.

Neceſſity, however, hath called into action the faculties of Leontius; ſome beautiful eſſays, with infinite labour, he hath completed; but he bluſhes at every line, leſt the critic ſhould detect him in doing violence to the ſubtleties of grammar; and each revolving day witneſſes his lamentations that he was not early taught his mother tongue.

I condemn not the extenſive ſtudies in which our youth are engaged—far from it—French, Latin, Italian, and whatever elſe the underſtanding can attain, theſe are all little enough; but while my mind continues under the dominion of reaſon, I ſhall ever contend for a decidedcided 21 C3r 21 cided preference as indiſputably due to the mother tongue; and under this perſuaſion the neceſſity of entreating parents, guardians and preceptors of every deſcription, continually to bear in mind what country is deſtined the theatre of action to thoſe committed to their care, becomes apparent.

The Engliſh language is by inheritance ours. It is that in which we firſt breathe forth our filial gratitude; in thoſe ſentences which it compriſes, we manifeſt our family attachments—expreſs our amities—ſhape our devotional orifons—tranſact buſineſs—form the moſt tender of all ties—addreſs an infant family—faſhion the lives and manners of that family—and, finally, embody that laſt ſolemn adieu, which is to precede our exit from the preſent to a higher order of exiſtence.

The advantage of acquitting ourſelves, on theſe occaſions, with propriety, muſt be obvious to every thinking mind; and the Gleaner imagines he can hardly be too importunate on a ſubject of ſuch magnitude.

No. XXXVII.

At length to correſponding friends we turn—

It is with ſuperior pleaſure, I appropriate this Gleaner to the performance of my promiſe, of long ſtanding, made to my ſeveral correſpondents. Having arranged in order ſuch of their letters as are admiſſible, I proceed to publiſh them, exactly according to their dates; preſuming that the reaſon heretofore urged, will apologize for a delay which has in truth been occaſioned by a multiplicity of avocations. They follow verbatim, as they came to hand.

To the Gleaner. . Kind Sir, As Miſs Melworth, now Miſtreſs Hamilton, was unfortunately engaged previous to my application to C2you;22C3v22 you; as my plans are all under the direction of prudence, and as I ſuppoſe you have ſome influence over her ſiſter, Miſs Clifford, if you can inſure me, that ſhe will not be ſo fooliſhly conſcientious as to hold herſelf bound by a ſort of a promiſe made to the boy William, who, it appears, is now in comfortable circumſtances; and you muſt recollect, Mr. Vigillius, that you became a ſort of a ſurety for the girl; theſe are your words, which I ſhall tranſcribe juſt as they ſtand in your twenty-eighth number. Fear not, gentle reader—by virtue of the patriarchal dignity which I have aſſumed, I will, upon a proper occaſion, grant unto the ſaid Serafina Clifford, a full and free abſolution from this her inconſiderate vow, which I ſhall take care to impute to the irreſiſtable influence of an impaſſioned moment. Now I ſay, Mr. Vigillius, if you do in reality poſſeſs ſuch a power, and if you will abſolutely and bona fide clear Miſs Clifford, and the heirs lawfully born of her body, from all claims whatſoever, which the Hamiltons may, on any future emergency, find it convenient to lay to her eſtate, I will paſs over the queer manner of her birth, and the odd way in which her true father contrived to ſmuggle her into his family, and ſhe ſhall forthwith become my true and lawful wife until death. You know, friend Vigillius, there are ſome men of not half my property, who would be more ſqueamiſh; but ſo that I do but ſecure the main chance, I will not loſe a bargain, although its inſtrument may not chance to be ſtampt with other people’s ideas of legitimacy, and all that. To ſay truth, I think I cannot do better than to enter into your family; and, as you ſeem to have ſo much authority over Miſs Clifford, (and ſhe is now, by all acount, the ſiſter-in-law of Mrs. Hamilton) I conſider her all one as a girl of yours; and being more and more determined to marry, I am in downright earneſt in this buſineſs. I have lately loſt a ſiſter, who, though ſhe was what is commonly called an old maid, was nevertheleſs a very good houſe-wife, and managed my matters to a fraction; nothing was loſt, and every penny was diſpoſed of 23 C4r 23 of to the beſt advantage; and yet, Mr. Gleaner, ſhe ſtood me in no more, take one year with another, excluſive of her board, (and, by the way, ſhe would live upon next to nothing) than fifteen pounds per year. Was I to take a houſe-keeper, who would not conſider my intereſt as her own, ſhe might waſte a great deal, and in the long run ſpend much more than a good, ſober, diſcreet wife, while I ſhould have not one of the comforts of matrimony. I know, Mr. Gleaner, that you are fond of ſaving, and that you calculate theſe things; and I therefore take it for certain, that you will think with me. It is true, I have a number of other ſiſters—ay, and brothers too, for there are a pretty many of us; the Plodders are a numerous family; but what of all that? they are every mother’s ſon of them married and ſettled; and, having all of them children, ſome of whom are grown up, they reckon upon me as free plunder. I can ſee by the twiſt of their features, that they have already divided my acres among them: They viſit me, it is true, very often—are very complaiſant, and all that; but I can ſee, plain enough, it is for the loaves and fiſhes, and that were it not for the legacies for which they are hunting, I ſhould ſee but very little of them. I have a thouſand reaſons, all clear as day light, by which I am aſſured they do not care three braſs farthings for me. I have lately recovered from a dangerous illneſs, and although they imagine they have topped their parts very well, and that they are as ſecure as a thief in a mill, yet I could ſee, plain enough, under all their pretended grief, that they were ready to ſing for joy, when the phyſicians pronounced my diſſorder incurable; and, moreover, I overheard their converſation when they ſuppoſed me in a delirium; and their long faces, now that I have, contrary to the expectations of every one, got about again, is as plain as that two and two make four; however, if I do not contrive effectually to diſappoint them, my name is not Timothy Plodder. I think, therefore, Mr. Gleaner, conſidering (as I obſerved to you in a former letter) my age, that Miſs Serafina C4v 24 Serafina and myſelf have no time to loſe; and ſo if you will out of hand propoſe the matter, and let me know when I may ſee the young woman, or yourſelf, or her brother Hamilton, we will conclude the bargain with all poſſible diſpatch, before my relations get ſcent of the buſineſs; for they abſolutely grow very ſaucy, and I am determined to ſhow them ſome little Plodders, whom they little expect to ſee; and then we ſhall know who is to be reſpected, and all that. I will make Miſs Clifford a good huſband; ſhe ſhall have every thing ſhe can reaſonably deſire; and I will continue, kind and reſpected Sir, your’s to ſerve, until death, Timothy Plodder. To the Gleaner. Dear Good Mr Gleaner, Miss Primroſe and myſelf have wagered two fivedollar bills about dear Margaretta’s new father; Miſs Primroſe thinks that you knows ſo ſupereminently well how to write about loveyers and novels, and all them there ſort of things, and that you have ſuch a little million of pretty phantaſticks about you, that you will, after a while, bring old Mrs. Melworth out of the tomb; and that, having got ſome curous Engliſh doctor to bring her to life again, ſhe will, ſome how or ſome how, come over here to this here country of America, where they will be all happified together. Now, though I thinks this would be delightful, yet, having heard my papa and Miſs Sabina ſay, that ſuch a denomong, I thinks they calls it, would be a cataſtrofe that would have too many inadmiſſibles to be admitted—thinks it cannot be—and ſo I have wagered two five-dollar bills with Miſs Primroſe, that you will, out of hand, marry Mr. Melworth to Miſs Serafina Clifford; for, ſays I, who would matter his being a few years older, when the man is ſuch a heroiſm man, as a body may ſay, and is beſides ſo ſuperexcellent; and, as I ſays, who will Miſs Serafina have, if ſhe does not have this here Mr. Melworth; for now, ſays I, that Mr. Hamilton is proved 25 C5r 25 proved to be her true and deeden brother, born of her own father, it is certain ſhe can never have him, even ſuppoſe dear Margaretta, which I pray may never be the caſe, ſhould do otherways than well. Now I mentions Miſs Clifford’s brother, I will tell you, Mr. Gleaner, about my own brother, our Valentine—Why you muſt know, that my papa ſays, how that he has almoſt broken his heart; and I am ſure for it, that he has made me cry as bad, every bit and grain, as if I had been reading a tragedy, or a novel. I will tell you how it was—why he would be gone from our houſe whole evenings together, and ſometimes e’en a moſt all night, and my papa could never get out of him where he was, or what he was about; and ſo, at laſt, he abdicated himſelf from his own home, and his natural-born father altogether, and my papa could not tell where to look for him, and we never knowed till tother day we adventitiouſly found out, that he was privately married to Molly Brazen; to whom he uſed to write love letters and epitaphs, and thoſe ſort of poetricks, directing them every one to Miſs Clarinda Paragon, and ſigning himſelf her everlaſting adorer, Valentine Lovelong—for my part, I thinks it is a burning ſhame, that he ſhould bring ſuch an indeliating diſgrace upon names which is ſo monſtrouſly fine. My papa ſays as how that it is all owing to your hiſtorettas and your commedies, and your plays; but I wont believe it; I knows its no ſuch thing, and it makes me cry, out of pure vexation, to hear learning and demeanours, and all theſe gentilities and handſomeneſſes, which are taken out of theſe here kind of books, ſpoken of in ſo metrepoſterous and ſo abſorbed a manner. I knows better, Mr. Gleaner, I knows that Molly Brazen is a very bad girl; ſhe is not—God forgive her—one morſel better than ſhe ſhould be; and ſhe would have had my brother, if ſhe could have cotch him, though he had never looked into a book in the univerſal world. I knows too that I have read all the books that I could poſſibly get, and a great, great many they have been, more, two to one, than our Valentine ever heard of in his born days, and 26 C5v 26 and yet no deſolate deceiving man, has ever come with his deceptionary tales for to traduce me. It may be, (as I am very ſure I ſhould find him out, and ſoon give him his own) that I ſhould have no objections to hear what ſuch a ſad depopulating gallant might have to ſay for himſelf; but no matter for that—this is a ſecret; for my papa would never forgive me if he knew I had ſuch a thought; but as I am reſolved that I will not date this, any more than my laſt letter, and as I ſhall ſtill ſign by my fiction name, my papa, unleſs he had to do with the black art, will never find me out. Do then, dear Mr. Gleaner, tell Miſs Primroſe and I, whether Mr. Melworth is to have Miſs Clifford? Whether Margaretta and Serafina dreſs their waiſts as ſhort as Mrs. Modiſh, (who poſitively aſſures both me and Miſs Primroſe, ſhe makes, with her own hands, all their apparel) ſays they do? What the ladies think of naked elbows, and whether they have thrown aſide their modeſty pieces? An anſwer to theſe queſtions, will inſurmountably oblige your ever loving, and truly obligated ſervant to command, Monimia Castalio. To the Gleaner. . Old Fellow, I am willing to believe, as you ſay, that your girl was abſolutely diſpoſed of, before you received my letter, making known my deſigns in regard to her; and I can tell you, old Gentleman, it is well for you that I am—yes, Sir, it is well for you that I am— for I am connected with a ſet of high-blooded blades, every individual of whom, have all reaſonable attachment to my perſon and my intereſt; and we are, moreover, bound to each other, by the moſt ſolemn engagements, to aid and abet each other, upon all occaſions, and to render to every member of our invincible community all poſſible aſſiſtance; and ’fore gad, old Square Toes, if 27 C6r 27 if you had not given unequivocal demonſtration, that your Margaretta was abſolutely and bona fide ſhackled, before you was apprized of the honour I intended her, we would have made nothing of toſſing your Worſhip in a blanket, and of leaving you, after your ærial elevation, handſomely ſouſed in the firſt horſe-pond in our way. I give you this information for your future government; and, as I have a new propoſal to make, I expect it will be properly influential. Do not deceive yourſelf, good Mr. Prig, with an idea, that the paradoxical myſteries, in which you have contrived to wrap yourſelf about, will much longer avail you; for Dick Bluſter, Tom Pompous, Ned Mettleſome, and the reſt of us, are expert at finding out the ſecret haunts of you fly ones; and we are, moreover, whatever you may think of it, poſſeſſed of a clue to your caſtle, which will lead us directly upon the ground, and we are both able and willing to turn knight-errants, to ſtorm enchanted caſtles, fight magicians, and deliver all the diſtreſſed damſels, who may be found within the territory of the United States. Thus you are forewarned, and if you are but forearmed, that is, if the weapons of your warfare are not carnal, but ſpiritual; if you enliſt only under the banners of reaſon, we may adjuſt matters amicably enough. Serafina Clifford is a fine girl, by Jupiter— my intentions are honourable matrimony, and Miſs Clifford is my object; for although her birth is not quite the thing, yet ſhe is a good generous girl; and as ſhe appears to be in poſſeſſion of the ready, I very gladly make a transfer of my penchant for her little meek ſiſter to her fair ſelf; and I expect ſhe will not find much difficulty in ſubſtituting as her heir apparent, a gay, handſome young fellow, inſtead of the little chap of whom ſhe has appeared ſo paſſionately fond—her huſband will very naturally ſucceed to her affections, and all her other goods and chattels; and if ſhe continues her fondneſs for the ſmiling brats, y’clepped the comforts of matrimony, I may poſſibly furniſh her with a plenty of them, while ſhe, continuing to ſupply me with the 28 C6v 28 the ready, we ſhall thus very handſomely reciprocate obligations. But, in the mean time, as I have already been fooliſh enough to inform you that my eſtate was a little embarraſſed, and as her ſage brother may not be over and above fond of the ſcrapes into which that miſerly and deſpotic old curmudgeon, Poverty, is ſo ungentlemanly as to lead the ſubjects of his ragged empire; he may probably think it becomes him to make a few pragmatical inquiries, and as I do not wiſh to be at odds with the brother of my ſpouſe elect, you may inform Edward Hamilton, that I have a handſome eſtate in poſſeſſion; it is true, it is encumbered with a few mortgages, but the ready, which I take it for granted the young lady has in her gift, will eaſily clear off all theſe, and we ſhall then be as handſome and as faſhionable a pair, as any of the gay circles, in or about town can produce. But Edward is a ſober dog—Well, hang it, ſo am I—and all this I am able and willing to demonſtrate at whatever moment, and in whatever place, you and brother Hamilton may appoint. Pleaſe to preſent my humble duty to Miſs Clifford, and aſſure her, that I am now immoveably fixed—that I am the moſt enamoured and impaſſioned of her adorers; and that I will ever contine her true and faithful Bellamour. P. S. Although I have never ſeen Miſs Clifford, I can ſwear to the charms of her perſon; and her generoſity, preſuming ſhe may be perſuaded to change its object, will fix me eternally her’s. Do, old fellow, ſpeak a good word for me, and thus ſecure to yourſelf the good will of a ſet of honeſt bloods, who will always be upon the ſcent in your ſervice, and who will furniſh you with abundant matter for ſermonizing. Farewel—be faithful, and reſt aſſured of the protection of Bellamour. To 29 D1r 29 To the Gleaner, . Good Man Gleaner, You have at laſt got the weather-gage of us; for you have contrived for to ſteer the little tight yawl Margaretta, into ſafe moorings; while we, d’ye ſee, the worſe luck ours, are at the mercy of wind and tide. You have proved yourſelf, Mr. Gleaner, an able and experienced helmſman: Many a time have I ſweat for you, taking it for certain, that you would run a-ſhore upon the ſands, or ſplit upon the rocks, which, during one whole glaſs, ſeemed to loom for your deſtruction; but, howſomever, you have worked your traverſe well, and have, in a wonderful manner, underſtood to a lee, ſtarboard, port, bear up, or right the helm, juſt as the wind has chopped about. But, mayhap, you would not have been ſo well off, had not your ſhip-mate have kept ſo good a look out aloft. There is nothing like mounting the top-gallant-maſt, when the breakers are a-head. Lord, Lord!—if I had but been ſuffered to take the command of my own ſhip—but not a rope have I veered out, without orders firſt had and obtained from lubbers who never yet underſtood plain ſailing, and who are, over and above, forever fiſhing in troubled waters. A thouſand and a thouſand times have I told Deborah Seafort what her yaws and her veerings would bring her to; and, ſure as St. Peter’s at Rome, ſhe hath now run faſt a-ground upon a lee ſhore, and here we muſt remain, wearing our ſides, and beating, mayhap, againsſt the rocks, if you, Sir, who ſeem to know every rope in the ſhip, do not lend a hand to help us off. You muſt know, that when, by the orders of our ſelfcreated captain, Deborah Seafort, we crowded every ſail for the land of matrimony, as we had a gallant ſhip under foot, we fooliſhly enough hung out ever ſo many ſtreamers; and, not having taken on board a ſufficient quantity of ballaſt, we ſhipped, in lieu thereof, ſuch a cargo of ſelf-conceit, affectation, prim-oſity, and Vol. II. D other 30 D1v 30 other femalities, as rendered us ſo crank, that we were many a time within an ame’s-ace of overſetting. But, mayhap, Mr. Gleaner, if you have never ploughed the ocean, you may not underſtand theſe ſea terms; and ſo, d’ye ſee, I will endeavor for to let myſelf down as much as poſſible. Why, you muſt know, that our girl Molly—for may I receive the cat-o’ninetail upon my beam timbers, in preſence of the whole ſhip’s crew, if I ever call her Mary, or Maria, again.— I ſay, Mr. Gleaner, our girl Molly, being a good tight little huſſy, and, withal, handſomely built, rigged, and, though I ſay it that ſhould not ſay it, properly ſound, was judged a fit match for any ſea-boat whatever. I did not, as I have hinted above, like her manner of ſailing, or the way which ſhe made. Frequently has ſhe flung out falſe colours, and after bringing to her lure many a gallant ſail, ſhe has up jibb, and borne away, quite in another direction. This I have pronounced daſtardly, and have thought fit to enter my proteſt; but I have been charged with fomenting a mutiny, and belayed faſt in the cabin, or the ſhip’s hold, as a meddling, dangerous and officious fellow. You will underſtand, that I ſpeak by way of metaphor, ſimile, or the like of that. It is in vain that I have, upon theſe occaſions, run over a whole catalogue of ſea oaths, that has frightened many a Jack Tar into obedience. The women, as they ſay, have got hardened to them, and they do not value them a rope’s end! Deborah was above conſulting her compaſs, and I have looked every moment when we ſhould ſplit to pieces. At length they have ſprung a maſt, and, entirely ignorant of their chart, and not knowing which way to wear the ſhip, and being brought to their wit’s end, they have condeſcended to place me at the helm. But, Mr. Gleaner, this being a kind of navigation at which I am not expert, I am much in the ſame ſituation of your land-lubbers, who find themſelves at ſea in a ſtorm; and I am, as it were, obliged to bend my courſe to the harbour of your experience: You have erected a beacon, and if you can but warp us out of the preſent difficult 31 D2r 31 difficult ſtrait, in which we are becalmed, you ſhall be our land-mark in future. It goes to the heart of me, Mr. Gleaner, to ſee our Molly opening the ſluices of her eye-pumps, and pouring forth ſuch a torrent of ſalt-water ſorrow. You muſt know, Sir, that after ſhe had kept at bay ever ſo many pickeroons, ſhe was at laſt brought to, by a ſmart, wellbuilt brigantine, who ſeemed to underſtand every point of the compaſs, who was wonderfully trim, and furbiſhed out to the beſt advantage. Molly, knowing how to calculate her own force, would not immediately ſtrike, and, to ſay truth, our ſpark rather played faſt and looſe, as the ſaying is—not chooſing to come to an open parley. Howſomever, he contrived, d’ye ſee, to be conſtantly in the girl’s wake; if ever ſhe hoiſted ſail, he was ſure to follow, and like the old Roman Mark Anthony, who we read of at ſchool—who, by the bye, was as little of a ſailor as a ſoldier—he ſeemed to think the world well loſt for our Cleopatra. Well, but after Molly had ſtood out many glaſſes, Deborah, who is as yare as any old ſea-boat need to be, having the watch, and having, as ſhe ſaid, thoroughly overhauled the lifts and the braces, the clew-lines and the buntlines; having top’t her yards, and d’ye ſee, got every thing in readineſs, thought proper to heave out a white flag, by way of concluding upon terms of capitulation. But no ſooner had we begun to veer out our faſts, than, zounds, Mr. Gleaner—for, d’ye ſee, it is enough to make the beſt miniſter in the United States ſwear—if the cowardly, raſcally pickeroon, did not ſlip his cable, and ſheer off, when, hoiſting every ſail, he was nearly out of ſight before we knew he had weighed anchor. We immediately called a council, when, according to our reckoning, the ſhip had ſailed too many knots for a purſuit; and, moreover, our fair weather ſpark had ſo managed his tack, as to put it out of our power to libel the ſhip; and, over and above all this, it is deemed contrary to all rule, to give chace in this kind of navigation. Well, 32 D2v 32 Well, here then we are—and faith and troth, all in the dumps—Deborah is conſtantly ſnivelling—I can ſcarcely keep above water; and poor Molly, like a diſ abled weather-beaten yacht, is laid up. For forty years did I follow the ſea—ay, and many a tough gale have I been in; but, ſplit my timbers, if I ever knew what trouble was until now. Poſſibly, Mr. Gleaner, as you have already ſhown yourſelf wonderfully ſkilful at refitting, you may be able to ſplice us together once more, and then, with both wind and tide in our favour, mayhap we may yet bear a good ſail, and after all theſe ſtorms and tempeſts, arrive ſafe at the deſired port. But, Mr. Gleaner, by my ſoul, you muſt bear a hand, for our poor wave-broken invalid is almoſt a wreck, and ſhe will be ſpeedily paſt repairing. I am, Sir, until death, your ſorrowful friend, George Seafort. To the Gleaner. . Worthy Sir, It is juſt two years and four months, this day, ſince I had the preſumption to addreſs you before. I have ſeen with pleaſure the gradual progreſs of your Margaretta; ſhe ſeems to poſseſs every ſexual virtue, while her attainments render her in every view ſuperior. A ſuperſtructure ſo rare, however excellent the materials, could not have been accompliſhed without the ſuperintendence of uncommon abilities. The lot of the lovely orphan has been highly diſtinguiſhed; and may ſhe, as far as humanity will permit, be happily exempted from every future evil. Yeſterday my girl completed her twelfth year, and while every moment grows more and more intereſting, my mind is ſtruggling under the preſſure of a thouſand anxieties. Sophia Aimwell—tears ſtream from my eyes while I make the confeſſion—is not exactly what I could wiſh! It is true her gentle boſom harbours no particularly 33 D3r 33 particularly alarming propenſities, and, that nature has endowed her with a good underſtanding, is alſo evident; but notwithſtanding the variety of expedients to which I have had recourſe, I have never yet been able to impreſs upon her mind, the neceſſity of application. She ſeems unalterably oppoſed to uniformity; nor doth ſhe ever, by her own choice, purſue either her book, her needle, or her pen, or even thoſe lighter matters to which her attention is required, with the regularity which is, I have conceived, abſolutely eſſential to any conſiderable proficiency. My wiſh has been to produce her in ſociety an accompliſhed female; but, alas! the execution of our plans remain not with us. Sophia is particularly averſe to reading and writing; novels have not yet come under her obſervation. I have thought it too early to entruſt thoſe faſcinating volumes to her inſpection. It appears, Sir, that you do not altogether approve of novels, although, ſubmitting to the impoſition of neceſſity, you have put them into the hand of your daughter. Pray, Sir, did you not exerciſe diſcrimination in this reſpect, or was Miſs Melworth indulged with the free uſe of thoſe books? Is it not poſſible to create, by habit, a taſte for reading, where, unhappily, it is not inherent? If it is conſiſtent with your plans, you would do me a particular favour, if you would furniſh me with copies of a few of thoſe letters, juſt by way of ſpecimen, which paſſed between Mrs. Vigillius, and her amiable charge, by the poſt that was eſtabliſhed between their reſpective chambers; and, any hint of direction which you may condeſcend to favour me with, will be received with much gratitude. Sophia has never appeared ſo deeply intereſted in any thing, as in the ſtory of your Margaretta; and a word from the Gleaner, will go farther than volumes written by any other pen. I am, worthy Sir, with high eſteem, your conſtant reader, and ſincere admirer, Rebecca Aimwell. D2 Succeſſive 34 D3v 34

Succeſſive Gleaners ſhall pay the requiſite attention to the letters inſerted in this number; and, in the interim, impreſſed with all poſſible conſideration for my reſpectable correſpondents, I offer them that gratitude which is ſo eminently their due.

No. XXXVIII.

Joyleſs the man, who hails no boſom friend, Whoſe ſteps no lovely woman waits to greet; In his lorn ſelf, whoſe pains and pleaſures end, Concentrated where all his wiſhes meet: How comfortleſs his ſolitary home! In cheerleſs gloom he wears life’s hours away; Around his board no ſmiling cherubs bloom, Nor voice of pleaſure wakes the opening day.

The picture which Mr. Plodder has given of his ſituation, is truly pitiable; and I am ſo far from regarding it as a caricature, that I am induced to believe its moſt prominent features will generally ſtand confeſſed, in the life of thoſe, who live and die bachelors. I, however, once knew a happy exception to this concluſion, who, I confidently conclude, has now taken his ſtation in a higher ſtate of being. His departure out of time was marked by the orphan and the widow, with the deepeſt regret—ſighs and tears were a tribute which his virtues neceſſarily drew forth, and his memory is embalmed by the richeſt perfumes which gratitude can beſtow. But the dwelling of this ſingular character was not a dreary ſolitude; it was irradiated by the ſmiles of infancy; and while the ſons and daughters of penury, of every deſcription, ſhared his bounty, the numerous offspring of a widowed ſiſter, with their truly amiable mother, who was endeared to him, as well by kindred virtues, as by conſanguinity, graced his board, became unto him as the children of his youth, and not only threw into acction thoſe paternal feelings which were inherent in his boſom, but furniſhed also an ample field for the exerciſeciſe 35 D4r 35 ciſe of thoſe uncommon abilities, which were largely drawn out in the courſe of their education. All who knew John Parker, eſquire—generally diſtinguiſhed by the name of Sheriff Parker—of Portſmouth, in the State of New-Hampſhire, will readily acknowledge, that the voice of panegyric can hardly ſwell too high a note, when ſounding the praiſes of this great and good man, who lived and died a bachelor.

But it is true, nevertheleſs, that the life of a bachelor is almoſt invariably gloomy, or thinly ſtrewed with rational pleaſure. My friend Oſwald may ſerve as an epitome of this claſs of men; he was bred a lawyer, and his youth paſſed in literary application; he either regarded la belle paſſion as below that dignity of character at which he aimed, or his moments of leiſure were not ſufficient to thoſe attentions which its refinements require. Years rolled on, and ſucceeding ſeaſons ſtill found him buſily engaged in ſcientific purſuits, until he attained the ſober age of ſixty, without having made a ſingle attachment which could intereſt the heart, or forcibly engage the tender affections. The claſſics were enchanting; they ſtill continued the faſcinating companions of his ſtudious hours; and, although highly ſocial by nature, his ruling propenſities ſeem to have been, for a courſe of years, ſtrangely over-ruled— but when once they were ſet afloat by reflection, he was rouſed to a melancholy view of his ſituation, and could not forbear regarding himſelf, in a very eſſential ſenſe, alone in the univerſe. The guides of his youth, thoſe perſons whom he had been accuſtomed to revere, were moſtly removed out of time, and the companions of his juvenile years were, to a man, doubled in wedlock and multiplied in children. Oſwald was ſolicited to paſs a month at the villa of Myrtilus, who had been his claſs-mate; he obeyed the ſummons, and he found the manſion of his friend the ſeat of domeſtic happineſs.

During a period of twenty-five years, the life of Myrtilus had been ameliorated by the ſympathies, corrected ſentiments, endearing tenderneſs, and faithful attachment, of a lovely and elegant woman; a numerousrous 36 D4v 36 rous and beautifully promiſing family of ſons and daughters ſeemed to emulate each other in their filial attentions; eagerly they watched every turn in his countenance, and while their animated features were impreſſed by glowing and duteous affection, they delighted to anticipate his wiſhes, and were on the wing to fulfil his commands. Thomſon’s family piece was ſtrikingly exemplified; the union of Myrtilus and his charming wife was cemented by ſacred love; the holy prieſt had witneſſed their plighted faith; and, enriched by his pious benediction, their mutual tenderneſs confeſſed the righteous ſanction. The world, its pomp, its pleaſures and its nonſenſe, were to them comparatively of ſmall eſtimation; poſſeſſing in each other whatever they accounted tranſcendantly excellent, ſomething than beauty dearer, both in the mind, and mind illumined face—truth, goodneſs, honour, harmony and love. In natural ſucceſſion their ſmiling offspring roſe around—tranſcripts of either parent—by degrees thoſe human bloſſoms blew, while each ſucceeding day, ſoft as it rolled, evinced ſome new charm, the father’s luſtre, and the mother’s bloom—the ſkilful hand of kind aſſiduous care, had formed their opening minds; to rear the tender thought, to teach the young idea how to ſhoot. To pour the freſh inſtruction o’er the mind—to breathe the enlivening ſpirit, and to fix the generous purpoſe in the glowing breaſt. This had been, of theſe bleſt parents, the delightful taſk. Perhaps they would have found it difficult to embody, by language, the ſenſations of their enraptured boſoms, when, glancing round upon their little family, Nothing ſtruck their eye but ſights of bliſs—All various nature preſſing on the heart: An elegant ſufficiency, content, retirement, rural quiet, friendſhip, books. Eaſe and alternate labour, uſeful life, progreſſive virtue, and approving Heaven; and perhaps, on ſuch occaſions, the tear of luxury which ſtrayed adown their cheeks, was the moſt expreſſive teſtimony they could give of their ineffably exquiſite feelings.

On the contemplative mind of Oſwald nothing was loſt—the paſt, the preſent, and the future, crowding to 37 D5r 37 to his view, combined to furniſh a moſt humiliating compariſon; and ſpontaneouſly he exclaimed—Theſe are the matchleſs joys of virtuous love; and thus their moments fly. The ſeaſons thus, as ceaſeleſs round a jarring world they roll, ſtill find them happy; and conſenting Spring ſheds her own roſy garland o’er their heads. Till evening comes at laſt, ſerene and mild; when, after the long vernal day of life, enamoured more, as more remembrance ſwells with many a proof of recollected love— together down they ſink in ſocial ſleep; together freed, their gentle ſpirits fly to ſcenes where love and bliſs immortal reign. What an enchanting view! how beautiful, and how highly finiſhed! Did poet ever pen ſuperior lines?

Our bachelor heaved a ſigh—a contraſt ſo glaring was forcibly felt. No young props, ſaid he, lift their green heads for my ſupport; not an individual of the riſing generation is bound to me by the ſilken bands of attachment, and this is a conſequence of the arrangements of nature and of juſtice; for no mode of reaſoning will inveſt me with a title to the fervours of that mind, which I have not particularly contributed to form, and in whoſe flexile dawn I have not been ſolicitous to obtain an intereſt. No deſerving female honours me with her diſtinguiſhing regards—no gentle boſom ſwells for me the ſigh of affection. I have not ſought to lay the foundation of happineſs; and it is in vain that I look for the ſuperſtructure of enjoyment. I have lived in vain, alas! for me it is now too late to form advantageous connexions, or to enter into engagements which ſhould be the growth of many ripening ſuns. When I expire, my name will be extinct, and all remembrance of me will ceaſe from the earth!!

Our comfortleſs old gentleman was perfectly right in his concluſions; and we would adviſe friend Plodder to take the hint—ſhould any mercenary female, caught by the lure of that eſtabliſhment in his gift, caſt her lot with him, we are apprehenſive his chance for happineſs will be ſmall. It is too late in life for him 38 D5v 38 him to begin that career, which ſhould at leaſt commence in the meridian of our days; and, beſides, we think his motive for wiſhing to become a married man, is rather invidious. Revenge is rarely ever the parent of that tenderneſs, which is ſo indiſpenſably requiſite in a matrimonial connexion. We think he may have judged erroneouſly of his kindred; it will be ſtrange if in a family ſo numerous he cannot find a worthy object; we adviſe him to make the experiment, to cultivate thoſe attachments which nature authorizes, and to reſign, at this late period (for we have good and cogent reaſons to believe him turned of ſixty inſtead of fifty