« PredošláPokračovať »
around me. At this moment I ought to be, and really feel myself, one of the happiest beings that walk
upon the earth, since I am loved by one of the fairest and worthiest. And yet forgive me if sometimes I steal a few minutes from the happiness that will ever accompany the thought of the sweet avowal you made me yesterday, to devote them to a melancholy subject, which, though the foundation of all my joys, does yet continue
to tinge them with a sombre sort of colouring. The subject I mean, is the death of the poor youth who had been taught to expect at his return from a long and perilous expedition, the greatest compensation this life could yield him—the hand of Amelia. And yet how could the hand of Amelia have made him happy, without that heart which Amelia tells me was never his?A truth but lately known to herself, and too late discovered by half the females who receive the professions of their lovers. If, however, his own passion were great as he declared it, gracious God! how great must have been his want of thy merciful consolations to soften the seeming severity of thy decree! How heavy the sentence must have appeared to him, which robbed him even of the gloomy comfort of straining his last looks on his dear Amelia, and of locking up her hand within his own in the struggle of death, as if to perpetuate so sweet a property beyond the grave!
“ The other night a dream presented him to me in the moment of his dissolution; and I thought I heard him sigh forth these words— Farewell, * dear Amelia ! alas ! how bitter it is to die at such a distance from thee! Death itself would be sweet in your society; but since I am never to see thee again with these mortal eyes, my spirit shall seek thee over the wide sea, and pre
sent thee with a purer homage when dismantled of this fleshy incumbrance.' When I awoke, I found my pillow bedewed with my tears, which I thought a sufficient tribute to the memory of a departed rival ; and turning myself about, went again to sleep, when, by a strange perverseness of my fancy, I imagined myself in the same situation in which I had before pictured the poor Horatio. Methought I too died at a distance from Amelia, though no sea was betwixt us; and somehow or other I seemed to have a confused notion that Horatio was in existence and in perfect health. The agitation which this occasioned within me soon broke through my sleep, and I awoke in terrible perturbation.
“ After this I resolved to go to sleep no more, but lay many hours awake, cheering my brain with the prospect of that happiness I am soon to taste in the undisturbed possession of my beloved Amelia. I pictured to myself our little cottage ; stocked our farm with horses, cows, and poultry ; made a va. riety of agricultural arrangements; and employed a full hour in forming a little collection of books, such as I knew would engage my Amelia to sit with me often in my hours of reading and study.
“Ah! when will these happy times come! Something at my heart tells me this delay is dangerous. Why must we give up a precious month of our lives to an idle punctilio ?" Time is so apt to traverse and overthrow the petty schemes and gay promises of life, that I tremble at giving him such latitude to work his mischiefs in; and yet what a sorry calculator am I, who am a being destined to eternity, and can yet be so anxious about a little month! Let it comfort us, sweet girl, to think that so dread an engine as Time, is in the hands of one that is the reward. er of virtue, and the protector of innocence. Adieu.”
I shall here drop my little history for some time, which, however, I shall resume and drop again by starts, till my readers are tired of myself and my friends. After treating of the pathos of love, some general rules for the direction and controul of this passion might reasonably have been expected; and yet, perhaps, there is no concern of life in which rules are of less avail: for so silent and imperceptible are the attacks of love, that we are always half overcome before we are sensible of our danger. In this conflict, too, our reason will often prove an arrant deserter; and when we come to muster our forces, we find our principal dependance already gone over to the enemy. The only real security in circumstances so delicate and dangerous, consists in the general seasoning of a good education, and the early influence of virtuous models and examples. When by long habits and due preparation, her judgement and taste are rectified, and a kind of poise given to · her humours and affections, a young woman comes forth ready disciplined to encounter the trials of her sex; and the impertinence of flattery will provoke the pride of her understanding, as much as the sophistry of seduction will shock the rectitude of her principles.
In a future paper the female reader may expect some rules from Miranda, who has already shown her zeal in the cause of her sex, tending to establish some criteria by which true love may be distinguished from false love. At present there is only room for a very pretty little poetical contribution, the author of which, whoever he be, I shall be very glad to see in our filbert-walk in Northamptonshire. Those who admire the well-known poem beginning with “ Come live with me, and be my love,” will not despise the efforts of this kind contributor.
WINTER. Stern Winter, though thy rugged reign Chills the pale bosom of the plain, And in deep sighs thy hollow blast Tells me the happy hours are past That saw meek Spring her blossoms rear, And lead along the infant year; Thy thickening blooms, and leafless tree, Have charms for Emma and for me. And though the light-wing'd breeze no more Wafts the rich sweets of Summer's store, Though Autumn's scene no more beguiles, My cot is warm, and Emma smiles. Then, Winter, come! thy storms and rain Beat on this happy roof in vain : The shivering blast, and leafless tree, Have charms for Emma and for me. Then what avail thy wind and storm, That Nature's withering face deform, If Fancy's brisk and sportive lay, Awake to Pleasure's willing sway; If the quick jest and lively song, Bid the slow night move blithe along ? For then thy glooms, and leafless tree, Have charms for Emma and for me, Thus, when the bloom of youth is dead, And Fancy's frolic hours are fled, Tranquil, and free from passion's rage, I'll meet the hoary frost of age. Then, Winter, come! these blessings bring; I sigh not for the gaudy Spring : So shall thy glooms, and leafless tree, Have charms for Emma and for me.
No. 13. SATURDAY, APRIL 21.
-Vestra, inquit, munera vobis
VIRG. ÆN. v. 348.
It is a greater difficulty than the world may imagine, to adjust the measure of my thoughts to the dimensions of my paper: on some subjects I must exert great pains to coax them out to the usual length : while, on others, they disdain their ordinary bounds, and demand room to range and expatiate. Mon esprit ne marche qu'à son huere, is, I remember, a phrase of a French writer, which very well expresses the unaccommodating character of the mind. I never could have imagined, before I entered upon my present career, that our thoughts could rise in this sort of mutiny, and create such an involuntary confusion in our minds, as to disappoint all our endeavours towards consistency.
“ Man,” I have somewhere read, “ is not the monarchy of reason, but the democracy of humours ;" and I think, if we allow sufficiently for the subjugation of our minds to the influence of external circumstances, we shall not think the expression extravagant. There is, no doubt, a certain sort of organization and predisposition necessary, before we can write happily on any subject; and whatever we force from ourselves, without consulting this internal guide, is for the most part an un