communicate knowledge, and more inclined to degrade their own character by cowardly submission, than to overbear or oppress us with their learning or their wit.

3. From these men, however, if they are by kind treatment encouraged to talk as something may be gained which embellished with elegancy, and softened by modesty, will always add dignity and value to female conversation ; and from my acquaintance with the bookish part of the world I derived many principles of judgment and maxims of prudence, by which I was enabled to draw upon myself the general regard in every place of concourse. or pleasure.

4. My opinion was the great rule of approbation, my remarks were remembered by those who desired the second degree of fame, my inein was studied, my dress was imitated, my letters were handed from one family to another, and read by those who copied them as sent to themselves; my visits were solicited as honours, and multitudes boasted an intimacy with Melissa, who had only seen me by accident, whose familiarity had never proceeded beyond the exchange of a compliment, or return of a courtesy.

5. I shall make no scruple of confessing that I was pleased with this universal veneration, because I always considered it as paid to my intrinsic qualities and inseperable merit, and very easily persuaded myself, that fortune had no part in my superiority.

6. When I looked upon my glass, I saw youth and beauty, with health that might give me reason to hope their continuance; when I examined my mind, I found some strength of judgment, and fertility of fancy, and was told that every action was grace, and that every accent was persuasion.

7. In this manner my life passed like a continual triumph amidst acclamations, and envy, and courtship, and caresses : to please Melissa was the general ambition, and every stratagem of artful flattery was practised upon me. To be flattered is grateful, even when we know that our praises are not believed by those who pronounce them; for they prove at least our power, and shew that our favour is valued, since it is purchased by the meanness of falsehood.

8. But perhaps the flatterer is not often detected, for an honest mind is not apt to suspect, and no one exerts the power of discernment with much vigour when self-love favours the deceit.

9. The number of adorers, and the perpetual distraction of my thoughts by new schemes of pleasure, prevented me from listening to any of those who crowd in multitudes to give girls advice, and kept me unmarried and unengaged to my twentyseventh year, when as I was towering in all the pride of uncontesta ed excellency, with a face yet little impaired and a mind hourly

improving, the failure of a fund in which my money was placed, reduced me to a frugal competency, which allowed a little beyond neatness and independence.

10. I bore the diminution of my riches without any outrages of sorrow, or pusillanimity of dejection. Indeed I did not know how much I had lost, for having always heard and thought more of my wit and beauty, than of my fortune, it did not suddenly senter my imagination, that Melissa could sink beneath her established rank, while her form and her mind continued the same; that she should cease to raise admiration, but by ceasing to deserve it, or feel any stroke but from the hand of time.

11. It was in my power to have concealed the loss and to have married, by continuing the same appearance, with all the credit of my original fortune; but I was not so far sunk in my esteem, as to submit to the baseness of fraud, or to desire any other recommendation than sense and virtue.

12. I therefore dismissed my equipage, sold those ornaments which were become unsuitable to my new condition, and appeared among those with whom. I used to converse with less glitter, but with equal spirit.

13. I found myself received at every visit with sorrow beyond what is naturally felt for calamities in which we have no part, and was entertained with condolence and consolation so frequently repeated, that my friends plainly consulted rather their own gratification, than my relief.

14. Some from that time refused my acquaintance, and forbore without any provocation, to repay my visits; some visited me, but after a longer interval than usual, and every return was still more delay; nor did any of my female acquaintances fail to introduce the mention of my misfortunes, to compare my present and former condition, to tell me how much it must trouble me to want the splendour which I became so well; to look at pleasures, which I had formerly enjoyed, and to sink to a level with those by whom I had been considered as moving in a higher sphere, and who had hitherto approached me with reverence and submission, which I was now no longer to expect.

15. Observations like these are commonly nothing better than covert insults, which serve to give vent to the flatulence of pride, but they are now and then imprudently uttered by honesty and benevolence, and inflict pain where kindness is intended; I will, therefore, so far maintain my antiquated claim to politeness, as to venture the establishment of this rule, that no one ought to remind another of misfortunes of which the sufferer does not complain, and which there are no means proposed of alleviating.

16. You have no right to excite thoughts which necessarily give pain whenever they return, and which, perhaps, might not Fiave revived but by absurd aud unreasonable compassion,

17. My endless train of lovers immediately withdrew without raising any emotions. The greater part had indeed always professed to court, as it is terined, upon the square, had inquired my fortune, and offered settlements; these undoubtedly had a right to retire without censure, since they had openly treated for money, as necessary to their happiness, and who can tell how little they wanted any other portion ?

18. I have always thought the clamours of women unreasonable, who imagine themselves injured because the men who followed them upon the supposition of a greater fortune, reject them when they are discovered to have less.--I have never known any lady, who did not think wealth a title to some stipulation in her favour : and surely what is claimed by the possession of money is justly forfeited by its loss.

19. She who has once demanded a settlement, has allowed the importance of fortune; and when she cannot shew pecuniary merit, why should she think her cheapner obliged to purchase ?

20. My lovers were not all contented with silent desertion. Some of them revenged the neglect which they had formerly endured by wanton and superfluous insults, and endeavoured to mortify me, by paying in my presence those civilities to other Jadies, which were once devoted only to me.

21. But as it had been my rule to treat men according to the rank of their intellect, I had never suffered any one to waste his life in suspense who could have employed it to better purpose, and had therefore no enemies but coxcombs, whose resentment and respect were equally below my consideration.

22. The only pain which I have felt from degradation, is the loss of that influence which I have always exerted on the side of virtue, in the defence of innocence, and the assertion of truth. I now find my opinions slighted, my sentiments criticised, and my arguments opposed by those who used to listen to me without reply, and struggle to be first in expressing their conviction.

23. The female disputants have wholly thrown oftmy authority, and if I endeavour to enforce my reasons by an appeal to the scholars who happen to be present, the wretches are certain to pay their court by sacrificing me and my system to a finer gown: and I am every hour insulted with contradiction by cowards, who could never find till lately, that Melissa was liable to error.

24. There are two persons only whom I cannot charge with having changed their conduct with my change of fortune. One is an old curate, who has passed his life in the duties of his profession, with great reputation for his knowledge and piety; the other is a lieutenant of dragoons. The parson made no difficulty in the height of my clevation, to check me when I was pert, and instruct me when I blandered; and if there is any alteration,



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he is now more timorous, lest his freedom should be thought rudeness.

25. The soldier never paid me any particular addresses but very rigidly observed all the rules of politeness which he is now so far from relaxing, that whenever he serves the tea, he obstinately carries me the first dish, in defiance of the frowns and whispers of the table.

26. This Mr. Rambler, is to see the World. It is impossible for those who have only known influence and prosperity, to judge rightly of themselves or others. The rich and the powerful live in a perpetual masquerade, in which all about them wear bor. rowed characters; and we only discover in what estimation we are held, when we can no longer give hopes or fears.

I am, &c.

MELISSA. On the Omniscience and Omnipresence of the Deity, together

with the immensity of his Works. 1. WAS yesterday about-sunset, walking in the open fields,

till the night insensibly fell upon me. I at first amused myself with all the richness and variety of colours, which appeared in the western part of heaven: in proportion as they faded away and went out, several stars and planets appeared one after another, till the whole firmament was in a glow. The blueness of the æther was exceedingly heightened and enlivened by the season of the year and by the rays of all those luminaries that passed through it.

2. The Galaxy appeared in its most beautiful white. To complete the scene, the full moon rose at length in that clouded majesty, which Milton takes notice of, and opened to the eye a new picture, which was more finally shaded, and disposed among softer lights, than that which the sun had before discove ered to us.

3. As I was surveying the moon, walking in her brightness, and taking her progress among the constellations, a thought rose in me which I believe very often perplexes and disturbs naen of serious and contemplative natures.-David himself fell into it in that reflection. When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained;

what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou regardest him!

4. In the same manner when I considered that infinite host of stars, or, to speak more philosophically, of suns, who were then shining upon me, with those innumerable sets of planets or worlds, which were moving round their respective suns ; when I still enlarged the idea, and supposed another heaven of suns and worlds rising still above this which we hrad discovered and

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these still enlightened by a superior firmament of luminaries, which are planted at so great a distance, that they may appear to the inhabitants of the former as the stars do to us; in short, while I pursued this thought, I could not but reflect on that little insignificant figure which I myself bore amidst the immensity of God's works.

5. Were the sun, which enlightens this part of the creation, with all the hosts of planetary worlds that move about him utterly extinguished and annihilated, they would not be missed, more than a grain of sand upon the sea shore. The space they possess is so exceedingly little in comparison of the whole, that it would scarce make a blank in the creation. The chasm would be imperceptible to an eye, that would take in the whole compass of nature, and pass from one end of the creation to the other; as it is possible there may be such a sense in ourselves hereafter, or in creatures which are at present more exalted than ourselves.

0. We see many stars by the help of glasses, which we do not discover with our naked eyes; and the finer our telescopes are, the more still are our discoveries. Huygenius carries his thoughts so far, that he does not think it impossible there may be stars whose light is not yet travelled down to us, since their first creation. There is no question but the universe has certain bounds set to it; but when we consider that it is the work of infinite power, prompted by infinite goodness, with an infinite space to exert itself in, how can our imagination set any bounds to it!

7. To return, therefore, to my first thought, I could not but look upon myself with secret horror, as a being who was not worth the smallest regard of one who had so great a work under his care and superintendency. I was afraid of being overlooked amidst the immensity of nature and lost among that infinite variety of creatures, which in all probability swarm through all these immeasureable regions of matter.

In order to recover myself from this mortifying thought, I considered that it took its rise from those narrow conceptions, which we are apt to maintain of the divine nature.-We ourselves cannot attend to many different objects at the same time.

If we are careful to inspect some things, we must of course neglect others.

8. This imperfection which we observe in ourselves is an imperfection thal cleaves in some degree to creatures of the highest capacities, as they are creatures, that is, beings of infinite and limited natures. The presence of every created being is confined to a certain measure of space, and consequently his observation is stinted to a certain number of objects. The sphere in which we move, and act, and understand, is of a wider circum

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