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twenty, neither deformed in my person, nor, I hope, unhappy in my temper: my fortune is easy, my education liberal ; and, I suppose, I am as well calculated to pass in a crowd as the generality of my acquaintance.
About twelve months ago, I fell passionately in love with a young lady, whose beauty and merit entitled her to a rank more exalted than I could raise her to, though she was much my inferior in point of fortune. She was at that time courted by a young gentleman in the law; and matters had actually gone so far, that a day was appointed for the solemnization of the nuptials. All this I was very well informed of: yet, impetuously hurried by the violence of my passion, I disclo. sed it to the father. He was a man of the world—my cir. cumstances were much better than his intended son-in-law's; and he paid a less attention to the happiness, than he showed for the advancement, of his daughter. Why should I take up your time, sir? Maria's match with her former lover was immediately broken off ; -and-the unhappy young lady, who never presumed to disobey her father's commands, was torn from the man of her heart, and married to one she could never love.
I was in hope, sir, that a little time, and a tender beha. viour on my side, as a man never lored more fondly than myself, would have utterly erased Mr. Bridgegrove from the bosom of my wife, and placed me in his stead. But had I not been besotted with my love, I might easily have known, that a laudable impression upon the mind of a sensible woman is never to be eradicated : no, it is utterly impossible. When a young raw girl, indeed, entertains something like a regard for a man, without knowing the reason of her es. teem, it is nothing but a struggle of desire; or, more pro. perly speaking, the wheyiness of inclination, which, in a lit. tle time, she laughs at herself, ard, as she grows in understanding, easily skims off. But, where a woman of sense has placed her affections on a man of merit, , the passion is never to be erased; the more she ponders on his worth, the more reason she has to love him; and she can never cease to think of his perfections, till she is wholly divested of thought.
Unhappily for me, this was the case. Mr. Bridgegrove possessed the whole heart of Maria, and, in reality, deserved it: he is, perhaps the most amiable of men, and, poor fellow, loves her to distraction.
I have been now married ten months, and have, I flatter myself, expressed every act of tenderness proper for the lo. ver or the husband, to no purpose. My wife behaves with the utmost omplaisance, is uncommonly solicitous to please ; but this conduct is the effect of her good sense, and not the consequence of her love. The little endearing intercourse between husband and wife are suffered, not enjoyed ; if I complain of her coldness, she assumes an air more gay, and affects to be pleased, though I see the starting tear just bursting from her eye, and know the grief that rankles at her heart. Nay, the more I caress, the more miserable she is made ; and I see her generously lamenting that she cannot place her heart upon the man who possesses her hand, and is not utterly unworthy of her esteem. 0! sir, he must have no delicacy, no feeling, that can bear a circumstance like this unmoved.
How am I frequently torn to madness with reflection, even when I have her fastened to my bosom, to think that her whole sul is at that very moment running ou another man. In her sleep she frequently throws one of her fine arms round my neck, and
the name of Bridgegrove in a manner that distracts me.
Our little boy, (for she is lately brought to bed,) instead of a blessing, is another source of anxiety to us both. I overheard her, yesterday morning, weeping over the child, and crying—"My sweet boy, poor Bridgegrove should have father.”--Can
situation be so afflicting as mine? I have made the most amiable of women for ever wretched, and torna-worthy young fellow from the mistress of his heart. I have brought all my sorrows on myself, with the distressful considerution of having no right to com
plain. I deserve to be miserable. The man who would meanly hope to be happy in marriage, by sacrificing the inclination of the woman he loves, and ungenerously loses every regard to her wishes, whilst he endeavous to gratify his own, has no pretension to felicity. Had I never obtained the possession of Maria, I should not have been half so wretched as I am now: time and another object would, per. haps, have enabled me to bear her loss : but now, master of her person, to find another in the possession of her heart, and to know, that there is one whom she holds considerably dearer than myself, are considerations absolutely unsupportable. I cannot dwell any longer on the subject : I shall, therefore conclude with an advice to my own sex, never to marry a woman, whose heart they know is engaged, nor take a, piti. ful advantage of a father's authority in opposition to her inclination. If she be a good woman, she can never forget her first choice, and if she be bad, will inevitably bring share and scandal on the second.
d sta er is ot and 7st
I am, sir, &c.
STRICTURES ON THE ABSURDITY OF THOSE LADIES, WHO THROUGH
A FONDNESS FOR ADMIRATION, ADMIT THE VISITS OF A MAN WHO OPENLY MANIFESTS A LESIGN UPON THEIR PEACE AND
The subsequent letter from a female correspondent strongly marks her good sense and virtue, exhibits a just estimation of female dignity, and merits the particular attention of the young and inexperienced among my fair readers. Con. viction and reformation may possibly follow its perusal among some of my own sex, who are guilty of addressing the va. nity of women, to gain a compliance with their infamous wishes.
“Great an opposition as there seems between vanity and meanness, yet, if we take but ever so cursory a view of the world, we shall find them to be pretty general compa. nions, and scarcely meet a single instance, in which there can be any shadow of exception. Among my own sex, particularly, sir, vanity is the parent of so many mean. nesses, that I am actually surprised, when we endeavour to give ourselves the most consequence, that we never perceive how we forfeit all the dignity we just before possessed; and in the ridiculous attempt of arrogating our own importance, leave ourselves, in short, without any real importance at all.
6 This is never more the case, sir, than when we listen to the solicitations of your sex; and for the sake of a despicable compliment to our teeth or complexion, overlook the unpardonable affront which it generally conveys, and take no notice of the very porr opinion it insinuates,
both for the purity of our hearts, and the goodness of our understandings. We suffer the most illiberal addressess to be paid us, if they are but softened with the words, angel and goddess; and admit a designing villain as often as he pleases into our presence, though we know our ruin and disgrace are the only objects of his pursuit, if he but praises the colour of our hair, and tells us that we are possessed of finer eyes than the rest of our acquaintances. In short, sir, we are willing a man should think there is a probability of our launching into infamy and prostitution, for the sake of hearing our persons commended ; and perfectly reconciled, whilst he treats us on a footing with the handsomest women he may know, to his thinking, that in time he shall number us with the very worst.
“ A woman, sir, whenever she is told of her beauty with a grave face, should first of all consider the purpose for which she may be addressed in this manner, and reflect upon the motive which may actuate the person who professes himself so sensible of her perfections. Nothing is more dangerous than to suffer continued repetitions of this style; it gradually becomes more and more pleasing to the ear; and there is, besides, too natural promptitude in the female mind to think favourably of those who seem to think passionately of us. A language of this nature, therefore, should be highly alarming to our ears ; for many a woman, who thought herself impregnable, has, in a length of time, grown so enamoured of her own praise, that she could not possibly exist without the person who administered it, and has at last surrendered at discretion ; when, had she first of all capitulated on terms, she might have insisted on the
"Let us only reduce the general tendency of modern addresses into plain English, and ask the most indiscreet of the if they can, in their conscience, discover them to be a jot better than this–Madam, I look upon you as a fool, and one whom I have a strong inclination to make a