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but little chance of meeting a lover who will not grow in. different to a mere portrait, particularly when its colours are faded by the subduing hand of time. Then it is that modesty and sweetness of temper are to be particularly observed; and the loss of beauty will not be regretted even by the man they first made your captive.
See, lovely fair, yon blushing rose;
A VISION-IN WHICH VARIOUS CLASSES OF LOVERS PASS
IN REVIEW BEFORE THE AUTHOR.
Cum prostrata sopore
While sleep oppresses the tired limbs, the mind
A LIVELY imagination is, if I may use Shakspeare's expression, great nature's second course; for, not content to have enjoyed the intellectual pleasures immediately arising from the beauty of external objects or the transient scenes of life, it frequently, when they have vanished and disappeared, makes fond excursions after them again ; and even in our sleep it will occasionally recall the objects of our waking reflection, and from thence receive livelier sensations than were perhaps occasioned by the first impression. Though there are many fantastic circumstances in these night thoughts, if I may be so allowed to call our dreams, yet on these occasions we sometimes find ourselves presented with agreeable visions; and amidst the wildest vagaries of fancy, we can often trace something like just reasoning, and a real picture of life. As I take this to have been the case with me a few nights since, I shall make no apology for presenting my readers with my dream. .
I found myself, on a sudden, near a large intricate wood, which I had the curiosity to enter. A whimsical band, of hope and fear, joy and grief, pain and pleasure, hovered over our heads. Tender anguish, soft desire, pleasing agony, were all intermixed, and in their motley livery formed a many-coloured group. Cupid made violent work with his darts and flames, and nothing was to be heard but tinkling rills, falling fountains, and love-sick sighs, by which the aspen leaves were perpetually kept in rustling tremor. The god of love had by him a prodigious quantity of arrows, differently feathered, according to the va. rious effects of which they were to be productive. This circumstance called to my mind a beautiful passage in a poem by Doctor Parnell.
And every dart can boast a kind,
It was not unpleasant to observe the variety of impressions that were occasioned in both sexes by this strange fight of arrows. Men I perceived in close pursuit of bloom. ing virgins, merely from the impulse of vanity; and I saw several nymphs running with the utmost precipitation from their lovers; though, by their manner of looking back, and the rustling they made in the trees, there was room for conjecture that they did not desire entirely to escape.
Pleasing as the sensations of love are, I could observe that very unhappy effects were often the consequences. Many there were whose mien spoke a dejection of spi. rits, and they were frequently driven to such extremes, that they laid violent hands on their own lives. As I travelled on, I saw several hanging on boughs of trees ; and on the waters, which were swelled with tears, and ruffled with sighs, floated many a pallid corpse : in their countenances I could plainly see the traces of that fickle luxury of thought which is so apt to settle into a fixed des. pair.
From this scene of distress I turned away as soon as possible, and was relieved from my uneasiness by the sight of a few who seemed to be happy in their passion; whose hearts felt a mutual warmth, and whose eyes were brightened into gladness. They walked arm in arm down the flowery meads, interchanging mutual glances of affection; though ever and anon succeeded anger, suspicion, open war, and peace again. In the centre of the wood, stood a temple sacred to Virtue, where all, who were desirous of happiness, were directed to bend their course, in order there to be united together in bands of chaste affection. I was sorry to find that some of the ladies had not resolution to persevere in this path : whether it was owing to loose desires of seducing temptation, I cannot decide; certain it is, they tired in their journey, and stepped aside with their paramours to sequestered bowers, whence they were afterwards discarded into the thorny parts of the wood for the remainder of their days; but even of these, a few there were, who, after their digression, still found means to be introduced into the temple ; whither they were, however, pursued by an old hag called Scandal, who never yet has been known to let them entirely efface the remembrance of their
The ladies who kept on a due course, never failed to lead the men in captivity after them to the temple, whence, after a short ceremony, they were dismissed in pairs, to commence the road of life. Three different paths were opened to their choice, and a guide stood at each entrance to receive them. The first was of a cold dispassionate temper, who took every thing alike, and his name was Indifference. The second had eyes of a greenish cast, and he seemed to loathe the food, which he notwithstanding eagerly followed ; this personage was called Jealousy. And the third, by an openness of countenance, a strong expression of quick sensibility and cordial affection, was krown to be Friendship. Too many gave themselves up to Indifference, and instantly an inattention to each other's wants succeeded in their breasts; the men betook themselves to midnight shouts and revelry, and the fair to parties of tea, and routs, by which means every spark of love was soon extinguished, and the gratification of their own separate inclinations was their only study.
The walks of Jealousy were craggy, dangerous, and steep, full of thorns, briers, and brambles. In the heart, where before gladness and joy revelled secure, arose anxiety, distrust, and perturbation of spirit. The distem. pered fancy started at scenes of its own creation, and, in a fit of madness, hurried many a tortured wretch down the precipice of fate, or let fall its vengeance on its neighbour, What was observable in this part was, that though some. times there were the appearances, the real footsteps of guilt could no where be discovered. The
very small number under the guidance of Friendship enjoyed a pure heart-felt tranquillity; and the fierce desire, and impatient wish, which had formerly actuated their minds, having now subsided, a steady and uniform flame succeeded, not unlike the mild refreshing air of placid evening, after the fervour of a hot summer's day. Glad sun's rose over their heads, and kindly nights lulled them in each other's arms. A smiling race grew up around them, and the culture of their young and tender minds af. forded a pleasing employment ; they journeyed on through life, blessed with the sunshine of the soul, till, at length, the easy dissolution of nature put a period to all human felicity.
Here I could not help exclaiming with the poet
O grant me thus to live, and thus to die !
Who sprung from kings, shall know less joy than I.