tranquillize my mind

I am impatient for an opportunity of returning your civilities, my dear
Matilda; and if possible, of repaying you some part of the pleasure,
which you so liberally afforded me, during my late visit to your
hospitable mansion. For this purpose, I must insist on the performance
of your promise to spend the winter in town. It is true that I cannot
contribute to your amusement in kind. Yet, according to the generally
received opinion, that variety is necessary to the enjoyment of life, we
may find ours mutually heightened by the exchange. Delightful rambles,
and hours of contemplative solitude, free from the interruptions of
formality and fashion, I cannot insure; but you may depend on all that
friendship and assiduity can substitute; and while the bleak winds are
howling abroad, a cheerful fireside, and a social circle, may dispel the
gloom of the season. The pleasures of our family are very local. Few are
sought, in which the understanding and affections can have no share. For
this reason, a select, not a promiscuous acquaintance is cultivated. And
however unfashionable our practice may be deemed, we can find
entertainment, even in the dull hours of winter, without recourse to
cards. Almost every other recreation affords some exercise and
improvement to the body or mind, or both; but from this neither can
result. The whole attention is absorbed by the game. Reason lies
dormant, and the passions only are awake. However little is depending,
the parties are frequently as much agitated by hope and fear, as if
their all were at stake. It is difficult for the vanquished not to feel
chagrin; while the victors are gratified at the expense of their
friends. But the principal objection with me, is the utter exclusion of
conversation; a source of pleasure, and of profit too, for which I can
admit nothing as an equivalent. Winter evenings are peculiarly adapted
to this rational and refined entertainment. Deprived of that variety of
scenery, and those beauties of nature, which the vernal and autumnal
seasons exhibit, we are obliged to have recourse to the fireside for
comfort. Here we have leisure to collect our scattered ideas, and to
improve, by social intercourse, and the exertion of our mental powers.

Our sex are often rallied on their volubility: and, for myself, I
frankly confess, that I am so averse to taciturnity, and so highly prize
the advantages of society and friendship, that I had rather plead guilty
to the charge than relinquish them.

“Hast thou no friend to set thy mind a-broach?
Good sense will stagnate. Thoughts shut up, want air,
And spoil, like bales unopen’d to the sun.
Had thought been all, sweet speech had been deny’d;
Speech, thought’s canal! Speech, thought’s criterion too.
Thought, in the mine, may come forth gold or dross;
When coin’d in word, we know its real worth:
If sterling, store it for thy future use;
’Twill buy thee benefit, perhaps renown.
Thought, too, deliver’d, is the more possess’d;
Teaching, we learn; and giving, we retain
The births of intellect: when dumb, forgot.
Speech ventilates our intellectual fire:
Speech burnishes our mental magazine:
Brightens for ornament, and whets for use.”

Come then, Matilda, participate the pleasures, and accelerate the
improvement, of your affectionate friend,

Yours of the 9th ult. has just come to hand. It gave me renewed
experience of the truth of the observation, that next to the personal
presence and conversation, is the epistolary correspondence of a friend.
I am preparing, with the most lively sensations of pleasure, to gratify
my own wishes, and comply with your polite invitation. The romantic
beauty of the rural scenes has forsaken me; and what can so amply
compensate for their absence, as the charms you offer?

I envy you nothing which the town affords, but the advantages you derive
from the choice of society adapted to your own taste. Your sentiments of
the fashionable diversion of card-playing, are, in my view, perfectly
just. I believe that many people join in it, because it is the _ton_,
rather than from any other motive. And as such persons generally pay the
greatest deference to Lord Chesterfield’s opinions and maxims, I have
often wondered how they happened to overlook, or disregard his
animadversions upon this subject; and have felt a strong inclination to
tell them, that this _all-accomplished_ master of politeness, and oracle
of pleasure, expressly says, “All amusements, where neither the
understanding nor the senses can have the least share, I look upon as
frivolous, and the resources of little minds, who either do not think,
or do not love to think.”

We had a pretty party here, last evening; and a party it literally was;
for it consisted entirely of ladies. This singular circumstance was
remarked by one of the company, who, at least, pretended to think it
agreeable, because, said she, we can now speak without restraint, or the
fear of criticism. I confess that I was not prude enough to acquiesce in
her opinion.

Ladies of delicacy and refinement will not countenance or support a
conversation, which gentlemen of sense and sentiment can disapprove. As
each were formed for social beings, and depend on the other for social
happiness, I imagine that society receives its greatest charm from a
mutual interchange of sentiment and knowledge.

“Both sexes are reciprocal instruments of each other’s improvement. The
rough spirit of the one is tempered by the gentleness of the other,
which has likewise its obligations to that spirit. Men’s sentiments
contract a milder turn in the company of women, who, on the other hand,
find their volatility abated in that of the men. Their different
qualities, intermingling, form a happy symphony. From their intimate
conjunction, their real advantages must be common and inseparable; and
as for those ridiculous wranglings about superiority, they may be
reckoned insults to nature, and betray a want of a due sense of its wise
and gracious dispensations.”[4]

I take the liberty to send you Bennet’s Letters. When my mamma put them
into my hand, Sophia, said she, I recommend this book to your attentive
perusal. It highly deserves it, and will richly reward your labour. You
have, indeed, completed your school education; but you have much yet to
learn. Improvements in knowledge are necessarily progressive. The human
mind is naturally active and eager in pursuit of information; which we
have various and continual means of accumulating: but never will you
have a more favourable opportunity for the cultivation of your mind,
than you now enjoy. You are now free from those domestic cares and
avocations, which may hereafter fall to your lot, and occupy most of
your time. Speculation must then give place to practice. Be assiduous,
therefore, to increase the fund, that it may yield you a competent
interest, and afford you a constant resource of support and enjoyment.

With these words she withdrew, while I was still listening to the sweet
accents of maternal tenderness and discretion, which vibrated on my ear,
even after her departure.

I find it worthy the recommendation of so good a judge. As a moral
writer, the precepts and observations of its author are excellent; as a
religious one, his piety is exemplary, and his instructions improving.
His selection of books, which he deems most proper for our sex, though
too numerous, perhaps, may, notwithstanding, assist and direct the young
in their course of reading.

Who would not imitate his Louisa? In her he has forcibly displayed the
beauties of an amiable disposition, and the advantages which even _that_
may derive from a virtuous and religious education.

These letters are not scholastic and elaborate dissertations; they are
addressed to the heart; they are the native language of affection: and
they can hardly fail to instil the love of virtue into every mind
susceptible of its charms.

If you have not read them, I will venture to predict that they will
afford you entertainment, as well as instruction; and if you _have_,
they will bear a second perusal. Indeed, every valuable book should be
re-perused. On a first reading, our curiosity to know something of all
it contains, hurries us forward with a rapidity which outstrips both the
memory and judgment.

When this predominant passion is gratified, an attentive review will
commonly furnish many useful and important lessons, which had nearly or
quite escaped our notice before.

This, by some, is deemed too laborious a task. They prefer company and
conversation to reading of any kind; and allege, in defence of their
opinion, that a knowledge of the world, and of human nature, together
with that ease and gracefulness of manners, which are of the utmost
consequence to all who would make a respectable figure in life, are much
better obtained in this way, than by the cold and unimpassioned perusal
of books.

But is not every acquisition of this sort merely superficial? Need we
not a guide, superior to our own judgment and experience, to point out
the line of duty and propriety, in the various conditions and relations
of our existence?

Our acquaintance with living characters and manners can afford us but a
very limited view of mankind, in the different periods and stages of
society. The inquisitive mind labours to extend its knowledge to the
most distant climes and remote antiquity; and craves other materials for
the exercise of its reflecting powers, than can be derived from
occasional and desultory conversation. Now, by what means can this
laudable curiosity be so effectually satisfied, as by the perusal of
judicious and well chosen books? Not that I would depreciate the value
of good company (for I esteem it highly;) but add its many advantages to
those which reading affords. This combination must have a happy tendency
to give us possession, both of the virtues and graces; and to render our
attainments at once solid and ornamental.

What think you, Caroline? Do you agree with me in opinion? Let me hear
from you by the first opportunity; and believe me yours most sincerely.

I thank you, my dear friend, for the book you were so obliging as to
send me; and for the letter which accompanied it. The book I had read;
but as you justly observe, I must be a gainer by a second perusal.

Upon the subject of reading, I perfectly accord with you in sentiment.
It is an amusement, of which I was always enthusiastically fond. Mrs.
Williams regulated my taste; and, by directing and maturing my judgment,
taught me to make it a source of refined and substantial pleasure. I do
not wish to pursue study as a profession, nor to become a learned lady;
but I would pay so much attention to it, as to taste the delights of
literature, and be qualified to bear a part in rational and improving
conversation. Indeed, I would treasure up such a fund of useful
knowledge, as may properly direct my course through life, and prove an
antidote against the vexations and disappointments of the world. I
think, Sophia, that our sex stand in special need of such a resource to
beguile the solitary hours which a domestic station commonly imposes. Is
it not for the want of this that some females furnish a pretext for the
accusation (which is illiberally brought against all) of having recourse
to scandal, and the sallies of indelicate mirth? Conversation requires a
perpetual supply of materials from the mind: and accordingly as the mind
has been cultivated or neglected, dignified or degrading subjects will
be introduced.

I received a letter yesterday from our lively and lovely friend, Anna
Williams. How delightfully blended in this charming girl, are vivacity
and sentiment, ease and propriety. Adieu.

So often, my dear Maria, has the pen of the divine, the moralist, and
the novelist been employed on the subject of female frailty and
seduction; and so pathetically has each described the folly and misery
of the fatal delusion which involves many in disgrace, that I am
astonished when I see those, who have the best means of information,
heedlessly sacrificing their reputation, peace and happiness to the
specious arts of the libertine! In this case it is common for our sex to
rail against the other, and endeavor to excite the pity of the world by
painting the advantage which has been taken of their credulity and
weakness. But are we not sufficiently apprised of the enemies we have to
encounter? And have we not adequate motives to circumspection and
firmness?

I am generally an advocate for my own sex—but when they suffer
themselves to fall a prey to seducers, their pusillanimity admits no
excuse. I am bold to affirm that every woman, by behaving with propriety
on all occasions, may not only resist temptation, but repel the first
attempts upon her honor and virtue.

That levity of deportment, which invites and encourages designers, ought
studiously to be avoided. Flattery and vanity are two of the most
dangerous foes to the sex. A fondness for admiration insensibly throws
off their guard, and leads them to listen and give credit to the
professions of those who lie in wait to deceive.

The following remarks, though severe, perhaps can hardly be deemed
inconsistent with the character which their author assumes.[5] “Women
would do well to forbear their declamations against the falsity and
wickedness of men; the fault is theirs, to fall into such coarse-spun
snares as are laid for them.

The Ladies’ Friend.

“That servile obsequiousness which woman should immediately look upon as
the mark of fraud, and which should make them apprehend a surprise, is
the very thing which allures them, and renders them soon the victims of
perjury and inconstancy; the just punishment of a disposition which
fixes their inclinations on superficial qualities. It is this
disposition which draws after them a crowd of empty fops, who if they
have any meaning at all, it is only to deceive. Something pleasing in a
man’s person, a giddy air, a perpetual levity, supply the place of
valuable endowments.”

A recent and singular adventure has rendered observations of this sort
peculiarly striking to my mind; which may account for the subject and
the length of this letter.

I will give you a detail of it, though I must conceal the real names of
the parties concerned.

Yesterday, the weather being very fine, and the sleighing excellent,
several of our family, with two or three friends, were induced to make
an excursion a few miles in the country. We stopped at a house which had
formerly been a tavern, and in which we had often been well entertained
on similar occasions. As we were in haste to receive the benefit of a
good fire, we did not notice the removal of the sign, nor advert to the
possibility of its being converted into a private mansion. Being very
cold, I stepped first out of the sleigh and ran hastily in; leaving the
gentlemen to exercise their gallantry with the other ladies. The room I
entered had no fire. I therefore opened the door which led to the next
apartment, when I beheld the beautiful and admired Clarinda sitting in
an easy chair, pale and wan, with an infant in her arms! I stood mute
and motionless, till the woman of the house appeared, to conduct me to
another room. Confusion and shame were visibly depicted in Clarinda’s
countenance; and, unable to meet my eye, she threw her handkerchief over
her face, and fell back in the chair.

I followed the good woman, and apologising for my intrusion, told her
the cause. She recollected my having been there before, and readily
excused my freedom.

By this time the rest of the company, who had been shown into a decent
parlour, were inquiring for me; and I could scarcely find opportunity to
request my conductress to ask Clarinda’s forgiveness in my name, and to
assure her of my silence, before I had joined them. I assumed an
appearance of cheerfulness very foreign to the feelings of my heart, and
related my mistake without any mention of the melancholy discovery I had
made. We prevailed on the woman to accommodate us with tea and coffee,
as we wished to ride no further. While preparations were making she came
in to lay the table, and as she withdrew, gave me a token to follow her;
when she informed me that Clarinda had been extremely overcome by my
detecting her situation, but being somewhat recovered desired a private
interview. I accordingly repaired to her apartment, where I found her
bathed in tears. Pity operated in my breast, and with an air of
tenderness I offered her my hand; but she withheld hers, exclaiming in
broken accents, O no! I am polluted—I have forfeited your friendship—I
am unworthy even of your compassion.

I begged her to be calm, and promised her that she should suffer no
inconvenience from my knowledge of her condition.

She thanked me for my assurances, and subjoined that, since she knew the
candor and generosity of my disposition, she would entrust me with every
circumstance relative to her shameful fall; when, after a considerable
pause, she proceeded nearly in the following words.

“Though our acquaintance has been for some time suspended, and though we
have lived in different parts of the town, yet common fame has doubtless
informed you that I was addressed by the gay, and to me, too charming
Florimel! To the most captivating form, he superadded the winning graces
of politeness, and all those insinuating arts which imperceptibly engage
the female heart.

“His flattering attentions, and apparent ardour of affection, were to my
inexperienced and susceptible mind, proofs of his sincerity; and the
effusions of the most lively passion, were returned with unsuspecting
confidence.

“My father, strict in his principles, and watchful for my real welfare,
disapproved his suit; alleging that although Florimel was calculated to
please in the gayer moments of life, he was nevertheless destitute of
those sentiments of religion and virtue, which are essentially requisite
to durable felicity. But I could not be persuaded that he lacked any
perfection which maturer years would not give him; and therefore finding
my attachment unconquerable, my father reluctantly acquiesced in the
proposed connexion. My ill-judged partiality for this ungenerous man
absorbed every other passion and pursuit; while he took advantage of my
yielding fondness, and assumed liberties which I knew to be
inconsistent, with delicacy, but had not resolution to repel. One
encroachment succeeded another, and every concession was claimed and
granted as a proof of love, till at length he became absolute master of
my will and my person. Shame and remorse soon roused me to a sense of my
guilt, and I demanded an immediate performance of his promise of
marriage. This, under one pretext or another, he constantly evaded. His
visits daily became less frequent, and his attentions less
assiduous—while the most poignant anguish of mind deprived me of every
comfort. I found myself reduced to the humiliating alternative of
entreating my seducer to screen me from infamy by the name of wife,
though he should never consider or treat me as such. To this he
insultingly replied, that my situation must necessarily detect our
illicit commerce; and his pride could never brook the reputation of
having a wife whose chastity had been sacrificed. As soon as rage and
resentment, which at first took from me the power of utterance, would
permit, Wretch! exclaimed I, is it not to you the sacrifice has been
made? Who but you has triumphed over my virtue, and subjected me to the
disgrace and wretchedness I now suffer? Was it not in token of my regard
for you that I yielded to your solicitations? And is this the requital I
am to receive? Base, ungrateful man! I despise your meanness! I detest
the ungenerous disposition you betray, and henceforth reject all
intercourse and society with you! I will throw myself on the mercy of my
injured parents, and renounce you forever.

“Seeing me almost frantic, he endeavored to soothe and appease me. He
apologized for the harshness of his language, and even made professions
of unabated affection; but gave as a reason for deferring the conjugal
union, at present, that commercial affairs obliged him to sail
immediately for Europe; assuring me at the same time that on his return
he would not fail to renew and consummate the connexion. To this I gave
no credit, and therefore made no reply. He then requested me to accept a
purse to defray my expenses, during his absence, which I rejected with
disdain; and he departed. The distress and despair of my mind were
inexpressible. For some days I resigned myself entirely to the agonizing
pangs of grief. My parents imputed my dejection to Florimel’s departure,
and strove to console me. It was not long, however, before my mother
discovered the real cause. In her, resentment gave place to compassion;
but the anger of my father could not be appeased. He absolutely forbade
me his presence for some time; but my mother at length prevailed on him
to see, and assure me of forgiveness and restoration to favor, if I
would consent to renounce and disown my child; to which, not then
knowing the force of maternal affection, I readily consented. This place
was privately procured for me, and hither, under pretence of spending a
month or two with a friend in the country, I retired. To-morrow my dear
babe is to be taken from me! It is to be put to nurse, I know not where!
All I am told is, that it shall be well taken care of! Constantly will
its moans haunt my imagination, while I am deprived even of the hope of
ministering to its wants; but must leave it to execrate the hour which
gave it birth, and deprive it of a parent’s attention and kindness.

“As soon as possible, I shall return to my father’s house; and as I am
unknown here, and you are the only person, out of our family, who shares
the dreadful secret, I flatter myself that my crime may still be
concealed from the world. The reproaches of my own mind I can never
escape. Conscious guilt will give the aspect of accusation to every eye
that beholds me; and however policy may compel me to wear the mask of
gaiety and ease, my heart will be wrung with inexpressible anguish by
the remembrance of my folly, and always alive to the distressing
sensations of remorse and shame! Oh Julia! you have witnessed my
disgrace! pity and forgive me! Perhaps I once appeared as virtuous and
respectable as you now do; but how changed! how fallen! how debased!
Learn from my fate to despise the flattery of the worthless coxcomb, and
the arts of the abandoned libertine.”

By this time I was summoned to tea; when giving all the consolation in
my power to the unhappy Clarinda, I rejoined my company; and to prevent
their inquisitiveness about my absence, told them I had been with a sick
woman, upon whom I had accidentally intruded when I first came in; and
that she had detained me, all this time, by a recital of her complaints
and misfortunes. This account satisfied their curiosity; but the
melancholy into which my mind had been thrown, was not easily
dissipated; nor could I, without doing violence to my feelings, put on
the appearance of my usual cheerfulness and ease.

Here my dear Maria, is a picture of the frailty and weakness of our sex!
How much reason have we then to “watch, and pray, that we enter not into
temptation!”

With affectionate regards to your mamma and sister, I subscribe myself
yours most sincerely,

I was much affected by the wo-fraught tale which you gave me in your
last. We cannot too much regret that such instances of duplicity and
folly are ever exhibited. They are alike disgraceful to both sexes, and
demonstrate the debasing and fatal tendency of the passions, when
suffered to predominate.

Your observations upon our sex I believe to be just, though many would
probably deem them severe. However, I think it not much to the honor of
the masculine character, which the God of nature designed for a defence
and safeguard to female virtue and happiness, to take advantage of the
tender affection of the unsuspecting and too credulous fair; and, in
return for her love and confidence, perfidiously to destroy her peace of
mind, and deprive her of that reputation which might have rendered her a
useful and ornamental member of society. True, we ought to take warning
by such examples of treachery and deceit; yet how much more conducive to
the honor and happiness of our species, were there no occasion to
apprehend such ungenerous requitals of our sincerity and frankness.

Yesterday, my mamma took the liberty to read that part of your letter,
which contains the story of Clarinda, to her pupils, and to make such
comments upon it as the subject suggested; during which we could not but
observe the extreme emotion of one of the misses, a most amiable girl of
about sixteen. When the paragraph respecting Clarinda’s disowning her
child was read, she hastily rose and in broken accents begged leave to
withdraw. This was granted without any inquiry into the cause; though
our curiosity, as you may well suppose, was much excited. After we were
dismissed, my mamma prevailed on her to tell the reason of her
agitation.

“I am,” said she, “the illegitimate offspring of parents, whom I am told
are people of fortune and fashion. The fear of disgrace overcame the
dictates of natural affection, and induced my mother to abandon me in my
infancy. She accordingly gave me away, with a large sum of money, which
she vainly imagined would procure me kind and good treatment. But
unhappily for me the people to whom I was consigned, availed themselves
of their security from inspection and inquiry, abused the trust reposed
in them, and exposed me to the greatest hardships. As they were persons
of vulgar minds and unfeeling hearts, they did not commiserate my
friendless condition. My quick sensibility incurred their displeasure or
derision. I was often insultingly reproached with the misfortune of my
birth; while the tears which these ungenerous reflections extorted from
me, were either mocked or punished. I had a thirst for knowledge; but
they allowed me no time for acquiring it, alleging they could not
support me in idleness, but that I must earn my living as they did
theirs, by hard labor. Oppressed by these insults, I bore the galling
yoke of their authority with the utmost impatience. When screened from
observation, my tears flowed without restraint; and the idea of my
parents’ cruelty, in thus subjecting me to infamy and wretchedness,
continually haunted my imagination. Sometimes I fancied my mother in
view, and exposing my tattered raiment, expostulated with her concerning
the indignities I suffered, and the unreasonable hardship of leaving me
to bear all the punishment of my guilty birth! At other times I painted
to myself a father, in some gentleman of pleasing aspect; and fondly
indulged the momentary transport of throwing myself at the feet of one,
whom I could call by that venerable and endearing name! Too soon,
however, did the reverse of parental tenderness awake me from my
delusive reveries.

“In this manner I lingered away my existence, till I was twelve years
old; when going one day to the house of a gentleman in the neighborhood,
to which I was often sent to sell herbs, and other trifles, I was
directed into the parlor, where the most beautiful sight in nature
opened to my view; while the contrast between my own situation, and that
of children blessed with affectionate parents, gave me the most painful
sensations. The lady of the house was surrounded by her four sons, the
eldest of whom was reading lessons, which she most pathetically
inculcated upon all. As the door was open, I stood some minutes
unobserved; and was so delighted with the tender accents in which her
instructions were imparted, and the cheerful obedience with which they
were received, that I had no disposition to interrupt them.

“At length I was seen, and bid to come in. But when questioned about my
errand I was so absorbed in the contemplation of maternal and filial
love, exhibited in this happy group, that my tongue refused utterance,
and I burst into tears. The children gathered around and inquired what
ailed the poor little girl? But when the lady took me by the hand, and
kindly asked what was the matter, I could not restrain or conceal my
feelings. When my tears had relieved me, I related the cause of my
grief; describing my own situation, and the effect which its contrast
had produced on my mind.

“She was affected by my story, and seemed pleased with my sensibility;
while the children lamented my misfortunes, and artlessly requested
their mamma to let me come and live with them.

“Little did I then expect so great a favor; but to my surprise as well
as joy, Mrs. ——, the lady of whom I have been speaking, and by whom I am
put under your care, came a few days after, and asked the people where I
lived, if they were willing to part with me. By their consent she took
me home, and has ever since treated me like a child.

“I am now happy beyond expression. My gratitude to my benefactress, who,
guided by a wise and good Providence, has snatched me from obscurity and
misery, and given me so many advantages for improvement, is unbounded.

“But the idea that any helpless innocent should be unnaturally exposed
to the sufferings which I have experienced, is insupportably distressing
to my imagination.

“Let my story, if possible, be told to Clarinda, that she may be induced
to have compassion upon her defenceless offspring.”

You are at liberty, therefore, my dear Julia, to make what use you
please of this letter. I shall make no comments upon the subject of it,
nor add any thing more to its length, but that I am affectionately
yours.

My contemplated visit to Harmony-Grove must be deferred. A severe
illness has lately confined my mamma to her chamber. This claimed all my
time and attention, and called me to a new scene of care; that of a
family which I was obliged to superintend during her indisposition. Her
recovery has, at length, restored tranquillity and joy to our abode; but
she has not yet resumed the direction of her household affairs. To this,
she tells me she is reconciled by the hope that experience may render me
an adept in domestic economy. Indeed, Anna, I think this an essential
branch of female education; and I question whether it can be acquired by
mere speculation. To me it is plain that every lady ought to have some
practice in the management of a family, before she takes upon herself
the important trust.

Do not many of the mistakes and infelicities of life arise from a
deficiency in this point?

Young ladies of fashion are not obliged to the task, and have too seldom
any inclination to perform duties which require so much time and
attention; and with which, perhaps, they have injudiciously been taught
to connect the idea of servility. Hence it is, that when called to
preside over families, they commit many errors, during their novitiate,
at least, which are alike detrimental to their interest and happiness.
How necessary is it, then, to avoid this complication of evils by a
seasonable application to those offices of housewifery, which may one
day become our province.

Early rising, I find a great assistance in my present occupation. It is
almost incredible how much may be gained by a diligent improvement of
those hours which are but too commonly lost in sleep. I arose this
morning with the dawn. The serenity of the sky and the fragrance of the
air invited me abroad. The calmness which universally prevailed served
to tranquillize my mind, while the receding shades of night, and the
rising beams of day, formed a contrasted assemblage of the beautiful,
the splendid, the solemn, and the sublime. The silence which pervaded
the surrounding scenery was interrupted only by the melody of the
feathered songsters, who seemed to rejoice in this undisturbed
opportunity of praising their maker. My heart expanded with gratitude
and love to the all-bountiful Author of nature; and so absorbed was I in
the most delightful meditations, that I saw with regret the hour
approaching which must again call me to the active duties of domestic
and social life. These however, are objects of real moment, and cannot
innocently be disregarded. They give a relish to amusement, and even to
devotion, which neither the dissipated nor the recluse can know. Adieu.