Page images

and the remembrance of the two blushed, and cast down her eyes Savinias.

with a thoughtful air. This is she who is to be the companion of my life, thought I with transport, and I

disclosed to her my passion ; she inFor the Literary Magazine. terrupted my first words, by assur

ing me of her tender friendship, of EXTRACT FROM THE WILL OF AN which she was about to give me a

OLD BACHELOR, WHO DIED AT proof. She then told me, in confiTHE AGE OF 87.

dence, that she had a long time been

strongly attached to a young man, From the German,

and never would marry any other

than him. In thus renouncing my LOVE, hope, and even fear, tender and pretty fair-one, I did not ought by turns to agitate the human renounce the hope of being one day breast, to prevent our days from happy in marriage. I offered my passing over in an insipid uniformi vows to a third, a young lady who ty. It is to escape this insipidity, so was beautiful as an angel ; she reinsupportable to man, that he em- ceived my declarations with expres. ploys himself in a thousand trifles, sions of esteem, but she received a thousand follies : one plays at them as the homage due to her chess, another builds houses; one charms. Amelia (for that was her learns to warble like the birds, an- name) was proud of her beauty other to decypher music; this man and wit, and only thought of multilearns to cultivate flowers, the other plying her conquests, considering it to write books, &c.

beneath her to sacrifice those to the These various means of escaping happiness of one man only. When ennui had nothing in them to capti- I merely talked of love, she willingvate my fancy. In examining the ly heard me; but when I pronoundifferent interests which arose in ced the word marriage, I was remy view, I found that which alone pulsed. I left her, and went home had power to attach me to life, and much mortified by her refusal; make it valuable, were the extatic but as I had been more dazzled by ties of husband and father: celibacy her charms than touched by her never made a part in my schemes character, I felt more resentment of happiness; I loved in good ear. than grief. nest; my vows were always sin Nothing is more suffocating than cere and honourable, as I only as anger and vexation; I opened my pired to become a good husband window to get air, and my eyes and a good father of a family. I were mechanically cast upon the have been in love seven times, is street. In that moment, a young not that enough? and is it not un- brunette, neat and smart, crossed fortunate that I have not found a it; I recollected to have seen her wife ? Ah ! my friend, my first before, but she had never drawn my affections alone have power to make attention ; the general elegance of my tears flow! A gentle innocent her air struck me, and, as a flash of girl, who was to me most truly a lightning, it occurred to my mind to first love, and who returned my avenge myself on the haughty Ame. passion as tenderly, death snatch- lia, by paying my court to this young ed from me, and I was

near person.

This suggestion quickly following her to the grave. Never ripened into a settled project, and, shall I forget that amiable crea as usual was combined with the ture !

idea of marriage, which still more em. After some years of grief and in- bellished in my eyes the object of my difference, a very pretty fair-one new flame. I found means to introanimated my heart; I exerted all duce myself at her house; I followmy assiduities with kindness, she ed her with assiduity ; I suffered no

[ocr errors]

opportunity to escape to make known ed her, and, passing his arm round my sentiments, which she appeared her waist, laughed heartily with well inclined to return; when sud. her, as their eyes followed me. denly her parents said to me, that I withdrew much quicker than I my frequent visits to their house went, and soon learned that the did them much honour; that they young man had become her husbegged I would continue them, and band two days before. This melanremain always a friend to the fa- choly adventure, which ought to mily ; but they believed they ought have humbled me, on the contrary to apprise me, that their daughter suddenly renewed my courage. I had been long before promised to a resolved to be no longer the dupe of very rich man of the next town; of my own feelings, and to marry, that his arrival was expected, and cost what it would. I went into an they besought me, as a friend, not to assembly of young persons, and adoffer him any offence.' My young dressing myself to her who pleased friend gave me to understand that me the most, I asked to speak to she would have preferred me, but her apart; she granted my request, that she must obey. He was hand- and the next day I went to her some, he was amiable; and I soon house. Are you at liberty ?' said perceived that my young brunette I, entering. "Yes,' answered she, obeyed without reluctance.

absolutely free.' Will you accept You may easily imagine that I my heart and hand ? Both,' said became timid and suspicious after she, smiling, and extending hers. all these disappointments; hardly From that moment, I considered dare I look at a woman, lest I myself married : but this engage. should become enamoured; but the ment, so suddenly formed, was as disease quickly banished my fears. suddenly dissolved. It would be I became again in love, and this too tedious to inform you of the partime was very seriously so. I loved ticular circumstances; happily bewith passion, but with such diffi- fore the ceremony, I perceived dence, such an apprehension of not

In short, she was succeeding, that I dared not to avow unfaithful, and God be praised she my sentiments to her who had in was not yet my wife. It requires spired them : I regularly passed much precaution, thought I; one before her windows three times a- ought to study a long time, and day, and, when she appeared, I with much attention, the woman bowed with the most tender and re who is to be one's companion. Try spectful air, almost touching the once more. I then made a seventh ground with my hat. During some choice, which was more wise and days, she appeared there more fre- reasonable, a charming young girl, quently, and I even remarked, that well educated, and who had never when she saw me at a distance she been in love. fixed herself in her balcony, and an This time no one could accuse me swered my salutations with a sweet of too much precipitation; I caresmile. I was overwhelmed with joy, fully watched all her steps, all her and employed my thoughts on the actions, all her intentions, without means of making myself known to making my declaration. I hoped her; when one day that I passed, as incessantly. I was as yet only in usual, before her house, and was the fourth year of vigilance and walking slowly to prolong the pleaobservation, when in the moment I sure of being near her, I heard her least expected she was carried off burst into a fit of laughter, and say, by a young man who knew her only

come, I pray, my dear friend, come four days. This shall be my last and look at this cringing fellow ! trial, said I; I can no more resolve he is of all beings on earth the most to begin new amours: I still love ridiculous.' A young man approach the ladies, but this sentiment is ac

companied by such timidity, that praise of her superlative charms; I cannot again venture to speak to and in hyperbolical accounts of the them.

flames, darts, and daggers, by which his lungs, liver, and midriff were burnt up, transfixed, and

gnawed away. He who, in writing For the Literary Magazine. a song to his sweetheart, described

his heart to be without " one drop ANECDOTE OF A SWISS CAPTAIN of gravy, like an over-done muttonIN FRANCE.

chop,” was a fool at a simile when

compared to our hero. À Swiss captain of grenadiers, One day, as he was ranting, whose company had been cashiered, kneeling, and beseeching his godwas determined, since Mars had no dess to send him of an errand to more employment for him, to try if pluck the diamond from the nose of he could not procure a commission the great mogul, and present it to in the corps of Venus; or, in other her divinityship, or suffer him to words, if he could not get a wife : step and steal the empress of China's and, as he had no fortune of his own, enchanted slipper, or the queen of he reasoned, and very justly, that it Sheba's cockatoo, as a small testiwas necessary his intended should mony of what he would undertake have enough for them both. The to prove his love, she, after a little captain was one of those kind of he. hesitation, addressed him thus : roes to whom the epithet of hector : “ The protestations which you ing blade might readily be applied : daily make, captain, as well as what he was nearly six feet high, wore a you say at present, convince me long sword, and fiercely-cocked there is nothing you would not do to hat: add to which, he was allowed oblige me: I therefore do not find to have the most martial pair of much difficulty in telling you, I am whiskers of any grenadier in the willing to be yours, if you will percompany to which he had belonged. form one thing which I shall request To curl these whiskers, to comb and of you.” twist them round his fore-finger, Tell me, immaculate angel,” and to admire them in the glass, cried our son of gunpowder ; " tell formed the chief occupation and de me what it is: though, before you light of his life. A man of these ac. speak, be certain it is already done." complishments, with the addition of “ Captain,” replied the fair one, bronze and rhodomontade, of which“ I shall enjoin nothing impossible. he had a superfluity, is supposed to The thing I desire, you can do with stand at all times, and in all coun. the utmost ease. It will not cost tries, a good chance with the ladies. you five minutes' trouble.

Yet, Accordingly, after a little diligent were it not for your so positive as. attention and artful inquiry, surances, I should, from what I young lady was found, exactly such have observed, almost doubt of your a one as we may well suppose a compliance ?” person with his views would be glad " Ah, madam!" returned he, to find. She was tolerably hand wrong not your slave thus : deem some, not more than three and it impossible, that he who eats hap. twenty, with a good fortune ; and, piness, and drinks immortal life what was better still, her fortune from the light of your eyes, can ever was entirely at her own disposal. demur the thousandth part of a

Our captain, who thought now or semi-second to execute your behests. never was the time, having first Speak! say! What, what must I found means to introduce himself as perform ?” a suitor, was incessant in his en “Nay, for that matter, 'tis a mere deavours to carry his point. His trifle :-only to cut off your whis« tongue was eternally running in kers, captain ; that's all.”



[ocr errors]


6. Madam !-(Be so kind, reader, hour has my pen been in my hand, as to imagine the captain's utter as my ink and paper before me, but tonishment) My whiskers! Cut no subject occurs. I have been enoff my whiskers ! Excuse

deavouring to collect my thoughts Cut off my whiskers ! Madam! in vain ; I cannot find a sufficiency Anything else ; any thing that for a single passage ; they wander mind can, or cannot imagine, or from one subject to another like tongue describe. But, for my whis- those light bodies that float on the kers, you must grant me a salvo surface of the deep to and fro, beatthere."

en this way by one wave and that “ And why so, good captain ? by another, unable to remain staSurely any gentleman who had but tionary long enough to fix themthe tythe of the passion you express, selves to any point of rest. Such is would not stand upon such a trifle ?” the state of my mind, and it is one

“ A trifle, madam! My whis- certainly very unfavourable. to my kers a trifle ! No, madam, no; my present purpose. whiskers are no trifle. Had I but a Yet this very dearth of ideas, or single regiment of fellows whisker- of confusion in their arrangement, ed, and like me, I myself would be has, by acting upon itself, given the grand Turk of Constantinople. rise to some reflections on the My whiskers, madam, are the last causes in which they may originthing I should have supposed you

The mind of the writer would have wished me to sacrifice. should, like that of the philosoThere is not a woman, married or pher, be able to lay aside the single, maid, wife, or widow, that cares of life, and apply itself to the does not admire my whiskers.” subject of its speculations, to pur“ May be so, sir : but if you

sue the direction to which his specumarry me, you must cut them off.” lations may lead him in a strait line,

66 And is there no other way? without deviation ; it is thus only Must I never hope to be happy with that the subject will be made to unyou, unless I part with my whis. fold itself, and stand exposed to kers ?”

view in all the colours which nature « Never.”

or fancy may bestow upon it. When Why then, madam, farewell: I went to school, I frequently returnI would not part with a single haired a borrowed penknite, pencil, &c., of my whiskers, if Catherine the to my teacher, with this boyish inczarina, empress of all the Russias, junction, “ mind, sir, I have brought would make me king of the Cal- it back.” “ Do you mind it," he mucs: and so good morning to you.” would reply, “ I have other things

Had all the young ladies, in like to attend to; the mind which must circumstances, equal penetration, torture itself for means to supply they might generally rid themselves, a large family with bread cannot with equal ease, of the interested attend to trifles.” And is it thus; does and unprincipled coxcombs by he who has many cares resting on whom they are pestered: they all his mind feel less sensibly the rehave their whiskers; and seek for spective weight of each, and is he fortunes, to be able to cultivate, not capable of supporting them colleccut them off.

tively with as little suffering as he who has but one ? has nature kindly

restricted and humbled the pride of For the Literary Magazine.

prosperity, and diminished the arro

gance of power, by an equal distri. THE REFLECTOR. bution of the cares of life, in weight

if not in number? has she given the

lonely, the afflicted children of adI HAVE sat down to write a versity the consolation of the assur« Reflector." For more than an ance that they bear no more than VOL, VIII. NO. XLIX.




their share of wretchedness which if I mistake not, boasts of dictating has been laid on the whole human to several secretaries at one and the race ? does the monarch who sways same time, but the limits of human the sceptre of dominion over obe- power enables the greater part of dient millions enjoy his power mankind to do but one thing at a with no less anxiety and care time, wherever the power necessathan the lowest of his subjects? If ry to be exerted is placed in the it is so, then men are indeed equal, same member of the body, or the and the old proverb,

every one same faculty of the mind. has his trouble,” is a true one. Then The pursuit of this vagrant andirwhy all this contention about power, regular train of thoughts has brought dominion, and pre-eminence, about me nearly to the end of my paper, and glory, wealth, and fame, if, by pos. to the end of my reasoning at presessing all these things, we only sent, without drawing an unerring in. change our condition by giving one ference. I have merely thrown tocause of care for another; if our gether a few detached hints, which enjoyments are not increased, nor may be useful to another who chuses cur sorrows diminished ?

to pursue the same course of specu• There are few persons who do lation. Yet, to account in some not at times feel a certain restless measure for this irregularity, it beness, a sort of confusion in the ope comes me to mention, that I have rations of the mind, which disables just returned from the funeral of a them from fixing their attention to much regretted friend*, and the a single point; though they may recollection of his good qualities, continually attempt to force their and my deep sense of his loss, has thoughts to flow in a certain chan- produced that restlessness and that nel, the endeavour seems to be as confusion which is so evident is this vain as it would be to try to make paper. a stream of water rise above the head of the fountain which supplies it. This seldom happens, except when some cause of care is predo For the Literary Magazine. minant ; that cause wholly possesses the mind, and oppresses it; all LITERARY, PHILOSOPHICAL, COM. other thoughts, if they strike the

MERCIAL, AND AGRICULTURAL attention, glance off from it like water from an oily substance, and the very exertion we may make to THERE will soon be published in lay aside the predominating care is Philadelphia a new and interesting painful. Here we

a work, entitled “ the Columbiad, a considerable resemblance between poem, in ten books, by Joel Barlow." the human mind and the members of This work will be ornamented with the body: the hand once filled can twelve engravings, which have been contain no more; thus it is with the done in England by the most emimind : there are some considera. nent artists, and at great expence. tions which so completely fill it, They are in the first style of elethat it can contain nothing else. gance. The typographical part,

Thus the lover's waking thoughts wholly American, is executed in a
and nightly dreams are of his mis manner highly creditable to the se-
tress; if he speaks, it is of her, or veral artists employed. The paper
should he be drawn from the sabject, by Amies, the type by Binny and
he soon returns to it; grief produces Ronaldson, and the printing, with
the same effects, and, indeed, all consummate taste and care, by Fry
those passions and emotions which and Kammerer; it will be published
are capable of being excited to in-
tensity. To this rule I think there * This paper was written nearly
are not many exceptions. Cæsar, two years since.





« PreviousContinue »