Abbildungen der Seite

other, than my sister and myself, were it not for the partiality of our parents, whin made the most injurious distinctions between us. Froin my infancy, I have been led to consider my sister as á being of a inore elevated rank. I was suffered to grow up without the least instruction, while nothing was spared in her education. She had masters 10 teach her writing, drawing, inusic, and other accomplishments but if, by chance, I touched a pencil, a pen, or needle, I was bitterly rebuker; and more than onc I have been beaten for being awkward, and wanting a graceful manner. It is true, my sister associated me with her upon some occasions; but she always - made a point of taking the lead, calling, upon me only from necessity, or “o figure by her side.

But conceive not, Sirs, Urat my complaints are instigated merely by vanity-- No; my uneasiness is occasioned by an object much more serious. It is the practice in our fainily, that the whole business of providing for its subsistence talis upon my sister and myself. If any indisposition should attack my sister-and I mention, it in confidence upon this oc., casion, that she is subject to the gout, the rhumatism, and cramp, without inaking nention of other accidents, what would be the fate of our noor family! Must not the regret of our parents be excessive, at having placed so greal a difference between sisters who are so perfectly cquai? Alas! we musi perisha froin distress: for it would not be in my power even to scrawl a supliant petition for relief, having been obliged to employ the hawl of another in transcribing the requesi which I have now the honour to prefer to you.

Cordlescend. Sirs, to make my parents sensible o the injustice of an exrlusive tenderness, and if the necessity of distributing theircare and affection among all their children equalli. I an, with a profouud respect,

Your obedient servanı,



THERE are two sorts of people in the world, who with equal degrees of health and wealth, and the other comforts of life, become, the one happy, and the other miserable. This arises very much from the different views in which they consider thiugs persons, and events; and the effect of those differen views upon their own minds.

In whaterer situation men can be placed, they ma find conveniences and inconveniences: in whatever company,they may find persons and couversation more or less pleasing: at whatever table, they inay meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes bet. ter and worse dressed: in whatever climate, they will find good and bad weather : under whatever gover. ment, they may find good and bad laws, ana good and vad administration of those laws : in whatever poein, or work of genius, they may see faults and beauties: in almost every face, and every person, they may discover fine features and defects, good and bad qualites.

Under these circumstances, the two sorts of peo ple above mentioned fix their attention; those who are isposed to be happy, on the conveniences of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, the well. dressed dishes, the goodness of the wines, the fine weather, &c. and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy, thirk and speak only of the contrarieties. Hence they are continually discon. tented themselves, and, by their remarks, sour the pleasures of society; offend personally many peoplc, and inake themselves every where disagreeable. I this turr of mind was founded in nature, such unhappy persons would be the more to be pitied. But as the disposition to criticise, and to be disgusted, is, perhaps, taken up originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which, though at pre. sent strong, may nevertheless be cured, when those who have it are convinced of its bad effect on their felicity; I hope this little adnionition may be of ser. vice to them, and put theni on changing a habit

w hich, though in the exercise it is chiefly an act of imagination, yet it has serious consequences in life, as it brings on real griefs and misfortunes. For as many as are offended by, and nobody loves, tl.s sort of people; no one shows thein more than the most conimon civility and respect, and scarcely that, and this frequently puts thein out of humour, and draws them into disputes and contentions. If they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or fortune

obody wishes them success, or will stir a ster, o peak a word to favour their pretensions. If they incur public censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their miscon. duct, and rencier them completely odious. If these people will not change this bad habit, ard conde. scend to be pleased with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves or others about the contrarieties, it IS sood for others to avoid an acquaintance with them, which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient, especially when one finds one's self entangled in their quarrels.

An oid philosophical friend of mme was grown, from experience, very cautious in this particular, and carefurly avoided any intimacy with such people. He had, like other philosopher's, a thermometer to show him the heat of the weather; and a barometer lo mark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no instrumer.t invented to discover, at first sight, this unpleasing disposition in a person, he, for that purpose, made use of his legs : one of which was remarkably handsome; the other, by some accident, crooked and deformed. Ifa stranger, at first interview, regarded his ugly leg more than

is handsome one, he doubled him. If he spoke o: 1, and cook no notice of the handsome leg, lat wa ufficient to deterrnine my philosopher to have no further acquaintance with him. Every body has not this two-legged instrument; but every one, with a little attention, inay observe signs of that carping, fault-finding ckisposition, and take the same resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of those infected wna it. I therefore advise those critical, quer ulous, digo coutented, unhappy people, if they wish to be re

pected and beloved by others, and happy in them selves, they should leave off looking at the ugly leg.


With the Soliloquy of one advanced in Age.

TO MADAME BRILLIANT You may remember, my dear friend, that whes me lately spent that happy day, in the delightful garden and sweet society of the Moulin Joly, I stopt a little in one of our walks, and stand some time behind the company. We had been stoku numberless skeletons of a kind of little tiy, called an Ephemerie, whose successive generations, we were toll, were bred and expired within the day. I hapFened to see a living compiny of thein on a leal, who appeared to be engaged in conversation. You know Tinderstand all the interior animal tongues; my 100 great application to the study of them is the best ex. cuse I can give for the little progress I have made in your charming langirage. Ulistened through curiosi. ty to u discourse of these little creatures; but as they, in their national vivacity, spoke three or four together, I could make but little of their conversation. I found, howerer, by some broken expres. sions that I heard now and then, they were disputing warmly on the merit of two foreign musicians, one is cousin, the other a muschetu); in which dispute thej spent their time, seeming as regardless of the short ness nf their life as if they had been sure of living inoull. Happy people, thought I, you live certainly under it wist, jusi, and mild government, since yo have no punlic grievarices to complain of, nor any other subject of contention but the perfections or in persections of foreign music. I turned my head from ihem to an old grey-licaded one, who was single on another leaf, and talking w himself. Being amused wan nis soliloquy, I pui il down in writing, im hope:

It will likewise amuse her to whom I am so niuch indebted for the most pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company and heavenly harmony.

" It was," says he, “the opinion of learned phi losophers of our race, who lived and fourished long before my linie, that this vast world, the Moulin Joly could not itself subsist more than eighteen hours. and I think there was some foundation for that opi nion; since, by the apparent motion of the great lu minary, that gives life to all nature, and which i my tinie has evidently declined considerably toward the ocean al the end of the earth, it must then finish its course, be extinguished in the waters that sur. round us, and leave the world in cold and darkness, necessarily producing universal death and destrliction. I have lived 7 of those hours; a great age, being no less than 420 minutes of time! How very few of us continue so long! I have seen generations born, flourish, and expire. . My present friends are chil dien and grand-children of the friends of my youth, who are now, alas, no inore! And I must soon fol. low ihem; for, by the common course of nature, though still in health, I cannot expect :o live above seven or eight minutes longer. What now avails all niy toil and labour, in ainassing the honey-dew on this leaf, which I cannot live lo enjoy. What my political struggles I have been engaged in, for the good of my compatriot inhabitants of this bush, or my philosophical studies, for the benefit of our race in general: for in politics (what can laws do without inorals ?) our present race of ephemeræ will in a course of minutes became corrupt, like those of other and older bushes, and consequently as wretched! And in philosophy how smali our progress. Alas art is long, and life is short! My friends would com ort me with the idea of a name, they say, I shall leave behind me; and they tell me I have lived long enough to nature and to glory. But what will fame be to an ephemeræ who no longer exists? and what

e os ali history in the eighteenth hour, when the world itself, even the whole Moulin Joly, shall come to its end, auri be burieri in an universal



« ZurückWeiter »