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than my sister and myself, were it not for the partiality of our parents, who make the most injurious distinctions between ns. From my infancy I have been led to consider my sister a» a being of more elevated rank. £ was suffered to grow up without the least instruction, while nothing was spared in her education. She had masters to teach her writing, drawing, music, and other accomplishments; but if by.chauce I touched a pencil, a pen or a needle, 1 was bitterly rebuked : and mme than once I have been beaten for bting aukward, and 'wanting a graceful manner. It is true, my sister associated me with her upon somc.occasions; but she always made a poin; of taking the lead, calling upon me only from necessity, or to figure by her side.
But conceive not, sirs, that my complaints are instU gited merely by vanity—No; my uneasiness is occa.• stoned by an object much more serious. It is tha practice in our family, that the whole business of providing for its subsistence falls upon my sister and myself. If any indisposition should attack my sister—and I mention it in confidence, upon this occasion, that she is subject to the gout, the rheumatism and cramp, without making mention of other accidents—twhat would be the fate of our poor family? Must not the regret of our parents be excessive at having placed so great a distance between sisters who are so perfectly equal? Alas! we must perish fiom distress: for it would uot. be in my power even to scrawl a suppliant petition for relief. having been obliged to employ the hand of another in transcribing the request which 1 have now the honor to prefer to you.'
Condescend, sirs, to make my parents sensible of the injustice of an exclusive tenderness, and of the necessity of distributing their care and affection among all their children equally.
I am, with profound respect)
THE LfctfT HAND,
The handsome and deformed T^eg.
There are two soits of people in the world, who, with equal degrees of health and wealth and the other comfinis of life, becomes the one happy, and the other miserable. This arises very much from'the different views in which they consider things, persons and events; and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.
In whatever situation men can be placed, they may find conveniences and inconveniences: in whatever company, they may find persons and conversation more of less pleasing.: at whatever table, they may meet with meats and drinks ofbetter and worse taste, disiies better and worse dressed: in whatever climate, they 'will find good and bad weather: under whatever government, they may find good a:)d bad laws, and a good »nd bad administration of those laws: in whatever poem,or work of genius, they may see faults and bt auties; in almost every face, and every person, they may discoTer fine features and defects, good and bad qualities.
Under these circumstances, the two sons of people labove mentioned, fix their atiention—those who are disposed to be happy, on the conveniences of things, the pleasant parts of conversation, th(£ well dressed dishes, the goodness of the wines, the line weather, tec. and enjoy ali with cheerfulness. those who are to be Unhappy, think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are contmually discontented themselves, and, by their remarks, sour the pleasures of society; offend personally many people, and make themselves every •where disagreeable. If this turn of mind was founded in nature, such unhappy persons would 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 present strong, may nevertheless be cured, when those V ho have it are convinced of its had effects on their felicity j I hope this little aUiuouitiun. may be ol seiviea In fhem, arM put them on changing a habit, which, tho' in the exercise it is chiefly an art of imagination. yet has serious consequences m life, as ii brings on real griefs and.misfortunes. tor as many art offended by, and'nobody loves, this sort of people; no one shew a them more than the most common civility and respect, and scarcely that; and this frequently puts them out' of humor, and draws them into disputes and contentions. If they aim at obtaining some advantage in rank or fortune, nobody wishes them success. 0t will stir a step, or speak a word to favor their pretensions. If they incur public censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their misconduct, and render them completely odious. If these people will not change this bad habii, condescend to be pleased with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and others about the contraries, it is good' for others to avoid an acquaintance with them; wnich, is always disagreeable, and sometimes very i convenient, especially when one finds one's self entangled in tlteir quarrels.
An old philosophical friend of mine was grown, from experience, very cautious in this particular, and carefully avoided any in iir.acy with such ptople. He livid, like other philosophers, a thermometer, to shew him the heal of the weather; and a barometer, to mark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no instrument invented to discover, at first sight, this unpl.asing disposition in a person, he, for that purpose, made use of his legs; one of which was remarkably handsome, the othev, by some accident, crooked and deformed. If a stranger, at the first mttrview, regarded his ugly leg more than the hand..ome one, he doubted him. It' he spoke of it, and took no notice of the handsome leg, thai Was sufficient to determine my philosopher to have no further acquaintance with him. Every body has not this two-leggiu mstrument; but every one with a little attention. may observe signs of . that earplug, fauil-lintting disposition, and take the sumfe resolution of avoiding the acquaintance i'F f*.rwe i"f''ct.» ed with it. I therefore advise those critic tl, querulous, discontented, unhapoy people, that if they wish to be respected and beloved by oilers, and I appy in themselves, they should leave off iookii.g ut ike ugly tig.
Conversation of a Company of Ephemera;
with the Soliloquy of one advanced in age.
To Madame. Rrilliawt.
You may remember, my dear friend, that when we lately spent that happy day, in the delightful garden and sweet so'.iety of the Moulin July, I sto|;t a little in o' tt of our walks and staid some time behind the company. We had been shewn numberless skeletons of a kind of little fly, called an Ephemerae, whose successive generations. we were told. were bred and expired within the day. I happened to see a living company of them on a'leaf. who appeared to be engaged in conversation. "You know I understand all the infe; ior animal tpngues: my too great application to the study of them, is the" best excuse I can give for the little progress 1 have TOide in your charming language. I listened through curiosity to the discourse of these little creatures; but as they, in their natural vivacity, spoke three or four together, I could make but little of their conversation. 1 found, however, by some broken expressions that I heard now and then. they were disputing warmly on the merit of two foreign musicians, the one a cousin, the other a muscheto; in which dispute they spent their time, seemingly as regardless of the shortness of life as if they had been sure of living a month. Happy. people, thought i, you live certainly under a wise, just, and mild government, since you have iio public gtitvances to complain of, nor any subject of contention, but the perfections.or imperfections of foreign music. I tymed my htsuU from ihem to an old grey.headed one;
wlin was sin^T- en another leaf. and talking to himself. Iieing a nustd with his soliloquy. I put it down in writing, in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the most pleasing of all amusenun's, her delicious company, and heavenly harmony. "It was,'' says he, •. ihe opinion of learned philosophers of our race, who lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast world the Moulin Jvlv could not itself consist more than eighteeB hours: and I think the re 'was some foundation for that opinion; since, by the appai cut motion of the great luminary, that gives'life to all nature, and which in my time has evidently declined considerably towards the ocean at the end of our earth] it must then finish its course, be extinguished in the waters tiiat surround us, and leave the world in cold and darkness, necessarily producing universal death and destruction. I have lived seven of those hours; a great as;e, 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 the children and grand.children of the friends of my youth, who are now, alas, no more! And I must soon follow them; for, by the course of nature, though still in health, I cannot expect to live above seven or eight minutes.longer. What now avails ail my toil and labor, in amassing honey-dew on this leaf, which I cannot live to enjoy! What the political struggles 1 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 I for in politics (what can laws do without morals ?j our pre-. sent race of ephemera will in a course of minutes become corrupt, like those of other and older bushes, and consequently as wretched: And in philosophy how small our progress! Alas! art is long and life is short! My.friends would comfort 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 ybat will fame be to an ephemera; who no longer es»