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same grave

with her's; and that a monument shall be erected over them, and their mutual love and happiness celebrated in an epitaph, which he him. self has composed for that purpose.

A few years ago

I received a letter from a friend, who was abroad on his travels, and shall here communicate it to the public. It contains such an in. stance of a philofophic spirit, as I think pretty extraordinary, and may serve as an example, not to depart too far from the received maxims of conduct and behaviour, by a refined search after happiness or perfection. The story I have been since assured of as matter of fact.

!

Sir,

Paris, Aug. 2, 1737. I know you are more curious of accounts of men than of buildings, and are more desirous of being informed of private history than of public transactions ; for which reason I thought the fol. lowing story, which is the common topic of conversation in this city, would be no unacceptable entertainment to you.

A young lady of birth and fortune, being le entirely at her own disposal, persisted long in a resolution of leading a single life, notwithstanding several advantageous offers that had been made to her. She had been determined to embrace this resolution, by observing the many unhappy mar.

renounce.

riages among her acquaintances, and by hearing the complaints which her female friends made of the tyranny, inconstancy, jealousy, or indifference of their husbands. Being a woman of strong fpirit and an uncommon way of thinking, she found no difficulty either in forming or maintaining this resolution, and could not suspect herself of such weak. ness, as ever to be induced, by any temptation to depart from it. She had, however, entertained a strong desire of having a son, whose education she was resolved to make the principal concern of her life, and by that means supply the place of those other passions, which she was resolved for ever to

She pushed her philosophy to such an uncommon length, as to find no contradiction betwixt such a desire and her former resolution; and accordingly looked about with great deliberation to find among all her male acquaintance, one whofe character and person were agreeable to her, without being able to satisfy herself on that head. At length, being in the playhouse one evening, she fees in the parterre, a young man of a most en. gaging countenance and modest deportment; and feels such a prepossession in his favour, that she had hopes this must be the person she had long fought for in vain. She immediately dispatches a servant to him ; desiring his company at her lodgings next morning. The young man was overjoyed at the message, and could not command his fatisfaction, upon receiving such an advance from a lady of so great beauty, reputation, and quality. He was, therefore, much disappointed, when he found a wo-,

man,

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man, who would allow him no freedoms; and amidst all her obliging behaviour, confined and overawed him to the bounds of rational discourse and conversation. She seemed, however, willing to commence a friendship with him; and told him, that his company would always be acceptable to her, whenever he had a leisure hour to bestow, He needed not much entreaty to renew his visits, being so struck with her wit and beauty, that he must have been unhappy had he been debarred her company. Every conversation served only the more to inflame his passion, and gave him more occasion to admire her person and understanding, as well as to rejoice in his own good fortune. He was not, however, without anxiety, when he con, fidered the disproportion of their birth and for, tune; nor was his uneasiness allayed, even when he reflected on the extraordinary manner in which their acquaintance had commenced. Our philofo. phical heroine, in the mean time, discovered, that her lover's personal qualities did not belye his physiog, nomy; so that judging there was no occafion for any farther trial, she takes a proper opportunity of communicating to him her whole intention. Their intercourse continued for some time, till at last her wishes were crowned, and she was now mother of a boy, who was to be the object of her future care and concern. Gladly would she have continued her friendship with the father ; but finding him too passionate a lover to remain within the bounds of friendship, fhe was obliged to put a vio, lence upon herself. She sends him a letter, in which she had inclosed a bond of annuity for a thousand crowns; defiring him, at the same time, never to see her more, and to forget, if possible, all past favours and familiarities. He was thunderstruck at receiving this message; and having tried, in vain, all the arts that might win upon the refolution of a woman, resolved at last to attack her by her foible. He commences a law fuit against her before the parliament of Paris ; and claims his fon, whom he pretends a right to educate as he pleased, according to the usual maxims of the law in such cases. She pleads, on the other hand, their express agreement before their commerce, and pretends that he had renounced all claim to any offspring that might arise from their embraccs. It is not yet known, how the parliament will determine in this extraordinary case, which puzzles all the lawyers, as much as it does the philosophers. As soon as they come to any issue, I shall inform you of it, and shall embrace any opportunity of fubfcribing myself, as I do at present,

Sir,
Your most humble fervant,

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man, who would allow him no freedoms; and amidst all her obliging behaviour, confined and overawed him to the bounds of rational discourse and conversation. She seemed, however, willing to commence a friendship with him ; and told him, that his company would always be acceptable to her, whenever he had a leisure hour to bestow, He needed not much entreaty to renew his visits, being so ftruck with her wit and beauty, that he must have been unhappy had he been debarred her company. Every conversation served only the more to inflame his passion, and gave him more occasion to admire her person and understanding, as well as to rejoice in his own good fortune. He was not, however, without anxiety, when he con, fidered the disproportion of their birth and for, tune; nor was his uneasiness allayed, even when he reflected on the extraordinary manner in which their acquaintance had commenced. Our philofo

. phical heroine, in the mean time, discovered, that her lover's personal qualities did not belye his physiognomy; so that judging there was no occasion for any farther trial, she takes a proper opportunity of communicating to him her whole intention. Their intercourse continued for some time, till at last her wishes were crowned, and she was now mother of a boy, who was to be the object of her future care and concern. Gladly would she have continued her friendship with the father ; but finding him too passionate a lover to remain within the bounds of friendship, she was obliged to put a vio. lence upon herself. She fends him a letter, in

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