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For this reason, the wise Athenians, in their theatrical performances, laid before the eyes of the people the greatest afflictions which could befal human life, and insensibly polished their tempers by such representations. Among the moderns, indeed, there has arisen a chimerical method of disposing the fortune of the persons represented, according to what they call poetical justice; and letting none be unhappy but those who deserve it. In such cases, an intelligent spectator, if he is concerned, knows he ought not to be so; and can learn nothing from such a tenderness, but that he is a weak creature, whose passions cannot follow the dictates of his understanding. It is very natural, when one is got into such a way of thinking, to recollect those examples of sorrow which have made the strongest impression upon our imaginations. An instance or two of such you will give me leave to communicate.

A young gentleman and lady of ancient and honourable houses in Cornwall, had from their childhood entertained for each other a generous and noble passion, which had been long opposed by their friends, by reason of the inequality of their fortunes ; but their constancy to each other, and obedience to those on whom they depended, wrought so much upon their relations, that these celebrated lovers were at length joined in marriage. Soon after their nuptials, the bridegroom was obliged to go into a foreign country, to take care of a considerable fortune, which was left him by a relation, and came very opportunely to improve their moderate circumstances. They received the congratulations of all the country on this occasion; and I remember it was a common sentence in every one's mouth, · You see how faithful love is rewarded!!

9 This melancholy relation concerning these Cornish lovers seems to

He took this agreeable voyage, and sent home every post fresh accounts of his success in his affairs abroad; but at last, though he designed to return with the next ship, he lamented, in his letters, that business would detain him some time longer from home, because he would give himself the pleasure of an unexpected arrival.

The young lady, after the heat of the day, walked every evening on the sea-shore, near which she lived, with a familiar friend, her husband's kinswoman; and diverted herself with what objects they met there, or upon discourses of the future methods of life, in the happy change of their circumstances. They stood one evening on the shore together in a perfect tranquillity, observing the setting of the sun, the calm face of the deep, and the silent heaving of the waves, which gently rolled towards them, and broke at their feet; when at a distance her kinswoman saw something float on the waters, which she fancied was a chest; and with a smile told her, she saw it first, and if it came ashore full of jewels, she had a right to it. They both fixed their eyes upon it, and entertained themselves with the subject of the wreck, the cousin still asserting her right; but promising, s if it was a prize, to give her a very rich coral for the child of which she was then big, provided she might be god-mother.' Their mirth soon abated, when they observed, upon the nearer approach, that it was a human body. The young lady, who had a heart naturally filled with pity and compassion, made many melancholy reflections on the occasion. "Who knows,' said she, “but this man may be the only hope and heir of a wealthy house; the darling of indulgent parents, who are now in impertinent mirth, and pleasing themselves with the thoughts of offering him a bride they have got ready for him ? or, may he not be the master of a family that wholly depended upon his life? There may, for aught we know, be half a dozen fatherless children, and a tender wife, now exposed to poverty by his death. What pleasure might he have promised himself in the different welcome he was to have from her and them! But let us go away; it is a dreadful sight! The best office we can do, is to take care that the poor man, whoever he is, may be decently buried. She turned away, when a wave threw the carcass on the shore. The kinswoman immediately shrieked out, “Oh, my cousin !' and fell upon the ground. The unhappy wife went to help her friend, when she saw her own husband at her feet, and dropped in a swoon upon the body. An old woman, who had been the gentleman's nurse, came out about this time to call the ladies in to supper, and found her child, as she always called him, dead on the shore, her mistress and kinswoman both lying dead by him. Her loud lamentations, and calling her young master to life, soon awaked the friend from her trance, but the wife was gone for ever.

have been founded on a real story, not very remote from the original date of the paper. The writer, whoever he was, affirms that he remembered • a common sentence in every one's mouth on the occasion of the gentleman's succession to an unexpected fortune. The reader may compare this with Gay's much-admired relation of John Hewit and Sarah Drew ; Pope's Works, vol. iv. p. 9. edit. Lond. 1770.

· When the family and neighbourhood got together round the bodies, no one asked any question, but the objects before them told the story.

Incidents of this nature are the more moving when they are drawn by persons concerned in the catastrophe,' notwithstanding they are often oppressed beyond the power of giving them in a distinct light, except we gather their sorrow from their inability to speak it.

r Any information would be very acceptable, either concerning the preceding well-told story, or relative to the following deplorable incident ; the scene of which is laid in Westmorland, and the time referred, by the date of the letters, to the year 1672 or 1673, for the writers at this period allotted the months January, February, and March variously, sometimes annexing them to the ciosing, at other times to the opening year.

I have two original letters, written both on the same day, which are to me exquisite in their different kinds. The occasion was this. A gentleman who had courted a most agreeable young woman, and won her heart, obtained also the consent of her father, to whom she was an only child. The old man had a fancy that they should be married in the same church where he himself was, in a village in Westmorland, and made them set out while he was laid up with the gout at London. The bridegroom took only his man, the bride her maid: they had the most agreeable journey imaginable to the place of marriage; from whence the bridegroom writ the following letter to his wife's father:

• SIR,

• AFTER a very pleasant journey hither, we are preparing for the happy hour in which I am to be your son. · I assure you the bride carries it, in the eye of the vicar who married you, much beyond her mother; though, he says, your open sleeves, pantaloons, and shoulder-knot, made a much better show than the finical dress I am in, However, I am contented to be the second fine man this village ever saw, and shall make it very merry before night, because I shall write myself from thence,

• Your most dutiful son, ..

-T. D. • The bride gives her duty, and is as handsome as an angel.- I am the happiest man breathing.' • March 18, 1672.'

The villagers were assembling about the church, and the happy couple took a walk in a private garden.

The bridegroom's man knew his master would leave the place on a sudden after the wedding, and seeing him draw his pistols the night before, took this opportunity to go into his chamber and charge them. Upon their return from the garden, they went into that room ; and, after a little fond raillery on the subject of their courtship, the lover took up a pistol, which he knew he had unloaded the night before, and, presenting it to her, said, with the most graceful air, whilst she looked pleased at his agreeable flattery; • Now, madam, repent of all those cruelties you have been guilty of to me; consider, before you die, how often you have made a poor wretch freeze under your casement; you shall die, you tyrant, you shall die, with all those instruments of death and destruction about you, with that enchanting smile, those killing ringlets of your hair'— Give fire!' said she, laughing. He did so; and shot her dead. Who can speak his condition ? but he bore it so patiently as to call up his man. The poor wretch entered, and his master locked the door upon him. "Will,' said he, did you charge these pistols ?' He answered, “Yes.' Upon which, he shot him dead with that remaining. After this, amidst a thousand broken sobs, piercing groans, and distracted motions, he writ the following letter to the father of his dead mistress :

• SIR,

I, who two hours ago told you truly I was the happiest man alive, am now the most miserable. Your daughter lies dead at my feet, killed by my hand, through a mistake of my man's charging my pistols unknown to me. Him have I murdered for it. Such is my wedding day.--I will immediately follow my wife to her grave; but, before I throw myself upon my sword, I command my distraction

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