« AnteriorContinuar »
You have converted me, Clarinda. I occasion to break with me, don't send them, shall love that name while I live: there is I have a little infirmity in my disposition, heavenly music in it. Booth and Amelia I that where I fondly love, or highly esteem, know well. (61) Your sentiments on that I cannot bear reproach. subject, as they are on every subject, are “Reverence thyself” is a sacred maxim, just and noble. “To be feelingly alive to and I wish to cherish it. I think I told you kindness and to unkindness," is a charming Lord Bolingbroke's saying to SW female character.
“Adieu, dear Swift, with all thy faults I love What I said in my last letter, the powers | thee entirely; make an effort to love me of fuddling sociality only know for me. By with all mine." A glorious sentiment, and yours, I understand my good star has been without which there can be no friendship! partly in my horizon, when I got wild in my. I do highly, very highly esteem you indeed, reveries. Had that evil planet, which has Clarinda--you merit it all! Pernaps, too almost all my life shed its baneful rays on I scorn dissimulation! I could fondiy love my devoted head, been, as usual, in my you: judge then, what a maddening sting zenith, I had certainly blabbed something your reproach would be. “O! I have sins that would have pointed out to you the dear to Heaven, but none to you !”_With what object of my tenderest friendship, and, in pleasure would I meet you to-day, but I spite of me, something more. Had that cannot walk to meet the fly. I hope to be fatal information escaped me, and it was able to see you on foot about the middle of merely chance, or kind stars, that it did not, | next week. I had been undone! You would never have I am interrupted-perhaps you are not written me, except perhaps once more! O, sorry for it, you will tell me--but I won't I could curse circumstances, and the coarse anticipate blame. O, Clarinda! did you tie of human laws, which keep fast what know how dear to me is your look of kind. common sense would loose, and which bars ness, your smile of approbation! you would that happiness itself cannot give happiness not, either in prose or verse, risk a censowhich otherwise Love and Honour would rious remark. Warrant! But hoid- I shall make no more "hair breadth 'scapes."
“Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow, My friendship, Clarinda, is a life-rent
Thrit tends to make one worthy man my business. My likings are both strong and eternal. I told you I had but one male
SYLVANDER. friend: I have but two female. I should have a third, but she is surrounded by the blandishments of flattery and courtship. * * * I register in my heart's core-_* * * *
NO. XCIII. Miss
N c an tell how divine she is. She is worthy of a place in the same bosom with
TO MRS. DUNLOP. my Clarinda. That is the highest compli
Edinburgh, January 21st, 1783. ment I can pay her. Farewell, Clarinda! Remember
AFTER six weeks' confinement I am beSYLVANDER ginning to walk across the room. They
have been six horrible weeks; anguish and low spirits made me unfit to read, write, or
I have a hundred times wished that one NO. XCII.
could resign life as an officer resigns a comTO THE SAME.
mission : for I would not take in any poor,
ignorant wretch, by selling out. Lately I Saturday Morning, January 19th, 1788.
was a sixpenny private, and, God knows, a Your thoughts on religion, Clarinda, miserable soldier enough; now I march to shall be welcome. You may perhaps distrust the campaign, a starving cadet--a little more me, when I say 'tis also my favourite topic; / conspicuously wretched. but mine is the religion of the bosom. Í l am ashamed of all this; for though I do hate the very idea of a controversial divinity; want bravery for the warfare of life, I could as I firmly believe that every honest upright wish, like some other soldiers, to liave as man, of whatever sect, will be accepted of much fortitude or cunning as to dissemble or the Deity. If your verses, as you seem to conceal my cowardice. hint, contain censure, except you want an! As soon as I can bear the journey, which
will be, I suppose, about the middle of next of ideas, my sentiments of love and friendweek, I leave Edinburgh; and soon after I ship, I next devote myself to you. Yesterday shall pay my grateful duty at Dunlop-House. / night I was happy--happiness “that the
R. B. world cannot give." _I kindle at the recol.
lection ; but it is a flame where innocence looks smiling on, and honour stands by a
sacred guard.--Your heart, your fondest NO. XCIV.
wishes, your dearest thoughts, these are TO CLARINDA.
yours to bestow : your person is unapproach
able by the laws of your country; and he Tuesday Morning, January 29th, 1788. loves not as I do who would make you miseI CANNOT go out to-day, my dearest Cla- |
rable. rinda, without sending you half a line, by
You are an angel, Clarinda; you are way of a sin-offering; but, believe me, 'twas
surely no mortal that “the earth owns." the sin of ignorance. Could you think that
To kiss your hand, to live on your smile, is I intended to hurt you by any thing I said
| to me far more exquisite bliss that the dearyesternight? Nature has been too kind to
est favours that the fairest of the sex, youryou for your happiness, your delicacy, your
self excepted, can bestow. sensibility.-why should such glorious
Sunday Evening. qualifications be the fruitful source of woe! You have “murdered sleep” to me last night. You are the constant companion of my I went to bed, impressed with an idea that thoughts. How wretched is the condition you were unhappy: and every time I closed of one who is haunted with conscious guilt, my eyes, busy Fancy painted you in such and trembling under the idea of dreaded scenes of romantic misery that I would vengeance! and what a placid calm, what a almost be persuaded you were not well this
charming secret enjoyment it gives, to bosom morning.
the kind feelings of friendship, and the fond "If I unwittingly have offended,
throes of love! Out upon the teinpest of Impute it not."
anger, the acrimonious gall of fretiul impa"But while we live,
tience, the sullen frost of louring resentment, But one short hour, perhaps, between us two
or the corroding poison of withered envy! Let there be peace.”
They eat up the immortal part of man! If
they spent their fury only on the unfortunate If Mary is not gone by the time this objects of them, it would be something in their reaches you, give her my best compliments. favour: but these miserable passions, like She is a charming girl, and highly worthy of traitor Iscariot, betray their lord and master. the noblest love.
Thou Almighty Author of peace, and I send you a poem to read, till I call on goodness, and love! do thou give me the you this night, which will be about nine. I
social heart that kindly tastes of every man's wish I could procure some potent spell, some cup Is it a draught of joy ?-warm and fairy charm that would protect injury, or open my heart to share it with cordial, unen. restore to rest that bosom-chord, “treni- vying rejoicing! Is it the bitter potion of blingly alive all o'er," on which hangs your sorrow ?-melt my heart with sincerely sympeace of mind. I thought, vainly, I fear, pathetic woe! Above all, do thou give me thought that the devotion of lore--love the manly mind that resolutely exemplifies, strong as even you can feel-love guarded, I in life and manners, those sentiments which invulnerably guarded, by all the purity of I would wish to be thought to possess ! virtue, and all the pride of honour; I thought The friend of my soul-there, may I never such a love would make you happy--will I deviate from the firmest fidelity and most be mistaken ? I can no more for hurry * active kindness! Clarinda, the dear object
of my fondest love; there may the most sacred, in violate honour, the most faithful
kindling constancy, ever watch and animate NO. xcv.
my every thought and imagination! TO THE SAME.
Did you ever meet with the following
lines spoken of Religion, your darling topic ? Sunday Morning, February 3rd, 1788. « 'Tis this, my friend, that streaks our mornI HAVE just been before the throne of my ing bright! God, Clarinda; according to my association l 'Tis this that gilds the horrors of our night;
When wealth forsakes us, and when friends , temper on whenever she was in ill-humour. are few,
[pursue ; | One time I conjectured that, as Fortune is When friends are faithless, or when foes | the most capricious jade ever known, she 'Tis this that wards the blow, or stills they may have taken, not a fit of remorse, but a smart,
paroxysm of whim, to raise the poor devil Disarms affliction, or repels its dart: out of the mire, where he had so often and Within the breast bids purest rapture rise, so conveniently served her as a stepping Bids smiling Conscience spread her cloud- stone, and given him the most glorious less skies."
boon she ever had in her gift merely
for the maggot's sake, to see how I met with these verses very early in life,
this fool head and his fool heart will and was so delighted with them that I have
e bear it. At other times I was vain enough them by me, copied at school.
to think that Nature, who has a great deal Good night and sound rest, my dearest
to say with Fortune, had given the coquetClarinda!
tish goddess some such hint as, “Here is a paragon of female excellence, whose equal, in all my former compositions, I never was
lucky enough to hit on, and despair of ever NO. XCVI.
doing so again ; you have cast her rather in TO THE SAME.
the shades of life, there is a certain poet of
niy making; among your frolics it would I was on the way, my Love, to meet you, not be amiss to attach him to this masterI never do things by halves) when I got piece of my hand, to give her that immortality your card. M
g oes out of town to- among mankind which no woman of any inorrow morning to see a brother of his who age ever more deserved, and which few is newly arrived from . I am deter- / rhymsters of this age are better able to mined that he and I shall call on you to- | coufer." gether; so, look you, lest I should never see
Evening, 9 o'clock. to-morrow, we will call on you to-night!
I AM here, absolutely unfit to finish my w and you may put off tea till about seven; at which time, in the Galloway phrase,
| letter--pretty hearty after a bowl, which has .an the beast be to the fore, an the branks
been constantly plied since dinner till this bide liale,'expect the humblest of your humble
moment. I have been with Mr. Schetki, servants, and his dearest friend. We propose
the musician, and he has set it (62) finely. staying only half an hour, ‘for ought we ken.' |
--I have no distinct ideas of anything,
ni l but that I have drunk your health twice I could suffer the lash of misery eleven
to-night, and that you are all my soul montlis in the year, were the twelfth to be composed of hours like yesternight. You
| holds dear in this world. are the soul of my enjoyment: all else is of
SYLVANDER, the stuff and stocks of stones.
TO THE SAME.
Saturday Morning, February 9th, 1788. Thursday Morning, February 7th, 1788.
There is no time, my Clarinda, when
the conscious thrilling chords of Love and “ Unlavish Wisdom never works in vain." |
Friendship give such delight as in the penI HAVE been tasking my reason, Clarinda, sive hours of what our favourite, Thomson, why a woman who for native genius, poig- calls “Philosophic Melancholy.” The sportive pant wit, strength of mind, generous sine insects who bask in the sunshine of prospecerity of soul, and the sweetest female rity; or the worms that luxuriant crawl tenderness, is without a peer, and whose amid their ample wealth of earth--they need personal charms have few, very, very few no Clarinda: they would despise Sylvander parallels among her sex; why, or how she --if they durst. The family of Misfortune, chould fall to the blessed lot of a poor a numerous group of brothers and sisters ; harum scarum poet, whom Fortune had they need a resting-place to their souls : kept for her particular use, to wreak her | unnoticed, often condemned by the world;
311 in some degree, perhaps, condemned by What trifling silliness is the childish fond. themselves, they feel the full enjoyment of ness of the every-day children of the world! ardent love, delicate tender endearments, 'tis the unmeaning toying of the younglings mutual esteem, and mutual reliance.
of the fields and forests: but where SentiIn this light I have often admired religion. ment and Fancy unite their sweets, where In proportion as we are wrung with grief, or Taste and Delicacy refine; where Wit adds distracted with anxiety, the ideas of a com- the flavour, and Goodness gives strength passionate Deity, an Almighty Protector, are and spirit to all, what a delicious draught is doubly dear.
the bour of tender endearment !-Beauty “'Tis this, my Friend, that streaks our
and Grace, in the arms of Truth and Honour, morning bright;
in all the luxury of mutual love. 'Tis this that gilds the horrors of our
Clarinda, have you ever seen the picture night.”
realized ? Not in all its very richest colourI have been this morning taking a peep
Last night, Clarinda, but for one slight through, as Young finely says, “the dark postern of time long elaps'd;" and, you
shade, was the glorious picture. will easily guess, 'twas a rueful prospect. -- Innocence What a tissue of thoughtlessness, weakness,
Look'd gaily smiling on ; while rosy Pleasure and folly! My life reminded me of a Hid young Desire annid her flowery wreath, ruined temple ; what strength, what pro And pour'd her cup luxuriant; mantling portion in some parts ! what unsightly gaps,
high, what prostrate ruins in others ! I kneeled The sparkling heavenly vintage, Love and down before the Father of mercies, and said, Bliss ! “Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and Clarinda, when a poet and poetess of in thy sight, and an no more worthy to be Nature's making--two of Nature's noblest called thy son!” I rose, eased and
productions !—when they drink together of strengthened. I despise the superstition
the same cup of Love and Bliss, attempt of a fanatic, but I love the religion of a not, ye coarser stuffs of human nature. man. “The future,” said I to myself, “is
profanely to measure enjoyment ye never still before me;" there let me
can know !-Good night, my dear Clarinda i "On reason build resolve,
SYLVANDER. That column of true majesty in man!”
“I have difficulties many to encounter," said I; “but they are not absolutely insuperable: and where is firmness of mind
NO. xcix. shewn but in exertion ? mere declamation is
TO THE SAME. bombastic rant.” Besides, wherever I am, or in whatever situation I may be
February, 1788. 'Tis nought to me:
MY EVER DEAREST CLARINDA. I Since God is ever present, ever felt,
make a numerous dinner party wait me In the void waste as in the city full;
while I read yours, and write this. Do not And where He vital breathes, there must be require that I should cease to love you, to joy!”
adore you in my soul-'tis to me impossible;
-your peace and happiness are to me dearer Saturday Night-half-after Ten. than my soul; name the terms on which What luxury of bliss I was enjoying this / you wish to see me, to correspond with time yester-night! My ever-dearest Cla
me, and you have them; I must love, rinda, you have stolen away my soul: but i pine, mourn, and adore in secret--this you have refined, you have exalted it: you you must not deny me; you
you must not deny me; you will ever be have given it a stronger sense of virtue, and a stronger relish for piety.--Clarinda, first « Dear as the light that yisits these sad eves. of your sex, if ever I am the veriest wretch Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my on earth to forget you ; if ever your lovely
heart !" image is effaced from my soul, .
I have not patience to read the puritanic “May I be lost, no eye to weep my end; scrawl.-Vile sophistry!--Ye heavens! thou And find no earth that's base enough to God of nature! thou Redeemer of mankind! bury me!”
ye look down with approving eyes ou a
passion inspired by the purest flame, and short to make that lasting impression on guarded by truth, delicacy, and honour; but your heart I could wish. the half-inch soul of an unfeeling, cold blooded
SYLVANDER. pitiful, presbyterian bigot cannot forgive any thing above his dungeon bosom and foggy head.
NO. CI. Farewell; I'll be with you to-morrow evening; and be at rest in your mind ;-I
TO THE SAME. will be yours in the way you think most to
"I Am distressed for thee, my brother your happiness! I dare not proceed-I
Jonathan!” I have suffered, Clarinda, frorn love, and will love you, and will with joyous
your letter. My soul was in arms at the confidence approach the throne of the Almighty Judge of men, with your dear idea,
sad perusal; I dreaded that I had acted
wrong. If I have robbed you of a friend, and will despise the scum of sentiment, and
God forgive me! But, Clarinda, be comthe mist of sophistry.
forted : let us raise the tone of our feelings SYLVANDER.
a little higher and bolder. A fellow-creature who leaves us, who spurns us without just cause, though once our bosom friend-up
with a little honest pride-let him go! How NO. C.
shall I comfort you, who am the cause of the
injury? Can I wish that I had never seen TO THE SAME.
you? that we had never met? No! I never Tuesday Evening, Feb. 12th, 1788. will. But have I thrown you friendless ? THAT you have faults. my Clarinda. I there is almost distraction in that thought. never doubted; but I knew not where they
Father of mercies ! against Thee often existed, and Saturday night made me more
have I sinned; through Thy grace I will enin the dark than ever. O Clarinda, why will
deavour to do so no more! She who, Thou you wound my soul, by hinting that last knowest, is dearer to me than myself, pour
Thou the balm of peace into her past wounds, ght must have lessened my opinion of you ? True, I was "behind the scenes with
th and hedge her about with Thy peculiar care, you ;" but what did I see? A bosom glow
w.all her future days and nights! Strengthen ing with honour and benevolence: a mind
i her tender noble mind, tirmly to suffer, and
hier tender noble mind, firm ennobled by genius, informed and refined by
magnanimously to bear! Make me worthy education and reflection, and exalted by na.
of that friendship she honours me with. tive religion, genuine as in the climes of
of May my attachment to her be pure as devo.
la heaven; a heart formed for all the glorious
tion, and lasting as immortal life! O meltings of friendship, love and pity. These
Alinighty Goodness, hear me! Be to her at I saw.--I saw the noblest immortal soul
all times, particularly in the hour of distress creation ever showed me.
or trial, a Friend and Comforter, a Guide I looked long, my dear Clarinda, for your
and Guard. letter; and am vexed that you are complain “How are Thy servants blest, O Lord, ing. I have not caught you so far wrong as How sure is their defence! in your idea, that the commerce you have Eternal wisdom is their guide, with one friend hurts you, if you cannot tell Their help, Omnipotence!” every tittle of it to another. Why have you 80 injurious à suspicion of a good God,
Forgive me, Clarinda, the injury I have Clarinda, as to think that Friendship and
done you! Tonight I shall be with you; Love, on the sacred inviolate principles of
as indeed I shall be ill at ease till I see you
SYLVANDER Truth, Honour, and Religion, can be any thing else than an object of His divine approbation? I have mentioned, in some of my former
NO. CII. scrawls, Saturday evening next. Do allow me to wait on you that evening. Oh, my
TO THE SAME. angel! how soon must we part! and when
Two o'clock. can we meet again! I looked forward on the horrid interval with tearful eyes! What I JUST now received your first letter of have I lost by not knowing you sooner! I yesterday, by the careless negligence of the fear, I foar my acquaintance with you is too penny-post. Clarinda, matters are grown