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struction, and at the age of fifteen or sixteen could scarcely write her name legibly, or read a sentence without hesitation. Her personal charms were, however, powerful enough to captivate the heart of a thoughtless heir, very little older than herself. Her vanity, rather than her love, was gratified by the alliance; and when she found the assiduities of promiscuous fuitors at an end, she found herself gradually finking in the dead calm of insipidity. When love was no more, other para fions sprung up with all the luxuriancy of rank weeds, in a foil where no falutary herb had been planted in the vernal season. Pride, that fruitful plant, which bears every kind of odious quality in abundance, took root in her heart, and flourished like the nettle or the hemlock on the banks of the stagnant pool.
Her husband was the first to feel its baneful effects. Though the match was greatly to her advantage, the persuaded herself that she might have done better, and that her good fortune was by no means adequate to the prize which her beauty and merit might have justly claimed. With this conviction, and without any habits or abilities which might lead her to seek amusement in books, she found no diversion so congenial to her heart, as the tormenting a good-natured, young, and agreeable husband, who, by marrying, had excluded her from the probability of a title. As a small compensation for the injury received, she affumed an absolute dominion over him, his fortune, and his family. He durft not differ in opinion from her; for on the flighteft oppofition, her eyes dart fire, her cheeks glow with indignation, and her tongue utters every bitter word which rage and malice can dictate. The comfort of every meal is poisoned by a quarrel; and an angry vociferation is reechoed from tậe parlour to the kitchen, from the cellar to the garret, by night and by day, except in the awful ånd ominous pause of a fullen filence.
The poor husband, who, with every amiable difpofition, possessed also the virtue of patience, bore the evil as long as human nature could béar it; but as years.
advanced, and her fury increased, he sought a refuge at the tavern, and in the composing juice of the grape.Excess and vexation foon laid him in the only secure afylum from the ftings and arrows of an outrageous temper, the filent tomb. - The children, after suffering every species of persecution which an angry though foolishly fond mother could inflict, no sooner arrived at maturity, than they began to look for happiness in an escape from home, where neither peace nor ease could find place. The daughters married meanly, unworthily, and wretchedly, contented to take refuge from the rage of a furious mother in the arms of footmen and hair-dreffers; the fons ran away, and became vagrant and wretched debauchees ; till, in mere despair, one of them entered as a soldier in the East-India service, and the other put an end to his own existence.
The mother, after shedding a few natural tears, and wiping them foon, began to feel her pride and passion amply gratified in an absolute dominion over an estate, a manlion-house, and a tribe of servants, whose dependent situation made them bear her fury with little resistance. But she enjoyed her reign but a short time, for as her mind was incapable of resting on itself for support, the fought relief from the bottle of cordial; and, heated one day with a large draught, and a violent paffion with one of the maids, the burst a blood vessel, and expired in a scolding fit, her tongue still quivering after her heart had ceased its pulsation. - I believe the originals of such a picture as this are much lefs common in the present age than they were in the last centuryLadies were then fecluded from the world till marriage, and as they were very superficially educated in every thing but potting and preserving, it is no wonder if they became termagants, fhrews, or viragos. They had no right ideas of themselves or the world around them, and yielded, without opposition, to those violent emotions, which arise perhaps in every mind when it is totally uncultivated.
Culture of the understanding is, indeed, one of the best methods of subduing the heart to foftness, and redeeming it from that savage state in which it too often comes from the hands of nature. The more our reason is strengthened, the better she is enabled to keep her seat on the throne, and to govern those passions which were appointed to be her subjects; but which too often rebel, and succeed in their unnatural révolt. But be sides the effect of mental culture, in calling forth and increasing the powers of the reasoning faculty, it seems to possess an influence in humanizing the feelings, and meliorating the native difpofition. Music, painting, and poetry, teach the mind to select the agreeable parts of those objects which surround us, and by habituating it to a pure and permanent delight, gradually fuperinduce an habitual good-humour. It is of infinite importance to happiness, that the mind should be accuftomed from infancy to turn from deformed and painful scenes, and to contemplate whatever can be found of moral and natural beauty. The spirits under this benign management, contract a miskinefs, and learn to flow all cheerily in their smooth and yielding channels; while, on the contrary, if the young mind is teased, fretted, and neglected, the paffages of the spirits become rugged, abrupt, exasperated, and the whole nervous system seems to acquire an exceffive irritability, The ill treatment of children has not only made them wretched at the time, but wretched for life ; tearing the fine contexture of their nerves, and roughening, by example, and by some secret and internal influence, the very conftitution of their tempers.
So much of the happiness of private life, and the virtues of mothers and daughters in particular, depend on the government of the temper, that the temper ought to be a principal object of regard in a well-conducted education. The suffering of children to tyrannise, without controul, over fervants and inferiors, is, I am convinced, the ruin of many an amiable disposition. The virtues of humanity, benevolence, humility, cannot
be too early enforced ; at the same time care should be taken that an infánt of two or three years old should never be beaten or spoken to harshly for any offence which it can possibly commit. In short, let every method be used which reason, religion, prudence, and experience can suggest, to accomplish the purpose of [weetening the temper, and banishing the furies from society. May the endeavour be successful: and may we only read, that there have indeed been such animals as shrews and viragos, but that the breed is extinct in England, like the breed of wolves !
The Impression of Truth on the Mind when
suggested by striking Analogy. W of ,
THEN Charles the 5th had resigned the sceptre he retired to the monastery of St Justus, near the city of Placentia, in Estremadura. It was feated in a vale of no great extent, watered by a small brook, and furrounded by rising grounds covered with lofty trées. From the nature of the soil, as well as the temperature of the climate, it was esteemed the moft healthful and delicious fituation in Spain. Here he cultivated, with his own hands, the plants in his garden ; and fometimes he rode out to a neighbouring wood, on a little horse, attended only by a single servant on foot. When his infirmities confined him to his apartment, and des prived him of these more active recreations, he either admitted a few gentlemen, who resided near the monastery, to visit him, and entertained them familiarly at his own table; or, he employed himself in studying mechanical principles, and in forming works of mechanism, of which he had always been remarkably fond, and to which his genius was peculiarly turned. He was extremely curious with regard to the construction of clocks and watches; and having found, after repeated trials, that he could not bring any two of them to go exactly alike, he reflected, with a mixture of furprize
as well as regret, on his own folly (as he might also on his cruelty and injustice) in having exerted himfelf, with so much zeal and perseverance, in the more vain attempt of bringing mankind to an uniformity of sentiment concerning the doctrines of religion.* Happy would it have been for Europe if this just and striking analogy had occurred to the monarch during the plenitude of his power! And happy might it now prove, if allowed to operate against the spirit of bigotry and perfecution, which still actuates many individuals, and even large communities! * See Robertson's History of Charles V.