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6 We are
After having visited Westminster-abbey, St. Paul's and the Tower, they proceeded to Bedlam, where they surveyed the insane with commiseration. Their guide through this asylum of misery rendered the pitiable scenes still more affecting, by relating anecdiotes of several of the patients, and as they proceeded to a remote apartment, he said, now going to see an object truly entitled to our pity. The patient is a beautiful young woman who was seduced, and abandoned by her seducer, whom she pursued, and, in the madness of revenge, murdered. She was a most lovely creature when brought hither a few days ago; but, as she will scarcely take any nourishment, she is reduced to a skeleton, notwithstanding our care. Poor thing, she is almost continually talking--tread softly, that we may observe her undisturbed.” William felt a sudden qualm, and his heart sickened at the recollection of his lost Fliza, while his eyes glistened with sympathy for the unknown sufferer.
They entered the room so silently, that the maniac, who was seated on a chair with her back towards the door, did not perceive them. She appeared as if talking to another persoll, with her right hand extended in the attitude of entreaty. “Ah! my dear Feignlove," cried she, in a low querulous voice, “ I see— I see the wound in your side ! --forgive me!-but why did you deceive me?" “ Gracious Providence, , exclaimed William, “it is my
Eliza !” The maniac 'turned her head: it was indeed Eliza ;- but so altered, that her lover started back as if from a spectre !-Her once blooming cheek was pale--her eyes were sunk-her lips livid-the gloom of moody melancholy frowned
on her once polished and serene brow. She viewed William with a wild and vacant glare:-whe approached, and a feeble ray of recognition for a moment animated her visage. She started up
with a smile of extacy and outstretched arms; but in a moment her countenance changed, she uttered a shriek of horror, and sunk back into the chair. William supported her in his arms, while his generous heart was bursting with sorrow to meet his beloved Eliza unexpectedly-deprived of honour and of reasonand sinking to the grave!
While he strove to restore her to life, the tears of faithful love gushed from his eyes,
and besprinkled her face as he bent mournfully over her. She revived for a moment opened her eyes, gazed affectionately on his face, and instantly expired. Medical aid was called in, but life was gone for ever gone, beyond the power of resuscitation,
“ Were you, ye fair, but cautious whom ye trust;
Books are not seldom talismans and spells,
LITERATURE, that celestial handmaid of Knowledge, under the guidance of Truth, unites the ingenious, the good, and the virtuous, in one mystic chain of contraternity. How often has the intelligent and studious mind been enlightened and invigorated, by the beautiful descriptions and elevated conceptions of genius! How often have the tears of sympathy, or the generous glow of joy, been excited by a pathetic and lively portraiture of the vicissitudes of human life; and while the eye drank instruction, the heart was meliorated and the understanding enlarged.
At the commencement of the eighteenth century, English literature, in addition to the sublimity of Milton, and the pathos of Shakespeare, received a more finished polish, both in prose and verse, from Addison and lope. That glorious and ever-to-beadmired constellation of genius which irrailiated the reigns of Anne and George the First, diffused a lustre over our language, which time cannot diminish! While the dulcet strains of Pope are expressive of the very soul of harmony, the elegant essays of Addison unite the sprightliness of wit with the dignified serenity of morality and religion.
Sterne was the first successful author of what has been termed sentimental writing. By a profound knowledge of the passions, combined with an effervescence of genius seldom equalled, this singular author overpowered the heart and led captive the fancy of bis reasier. His “ Tristram Shandy,” and “ Sentimental Journey,” raised a number of imitators ; and since that period, all our novels, and even our newspapers, have been tinctured with sentiment.
But, alas! the eccentricitics of genius, like the aberrations of a comet, are often injurious to that system which they might embellish. While the volumes of Sterne abounded with a pathos which dissolved the heart of the reader, like the song of the Syrens, they communicated the contagion of depravity. In his hu rourous delineations of character, he too often degraded his wit by an intermixture of licentiousness; and while his philanthropy and sensibility rendered his works a treasure to the enthusiastic feeling heart, they were prejudicial to that purity of mind whieh constitutes true happiness.
Lord Chesterfield also contributed to the laxity of mcrals. His celebrated - Letters," written in a familiar style, and abounding with pertinent remarks which evinced the man of the world, at once captivated and containinated the heart. Accustomed himself to revel in scenes of voluptuous pleasure, where all was artifice and delusion, he recominended gallantry and suavity of manners, in preference to sincerity and manly' integrita. . The effects of his writings are thus energetically described by the poet:
« Thou polish'd and high-finish'd foe to trutti,
Hume's metaphysical essays were calculated to introduce that scepticism which has since been too successfully promulged among us, but their baneful effects were ably counteracted by a phalanx of moralists, who arose in succession to " vindicate the ways of God to man.
' At the head of these elegant writers appeared Dr. Johnson, whose comprehensive genius analysed the relative duties of mankind, and recommended the practice of virtue with resistless eloquence. Sometimes, indeed, melancholy begloorned his mind, like a cloud intercepting the rays of the sun; but on most subjects his intellectual irradiations delight the reader, who is animated and instructed by his sublime essays.
Dr. Hawkesworth and other moralists also stu.. died to promote the improvement of public morals, but the labours of those excellent men have been partly counteracted by several of our contemporaries of both sexes, who have ingloriously prostituted their talents to vice,
Many of our modern female writers, both of poetry and romance, have contributed to the depravation of the national taste, by their caricatures of the passions. To amuse is the object of these writers ; and they care not how much the heart of the reader is inflamed by voluptuous descriptions, if they can but amuse. When these handmaids of licentiousa