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himself. Her person as it is thus studiously embellished by nature, thus adorned with unpremeditated graces, is a fit lodging for a mind so fair and lovely; there dwell rational piety, modest hope, and cheerful resignation.
Many of the prevailing passions of mankind do undeservedly pass under the name of religion; which is thus made to express itself in action, according to the nature of the constitution in which it resides; so that were we to make a judgment from appearances, one would imagine religion in some is little better than sullenness and reserve, in many fear, in others the despondings of a melancholy complexion, in others the formality of insignificant unaffecting observances, in others severity, in others ostentation. In Emilia it is a principle founded in reason, and enlivened with hope; it does not break forth into irregular fits and sallies of devotion, but is an uniform and consistent tenour of action; it is strict without severity, compassionate without weakness; it is the perfection of that good-humour which proceeds from the understanding, not the effect of an easy constitution.
By a generous sympathy in nature, we feel ourselves disposed to mourn when any of our fellowcreatures are afflicted; but injured innocence and beauty in distress is an object that carries in it, something inexpressibly moving: it softens the most manly heart with the tenderest sensations of love and compassion until at length it confesses its humanity, and flows out into tears.
Were I to relate that part of Emilia's life which has given her an opportunity of exerting the heroism of Christianity, it would make too sad, too tender a story; but when I consider her alone in the midst of her distresses, looking beyond this gloomy vale of
affliction and sorrow, into the joys of heaven and immortality, and when I see her in conversation thoughtless and easy, as if she were the most happy creature in the world, I am transported with admi. ration. Surely never did such a philosophic soul inbabit such a beauteous form! For beauty is often made a privilege against thought and reflection; it laughs at wisdom, and will not abide the gravity of its instructions.
Were I able to represent Emilia’s virtues in their proper colours, and their due proportions, love or Hattery might perhaps be thought to have drawn the picture larger than life; but as this is but an imperfect draught of so excellent a character, and as I cannot, I will not hope to have any interest in her person, all that I can say of her is but impartial praise extorted from me by the prevailing brightness of her virtues. So rare a pattern of female excellence ought not to be concealed, but should be set out to the view and imitation of the world for how amiable does virtue appear thus, as it were, made visible to us, in so fair an example!
Honoria's disposition is of a very different turn: her thoughts are wholly bent upon conquest and arbitrary power. That she has some wit and beauty nobody denies, and therefore has the esteem of all her acquaintance as a woman of an agreeable person and conversation; but (whatever her husband may think of it) that is not sufficient for Honoria : she waves that title to respect as a mean acquisition, and demands veneration in the right of an idol; for this reason her natural desire of life is continually checked with an inconsistent fear of wrinkles and
Emilia cannot be supposed ignorant of her personal charms, though she seems to be so; but she
will not hold her happiness upon so precarious a tenure whilst her mind is adorned with beauties of a more exalted and lasting nature. When in the full bloom of youth and beauty we saw her surrounded with a crowd of adorers, she took no pleasure in slaughter and destruction, gave no false deluding hopes which might increase the torments of her disappointed lovers ; but having for some time given to the decency of a virgin coyness, and examined the merit of their several pretensions, she at length gratified her own, by resigning herself to the ardent passion of Bromius. Bromius was then master of many good qualities and a moderate fortune, which was soon after unexpectedly increased to a plentiful estate. This for a good while proved his misfortune, as it furnished his unexperienced age with the opportunities of evil company, and a sensual life. He might have longer wandered in the labyrinths of vice and folly, had not Emilia's prudent conduct won him over to the government of his
Her ingenuity has been constantly employed in humanizing his passions, and refining his pleasures. She has shewed him by her own example, that virtue is consistent with decent freedoms, and good-humour, or rather that it cannot subsist with out them. Her good sense readily instructed her, that a silent example, and an easy unrepining behaviour, will always be more persuasive than the severity of lectures and admonitions; and that there is so much pride interwoven into the make of human nature, that an obstinate man must only take the hint from another, and then be left to advise and correct himself. Thus by an artful train of management, and unseen persuasions, having at first brought him not to dislike, and at length to be pleased with that which otherwise he would not have bore to hear
of, she then knew how to press and secure this advantage, by approving it as his thought, and seconding it as his proposal. By this means she has gained an interest in some of his leading passions, and made them accessary to his reformation.
There is another particular of Emilia's conduct which I cannot forbear mentioning : to some, perhaps, it may at first sight appear but a trifling inconsiderable circumstance: but, for my part, I think it highly worthy of observation, and to be recommended to the consideration of the fair sex. I have often thought wrapping-gowns and dirty linen, with all that huddled economy of dress which passes under the general name of a mob,' the bane of conjugal love, and one of the readiest means imaginable to alienate the affection of an husband, especially a fond one. I have heard some ladies, who have been surprised by company in such a deshabille, apologize for it after this manner; • Truly, I am ashamed to be caught in this pickle: but my husband and I were sitting all alone by ourselves, and I did not expect to see such good company.'--This, by the way, is a fine compliment to the good man, which it is ten to one but he returns in dogged answers and a churlish behaviour, without knowing what it is that puts him out of humour.
Emilia's observation teaches her, that as little inadvertencies and neglects cast a blemish upon a great character: so the neglect of apparel, even among the most intimate friends, does insensibly lessen their regard to each other, by creating a familiarity too low and contemptible. She understands the importance of those things which the generality account trifles; and considers every thing as a matter of consequence, that has the least tendency towards keeping up or abating the affection of her
husband : him she esteems as a fit object to employ her ingenuity in pleasing, because he is to be pleased for life.
By the help of these, and a thousand other nameless arts, which it is easier for her to practice than another to express, by the obstinacy of her goodness and unprovoked submission, in spite of all her afflictions and ill usage, Bromius is become sense and a kind husband, and Emilia a happy wife.
Ye guardian angels, to whose care heaven has intrusted its dear Emilia, guide her still forward in the paths of virtue, defend her from the insolence and wrongs of this undiscerning world : at length, when we must no more converse with such purity on earth, lead her gently hence, innocent and unreprovable, to a better place, where by an easy transition from what she now is, she may shine forth an angel of light.
N° 303. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1711-12.
Volet hæc mib luce videri,
Hor. Ars, Poet, ver. 363.
I HAVE seen in the works of a modern philosopher, a map of the spots in the sun. My last paper
of the faults and blemishes in Milton's Paradise Lost may be considered as a piece of the same nature. pursue the illusion : as it is observed, that
among the bright parts of the luminous body above men