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over the keys of her harpsichord with the most astonishing rapidity-little comfort would it have given to the heart of her fick husband.
In an understanding enriched by the accumulations of Wisdom, a temper regulated by the precepts of Christianity, and a heart replete with tenderness, Sir Philip found a more solid resource. By these endowments, was his Lady enabled to manage the affairs of her family, and the concerns of his estate ; to watch over the education of her children ; and, by the unremitting attentions of endearing affection, to cheer the spirits that were broken by confinement, and soothe the sufferings of a bed of pain. Nor was the performance of these multifarious duties the sudden effect of a short-lived energy. During the fix years in which her husband lingered under the partial dominion of death, the fortitude of his Lady remained unfhaken, her perseverance unabated, and when at length his soul was suffered to depart from the decayed mansion of mortality, though her heart was possessed with too much sensibility, not to feel with sorrow the stroke of separation, the assured hope of a re-union with the object of her affections, in the regions of immortality, afforded consolation to her wounded
his soul wapated, and som her
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mind.-Yes Maandaara, notwithstanding all I have faid in favour of this excellent woman, truth obliges me to confess, that the powers of her mind are not fuffi-. ciently enlarged to embrace the doctrines of Atheism! She is blind enough, not to perceive the evident fuperiority of any of the fystems of the philosophers. to the Christian faith; and weakly afferts, that if all that was taught by Jesus Christ and his Apostles, was generally practifed, it would be no great injury to the happiness of society. She takes great pleasure in the contemplation of a future state, and carries her prejudices so far, as to declare, that she, considers the account of it, as given in Scripture, as little less easy of belief, than the system of Mr. Puzzledorf; and that Me finds it more satisfactory to rest her hopes on the promises of her Saviour, than on the permanent existence of the little imperishable ftamina at the top of the nose!!
Not contented with making the precepts and do&rines of Christianity the guide of her own conduct, she has endeavoured to instill them into the minds of her children ; and so well has she fucceeded, that her eldest son, at the age of nineteen, though possessed of an uncommon degree of learning, fense, and spirit
is not ashamed to confess that he is a . Christian!
Alas! my friend, how shall I inform you of the events of this moroing ? - The number of philosophers is diminished ! The promising sprout of Infidelity, whose early genius gave such hopes of future greatness-he, by the prowess of whose
pen, it was expected that religion should 'be routed from the world--the nephew of
Doctor Sceptic—this morning, took the 'privilege of a philosopher, and shot himfelf through the head! .
As I find upon enquiry, that this is a privilege which is often claimed, and a practice, that is very common with the philosophers of England, I suppose it is found to be conducive to general utility, aod agreeable to the eternal and necessary congruity and fitness of things.
The existing circumstances which impelled this young man to make so philosophical an exit, have been, to all appearance, fully explained ; and as you may have some curiolity concerning them, I shall briefly state them for your perusal.
It appears that his father, a man of rigid morals and austere devotion, who lived in the exercise of much piety towards. God, and much charity to his fellow-creatures, fome years ago, re
ceived into his family the orphan niece of his wife. She was educated with his own children, and shared with them the becefit of his instructions and the ten. derness of his paternal love. Her beauty made an early impreslion upon the heart of her cousin, ard such was her merit in the eyes of the old man, that, preferring the happiness of his son, to the aggrandizement of his family, hè consented that their union should take place, as soon as the young man should have attained his one and twentieth year. It was agreed, that he should employ the interval in what is called an attendance upon the Temple; and, according to a previous invitation from his uncle, Doctor Sceptic, should during that period take up his residence at his house, in the capital.—There the young man had not long iefided, till a new light burst upon his eyes; he saw things as he had never seen them before : saw that religion was a bug-bear, made to keep the vulgar in awe :-saw that his father was a fool; and, as I have before mentioned, learnt to laugh at his prejudices, and his piety, in a very edifying manner.
In the summer, he returned into the country; found his cousin lovely and affectionate as ever, and had no great difficulty in initiating her into all the
mysteries of Scepticism. They both found it a charming thing to be fo much wiser than their instructors; and wondered they could so long have been blinded by prejudices, whose absurdities were so obvious. The young man went again to town, became every day more enlightened, and soon discovered that marriage was a piece of priest craft-an ignoble bondage-a chain, which no man of honour should submit to wear.
He haftened to return to the country, to communicate to his cousin this important discovery. Finding fome difficulty in convincing her understanding of the truth of this new do&trine, he applied to the softness of her heart; he pretended to doubt of her affe&ion, appealed to her generosity, and—completed her ruin.
Still the poor girl was not sufficiently convinced of the propriety of her con. duct, not to entertain fone doubts and apprehenfions, which the young philofopher foon grew tired of bearing. Finding that their connection could not be much longer concealed, she grew more importunate, and he listened to her importunity with increased indifference. At length, to avoid her remonstrances, he came to Ardent Hall, where he had been introduced by his Uncle, who made