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Years rolled on, and each returning sea son saw an increase of the happiness of this well-matched pair. But who can give stability to the felicity of mortals 2 While yet in the prime of life, this amiable and happy husband was seized by the ruthless hand of disease, in whose rude grasp, the vigour of life was blasted, and the gay hopes of future enjoyment dashed on the rocks of disappointment. His senses, of which he suffered a temporary deprivation, were gradually restored; but the wheels of life were clogged; the vital fluid stagnated in the veins, or moved with such lingering and unequal pace, as was unequal to the re animation of the palsied limbs: nor did he ever recover a sufficient degree of strength, to enable him to quit his apartment. In such a situation, in vain would a man have looked for consolation to the pretty face of a fool. In vain would he have expected it from the trifling accomplishments, to the acquirement of which, the most precious years of life are commonly devoted. Alas!
though Lady Grey could have spoken French with the fluency of a Parisian; though she could have danced with the grace of an angel; though she could have painted a flower, or a butterfly, even without the assistance of her drawing-master, and run over the keys of her harpsichord with the most astonishing rapidity—little comfort would it have given to the heart of her sick 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 WOL. I. I. 20
the six years in which her husband lingered under the partial dominion of death, the fortitude of his lady remained unshaken, 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 mind.—Yes, Maandaara, notwithstanding all I have said in favour of this excellent woman, truth obliges me to confess, that the powers of her mind are not sufficiently enlarged to embrace the doctrines of Atheism . She is blind enough, not to perceive the evident superiority of any of the systems of the philosophers to the Christian faith; and weakly asserts, that if all that was taught by Jesus Christ and his Apostles, was generally practised, it would be no great injury to the happiness of society.— She takes great pleasure in the contempla
tion 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 she finds it more satisfactory to rest her hopes on the promises of her Saviour, than on the permanent existence of the little imperishable stamina at the top of the nose ! ! Not contented with making the precepts and doctrines 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 succeeded, that her eldest son, at the age of nineteen, though possessed of an uncommon degree of learning, sense, 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 morning 7–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 Sceptick —this morning, took the privilege of a philosopher, and shot himself through the head : As I find upon inquiry, 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, and 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 curiosity 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