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live.—Death,” she said, “was the only refuge of despair; to it she fled, to save her from the reproaches of the world, and the torments of her own perturbed mind”—and with an affecting apostrophe to the days of unspotted innocence, this unhappy creature concludes her melancholy epistle; which, it seems, she had no sooner written, than she put an end to her existence, by plunging into the sea Such has been the effects of performing poojah to System, in the family of the Scepticks' Ah how little do the Christians of this country consider the nature and extent of the obligations they are under to those enlightened men, whose indefatigable endeavour it is, to free them from the narrow prejudices of their religion 1 O, ye incomparable moralists, who so freely blow out your own brains, from a sense of general utility, little doth the world consider how much it is indebted to your labours :
THE previous arguments of the philosophers in praise of suicide, had not sufficiently enlightened the minds of the family of Ardent-Hall, to prevent their regarding the death of young Sceptick as a melancholy catastrophe Though the difference of character gave a variety to the expression of their feelings, all appeared to feel. The shock was universal.
The worshippers of System, and the votaries of Christianity, appeared, indeed, to be affected in a very opposite manner. The former, who had, till this event, been so clamorous in support of the pretensions of their Idols, were all at once struck dumb. Not one appeal was now made to existing circumstances. Not one ray of hope darted from the age of reason. Nor did either general utility, or the fitness of things, appear in this juncture, to afford any comfort to their votaries. But while the lips of the philosophers were sealed in silence, those of the Christian religionists were opened. Their prejudices, indeed, appeared to have gained fresh strength: these prejudices, which are calculated to foster the sensibility of the tender heart, and to encrease the feelings of sympathy, seemed likewise endowed with power to support their votaries in the hour of affliction, to soften the rigour of anguish, and to preserve from the tyranny of despair. It must be confessed, that Lady Grey, amiable as she is, had not sufficient greatness of mind to applaud the heroism of the young philosopher, or to speak of his last action—but with a mixture of pity, horrour, and regret. With much feeling, did she deplore his having ever imbibed the liberal opinions that led to the destruction of his wife; the murder of his child; his own death, and the misery of his family.
The consolation of that unhappy family was the first object of her concern. Having seen Lady Ardent and the young Ladies set off for the house of a friend, to which they had been invited on the first accounts of the melancholy event; she hastened to the house of affliction; there to mingle the tears of sympathy; to speak comfort to the wounded heart; and, by sharing in its sorrows, to 195sen their severity.—Such, Maan. daara, are the offices pointed out by the prejudices of Christianity
Deeming it improper at such a juncture, to incommode the family by the presence of a stranger, I took my leave of Sir Caprice Ardent, and left the Hall, impressed with a deep sense of the kindness and hospitality I had experienced beneath its roof. ,
Full of melancholy, I proceeded, without having fully determined on the route I was to pursue. To London, I was averse to return, and yet knew not how otherwise to dispose of myself. As I was debating this
point with myself, while the horses were WOL, l l . 21
putting to my carriage, at the third stage of my journey, a chaise drove up to the Inn. From it alighted a gentleman—but, O ye Gods of my fathers what was my surprize, on beholding, in this gentleman, my former guest, Mr. Denbeigh, the friend of Percy 1 He, who had at Chunar, loaded me with so many marks of kindness and affection? Soon as the flutter of spirits which always accompanies an unexpected meeting, was a little subsided, he took from his port-folio a packet, on which I soon recognized the hand-writing of Maandaara. How did my heart beat at the sight ! I tear open the seals —I read. I hear of the welfare of my friend, of the health of my child. Ah my son my son : What tender emotions does the mention of thy name raise in my bosom When shall the soft cheek of my child be patted by his father's hand 2 When shall my ears be gratified by the delicious musick of my darling's gentle voice " Detested spirit of curiosity too long have I sacrific