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' you, with a proposal that insults our misfortunes, and i would throw us to a lower degree of misery than any • thing which is come upon us. How could' this bar. • barous man think that the tendereft of parents would • be tempted to supply their want, by giving up the best • of children to infamy and ruin? It is a mean and • cruel artifice to make this proposal at a time when he
thinks our necessities must compel us to any thing ; 6 but we will not eat the bread of shame; and there-• fore wę charge thee not to think of us, but to avoid • the snare which is laid for thy virtue. Beware of pity• ing us : it is not so bad as you have perhaps been • told. All things will yet be well, and † shall write my
child better news.
I have been interrupted. I know not how I was • moved to say things would mend. As I was going
on I was startled by a noise of one that knocked at • the door, and had brought us an unexpected supply of • a debt which had long been owing. Oh! I will now • tell thee all. It is some days I have lived almost with
out fupport, having conveyed what little money I • could raise to your poor father.-Thou wilt weep to
think where he is, yet be assured he will foon be åt
liberty. That cruel letter would have broke his heart, « but I have concealed it from him. I have no compa• nion at present besides little Fanny, who fands watch
ing my looks as I write, and is crying for her fifter ; • she says she is sure you are not well, having discovered • that my present trouble is about you. But do not • think I would thus repeat my sorrows, to grieve theé. • No, it is to intreat thee not to make them infupport• able, by adding what would be worse than all." Let
us bear chearfully an affiliation, which we have not
brought on ourselves, and remember there is a power • who can better deliver us out of it, than by the loss of thy innocence. Heaven preserve my dear child."
Thy affectionate Mother The mellenger, notwithstanding he promised to deliver this letter to Amanda, carried it first to his master, who he imagined would be glad to have an opportunity
of giving it into her hands himself. His master was impatient to know the success of his proposal, and there. fore broke open the letter privately, to see the contents. He was not a little moved at fo true a picture of virtue in distress; but at the same time was infinitely surprised to find his offers rejected. However he resolved not to suppress the letter, but carefully sealed it up again, and carried it to Amanda. All his endeavours to see her were in vain, till she was assured he brought a letter from her mother. He would not part with it but upon condition that the should read it without leaving the room. While she was perasing it, he fixed his eyes on. her face with the deepest attention; her concern gave a new softness to her beauty, and when the burst into tears, he could no longer refrain from bearing a part in her forrow, and telling her, that he too had read the letter, and was resolved to make reparation for having been the occasion of it. My reader will not be displeased to see the second epifle which he now wrote to Amanda's mother.
I Am full of thame, and will never forgive myself, • It was får from my intention to add trouble to the af• ficted; nor could any thing but my being a stranger
to you, have betrayed me into a fault, for which, if • I live, I shall endeavour to make you amends, as a • son. You cannot be unhappy while Amanda is your
daughter : nor shall be, if any thing can prevent it, which is in the power of,
Your most obedient humble Servant This letter he fent by his steward, and soon after went up to town himself to complete the generous act he had now resolved on. By his friendship and affiftance Amanda's father was quickly in a condition of retrieving his perplexed affairs. To conclude, he married Amanda, and enjoyed the double fatisfaction of having restored a worthy family to their fornier prospe
rity, and of making himself happy by an alliance to their virtues.
The WHISPERERS and GIGGLERS among the fair Sex complained of. (Connoif. No. 14.]
S the ladies are naturally become the immediate to be interted in your paper, which is founded upon a matter of fact? They will pardon me, if by laying before you a particular instance I was lately witness to of their improper behaviour, I endeavour to expose a reigning evil, which subjects them to many shameful imputations,
I received last week a dinner-card from a friend, with an intimation that I should meet some very agreeable ladies. At my arrival, I found that the company confifted chiefly of females, who indeed did me the honour to rife, but quite disconcerted me in paying my respects, by their whispering each other, and appearing to stifle a laugh. When I was feated, the ladies grouped themfelves
up in a corner, and entered into a private cabal, feemingly to discourse upon points of great fecrecy and importance, but of equal merriment and diversion.
The same conduct of keeping close to their ranks was observed at table, where the ladies seated themselves together. Their conversation was here also confined wholly to themselves, and seemed like the mysteries of the Bona Dea, in which men were forbidden to have any share. It was a continued laugh and a whisper from the beginning to the end of dinner. A whole sentence was scarce ever spoken aloud. Single words, indeed, now and then broke forth; such as odious, horrible, detestable, frocking, HUMBVG. This last new-coined expression, which is only to be found in the nonsenfical vocabulary, founds absurd and disagreeable, whenever it is pronounced; but from the mouth of a lady it is $ hocking, detestable, horrible, and odious."
My friend seemed to be in an uneasy fituation at his own table : but I was far more miserable. I was mute, and feldom dared to lift up my eyes from my plate, or turn my head to call for small beer, left by fome awk. ward posture I might draw upon me a whisper or a laugh. Sancho, when he was forbid to eat of a delicious banquet set before him, could scarce appear more melancholy. The rueful length of my face might possibly encrease the mirth of my tormentors: at least their joy seemed to rise in exact proportion with my misery. At length, however, the time of my delivery approached. Dinner ended, the ladies made their exit in pairs, and went off hand in hand whispering, like the two kings of Brentford.
Modest men, Mr. Town, are deeply wounded, when they imagine themselves the objects of ridicule or contempt: and the pain is the greater, when it is given by chose whom they admire, and from whom they are ambitious of receiving any marks of countenance and favour. Yet we must allow, that affronts are pardonable from ladies, as they are often prognostics of future kindness. If a lady strikes our cheek, we can very willingly follow the precept of the Gofpel, and turn the other cheek to be fmitten. Even a blow from a fair hand conveys pleafure. But this battery of whispers is against all legal rights of war ;--poisoned arrows, and ftabs in the dark, are not more repugnant to the general laws of humanity.
Modern writers of comedy often introduce a pert witling into their pieces, who is very severe upon the reft of the company; but all his waggery is spoken afide. These gigglers and whisperers seem to be acting the fame part in company, that this arch rogue does in the play, Every word or motion produces a train of whispers ; the dropping of a snuff-box, or spilling the tea, is sure to be accompanied with a titter; and upon the entrance of any one with something particular in his person or manner, I have seen a whole room in a buzz like a bee. hive.
This practice of whispering, if it is any where allows ble, may perhaps be indulged the fair sex at church, where the conversation can only be carried on by the secret symbols of a curtsey, an ogle, or a nod. A whisper in this place is very often of great use, as it ferves to convey the most secret intelligence, which a lady would be ready to burst with, if she could not find vent for it by this kind of auricular confestion. A piece of scandal transpires in this manner from one pew to the other, then presently whizzes along the chancel, from whence it crawls up to the galleries, 'till at last the whole church hums with it.
It were also to be wished, that the ladies would be pleased to confine themselves to whispering, in their tête à tête conferences at an opera or the play-house ; which would be a proper deference to the rest of the audience. In France, we are told, it is common for the parterre to join with the performers in any favourite air : but we seem to have carried this custom ftill further, as the company in our boxes, without concerning themselves in the least with the play, are even louder than the players. The wit and humour of a Vanbrugh or a Congreve is frequently interrupted by a brilliant dialogue between two perfons of fashion ; and a lovefcene in the side-box has often been more attended to, than that on the stage. As to their loud bursts of. laughter at the theatre, they may very well be excused, when they are excited by any lively strokes in a comedy: but I have seen our ladies titter at the most distressful fcenes in Romeo and Juliet, grin over the anguish of a Monimia or Belvidera, and fairly laugh King Lear off
Thus the whole behaviour of these ladies is in direct contradiction to good manners. They laugh when they hould cry, are load when they should be filent, and are filent when their conversation is defirable. If a man in a felect company was thus to laugh or whisper me out of countenance, I should be apt to construe it as an affront, and demand an explanation. As to the ladies, I would defire them to reflect how much they would suffer, if their own weapons were turned against them, and the gentlemen Mhould attack them with the same arts laughing and whispering. But, however free they ma