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take notice of, and call to mind a thousand agreeble remarks which he has made on those occasions. I write to him by every conveyance, and, contrary to other people, am always in good humour when the east-wind blows, because it seldom fails of bringing me a letter from him. Let me intreat you, Sir, to give me your advice upon this occasion, and to let me know how I may relieve myself in this my widowhood.

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I am, Sir, your most humble Servant,

ASTERIA."

Absence is what the poets call death in love, and has given occasion to abundance of beautiful complaints in those authors who have treated of this passion in verse. Ovid's Epistles are full of them. Otway's Monimia talks very tenderly upon this subject.

-It was not kind

To leave me, like a turtle, here alone,

To droop, and mourn the absence of my mate.
When thou art from me, every place is desert;
And I methinks am savage and forlorn.
Thy presence only 'tis can make me blest,
Heal my unquiet mind, and tune my soul.

The consolations of lovers on these occasions are

very extraordinary. Besides those mentioned by. Asteria, there are many other motives of comfort, which are made use of by absent lovers.

I remember in one of Scudery's Romances, a couple of honorable lovers agreed at their parting, to set aside one half hour in the day to think of each other during a tedious absence. The romance tells us, that they both of them punctually observed the time thus agreed upon; and that whatever company or business they were engaged in, they left it abruptly as soon as the clock warned them to retire. The romance further adds, that the lovers expected the return of this stated hour with as much impa

tience as if it had been a real assignation, and enjoyed an imaginary happiness, that was almost as pleasing to them as what they would have found from a real meeting. It was an inexpressible satisfaction to these divided lovers, to be assured that each was at the same time employed in the same kind of contemplation, and making equal returns of tenderness and affection.

If I may be allowed to mention a more serious expedient for the alleviating of absence, I shall také notice of one which I have known two persons practise, who joined religion to that elegance of sentiments with which the passion of love generally inspires its votaries. This was, at the return of such an hour, to offer up a certain prayer for each other, which they had agreed upon before their parting. The husband, who is a man that makes a figure in the polite world, as well as in his own family, has often told me, that he could not have supported an absence of three years without this expedient.

Strada, in one of his prolusions, gives an account of a chimerical correspondence between two friends by the help of a certain loadstone, which had such a virtue in it, that if it touched two several needles, when one of the needles so touched began to move, the other, though at never so great a distance, moved at the same time, and in the same manner. He tells us, that the two friends, being each of them possessed of one of these needles, made a kind of dial-plate, inscribing it with the four-and-twenty letters, in the same manner as the hours of the day are marked upon the ordinary dial-plate. They then fixed one of the needles on each of these plates in such a manner, that it could move round without impediment, so as to touch any of the four-andtwenty letters. Upon their separating from one another into distant countries, they agreed to withdraw themselves punctually into their closets at a certain hour of the day, and to converse with one

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another by means of this their invention. ingly, when they were some hundred miles asunder, each of them shut himself up in his closet at the time appointed, and immediately cast his eye upon his dial-plate. If he had a mind to write any thing to his friend, he directed his needle to every letter that formed the words which he had occasion for, making a little pause at the end of every word or sentence, to avoid confusion. The friend, in the mean while, saw his own sympathetic needle moving of itself to every letter which that of his correspondent pointed at. By this means they talked toge ther across a whole continent, and conveyed their thoughts to one another in an instant over cities for mountains, seas or desarts. good ne If Monsieur Scudery, or any other writer of romance, had introduced a necromancer, who is generally in the train of a knight-errant, making a present to two lovers of a couple of the abovementioned needles, the reader would not have been a little pleased to have seen them corresponding with one another when they were guarded with spies and watches, or separated by castles and ad+

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In the mean while, if ever this invention should be revived, or put into practice, I would propose, that upon the lover's dial-plate there should be written not only the four-and-twenty letters, but several entire words which have always a place in passionate epistles, as flames, darts, die, languish, absence, Cupid, heart, eyes, hang, drown, and the like. This would very much abridge the lover's pains in this of writing a letter, as it would enable him to express the most useful and significant words with a single touch of the needle.

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tience as if it had been a real assignation, and enjoyed an imaginary happiness, that was almost as pleasing to them as what they would have found from a real meeting. It was an inexpressible satisfaction to these divided lovers, to be assured that each was at the same time employed in the same kind of contemplation, and making equal returns of tenderness and affection.

If I may be allowed to mention a more serious expedient for the alleviating of absence, I shall takė notice of one which I have known two persons practise, who joined religion to that elegance of sentiments with which the passion of love generally inspires its votaries. This was, at the return of such an hour, to offer up a certain prayer for each other, which they had agreed upon before their parting. The husband, who is a man that makes a figure in the polite world, as well as in his own family, has often told me, that he could not have supported an absence of three years without this expedient.

Strada, in one of his prolusions, gives an account of a chimerical correspondence between two friends by the help of a certain loadstone, which had such a virtue in it, that if it touched two several needles, when one of the needles so touched began to move, the other, though at never so great a distance, moved at the same time, and in the same manner. He tells us, that the two friends, being each of them possessed of one of these needles, made a kind of dial-plate, inscribing it with the four-and-twenty letters, in the same manner as the hours of the day are marked upon the ordinary dial-plate. They then fixed one of the needles on each of these plates in such a manner, that it could move round without impediment, so as to touch any of the four-andtwenty letters. Upon their separating from one another into distant countries, they agreed to withdraw themselves punctually into their closets at a certain hour of the day, and to converse with one

provided his wars were regulated by justice and humanity, as in the instance of Pyrrhus, whom Tully mentions on this occasion in opposition to Hannibal. Such is the natural beauty and loveliness of virtue.

Stoicism, which was the pedantry of virtue, ascribes all good qualifications, of what kind soever, to the virtuous man. Accordingly Cato, in the character Tully has left of him, carried matters so far, that he would not allow any one but a virtuous man to be handsome. This indeed looks more like a philosophical rant, than the real opinion of a wise man; yet this was what Cato very seriously maintained. In short, the Stoics thought they could not sufficiently represent the excellence of virtue, if they did not comprehend in the notion of it all pos sible perfection; and therefore did not only suppose that it was transcendently beautiful in itself, but that it made the very body amiable, and banished every kind of deformity from the person in whom it resided.

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It is a common observation, that the most abandoned to all sense of goodness, are apt to wish those who are related to them of a different character; and it is very observable, that none are more struck with the charms of virtue in the fair sex, than those who; by their very admiration of it, are carried to a desire of ruining it.

A virtuous mind in a fair body is indeed a fine picture in a good light, and therefore it is no wonder that it makes the beautiful sex all over charms.

As virtue in general is of an amiable and lovely nature, there are some particular kinds of it which are more so than others, and these are such as dispose us to do good to mankind. Temperance and abstinence, faith and devotion, are in themselves perhaps as laudable as any other virtues; but those which make a man popular and beloved, are justice, charity, munificence, and, in short, all the good qualities that render us beneficial to each other.

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