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Essay on the Wealth of Nations, Helvetius de l'Esprit, Hume's Essays, the Spirit of the Laws; Bayle, and a common-place book. The last contained a great deal of paper, and an excellent arrangement, under the heads of which, excepting those of anecdote and criticism, hardly any thing was collected. The papers in his own hand-writing were, a parallel between Mr. Gray's Elegy, and Parnell's Night-Piece on Death ; some detached thoughts on propriety of conduct and behaviour ; a Fairy Tale in verse ; and several letters to the Author of the MIRROR, all of them blotted and unfinished. There were besides a journal of his occupations for several weeks, from which, as it affords a picture of his situation, I transcribe a part.
Thursday, eleven at night, went to bed : Ordered my servant to wake me at six, resolving to be busy all next day.
Friday morning : Waked at a quarter before six, fell asleep again, and did not wake till eight.
Till nine, read the first act of Voltaire's Mahomet, as it was too late to begin serious business.
Ten: Having swallowed a short breakfast, went out for a moment in my slippers-The wind having left the east, am engaged, by the beauty of the day, to continue my walk-Find a situation by the river, where the sound of my flute produced a very singular and beantiful echam-make a stanza and a half by way of address to it-visit the shepherd lying ill of a low fever --find him somewhat better (Mem. to send him some wine) meet the parson, and cannot avoid asking him to dinner-returning home, find my reapers at worksuperintend them in the absence of John, whom I send to inform the house of the parson's visit-read, in the mean time, part of Thomson's Seasons, which I had
From one to six, plagued with the parson's news and stories-take up Mahomet to put me in good
bumour-finish it, the time allotted for serious study being elapsed-at eight, applied to for advice by a poor countryman, who had been oppressed cannot say as to the law : give him some money-walk out at sun-set, to consider the causes of the pleasure arising from itat nine sup, and sit till eleven, hearing my nephew read, and conversing with my mother, who was remarkably well and cheerful-go to bed.
· Saturday : Some company arrived—to be filled up to-morrow(for that and the two succeeding days, there was no farther entry in the journal)—Tuesday, waked at seven ; but, the weather being rainy, and threatening to confine me all day, lay till after nineTen, breakfasted and read the newspapers-very dull and drowsy-Eleven, day clears up, and I resolve on a short ride to clear ту
head. A few days' residence with him shewed me that his life was in reality, as it is here represented, a medley of feeble exertions, indolent pleasures, secret benevolence, and broken resolutions. Nor did he pretend to conceal from me, that his activity was not now so constant as it had been ; but he insisted that he still could, when he thought proper, apply with his former vigour, and Aattered himself, that these frequent deviations from his plan of employ: ment, which, in reality, were the fruit of indolence and weakpess, arose from reason and conviction. After all, said he to me one day, when I was endeavouring to undeceive him, after all, granting what you allege, if I be happy, and I really am so, what more could activity, fame, or preferment, bestow upon me ?After a stay of some weeks, I departed, convinced that his malady was past a cure, and lamenting, that so much real excellence and ability should be thus, in a great measure, lost to the world, as well as to their possessor, by the attendance of a single fault.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.
N°51. TUESDAY, JULY 20, 1779.
To the AUTHOR of the MIRROR.
Mr. MIRROR, I am the daughter of a gentleman of easy, though moderate fortune. My mother died a few weeks after I was born ; and before I could be sensible of the loss, a sister of her's, the widow of an English gentleman, carried me to London,
where she resided. As my aunt had no children, I became the chief object of her affections; and her favourite amusement consisted in superintending my education. As I grew up, I was attended by the best masters; and every new accomplishment I acquired, gave fresh pleasure to my kind benefactress.
But her own conversation tended more than any thing else to form and to improve my mind. Well acquainted herself with the best authors in the English, French, and Italian languages, she was careful to put into my hands such books as were best calculated to cultivate my understanding, and to regulate my taste.
But, though fond of reading and retirement, my aunt thought it her duty to mingle in society as much as her rank and condition required. Her house was frequented by many persons of both sexes, distinguished for elegance of manners and politeness of conversation. Her tenderness made her desirous to find out companions for me of my own age; and, far from being dissatisfied with our
youthful sallies, she seemed never better pleased than when she could add to our amusement and happi
In this manner I had passed my time, and had entered my seventeenth year, when my aunt was seized with an indisposition, which alarmed me much, although her physicians assured me it was by no means dangerous. My fears increased, on observing that she herself thought it serious. Her tenderness seemed, if possible, to increase ; and, though she was desirous to conceal her apprehensions, I have sometimes, when she imagined I did not observe it, found her eyes fixed on me with a mixture of solicitude and compassion, that never failed to over
One day she called me into her closet, and, after embracing me tenderly, · My dear Harriet,' said she, it is vain to dissemble longer. I feel my
strength decay so fast, that I know we soon must • part. As to myself, the approach of death gives
little uneasiness; and I thank Almighty God • that I can look forward to that awful change • without dread, and without anxiety. But when • I think, my child, of the condition in which I • shall leave you, my heart swells with anguish!• You know my situation ; possessed of no fortune, • the little I have saved from my jointure, will be altogether inadequate to support you in that so
ciety in which you have hitherto lived. When I • look back on my conduct towards you, I am not • sure that it has been altogether prudent. I thought • it impossible to bestow too much on your educa• tion, or to render you too accomplished. I fondly
hoped to live to see you happily established in • life, united to a man who could discern your merit, < who could put a just value on all your acquire• ments. These hopes are at an end ; all, however,
• that can now be done I have done.--Here are two
papers ; by the one you will succeed to the little • I shall leave ; the other is a letter to your father,
in which I have recommended you in the most earnest manner to his protection, and intreated • him to come to town as soon as he hears of my • death, and conduct you to Scotland. He is a man • of virtue ; and I hope you will live happily in his
family. One only fear I have, and that proceeds • from the extreme sensibility your
mind, and gentleness of your disposition ; little formed by
nature to struggle with the hardships and the dif. • ficulties of life, perhaps the engaging softness of
your temper has rather been increased by the education
have received. I trust, however, that your good sense will prevent you from being hurt by any little cross untoward accidents you may meet with, and that it will enable you to make the
most of that situation in which it may be the will • of Heaven to place you.'
To all this I could only answer with my tears ; and, during the short time that my aunt survived, she engrossed my attention so entirely, that I never once bestowed a thought on myself. As soon after her death as I could command myself sufficiently, I wrote to my father; and, agreeably to my aunt's instruction, inclosed her letter for him ; in conse. quence of which he came to town in a few weeks. Meeting with a father to whose person I was a perfect stranger,
on whom I was ever after entirely to depend, was to me a most interesting event. My aunt had taught me to entertain for him the highest reverence and respect; but, though I had been in use to write, from time to time, both to him, and to a lady he had married not long after my mother's death, I had never been able to draw either the one or the other into any thing like a regular