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be quartered alive. Peter, whom we call the cruel, and whom the Spaniards, with more reason, call the lover of justice, was then at Seville. The affair came to his knowledge; and after learning the particulars, he determined to be himself the judge of the young shoemaker. When he proceeded to give judgment, he first annulled the fentence juft pronounced by the clergy; and, after asking the young man what profeffion he was, 1 forbid you, said he, to make shoes for a year to come.

FATAL EFFECTS

OF

FASHIONABLE LEVITIES.

THE STORY OF FLAVILLA.

Have before remarked, that, "to abftain from the appearance of evil," is a precept in that law which has every characteristic of divinity; and I have, in more than one of these papers, endeavoured to inforce the practice of it, by an illustration of its excellence and importance.

Circumstances have been admitted as evidences of guilt, even when death has been the consequence of conviction; and a conduct by which evil is

strongly

strongly implied, is little less pernicious than that by which it is expreffed. With refpect to fociety, as far as it can be influenced by example, the effect of both is the fame; for every man encourages the practice of that vice which he commits in appear, ance, though he avoids it in fact: and with respect to the individual, as the esteem of the world is a motive to virtue only less powerful than the approbation of confcience, he who knows that he is already degraded by the imputation of guilt, will find himself half disarmed when he is affailed by temptation: and as he will have lefs to lofe, he will, in

Of the fex, whofe

deed, be less difpofed to refift. levity is most likely to provoke cenfure, it is eminently true, that the lofs of character by imprudence frequently induces the lofs of virtue: the ladies therefore, fhould be proportionably circumfpect; as to those, in whom folly is most likely to terminate in guilt, it is certainly of moft importance to be wife,

This fubject has irrefiftibly obtruded itself upon my mind in the filent hour of meditation, because, as often as I have reviewed the fcenes in which I have mixed among the bufy and the gay, I have observed that a depravity of manners, a licentious extravagance of drefs and behaviour, are become almost univerfal: virtue feems ambitious of a resemblance to vice, as vice glories in the deformities which fhe has been ufed to hide.

A decent timidity, and modeft referve, have been always confidered as auxiliaries to beauty; but an air of diffolute boldness is now affected by all who would be thought graceful or polite. Chaftity, which used to be discovered in every gesture and every look, is now retired to the breaft, and is found only by those who intend its deftruction; as a general, when the town is furrendered, retreats to the citadel, which is always lefs capable of defence when the outworks are poffeffed by the

enemy.

There is now little apparent difference between the virgin and the prostitute: if they are not otherwife known, they may share the box and the drawing-room without diftinction. The fame fashion which takes away the veil of modefty, will neceffarily conceal lewdnefs; and honour and fhame will lofe their influence, because they will no longer diftinguish virtue from vice. General cuftom, perhaps, may be thought an effectual fecurity against general cenfure; but it will not always lull the fufpicions of jealoufy; nor can it familiarize any beauty, without destroying its influence, or diminish the prerogatives of a husband without weakening his attachment to his wife.

The excess of every mode may be declined without remarkable fingularity; and the ladies, who

fhould

should even dare to be fingular in the prefent defection of tafte, would proportionably increase their power and fecure their happiness..

I know that in the vanity and the prefumption of youth, it is common to alledge the consciousness of innocence, as a reafon for the contempt of cenfure; and a licence, not only for every freedom, but for every favour except the laft. This confidence can, perhaps, only be repreffed by a sense of danger: and as the persons whom I wish to warn, are most impatient of declamation, and most susceptible of pity, I will addrefs them in a story; and I hope the events will not only illuftrate but impress the precept which they contain.

FLAVILLA, juft as she had entered her fourteenth year, was left an orphan to the care of her mother, in fuch circumftances as difappointed all the hopes which her education had encouraged. Her father, who lived in great elegance upon the falary of a place at court, died fuddenly, without having made any provifion for his family, except an annuity of one hundred pounds, which he had purchased for his wife with part of her marriage portion; nor was he poffeffed of any property, except the furniture of a large house in one of the new fquares, an equi, page, a few jewels, and some plate.

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The greater part of the furniture and the equipage was fold to pay his debts; the jewels, which were not of great value, and some useful pieces of the plate, were reserved; and Flavilla removed with her mother into lodgings.

But notwithstanding this change in their circumftances, they did not immediately lose their rank. They were ftill vifited by a numerous and polite acquaintance; and though fome gratified their pride by affuming the appearance of pity, and rather infulted than alleviated their distress by the whine of condolence, and minute comparison of what they had loft with what they poffeffed; yet from others they were continually receiving prefents, which still enabled them to live with a genteel frugality: they were still confidered as people of fashion, and treated by thofe of a lower class with distant respect.

Flavilla thus continued to move in a sphere to which fhe had no claim; fhe was perpetually furrounded with elegance and fplendour, which the caprice of others, like the rod of an enchanter, could diffipate in a moment, and leave her to regret the lofs of enjoyments, which fhe could neither hope to obtain, nor cease to defire. Of this, however, Flavilla had no dread. She was remarkably tall for her age, and was celebrated not only for her beauty, but her wit: these qualifications she confi

dered,

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