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HYMENEA IN SEARCH OF A HUSBAND.
"THE Doctor, as I have said, my dear || others.-I have told her so, I have told Hymenæa," continued my aunt, "accompanied Edward into the coach which car. ried him to his patron. What was the subject of their conversation can only be conjectured by the event which you will learn in the sequel. Suffice it to say at present, that he returned home pensive and not apparently well pleased. Edward, in a few days, left the country for Petersburgh, and Clarissa 1eturned home.
"In a few days afterwards, Sir William returned to the house of his guardian, and very naturally enquired for Clarissa, who was still absent, and indeed seemed in no haste to return.
"Why do you continue to love this girl,' said the worthy Doctor. You see that she is determined against you,-unalterably determined-'
"The Doctor shuddered at this avowal. Young man,' said he, sternly, are you not aware that you are not the master of your own life,—that you are not its author, and must not be its terminator.-That you have received your being from Providence, as a player is put down by the mana ger for his part in a play;-that you have to perform the part assigned you, and have to expect reward or punishment as you go through it well or ill. We are all on the stage of life, as the scene of the trial and the exercise of our virtues. To throw up our parts, to reject our life, is to fly in the face of the author of our being, to return him in defiance the opportunity he has given us of earning our immortality, and to insult his wisdom by refusing to undergo the trials and sufferings to which he may There is nothink suitable to expose us. thing, my boy, in this world happens by chance. It is the wind, perhaps, blows down the tree, but it is the sufferance of God, that the devoted passenger is passing under it at the moment. Chance is but the secondary instrument in the hands of the Almighty. He accomplishes every thing by the readiest means; and, not unfrequently, so shapes the end with these means; so frames the execution according to the wheels which are already at work to produce it, that the effect, when it does happen, seems rather the natural issue of events, than of previous design or ordinance. But ifthere be a truth in nature, it is this, that those who put themselves under the superintendance of God, who call for this superintendance, and who have it, these persons, I say, have nothing to fear from chance. Those abandoned by Heaven are rendered the sport of fortune, "and in every respect the children of the
"I can see no such thing, Sir,' returned the young lover; 'if I could once see that, and intelligibly understand it, my resolution would be taken in a moment.'
"What resolution?' said the Doctor, eagerly. Suppose, my dear boy, I could give you proof positive, that you can have no hopes of Clarissa-What would then be your purpose?'
My dear Sir, replied the young man, 'my respect for you, and gratitude for the care with which you have superintended my education, make me unwilling to pain you by the avowal of my purpose.'
"You will infinitely oblige me, my young friend,' said the Doctor, if you will conceal nothing from me, and I, on my part, will conceal nothing from you.'
"Your desires, my dear Sir, are commands. Think me mad then,-think me any thing but ungrateful to you, or unmindful of your cares, when I acknowledge, that I could not support life after the conviction that Clarissa was to be an
world. They rise or they fall,-they prosper or they fail, according to the agency of worldly causes, and the natural course of worldly affairs. They are left entirely to themselves, and worldly prosperity is of so little weight or estimation in the eyes of the Almighty author of our being, that this course of events is seldom interrupted. The wicked are thus permitted to flourish, and, having sown in the world, to reap of the world. But with the virtuous, with those who live under the eye of Providence, things are very different ;-God then takes the affairs of the world, as far as concerns them into his own hands, and administers them, as secondary causes, to produce his purposes; sometimes as an instrument of correction, and sometimes to cherish and to encourage them.-Hence it follows that the most prosperous are sometimes the abandoned of Heaven, whilst the afflicted are as frequently its favourites. Prosperity, as the natural issue of worldly causes, falls sometimes indifferently on the virtuous and the wicked.-Prosperity likewise, as the peculiar benefaction of Heaven, is the instrument in the hands of God to reward and encourage virtue, and to harden and confirm (and thereby testify his justice) the completely wicked.'
"All this is true, very true, my dearest Sir,' said the young man; ' but'
"Their conversation was here interrupted by the arrival of a visitor; the Doctor sent Sir William to receive him, and con tinued himself his walk in the garden.
"How perverse is human nature,' said the excellent man, meditating to himself. 'How strong and uncontroulable are human passions. Yet not controulable, if the will be duly exercised, and operated upon by the judgment. This young man must be taken care of. I see that Edward and Clarissa understood his nature and violence of disposition better than myself.'
"Things continued in this manner for some days longer, till the return of Cla rissa. Sir William, during her absence, only cherished still more the violence of his passion. Solitude is as dangerous to the lover as to the poet. All the passions, con. nected with the imagination, are fostered by solitude. They plume their wings, and gather a new strength of pinion. It was
thus with Sir William-His mistress was ever present to his fancy.-Every object but recalled her to his mind.
"In a few days Clairssa returned to her uncle's. At first she was pensive, sought solitude, and was peevish at interruption. This gradually wo wore off, and she seemed, at least to external observation, to return to herself. Sir William, however, jealously observed all her motions, and thence endeavoured to collect her thoughts and the state of her mind. Clarissa was always eager for the arrival of the post. The unexpected mention of the maine of Edward produced an evident commotion in her whole frame. She would start from her seat whenever it came upon her by surprize. The arrival of a letter would throw her into a flutter and evident palpitation, which would be succeeded by a conscious confusion, when she found that it was not from Edward. Sir William did not, indeed, see all of this, but he saw enough to render him jealous, and thereby to confirm and exasperate his love.
"In a few days, however, a packet arrived which, upon opening, was discovered to be from Edward. It was dated from Petersburgh. The letter was addressed to the whole family, but on opening it, the Doctor found a small envellope, which he immediately put into the hands of Clarissa.
My dear, this is addressed to you. I suppose, however, it contains no secret.'
"I will make it a secret, however,' said she, taking the letter, in order that your curiosity may be sharpened, and that you may think me of importance.'-Saying this, she consigned the letter to her pocket. book, indifferent as to the angry looks of Sir William. The Doctor now began the perusal of the packet addressed to all of them in common.
"MY DEAR FRIENDS,
"St. Petersburgh, February, 1809.
My patron and myself have at length arrived at Petersburgh; and I am now seated in a chamber impervious to the outward air, with double windows, double doors; all these precautions are necessary in this dreadful climate. The intensity of the cold is so excessive, that exposure to the external air in the manner of Europeans, would
be certain and instant death. Winter here, future letters shall enter into more par
indeed, holds his icy reign. The clouds above, however, are still fleccy and transparent, and so far a winter in the extremes of the North has the advantage of an English winter. In Eugland, you have every variety of horrors.-In Russia the winter months are free from fogs and rain, and if you are but carefully invested in bear-skins and fun-tippets, you may live much more comfortably than in England.
"I never was presented at the English Court, and therefore have no idea of what may be its degree of magnificence. But I have already attended the Earl to the Court of the Emperor Alexander, and therefore have it in my power to say, that the magnificence of it exceeded whatever I had conceived in imagination. Foreign Courts, as I am informed, are conducted with more ceremony and imposing spectacle than that of England, and the degree of humilation to be seen in a Russian Court, would certainly not suit a land of freemen. This, however, is dispensed with in the person of the Ambassador and his suite. The rule in this respect is, to require the same homage which the Ambassador is accustomed to give to his own Sovereign.
"I have now but a passing opportunity to inform you of my arrival, but in my
"The Emperor Alexander, as you may
"The Court, however, and in a degree
FROM MULEY CID SADI, ONE OF THE SECRETARIES TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PERSIAN
AT length, thou staff of my youth. and son of my riper age, Osman Cali Beg, depositary of the secret purposes of our mighty Sovereign, whom may Alah preserve; at length, friend of my heart, we have arrived in the land of the Infidels, and I am now writing to you from a caravansera in their chief town, called London.I will now fulfil, to the utmost of my power, what I engaged to perform on my departure from Ispahan, and you may expect from the pen and pencil of your friend a sketch, if not a complete portrait of
the manners and country of these dogs of
You have been accustomed to resolve all my religious doubts.-Answer me, O friend of my soul! whence is it that Alah has allowed, and continues to allow, this race of Infidels to possess such wealth, such magnificence, and such a never-ceasing tide of worldly prosperity-Whence is it, that those can prosper who have no faith in Mahomet?-Whence is it, that those are permitted even to breathe the air of heaven, who know nothing of Fatima, and whe
jeer at the Holy Dove, which nightly descended from Heaven to whisper into the ear of our Prophet?-The race of the holy are not more numerous than the multitude of these Infidels; they cover the land like wine, and, with all our utmost efforts, heither his Excellency nor myself could avoid a personal contact with this impure people.
In coming from the seaport to London, our first object of surprize was the manner in which the roads were thronged.—These Infidels have carriages of all kinds.-They seemed indeed to want nothing but the knowledge of our holy faith to be the most enviable nation in the world.
In Persia, you know, light of my understanding! that travellers are entitled to lodgings, free of all cost, at the expence of the state, and in caravanseras built for that purpose. In our journey from the English seaport where we landed to London, we shortly stopped at one of these English caravanseras. A fat fellow, with a belly like the hunch of a camel, received us at the gate, and with a suitable respect for his Excellency's diguity, almost prostrating himself on the ground, ushered us into an apartment. His Excellency and myself immediately threw ourselves on the carpet; the fellow stared, but kept bowing, and almost kissing the ground. Our interpreter informed us he waited our commands. We commanded him to leave us to ourselves and hurry the horses. The fellow left the room, and the horses were shortly after announced. We were about to leave the room, when we were detained by a dispute between the interpreter and the man of whom I am speaking. The fellow demanded what they call in this country five guineas, for the use of his caravansera during as many minutes. You may judge of this demand, when I inform you that the daily expences of the King of Persia's Court do not exceed this sum.
The towns in England are very different from those in Persia.-There is wealth enough in one of their principal towns to purchase the half of the Persian monarchy. There seems, moreover, no such thing as theft in the country; at the doors of their richest shops, for so they call their houses of sale, there were no guards,-no fortifications. I understand, moreover, even in the night, that so confident are they of safety to their persons and property, that the guardianship of the streets is entrusted solely to old men, and sometimes to old women, termed watchmen. This is the more extraordinary, and therefore, the greater proof of their confidence in the honesty of each other, inasmuch, as whilst they thus employ old men to this important office, they have their kingdom overflowing with young men. They have what they term their Militia, who wear the habits of soldiers, but are the most peaceable subjects which the British Emperor has. This soldiery, as it seems, claim the privilege of not fighting; and if ever there be any talk of sending them abroad to fight the battles of their country, they have always some friend in the great Divan of the nation, who talks of the breach of what they term the principles of the constitution. According to these principles, as far as I understand them, the Militia of Eng. land are about as useful as the mad Der-joy occur, an order is given for a great
The English have a method of rejoicing peculiar to themselves. If any subject of
vises of Persia: they go about dancing and debauching women, but are held sacred from no purpose of utility: they are the mere running servants of the King, and the nation; they live merrily and labour in nothing.
dinner. This is a custom so peculiarly English, that we have nothing analogous to it in Persia, and, therefore, it is not easy to render it intelligible to you.--A dinner is the assemblage of all the eatables in the town, perhaps of a district, in one
On our arrival in London, the capital of this kingdom of Infidels, we were surprized at the preparation for some great rejoicing; and in answer to our enquiries learned, that the nation were about to celebrate the æra of their Sovereign having obtained his fiftieth year. What can these Infidels see in long life thus to estimate it as the first of blessings? In Persia, where the rose blooms all the year round,-where the sun shines and the zephyrs blow, there may be some reason in the wish for length of years. But in England, in this land of fogs, damps, and perpetual rains, surely none but a frog, who can live in a lake, could reasonably entertain such a desire.
apartment or chamber; upon which a
cannot be any doubt, but that the English
nity for great deeds of this kind. In
The house which the English Government has provided for his Excellency, merits a few words of description. The English, having no regard to their women, and therefore no jealousy, build their houses in a totally different form from what they are built amongst us; their houses are as open as the structures in our gardens. Every room is alternately their haram; and such is the daring immodesty of the people, every room is open as the street, every motion of their women may be seen; and you cannot pass through a street in the morning, without meeting them in as great a multitude and as freely exposed as the men. Alas! my friend, the progress of refinement has not commenced. Persia is still the only country in the world in which women are duly estimated, and therefore are kept as the most precious jewels.
But what most astonished me, and will astonish you equally in the mention, is the furniture of their houses; and particularly of that which the Government has provided for us. Every room is ornamented with those sphynxes, hieroglyphics, and characters, which we find in the caverns of Egypt, and in the vaults of the antient Thebes. You will acknowledge now, that there was some justice in what many of our Persian writers have asserted, that arts and learning are in perpetual migration; that they were in Arabia formerly, and may latterly fly to the land of Infidels. There
In my nex letter I shall enter more into particulars; my thoughts are at present confused with the variety of fresh objects, inasmuch as every thing is new around me. This people scem in some respects the wisest, in others the most foolish of human beings. It is wise of them to have the images of their deities, their sphynxes and crocodiles, continually before them; the presence of these objects must necessarily make a strong impression on the minds of their children, and what is early imbibed is seldom forgotten. It is wise of them to acknowledge the blessing which they have derived from the long reign of their Sovereign. It is wise of them to adhere to the maxims of their ancestors, and to endeavour to tread back the steps into which a false refinement has led them; to recover their hieroglyphics, and to restore the antient worship of their sphynxes. All this is wise of them, but then, can any thing be more foolish than such a religion, and such general opinions? Can any thing be more foolish than their conduct towards their women; affecting to put a value on them, yet leaving them at liberty; having a garden as it were without walls, and an haram without bars; and to crown the sum of folly, there are examples, as I understand, even of jealousy amongst these people; so inconsistent is human nature.-Farewell, you shall hear more from me when I am more settled.
From London, the city of Infidels, in the Month denominated December."
[To be Continued.]