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• After a short time, Youth displaying a pair of wings, which I had not before taken notice of, flew off. Love still remained, and holding the torch ( which he had in his hand before
still • appeared as beautiful as ever. The glaring of the
light in your eyes at length awakened you ; when, . to my great surprise, instead of acknowledging the • favour of the deity, you frowned upon him, and struck the torch out of his hand into the river. The god, after having regarded you with a look that spoke at once his pity and displeasure, flew away. • Immediately a kind of gloom overspread the whole place.
At the same time I saw an hideous spectre enter at one end of the valley. His eyes were sunk • into his head, his face was pale and withered, and
his skin puckered up in wrinkles. As he walked (on the sides of the bank the river froze, the flowers • faded, the trees shed their blossoms, the birds drop
ped from off the boughs, and fell dead at his feet. * By these marks I knew him to be Old Age. You 5 were scized with the utmost horror and amazement • at his approach. You endeavoured to have fled, " but the phantom caught you in his arms. You may easily guess at the change you suffered in this embrace. For my own part, though I am still too full of the dreadful idea, I will not shock you "description of it. I was so startled at the sight that 'my sieep immediately left me, and I found myself ( awake, at leisure to consider of a dream which seems too extraordinary to be without a meaninge I am, madam, with the greatest passion,
Your most obedient, X
most humble servant, &c.'
No. CCCII. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15.
Becoming sorrows, and a virtuous mind,
I READ what I give for the entertainment of this day with a great deal of pleasure, and publish it just as it came to my hands. I shall be very glad to find there are many guessed at for Emilia.
( MR. SPECTATOR,
• If this paper has the good fortune to be honoured with a place in your writings, I shall be the more pleased, because the character of Emilia is not an imaginary but a real one. I have industri. sously obscured the whole by the addition of one or
two circumstances of no consequence, that the per6 son it is drawn from might still be concealed ; and • that the writer of it might not in the least be sus• pected, and for some other reasons, I choose not to • give it the form of a letter : but if, besides the faults
of the composition, there be any thing in it more ' proper for a correspondent than the Spectator him• self to write, I submit it to your better judgment, 6 to receive any other model you think fit.
SIR, • Your very humble servant.'
· I am,
There is nothing which gives one so pleasing a prospect of human nature, as the contemplation of wisdom and beauty : the latter is the peculiar portion of that sex which is therefore called fair; but the happy concurrence of both these excellencies in the same person, is a character too celestial to be frequently met with. Beauty is an over-weaning self
sufficient thing, careless of providing itself any more substantial ornaments; nay, so little does it consult its own interests, that it too often defeats itself by betraying that innocence which renders it lovely and desirable. As therefore virtue makes a beautiful woman appear more beautiful, so beauty makes a virtuous woman really more virtuous. Whilst I am considering these two perfections gloriously united in one person, I cannot help representing to my mind the image of Emilia.
Who ever beheld the charming Emilia, without feeling in his breast at once the glow of love and the tenderness of virtuous friendship? The unstudied graces of her behaviour, and the pleasing accents of her tongue, insensibly draw you on to wish for a nearer enjoyment of them ; but even her smiles carry in them a silent reproof to the impulses of licentious love. Thus, though the attractives of her beauty play almost irresistibly upon you and create desire, you immediately stand corrected not by the severity but the decency of her virtue. That sweetness and good-humour which is so visible in her face, naturally diffuses itself into every word and action : a man must be a savage, who at the sight of Emilia, is not more inclined to do her good than gratify himself. Her person, as it is thus studiously embellished by nature, thus adorned with unpremeditated graces, is a fit lodging for a mind so fair and lovely ; there dwell rational piety, modest hope, and cheerful resignation.
Many of the prevailing passions of mankind do undeservedly pass under the name of religion ; which is thus made to express itself in action according to the nature of the constitution in which it resides ; so that were we to make a judgment from appearances, one would imagine religion in some is little better than sullenness and reserve, in many fear, in others the despondings of a melancholy com
plexion, in others the formality of insignificant, unaffecting observances, in others severity, in others ostentation. In Emilia it is a principle founded in reason and enlivened with hope ; it does not break forth into irregular fits and sallies of devotion, but is an uniform and consistent tenor of action : it is strict without severity, compassionate without weakness; it is the perfection of that good-humour which proceeds from the understanding, not the effect of an easy constitution.
By a generous sympathy in nature, we feel ourselves disposed to mourn when any of our fellowcreatures are afflicted ; but injured innocence and beauty in distress, is an object that carries in it something inexpressibly moving; it softens the most manly heart with the tenderest sensations of love and compassion, until at length it confesses its humanity, and flows out into tears.
Were I to relate that part of Emilia's life which has given her an opportunity of exerting the heroism of christianity, it would make too sad, too tender a story ; but when I consider her alone in the midst of her distresses, looking beyond this gloomy vale of affliction and sorrow into the joys of heaven and immortality, and when I see her in conversation thoughtless and easy, as if she were the most happy creature in the world, I am transported with admir. ation. Surely never did such a philosophic soul inhabit such a beauteous form! for beauty is often made a privilege against thought and reflection; it laughs at wisdom, and will not abide the gravity of its instructions.
Were I able to represent Emilia's virtues in their proper colours and their due proportions, love or fattery might perhaps be thought to have drawn the picture larger than life; but as this is but an imperfect draught of so excellent a character, and as I cannot, will not hope to have any interest in her
person, all that I can say of her is but impartial praise, extorted from me by the prevailing brightness of her virtues. So rare a pattern of female excellence ought not to be concealed, but should be set out to the view and imitation of the world; for how amiable does virtue appear thus as it were made visible to us in so fair an example!
Honoria’s disposition is of a very different turn; her thoughts are wholly bent upon conquest and arbitrary power. That she has some wit and beauty no body denies, and therefore has the esteem of all her acquaintance as a woman of an agreeable person and conversation ; but, whatever her husband may think of it, that is not sufficient for Honoria : she. waves that title to respect as a mean acquisition, and demands veneration in the right of an idol ; for this reason her natural desire of life is continually checked with an inconsistent fear of wrinkles and old age.
Emilia cannot be supposed ignorant of her personal charms, though she seems to be so; but she will not hold her happiness upon so precarious a tenure, whilst her mind is adorned with beauties of a more exalted and lasting nature. When in the full bloom of youth and beauty we saw her surrounded with a crowd of adorers, she took no pleasure in slaughter and destruction, gave no false deluding hopes which might increase the torments of her disappointed lovers ; but having for some time given to the decency of a virgin coyness, and examined the merit of their several pretensions, she at length gratified-her own, by resigning herself to the ardent passion of Bromius. Bromius was then master of many good qualities and a moderate fortune, which was soon after. unexpectedly increased to a plentiful estate. This for a good while proved his misfortune, as it furnished his inexperienced age with the opportunities of evil company and a sensual life. He might have longer wandered in the labyrinths of