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2. He waited on all his old customers in trade, represented to them his misfortunes, which he had taken every method to avoid, and begged them to enable him to pursue his business, assuring those to whom he was indebted, that his only wish was to be in a condition to pay them, and that he should die contentedly, could he but accomplish that wish.
3. Every one he had applied to felt for his misfortunes, and promised to assist him, excepting one, to whom he owed a thousand crowns, and who, instead of pitying his misfortunes, threw him into prison.
4. The unfortunate merchant's son, who was about twenty-two years of age, being informed of the sorrowful situation of his father, hastened to Paris, threw himself at the feet of the unrelenting creditor, and, drowned in tears, besought him, in the most affecting expressions, to condescend to restore him his father, protesting to him, that if he would not throw obstacles in the way to his father's re-establishing his affairs, of the possibility of which they had great reason to hope, he should be the first man paid.
5. He implored him to have pity on his youth, and to have some feelings for the misfortunes of an aged mother, encumbered with eight children, reduced to want, and nearly on the point of perishing. Lastly, that if these considerations were not capable of moving him to pity, he entreated him at least to permit him to be confined in prison, instead of his father, in order that he might be restored to his family.
6. The youth uttered these expressions in so affecting a manner, that the creditor, struck with so much virtue and generosity, at once softened into tears, and raising the youth from his humble posture, Ah! my son, said he, your father shall be released. So much love and respect as you have shown for him, makes me ashamed of myself. I have carried this matter too far; but I will endeavour for ever to efface the remembrance of it from your mind.
7. I have an only daughter, who is worthy of you: she would do as much for me, as you have done for your father. I will give her to you, and with her, all my fortune. Accept the offer I make you, and let us hasten to your father, to release him, and ask his consent.
WHAT a happy simplicity prevailed in an
cient times, when it was a custom for ladies, though of the greatest distinction, to employ themselves in useful, and sometimes laborious works! Every one knows what is told us in Scripture to this purpose, concerning Rebecca, Rachél, and several others.
2. We read in Homer of princesses drawing themselves water from springs, and washing with their own hands the finest of the linen of their respective families. The sisters of Alexander the Great, who were the daughters of a powerful prince, employed themselves in making clothes for their brothers. The celebrated Lucretia used to spin in the midst of her female attendants.
3. Augustus, who was sovereign of the world, wore, for several years together, no other clothes but what his wife and sister made him. It was a custom in the northern parts of the world, not many years ago, for the princesses, who then sat upon the throne, to prepare several of the dishes at every meal.
4. In a word, needle-work, the care of domestick affairs, and a serious and retired life, is the proper function of women, and for this they were designed by Providence. The depravity of the age has indeed affixed to these customs, which are very near as old as the creation, an idea of meanness and contempt; but then, what has it substituted in the room of them? A soft indolence, a stupid idleness, frivolous conversation, vain amusements, and a strong passion for publick shows.
5. Let us compare these two characters, and pronounce which of them may justly boast its being founded on good sense, solid judgement, and a taste for truth and nature.
6. It must, nevertheless, be confessed, in honour of the fair sex, and of the American ladies in particular, that many among them, and those of the highest stations in life, have made it not only a duty, but a pleasure, to employ themselves in needle-work, not of a trifling, but of the most serviceable kind; and to make part of their furniture with
their own hands. I might also add, that great numbers of them adorn their minds with agreeable, and at the same time, serious and useful studies.
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN TWO YOUNG LADIES.
MISS Nancy, what child was that your aunt
had in her arms this morning, as she was walking in the mall?
Nancy. A child! Miss Eliza; a child! You don't think my aunt would be seen walking in publick with a child in hier arms!
Eli. Pray, Miss, where would be the harm? I know she has a beautiful pair of twins, and I thought it might be one of them, as it was partly covered with her cloak.
Nan. No, indeed-it was her lap-dog.
Eli. Upon my word, Nancy, you have mended the matter mightily! Your aunt is ashamed to be seen walking with a child in her arms; but is not ashamed to be seen carrying a paltry puppy through the streets! Pray how much more valuable is a puppy than a child?
Nan. Why, as to the real value, Eliza, I don't know but a child should be prized the highest. Though my aunt says she had rather part with both her twins than lose her dear little Trip. But, you know she would be taken for one of the lower sort of women, if she were to lug a child about with her; whereas nothing makes her appear more like a lady, than to be seen gallanting her little dog. And Trip is none of your common curs, I assure you. His mother was imported from Europe; and it is said she once belonged to a lady of nobility. You can't think what a sweet little creature he is. My aunt nursed him wholly herself ever since he was a week old.
Eli. And who nursed the twins?
Nan. They were put into the country with a very good woman. They have never been at home but once since they were born. But their mamma visits them as often, at least, as once a month.
Eli. Would she be willing to be as long absent from her dear little Trip, as you call him?
Nan. O no, indeed! She would run crazy, if she were to lose him but for one day. And no wonder, for he is the most engaging little animal you ever saw. You would be diverted to see him drink tea out of the ladies' cups. And he kisses his mistress delightfully! My aunt says she would not sleep a night without him for his weight in gold.
Eli. It is very noble in your aunt to pay such attention to an object of so much consequence. He is certainly more valuable than half a dozen children. Does your aunt expect to learn him to talk?
Nan. Talk! why he talks already. She says she perfectly understands his language. When he is hungry, he can ask for sweetmeats. When he is dry, he can ask for drink. When he is tired of running on foot, he can ask to ride; and my aunt is never more happy than when she has him in her arms.
Eli. And yet she would not be seen with one of her own children in her arms!
Nan. Why that would be very vulgar, and all her acquaintance would laugh at her. Children, you know, are always crying; and no ladies of fashion will ever admit them into their company.
Eli. If children are always crying, little dogs are often barking, and which is the most disagreeable noise?
Nan. O! the barking of Trip is musick to all who hear him! Mr. Fribble, who often visits my aunt, says he can raise and fall the eight notes to perfection; and he prefers the sound of his voice to that of the harpsichord. It was he who brought his mother from London; and he says there was not a greater favourite among all the dogs in possession of the fine ladies of court. And more than all that, he says Trip greatly resembles a spaniel which belongs to one of the royal family. Mr. Fribble and my aunt almost quarrelled last night, to see which should have the honour of carrying the dear little favourite to the play.
Eli. After hearing so many rare qualifications of the little quadruped, I do not wonder at your aunt's choice of a companion! I am not surprised she should set her affections upon a creature so deserving of all her care. It is to be
wished her children might never come in competition with this object of her affections. I hope she will continue to maintain the dignity of her sex; and never disgrace the fashionable circle to which she belongs, by neglecting her lap-dog for the more vulgar employment of attending to her own offspring.
EXTRACT FROM THE ORATION OF THOMAS Dawes, Esq. DELIVERED AT BOSTON, JULY 4, 1787.
THAT education is one of the deepest principles of independence, need not be laboured in this assembly. In arbitrary governments, where the people neither make the law nor choose those who legislate, the more ignorance the more peace.
2. But in a government where the people fill all the branches of the sovereignty, intelligence is the life of liberty. An American would resent his being denied the use of his musket; but he would deprive himself of a stronger safeguard, if he should want that learning which is necessary to a knowledge of his constitution.
3. It is easy to see that our agrarian law and the law of education were calculated to make republicans; to make men. Servitude could never long consist with the habits of such citizens. Enlightened minds and virtuous manners lead to the gates of glory. The sentiment of independence must have been connatural in the bosoms of Americans; and sooner or later, must have blazed out into publick action.
4. Independence fits the soul of her residence for every noble enterprise of humanity and greatness. Her radiant smile lights up celestial ardour in poets and orators, who sound her praises through all ages; in legislators and philosophers, who fabricate wise and happy governments as dedications to her fame; in patriots and heroes, who shed their lives in sacrifice to her divinity.
5. At this idea, do not our minds swell with the memory of those whose godlike virtues have founded her most