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Cornell University Library
PS 700.A1P88 1894
The power of sympathyior. The triumph of
3 1924 021 986 306
The original of this bool< is in
the Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.
The Power of Sympathy.
The impression of this Edition consists of ^^o Copies,
of which this is No. vl 'O
'^0 Mz./al/ ^/oA Q0fUmi:/
CDttcD b^ Walter i^ittlefielD.
THE POWER OF SYMPATHY:
or, the Triumph of Nature.
Founded in Truth.
MRS. PEREZ MORTON
(SARAH WENTWORTH APTHORP).
BAY* BOOKSTORE " 250 ♦ BOYU
By Walter Littlefield,
All Rights Reset ved.
POWER OF SYMPATHY:
TRIUMPH OF NATURE.
FOUNDED m TRUTH.
I N TWO VOLUMES.
Fain would he Itrew Life's thorny Way with Flowers,
And open to your View £lyfian Bowers ;
Catch the warm Paffions of the .tender Youth,
And win the Mind to Sentiment and Truth.
PRINTED at BOSTON
BY ISAIAH THOMAS and Company.
Sold at their Bookftore, No. 45, Newbury Street,
And at faid Thomas's Bookftore in Worcester.
Intended to reprefent the fpecious Causes,
Expofe- the fatal Consequences
To infpire the Female Mind
With a principle of Self Complacency
Promote the Economy of Human Life,
With Efteerti and Sincerity,
Friend and Humble Servant,
Boston, Jan. 1789.
1 N errant perusal of half the pages of
this little volume once caused me to
determine to eschew literary criticism
in the preface I was asked to write,
and to speak of the book solely ac-
cording to its historical and hence its intrinsic
Continual reading here and there, and, at length,
a careful examination of the work as a whole have
convinced me that several merits may be attributed
to the book which range themselves separately in
my mind and which are distinct and wholly unique
characteristics. They seem to me to be as follows :
the bare antiquarian value — as a relic, rare, and
old ; the historical-literary value, as an expression
of the times in which it was written ; and its purely
artistic worth, as a specimen of English novel
X Editor s Introduction.
The book was published, as the title page shows,
early in 1789, and the self-acknowledged author
was Mrs. Perez Morton whose maiden name was
Sarah Wentworth Apthorp. Miss Apthorp was
born in Braintree in 1759, and had, before her
marriage in 1777 with Mr. Morton, gained some-
thing more than a local reputation as a clever
maker of rhymes, having contributed many poems
to the early New England Magazine — the first
periodical published in America. These, with
additional verses and short .didactic essays, were
together brought out in 1823, under the title of
" My Mind and Its Thoughts." The edition was
small, and sold entirely by subscription. Miss Ap-
thorp wrote over the pseudonym of " Philenia."
Her longer poems, epics, are " Ouabi, or The Vir-
tue of Nature : an Indian Tale in Four Cantos," and
" Beacon Hill," in which is told the story of the
American Revolution. Thi's last is said to have
moved Robert Treat Paine to designate her as the
In 1788, while Mr. and Mrs. Morton were occupy-
ing the historical Taylor mansion in Dorchester, a
painful domestic tragedy occurred, which, taken in
connection with similar contingencies that were
happening in the society in which they moved.
Editors Introdiiction. xi
doubtless gave " Philenia " the impetus and raison
d'itre for the "Power of Sympathy," published
anonymously the following year.
Although evidently written with the purest mo-
tive, the good people' of that day were not anxious to
receive the lesson, probably because many of them
figured as examples. The edition was bought
up and destroyed, — as Drake remarks in his
"History of Roxbury", "so effectually suppressed
that no copy is now known to exist." With the ex-
ception of the book now before me, I believe this to
The condition of affairs in America, immediately
following the Revolution, was not what many sup-
pose. The people were not completely united in
raving against John Bull and his institutions. It
is true the lower classes and those of the middle
class, who had been excited into believing that de-
.lusive and, for them, hypocritical motto ; " No taxa-
tion without representation," or who had gained
or lost all through the late fratricidal struggle,
were thriving wonderfully on "spread eagle" patri-
otism stimulated by " Yankee Doodle " and " Hail
Columbia " — which, today, unfortunately bandage
the eyes of America's native civilizatioij — and en-
xii Editor s Introduction.
tertained a cordial hatred of England and all things
English. Later they were to sympathize with Mira-
beau, with Robespierre and others, and cry death to
that French King who had so lately saved them
from the dismal caprices of George III and his
ignorant and haughty ministers. Politically, they
gloried in the name of Democrat.
Nevertheless, there existed an aristocracy in
America ; an aristocracy that had refrained from be-
coming Tory solely because personal interest de-
manded that it should become rebel. Its members
were English in taste and manner, in their hearts
they were Royalists. They called themselves Fed-
eralists. To this category belonged the Hancocks,
John Adams, Hamilton, perhaps even Washington
himself ; and here we find the Apthorps and the
Mortons. They had a fondness for court and cere-
mony — thought and culture were still colonial;
they talked of the American gentleman, while they
dreamed of the English nobleman ; for all that,
there was a rapidly growing strain of independ-
ence, of confidence in self. All of which qualities
have today evolved the best type of the American
lady and gentleman.
Early in the second half of the eighteenth cen-
Editors Introduction. xiii
tury, a literary revolution was in progress in Eng-
land : sentimentalism, which so long had been
mistaken for sentiment, was given its proper place ;
knightly romance was sneered at and shelved, the
hale hearty laughter of Fielding disturbed the
spinsters and gossip mongers sipping their tea in the
corners ; Laurence Sterne, that sentimentalist in
realism, condemned in caricature what the foolish
thought he defended in truth ; and Sheridan, the
hater of sham and conventionality, satirized the
social deformity of the times in drama, drawing
scenes and characters from real life as found in the
famous Pump-room at Bath.
■ To the aristocracy — hence to the reading class
— of the young American republic this atmospheric
change, toned and tempered and with an influence
less radical, was transmitted. It cried out aloud
against the sham of character, while it maintained
the poetry of diction ; it was realistic in subject,
romantic in method ; it openly lauded the " Senti-
mental Journey," while it secretly emulated "Tom
Jones"; its aim was to portray life through truth
rather than art — but the latter often unconsciously
asserted itself ; its grave defect was the attempt to
commingle art and moral philosophy. In this liter-
ary atmosphere the " Power of Sympathy " was
xiv Editor s Introduction.
written, in character and color colonial, indigenous,
to English soil, and true to humanity at all time.
A little more than a century ago the style of
telling a story through the medium of epistles
was revived ; it was thus Richardson wrote
" Clarissa Harlowe " and " Pamela," and Fielding
his "Jose|3h Andrews." In this fcrm Mrs. Morton
sought to tell her story.
Both Richardson and Fielding are famous for
the amount of detail with which they fetter some
otherwise natural descriptions leaving no oppor-
tunity for the. imagination. Tedious detail we do
not find in the pages of the. " Power of Sympathy "
— all here is not written ; the ■ phraseology is well
balanced, paragraphing is handled with consummate
skill, the chapters are for the most part short, the
color suggestive ; and if detail be employed at all,
it is only when the author waxes mildly pedantic —
robbed of which quality, she would not be true
to the humanity of her time.
What then can I say of her diction ? Simply that
it is of the best. To say so, is seemingly audacious.
The modern grammarian may dispute it. Yet
viewed against the background of her period and
station, taking her style all in all as a medium of
Editors Introduction. xv
vivid, natural expression, where the economy of at-
tention is second only to striking portrayal, where
elegance, simplicity, directness are ever present but
never obtrusive, there is reason enough for our re-
mark. An examination of the suicide's letters alone
would excuse us from all prejudice in the matter.
The " Power of Sympathy," in facsimile form, is
surely a valuable acquisition to the antiquarian ; to
the student of culture, the book is the realistic ex-
pression of life of a people and an era that are by
no means lacking in interest and importance ; and
to the litterateur, it is not an unworthy example of
more than ordinary literary art.
Boston, June 19, 1894.
NOVELS have ever met with a ready-
reception into the Libraries of the Ladies, but
this species of writing hath not been received
with universal approbation: Futihty is not
the only charge brought against it — Any
attempt, therefore, to make these studies
more advantageous, has at least a claim upon
the patience and candour of the publick.
IN NOVELS which expose no particular
VICE, and which recommend no particular
Virtue, the fair Reader, though she may find
amusement, must finish them without being
impressed with any' particular idea : So that
if they are harmless, they are not beneficial.
OF the Letters before US, it is necessary
to remark, that this errour on each side has
been avoided — the dangerous consequences
of SEDUCTION are exposed, and the
Advantages of FEMALE EDUCATION
set forth and recommended.
The Power of Sympathy.
Harrington to Worthy.
YOU may now felicitate me — I
have had an interview with the charmer I
informed you of. Alas ! where were the
thoughtfulness and circumspection of my
friend Worthy? I did not possess them, and
am graceless enough to acknowledge it. He
would have considered the consequences, be-
fore he had resolved upon the project. But
you call me, with some degree of truth, a
strange medley of contradiction — the mor-
alist and the amoroso — the sentiment and
the sensibility — are interwoven in my consti-
2 t\)t ^otoer of ^^mpatli?,
tution, so that nature and grace are at contin-
ual fisticuffs — To the point : —
I PURSUED my determination of discover-
ing the dweUing of my charmer, and have at
length obtained access. You may behold
my Rosebud, but should you presume to
place it in your bosom, expect the force of
my wrath to be the infallible consequence.
I DECLARED the sincerity of my passion —
the warmth of my affection — to the beautiful
Harriot — Believe me, Jack, she did not seem
inattentive. Her mein is elegant — her dis-
position inclining to the melancholy, and yet
her temper is affable, and her manners easy.
And as I poured my tender vows into the
heart of my beloved, a crimson drop stole
across her cheek, and thus I construe it in
my own favor, as the sweet messenger of
hope : —
t\)t potofr of §>^nipatl)s, 3
" DO not wholly despair, my new friend ;
excuse the declaration of a poor artless
female — you see I am not perfectly contented
in my situation — (Observe, /«f^, I have not
the vanity to think this distress altogethei'
upon my account) — Time may therefore diS'
close wonders, and perhaps more to your
advantage than you imagine — do not despaii
SUCH vulgar, uncongenial souls, as that
which animates thy clay, cold carcase, would
have thought this crimson drop nothing more
than an ordinary blush". Be far removed-
from my heart such sordid, earth-born ideas :
But come thou spirit of celestial language,
that canst communicate by one affectionate
look — one tender glance — more divine infor-"
mation to the soul of sensibility than can be
contained in myriads of volumes !
HAIL gentle God oiLove! While thou
4 tljc ^oiBcr of ^^mpatlti^*
rivetest the chains of thy slaves, how dost thou
make them leap for joy, as with deHcious tri-
umph. Happy enthusiasm ! that while it
carries us away into captivity, can make the
heart to dance as in the bosom of content.
Hail gentle God oi Love\ Encircled as thou
art with darts, torments, and ensigns of cru-
elty, still do we hail thee. How dost thou
smooth over the roughness and asperities of
present pain, with what thou seest in rever-
sion ! Thou banishest the Stygian glooms of
disquiet and suspense, by the hope of appro-
aching Elysium — Blessed infatuation !
I DESIRE you will not hesitate to pro-
nounce an amen to my Hymn to Love, as an
unequivocal evidence of your wish for my
t:^t joiner of ^smpatt)^*
Wdriky to Harrington.
"WISH you success" — In what?
Who is this lady of whom you have been talk-
ing at such an inconsistent rate ? But before
you have leisure to reply to these inquiries
you may have forgotten there is such a per-
son, as she whom you call Harriot — I have
seen many juvenile heroes, during my pilgrim-
age of two and twenty years, easily inflamed
with new objects — agitated and hurried away
by the. impetuosity of new desires — and at
the same time they were by no means famous
for solidity of judgement, or remarkable for
the permanency of their resolutions. There
is such a tumult — such an ebullition of the
6 t^t potDer of ^^mpatlj^*
brain in their paroxisms of passion, that this
new object is very superficially examined.
These, added to partiality and prepossession,
never fail to blind the eyes of the lover. In-
stead of weighing matters maturely, and stat-
ing the evidence fairly on both sides, in order
to form a right judgement, every circum-
stance not perfectly coincident with your par-
ticular bias, comes not . under consideration,
because it does not flatter your vanity. "Pon-
der and pause " just here, and tell me seriously
whether you are in love, and whether you
have sufficiently examined your heart to give
a just answer.
f DO you mean to insinuate that your declar-
ation of love hath attracted the affection of
the pensive Harriot? If this should be the
case, I wish you would tell me what you de-
sign to do with her.
t\)t IBoiDer of ^^mpuW'
Harrington to Worthy.
I CANNOT but laugh at your dull
sermons, and yet I find something in them
altogether displeasing ; for this reason I per-
mit you to prate, on. " Weigh matters ma-
turely ! " Ha ! ha ! why art thou not arrayed
in canonicals .? " What do I design to do
with her t " Upon my word, my sententious
friend, you ask mighty odd questions. I see
you aim a stroke at the foundation upon
which the pillar of my new system is reared —
and will you strive to batter down that pillar ?
If you entertain any idea of executing such
talk, I foresee it will never succeed, and advise
8 t\)t pofcocr of ^^mpatl)^.
you timely to desist. What ! dost thou think
to topple down my scheme of pleasure ?
Thou mightest as well topple down the pike
I SUPPOSE you will be ready to ask, why,
if I love Harriot, I do not marry her — Your
monitorial correspondence has so accustomed
me to reproof, that I easily anticipate this piece
of impertinence — But who shall I marry?
That is the question. Harriot has no father
— no mother — neither is there aunt, cousin,
or kindred of any degree who claim any kind
of relationship to her. She is companion to
Mrs. Francis, and, as I understand, totally de-
pendent on that lady. Now, Mr. Worthy, I
must take the liberty to acquaint you, that I
am not so much of a republican as formally to
wed any person of this class. How laughable
would my conduct appear, were I to trace
over the same ground marked out by thy im-
^Ije |0otocr of ^^mpatlj^. 9
maculate footsteps — To be heard openly
acknowledged for my bosom companion, my
daughter of the democratick empire of virtue!
TO suppose a smart, beautiful girl, would
continue as companion to the best lady in
Christendom, when she could raise herself to
a more eligible situation, is to suppose a sole-
cism;^ — She might as well be immured in a
nunnery. Now, Jack, I will shew you my
benevolent scheme ; it is to take this beauti-
ful sprig, and transplant it to a more favorable
soil, where it shall flourish and blossom under
my own auspices. In a word, I mean to re-
move this fine girl into an elegant apartment,
of which she herself is to be the sole mistress.
Is this not a proof of my humanity and good-
ness of heart } But I know the purport of
your answer — So pray thee keep thy com-
ments to thyself, and be sparing of your com-
pliments on this part of my conduct^for I do
lo ^l)e |0otocr of ^^mpatl)^.
not love flattery. A month has elapsed since
my arrival in town. What will the revolution
of another moon bring forth ?
t\)e joiner of fe^mpatt)^.
Miss Harriot Fawcet
to Miss Myra Harrington.
I HAVE somehow bewitched a
new lover, my dear Myra — a smart, clever
fellow too — and the youth expresses such
fondness and passion that I begin to feel
afraid even to pity him — for love will cer-
tainly follow. I own to you I esteem him
very much, but must I go any farther } He
is extremely generous — polite — gay — and
I believe if you were to see him, your partial-
ity in his favor would exceed mine.
I NEVER saw my poor swain so seemingly
12 t-\)t ^oijitt of ^^ntpatt)^.
disconcerted and abashed as he was a few
days ago — he appeared to have something
very particular to communicate, but his
tongue f aultered — ought not one to help out
a modest youth in such cases ?
Z\)t poturr of ^^mpm^^* 13
Miss Myra Harrington to Mrs. Holmes.
ARE the rural pleasures of Belle-
view, my dear friend, so engaging as to debar
us of the pleasure of your company forever ?
Do your dear groves, and your books, still
employ your meditating mind ? Serious sen-
timentalist as you are, let me ask, whether a
Ball, a Concert or Serenade, would not afford
you the satisfaction of a contemplative walk
in your garden, listening to the love tales of
the melodious inhabitants of the air ?
RAILLERY apart — when shall I take upon
14 t\)t potDcr of ^^mpatl)^.
myself the honour to wait upon you here ? — .1
want to advise with you on certain points of
female conduct, and about my new dress — I
have heard you say, lessons to a volatile mind
should be fresh and fresh applied, because it
either pretends to despise them, or has a tend-
ency to degeneracy — Now you must know I
am actually degenerating for want of some of
your Mentor-like lessons of instruction. I
have scarcely any opinion of my own, these
fashions, changing about so often, are enough
to vitiate the best taste in the world.
I FORGOT to tell you my brother has
been at home this month ; but, from certain
indubitable symptoms, I suspect the young
man to be in love.
HEIGHHO ! what is become of Worthy 1
The time of my liberty steals away, for you
know I was to have three or four months of
Z\)t poijatt of ^^mpatl)]?, 15
liberty before I gave myself up to his author-
ity, a"nd relinquished all my right and title to
the name of
1 6 t\)t |0otocr of ^^mpuW.
Harriitgtoit to Worthy.
ABASHED —confounded — defeated — I
waited upon my beloved with my head well
furnished with ready made arguments, to pre-
vail on her to acquiesce in my benevolent
schemes — she never appeared so amicable —
grace accompanied every word she uttered,
and every action she performed. " Think, my
love," said I, in a tone something between
sighing and tears, and took her hand in a
very cordial manner, — " Think, my love, on
your present, unhappy, menial situation, in
the family of Mrs. Francisr I enlarged on
the violence of my passion — expatiated most
t\)t |0otocr of g)^mpatl)^. 1 7
metaphysically on our future happiness ; and
concluded by largely answering objections.
" Shall we not," continued I, " obey the dic-
tates of nature, rather than confine ourselves
to the forced, unnatural rules of and —
and shall the halcyon days of youth slip
through our fingers unenjoyed ? "
DO you think, Worthy, I said this to Har-
riot? — Not a syllable of it. It was impossi-
ble — my heart had the ^courage to dictate,
but my rebellious tongue refused to utter a
word — it faultered — stammered — hesi-
THERE is a language of the eyes — and we
conversed in that language ; and though I
said not a word with my tongue, she seemed
perfectly to understand my meaning — for she
looked — (and I comprehended it as well as if
she had said) — Is the crime of dependence
to be expiated by the sacrifice of virtue ?
1 8 t\)z ^oiatt of gj^mpatl)?.
And because I am a poor, unfortunate girl,
must the little I have be taken from me?
" No, my love," answered I, passionately, " it
shall not be."
OF all those undescribable things which in-
fluences the mind, and which are most apt to
persuade — none is so powerful an orator —
so feelingly eloquent as beauty — I bow to
the all-conquering force of Harriot's elo-
quence — and what is the consequence ? I
am now determined to continue my addresses
on a principle the most just, and the most
HOW amiable is that beauty which has its
foundation in goodness ! Reason cannot con-
template its power with indifference — Wis-
dom cannot refrain from enthusiasm — and
the sneering exertions of Wit cannot render
it ridiculous. There is a dignity in conscious
virtue that all my independence cannot bring
t\)t ^oiDcr of ^^mpatt)^. 19
me to despise — and if it be beauty that sub-
dues my heart, it is this that completes the
triumph — It is here my pompous parade, and
all my flimsy subterfuges, appear to me in
their proper light. In fine, I have weighed
■matters maturely, and the alternative is —
Harriot must be mine, or I miserable without
her. — I have so well weighed the matter that
even this idea is a flash of joy to my heart —
But, my friend, after the lightning comes the
thunder — my father is mortally averse to my
making any matrimonial engagement at so
early a period — this is a bar to my way, but
I must leap over it.
20 t\)t potocr of ^^mpattiv.
Mrs. Holmes to Miss Harrington.
ALTHOUGH my attachment
to Belleview is not so romantick as your airy
pen has described it, I think its quiet and
amusements infinitely preferable to the bustle
and parade with which you are surrounded.
THE improvements made here by my late
husband (who inherited the virtues of his par-
ents, who still protect me, and endeavour to
console the anguish of his loss by the most
tender affection) have rendered the charms of
Belleview superiour in my estimation to every
gilded scene of the gay world.
IT is almost vanity to pretend to give you
t^t ^otocr of ^^mpul)^, 1 1
a description of the beauty of the prospect —
the grandeur of the river that rolls through
the meadow in front of the house, or any
eulogium of rural elegance, because these
scenes are common to most places in the
country. Nature is everywhere liberal in dis-
persing her beauties and her variety — and I
pity those who look round and declare they
A GREAT pro portion of our happiness de-
pends^on om ^own choice. — it offers itself to
our taste, but it is the heart that gives it
relish — what at one time, for instance, we
think, to be humour, is at another disgustful
or insipid — so, unless we carry our appetite
with us to the treat, we shall vainly wish to
make ourselves happy, " were I in a desert,"
says Sterne, " I would find wherewith in it to
call forth my affections — If I could do no
better, I would fasten them on some sweet
22 t\)t ^oiatx of ^^mpatt)^.
myrtle, or seek some melancholy cypress to
connect myself to — I wbuld court their shade
and greet them kindly for their protection —
If their leaves withered, I would teach myself
to mourn, and when they rejoiced, I would
rejoice along with them."
I BELIEVE you could hardly find the way
to the summer house, where we have enjoyed
many happy hours together, and which you
used to call " TAe Temple of Appllo." It is
now more elegantly furnished than it formerly
was, and is enriched with a considerable addi-
tion to the library and musick.
IN front of the avenue that leads to this
place, is a fig-ure of Content, pointing with
one hand to 'the Temple, and with the other
to an invitation, executed in such an antique
style, that you would think it done either by
the ancient inhabitants of the country, or by
t\9t ^oiatt of ^^rnqpatl)^, 23
the hand of a Fairy — she is very particular
in the characters she invites, but those whom
she invites she heartily welcomes.
Come ye who loath the horrid crest,
Who hate the fiery front of Mars ;
Who scorn the mean, the sordid breast —
Who fly Ambition's guilty cares :
Ye who are blest with peaceful souls.
Rest Here : Enjoy the pleasures round :
Here Fairies quaffe their acorn bowls,
And lightly print the mazy ground.
Thrice welcome to this humble scene —
(To ye alone such scenes belong)
Peace smiles upon the fragrant green,
And Here the Woodland sisters throng,
And fair Contentment's pleasing train.
Whilst in the Heav'n the stars advance,
With many a maid and many a swain.
Lead up the jocund, rural dance.
Thrice welcome to our calm retreat,
Where innocency oft hath strove
24 t\)t poiatv of g)^mpatl)s.
With violet blue, and woodbine sweet,
To- form the votive wreath to love :
O ! pardon then, our cautious pride —
(Caution, a virtue rare, I ween)
For evils with the great abide,
Which dwell not in our sylvan scene.
THESE are the scenes to which I have
chosen to retreat; contented with the suff-
rage of the virtuous and the good, and inat-
tentive to the contemptuous sneer of the
giddy and the futile, for even ^Aese have fhe
vanity to look with pity on those who volun-
tarily remove from whatever agrees with ^Aetr
ideas of pleasure. He who has no conception
of the beauties of the mind, will contemn a
person aukward or illfavoured ; and one
whose store of enjoyment is drawn from afflu-
ence and abundance, will be astonished at the
conduct of him who finds cause to rejoice,
though surrounded with inconvenience and
penury. Hence we judge of the happiness of
tl)t |0otoetr of ^pmpatl)?, 25
others by the standard of our own conduct
FROM this misjudging race I retire, with-
out a sigh to mingle in their amusements, nor
yet disgusted at whatever is thought of suffi-
cient consequence to engage their pursuits. I
fiyfrom the tumult of the town — from scenes
of boisterous pleasures and riot, to those of
quietness and peace; " where every breeze
breathes health, and every sound is the echo
of tranquillity." — On this subject I give my
sentiments to you with freedom, from a con-
viction that I bear the world no spleen ; at
the same time with a degree of deference to
the judgement of others, from a conviction
that I may be a little prejudiced.
I HOPE to be with j^ou .soon — in the
-meantime continue to write.
26 t\)t poJDtr of g>^mpat5s.
Worthy to Harrington.
I APPLAUD your change of senti-
ment. Harriot is a good girl, and your con-
duct is extremely praiseworthy and honour-
able. It is what her virtues incontestibly
merit. — But I advise you certainly to gain
your father's approbation before you proceed
so far as to be unable to return. A contrary
step might terminate in the utter ruin of you
both. Direct to me at Belleview — for I
intend to stop there in my return to Boston.
t^t potDfr of ^?mpatl)B, 27
Harrington to Worthy.
I HAVE had a conversation with
my father on the subject of early marriages,
but to no purpose — I will not be certain
whether he understood my drift, but all his
arguments are applicable to my situation.
One must be an adept to argue with him;
and interested as he thinks himself in the re-
sult of the debate, he can not be prevailed
upon to relinquish his settled opinion. I am
too much chagrined to write to you even the
heads of our conversation. I now stand upon
my old ground.
t^jt |0oia)cr of §>^mpatl)T2,
Worthy to Myra.
I AM very happy at present en-
joying the sweets of Belleview with our excel-
lent friend Mrs. Holmes. To dwell in this
delightful retreat, and to be blest with the
conversation of this amiable woman, cannot
be called solitude. The charms of Nature
are here beheld in the most luxuriant variety
— it is here, diversified with beautiful pros-
pect, the late Mr. Holmes planned his garden;
it is elegant, but simple. My time glides off
my hands most happily — I am sometimes
indulging my solitary reflections in contem-
t\)t potocr of g)?mpatlj^. 29
plating the sublimity of the scenes around me
— and sometimes in conversation with JS/zsa
and the old people.
THE old gentleman is a man of the most
benevolent heart ; he continues to preach — is
assiduous in the duties of his profession, and
is the love and adrniration of his flock. He
prescribes for the health of the body, as well
as that of the soul, and settles all the little dis-
putes of his parish. They are contented with
his judgement, and he is at once their parson,
their lawyer, and their physician. — I often
read in the little building that was finished by
his son. He was a man of an excellent taste,
and I have paid my tribute to his memory^
It is the same place that you used to admire,
and perhaps I improve more of my time in it
on that very account.
30 t\)t jaoiuei; of g>^mpatl)^.
Mrs. Holmes to Myra.
I SIT down to give you, my dear
Myra, some accounts of the visitants of to-day,
and their conversation. We are not always
distinguished by such company, but perhaps
it is sometimes necessary; and as it is a relax-
ation from thought, it serves to give us more
pleasure in returning to the conversation of
people of ideas.
MRS. Bourn assumes a higher rank in life
than she pretended to seven years ago. — She
then walked on foot — she now, by good for-
tune, rides in a chariot. Placed, however, in
tijt potoer of ^^mpatli^. 31
a situation with which her education does not
altogether comport, she has nothing disagree-
able but her ov er assiduity to please — this is
sometimes disgusting, for one cannot feast
heartily upon honey : It is an errour which a
candid mind easily forgives. She sometimes
appears solicitous to display her mental ac-
complishments, and desirous to improve those
of her daughter ; but it is merely apparent.
Notwithstanding a temporary wish may arise
toward the attainment of this point, a habit-
ual vacancy nips it in the bud. .
MISS Bournis about the age of fourteen —
genteel, with a tolerable share of beauty, but
not striking — her dress was elegant, but
might have been adjusted to more advantage
— not altogether aukward in her manner,
nor yet can she be called graceful — she has
a peculiar air of drollery which takes her by
iits, and for this reason, perhaps, does not
32 ti}t poiner of g>i?ntpatti^.
avail herself of every opportunity of display-
ing the modesty of her sex — she has seen
much company, but instead of polishing her
manners, it has only increased her assurance.
THUS much of the characters of our com-
pany. After some small chat which passed as
we took a turn in the garden, we entered the
" WHAT books would you recommend to
put into the hands of my daughter ? " said Mrs.
Bourn^ as she walked into the library — " it is
a matter of some importance." " It is a
matter of more importance," answered Wor-
.thy, " than is generally imaginedyjox-unless a
proper selection is made one would do better
never to read at all : — Now, Madame, as
much depends on the choice of books, care
should be taken not to put those in the way
of young persons, which might leave on their
t\)t potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 33
minds any disagreeable prejudices, or which
has a tendency to corrupt their friorals." —
" As obvious as your remark is," added Mr.
Holmes, " it is evidently over looked in the
common course of education. We wisely ex-
clude those persons from our conversation,
whose characters are bad, whose manners are
depraved, or whose morals are impure : but if
they are excluded from an apprehension of
contaminating our minds, how much more
dangerous is the company of those books,
where the strokes aimed at virtue are re-
doubled, and the poison of vice, by repeatedly
reading the same thing, indelibly distains the
young mind ? "
" WE all agree," rejoined Worthy, " that it
is as great a matter of virtue and prudence
to be circumspect in the selection of our
books, as in the choice of our company. —
But, Sir, the best things may be subverted to
34 ^t ^ofnzt of ^^mpat^)^.
an ill use. Hence we may possibly trace the
course of the ill tendency of many of the
_. "MOST of the Novels," returned my
father, " with which our female libraries are
over run, are built on a foundation not always
placed on strict morality, and in the pursuit
of objects not always probable or praise-
worthy. — Novels, not regulated on the chaste
principles of true friendship, rational love,
and connubial duty, appear to me totally un-
fit to form the minds of women, of friends, or
" BUT, as most young people read," says
Mrs. Bourn — "what rule can be kii upon to
make study always terminate to advantage ? "
« IMPOSSIBLE," cried Miss, "for I read as
much as anybody, and though it may afford
t^t joiner of ^^nrpatljB. 35
amusement, while I am employed, I do not
remember a single word, when I lay down the
"THIS confirms what I say of Novels,"
cried Mr. Holmes, addressing Worthy in a joc-
ular manner, "just calculated to kill time — to
attract the attention of the reader for an hour,
but leave not one idea on the mind."
" I AM far from condemning every produc-
tion in the gross," replied Worthy; "general
satire against any particular class, or order of
men, may be viewed in the same light as a
satire against species — it is the same with
books — if there are corrupt or mortified
members, it is hardly fair to destroy the whole
body. Now I grant some Novels have a bad
tendency, yet there are many which contain
excellent sentiments — let these receive
their deserved reward — let those be dis-
36 ti)t joiner of §>^mpatt)^.
countenanced; and if it is impossible "to
smite them with an apoplexy, there is a moral,
certainty of their dying of a consumption." —
But, as Mrs. Bourn observes, most young per-
sons read, I will recommend to those who
wish to mingle instruction with entertainment,
method and regularity in reading. To dip
into any book burthens the m.ind with un-
necessary lumber, and may rather be called a
disadvantage, than a benefit — The record of
memory is so scrawled and blotted with im-
perfect ideas, that not one legible character
can be traced.
" WERE I to throw my thoughts on this
subject," said my good father-in-law, as he be-
igan to entei; more and more warmly into the
' debate — drawing his chair opposite Worthy,
land raising his hand with a poetical enthusi-
asm — "Were I to throw my thoughts on
this subject into an Allegory, I would describe
t^t potBtt of ^pmpatl)^. 2>7
the human mind as an extensive plain, and
knowledge as the river that should water it.
If the course of the river be properly directed,
the plain will be fertilized and cultivated to
advantage ; but if books, which are the sources
that feed this river, rush into it from every
quarter, it will overflow its banks, and the
plain become inundated : When, therefore,
knowledge flows on in its proper channel,
this extensive and valuable field, the mind, in-
stead of being covered with stagnant waters,
is cultivated to the utmost advantage, and
1 blooms luxuriantly into a general efBorescence
— for a river properly restricted by high
banks, is necessarily progressive."
THE old gentleman brought down his
hands with great solemnity, and we compli-
mented him on his poetical exertion. " I can-
not comprehend the meaning of this matter,"
said the penetrative Miss Bourn. " I will ex-
38 t^t f ototr of ^^mpatt)^.
plain it to you, my little dear," said he, with
good nature — " If you read with any design to
improve your mind in virtue and every amiable
accomplishment, you should be careful to read
methodically, .which will enable you to form an
estimate of the various topicks discussed in
company, and to bear a part in all those con-
versations which belong to your sex — you
see, therefore, how necessary general knowl-
edge is — what would you think of a woman
advanced in life, who has no other store of
knowledge than what she has obtained from
experience?" "I think she would have a
sorry time of it," answered Miss.
"TO prevent it in yourself," said' Mrs.'
Bourn to her daughter, " be assiduous to lay
in a good stock of this knowledge, while your
mind is yet free from prejudice and care."
. "HOW shall I go to work. Madam.? " en-
quired the delicate daughter.
MRS. Bourn turned toward Mr. Holmes,
which was hint enough for the good old man
" THERE is a medium to be observed," con-
tinued he, " in a lady's reading ; she is not to
receive everything she finds, even in the best
books, as invariable lessons of conduct ; in
books written in an easy, flowing style, which
excel in description and the luxuriance of
fancy, the imagination is apt to get heated —
she ought, therefore, to discern with ah eye
of judgement, between the superficial and
penetrating — the elegant and the tawdry —
what may be merely amusing, and what may
be useful. General reading will not teach her
a true knowledge of the world.
" IN books she finds recorded the faithful-
ness of friendship — the constancy of true
love, and even that honesty is the best policy.
40 Z\)t ^oiBer of ^^mpatl)^.
If virtue is represented carrying its reward
with it, she too easily persuades herself that
mankind have adopted this plan : Thus she
finds, when, perhaps, it is too late, that she
has entertained wrong notions of human
nature ; that her friends are deceitful — her
lovers false — and that men consult interest
oftener than honesty.
" A YOUNG lady who has imbibed her
ideas of the world from desultory reading and
placed confidence in the virtue of others, will
bring back disappointment, when she expected
gratitude. Unsuspicious of deceit, she is
easily deceived — from the purity of her own
thoughts, she trusts the faith of mankind, un-
til experience convinces her of her errour —
she falls a sacrifice to her credulity, and her
only consolation is the simplicity and good-
ness of her heart.
t\)t IBotner of g>^mpatl)v. 41
" THE story of Miss Whitman* is an em-
phatical illustration of the truth of these ob-
servations. An inflated fancy not restricted
*THIS young lady was of a reputable family in Con-
necticut. In her youth she was admired for beauty
and good sense. She was a great reader of novels and
romances, and having imbibed her ideas of the char-
acters OF MEN, from those fallacious sources, became
vairj and coquettish, and rejected several offers of mar-
riage, in expectation of receiving one more agreeable to
her fanciful idea. Disappointed in her fairy hope,
and finding her train of admirers less solicitous for the
honour of her hand, in proportion as the roses of youth
decayed, she was the more easily persuaded to relin-
quish that stability which is the honour and happiness
of the sex. The consequences of her amour becoming
visible, she acquainted her lover of her situation, and a
HUSBAND was proposed for her, who was to receive a
considerable sum for preserving the reputation of the
lady ; but having received security for payment, he
immediately withdrew. She then left her friends, and
travelled in the stage as far as Watertown, where she
hired a young man to conduct her in a chaise to Salem.
Here she wandered alone and friendless, and at length
repaired to the Bell-Tavern, in Danvers, where she
was delivered of a lifeless child, and in about a fortnight
after (in July, 1788) died of a puerperal fever, age
about 35 years.
Before her death she amused herself with reading,
writing and needlework, and though in a state of anxiety,
preserved a cheerfulness, not so much the effect of in-
42 t^e IQotoer of ^^mpatlj^.
by judgement, leads too often to dzsa/>pomi-
i^m/ and repentance. Such will be the fate
of those who become (to use her own words)
" Lost in the magick of that sweet employ,
" To build GAY SCENES and fashion future joy."
"WITH a good heart she possessed a poet-
ical imagination, and an unbounded thirst for
novelty; but these airy talents, not counter-
poised with judgement, or perhaps serious re-
sensibility, as of patience and fortitude. She was sensi-
ble of her approaching fate, as appears from the follow-
ing letter, which was written in characters.
" MUST I die alone ? Shall I never see you
more ? I know that you will come, but you will come
too late : This is I fear, my last ability. Tears fall so,
I know not how to write. Why did you leave me in so
much distress .■■ But I will not reproach you : All that
was dear I left for you ; but do not regret it. — May
God forgive in both what was amiss : When I go from
hence, I will leave you some way to find me ; if I die,
will you come and drop a tear over my grave ? "
In the following Poem, she, like the dying Swan,
sings her own Elegy, and it is here added, as a sorrowful
instance, how often the best, and most pleasing talents,
€^t joiner of ^pmpatt^. 43
flection, instead of adding to her happiness,
were the cause of her ruin."
not accompanied by virtue and prudence, operate the
destruction of their possessor.
The description of her unfortunate passion, will re-
mind the critical reader of the famous ode of Sappho.
In genius and in misfortune, these poetical ladies were
" WITH fond impatience all the tedious day
I sigh'd, and wish'd the lingering hours away ;
Por when bright Hesper led the starry train,
My shepherd swore to meet me on the plain ;
With eager haste to that dear spot I flew.
And linger'd long, and then with tears withdrew :
Alone, abandon'd to love's tenderest woes,
Down my pale cheeks the tide of sorrow flows ;
Dead to all joys that fortune can bestow,
In vain for me her useless bounties flow ;
Take back each envied gift, ye pow'rs divine.
And only let me call FIDELIO mine.
" Ah, wretch ! what anguish yet thy soul must prove, .
Ere thou canst hope to lose thy care in love ;
And when FIDELIO meets thy tearful eye.
Pale fear and cold despair his presence fly ;
With pensive steps, I sought thy walks again,
And kiss'd thy token on the verdant plain ;
With fondest hope, thro' many a blissful bow'r.
We gave the soul to fancy's pleasing pow'r ;
44 t.\)t potDcr of g>^mpatl)^.
" I CONCLUDE from your reasoning,"
said I, "and it is besides, my own opinion,
that many fine girls have been ruined by read-
Lost in the magick of that sweet employ,
To build gay scenes, and fashion future joy.
We saw mild peace o'er fair Canaan rise.
And show'r her blessings from benignant skies ;
On airy hills our happy mansion rose,
Built but for joy, no room for future woes ;
Sweet as the sleep of innocence, the day,
(By transports measur'd) lightly danc'd away ;
To love, to bliss, the union'd soul was given,
And each ! too happy, ask'd no brighter heaven.
" And must the hours in ceaseless anguish roll ?
Will no soft sunshine cheer my clouded soul ?
Can this dear earth no transient joy supply ?
Is it my doom to hope, despair and die ?
Oh ! come, once more, with soft endearments come.
Burst the cold prison of the sullen tomb ;
Through favour'd walks, thy chosen maid attend.
Where well known shades their pleasing branches bend.
Shed the soft poison from thy speaking eye,
And look those raptures lifeless words deny ;
Still be, though late, reheard what ne'er could tire.
But, told each eve, fresh pleasures would inspire ;
Still hope those scenes which love and fancy drew ;
But, drawn a thousand times, were ever new.
" Can fancy paint, can words express ;
Can aught on earth my woes redress ;
t\)t poiuer of g>?mpatl)s. 45
" AND I believe," added Mrs. Bourn, " we
may trace from hence the causes of spleen in
many persons advanced in life."
" YOU mean old maids, Madam," cries the
sagacious Miss, "like my aunt Deborah — she
calls all men deceitful, and most women, with
her, are no better than they should be."
" WELL said ! " exclaimed Worthy, " the
recollection of chargin and former disappoint-
ment, sours one's temper and mortifies the
heart — disappointment will be more or less
E'en thy soft smiles can ceaseless prove
Thy truth, thy tenderness and love.
Once thou couldst every bliss inspire,
Transporting JOY, and gay DESIRE :
Now cold DESPAIR her banner rears,
And PLEASURE flies when she appears ;
Fond HOPE within my bosom dies.
And AGONY her place supplies :
O, thou ! for whose dear sake I bear,
A doom so dreadful, so severe.
May happy fates thy footsteps guide,
And o'er thy peaceful home preside ;
Nor let ELIZA'S early tomb
Infect thee, with its baleful gloom."
46 2:ij0 potoer of ^^mpatliv.
severe in proportion as we elevate our expec-
tations ; for the most sanguine tempers are the
soonest discouraged ; as the highest building
is in the most danger of falling."
"IT appears from what I have said," re-
sumed Mr. Holmes, " that those books which
teach us a knowledge of the world are useful
to form the minds of females, and ought there-
fore to be studied."
I MENTIONED Rochefoucaulf s max-
" DO they not degrade human nature t en-
quired my father.
"THIS little book," answered Worthy, "con-
tains much truth — and those short sketches
traced by the hand of judgement, present to
us the leading features of mankind." "But,"
t\)t potoer of ^i^mpatlj^, 47
replied my father, " that interest should assume
all shapes, is a doctrine, which, in my mind,
represents a caricature rather than a hving
picture." " It is the duty of a painter to pro-
duce a likeness," said Worthy, — " And a skil-
ful one," cried my father, continuing the met-
aphor, " will bring the amiable qualities of the
heart to light ; and throw those which dis-
grace humanity into the shade." " I doubt,"
rejoined Worthy, " whether this flattery will
answer the purpose you aim to accomplish —
You entertain a high opinion of the dignity of
huma7t nature, and are displeased at the
author who advances anything derogatory to
that dignity. Swift, in speaking of these
maxirhs, in one of his best poems, affirms,
"They argue no corrupted mind
" In him — the fault is in mankind."
"AS I began this subject," added I, "it
shall be ended by one observation — As these
48 t\)t ^oiatt of ^^mpatljB.
maxims give us an idea of the manii'ers and
characters of men, among whom a young per-
son is soon to appear ; and as it is necessary
to her security and happiness that she be
made acquainted with them — they may be
read to advantage."
"THERE is another medium," said Mr.
Holmes, assenting to my observation, " to be
noticed in the study of a lady — she takes up
a book, either for instruction or entertainment
— the medum hes in knowing when to put it
down. Constant apphcation becomes labour
— it sours the temper — gives an air of
thoughtfulness, and frequently of absence.
By iminoderate reading w£-hQaxd__up— opinions
and become insensibly attached to them ; this
miserly conduct sinks us to affectation, and
disgustful pedantry; conversation only can rem-
edy this dangerous evil, strengthen the judge-
8;t)0 poioer of ^^mpatlj^. 49
ment, and make reading really useful. They
mutually depend, upon, and assist each other.
"A KNOWLEDGE of HISTORY which
exhibits to us in one view the rise, progress
and decay of nations — which points out the
advancement of the mind in society, and the
im.provements in the arts which adorn human
nature, comes with propriety under the notice
of a lady. To observe the origin of civiliza-
tion — the gradual progress of society, and
the refinements of manners, policy, morality
and religion — to observe the progress of
mankind from simplicity to luxury, from lux-
ury to effeminacy, and the gradual steps of
the decline of empire, and the dissolution of
states and kingdoms, must blend that happy
union of instruction and entertainment, which
never fails to win our attention to the pursuit
of all subjects.
" POETRY claims her due from the ladies.
50 t\)t |0otocr of §)^mpatl)^.
POETRY enlarges and strengthens the mind,
refines the taste and improves the judgement.
It has been asserted that women have no bus-
iness with sa^zre — now satire is but a branch
of poetry. I acknowledge, however, much
false wit is sent into the world, under this
general title ; but no critick with whom I am
acquainted ever called satire false wit — for as
long as vice and folly continue to predominate
in the human heart, the satirist will be consid-
ered as a useful member of society. I believe
Addiso7i calls him an auxiliary to the pulpit.
Suffer me to enlarge on this new idea. Satire
is the correction of the vices and follies of the
human heart ; a woman may, therefore, read
it to advantage. What I mean by enforcing
this point, is, to impress the minds of females
with a principle of self correction ; for among
all kinds of knowledge which arise from read-
ing, the duty of self-knowledge is a very emi-
t\)t ^oiDtv of ^^mpatl)^. 5 1
nent one ; and is at the same time, the most
useful and important.
"OUR ordinary intercourse with the world,
will present to us in a very clear point of view,
the fallacious ideas we sometimes entertain of
our own self knowledge. — We are blinded by
pride and self love, and will not observe our
own iniperfections, which we blame with the
greatest acrimony in other people, and seem
to detest with the greatest abhorrence ; so
that, it often happens, while we are branding
our neighbour for some foible, or vanity, we
ourselves are equally guilty.
"RIDICULOUS as this conduct must
appear in the eyes of all judicious people, it is
too frequently practised to escape observa-
"I WILL drop this piece of morahty, with
a charge to the fair reader, that whenever she
52 ^\)t |0oiDer of ^^mpat^)^
discovers satire, ridiculing or recriminating
the follies or crimes of mankind, that she look
into her own heart, and compare the strictures
on the conduct of others with her own feel-
t\)t potocc of ^rntpatl)^. 53
Mrs. Holmes to Myra.
MY good father-in-law being
so strenuous in proving the ehgibihty of read-
ing satire, had spurn out, what he called his
new idea, to such a metaphysical nicety, that
he unhappily diminished, the number of his
hearers ; for Mrs. Bourn, to whom he directed
his discourse, had taken down a book and was
reading to herself, and Miss was diverting her-
self with the cuts in Gays Fables.
A CONSIDERABLE silence ensued,
which Worthy first broke, by asking Mrs.
Bourn what book she had in her hand.
54 2;i)e poiaet of §)^mpatl)^.
Everyone's attention was alarmed at this im-
portant enquiry. Mrs. Bourn, with little diffi-
culty, found the title page, and began to read.
" A Sentimental Journey through France and
Italy, by Mr. Yorick."
" I DO not like the title" said Miss Bourn.
"WHY, my dear!" apostrophized the
mother, "you are mistaken — it is a very
"WHY, my dear ! " retorted the daughter,
" It is sentimental — I abominate everything
that is sentimental — it is so unfashionable
" I NEVER knew before," said Mr. Holmes,
" that wit was subject to caprice of fashion."
"WHY 'Squire Billy," returned Miss,
" who is just arrived from the centre of
tf)e ^Doijjcr of ^^mpatl)^. 55
politeness and fashion, says the bettermost
genii never read any sentimental books — so
you see sentiment is out of date."
THE company rose to go out. —
"SENTIMENT out of date!" cries
Worthy, repeating the words of Miss Bourn,
and taking the book from her mother, as she
walked towards the door — " Sentiment out of
date — alas ! poor Yorick — may thy pages
never be soiled by the fingers of prejudice."
He continued his address to them, as they
went out, in the same Shandean tone —
''These antisentimentalists would banish thee
from the society of all books ! Unto what a
pitiful size are the race of readers dwindled !
Surely these antis have more to do with thee,
than the gods of the Canaanites — In charac-
ter and understanding they are alike — eyes
have they, but they see not — ears have they,
but they hear not, neither is there any knowl-
56 t1)z poijitt of ^^ntpatltis.
edge to be found in them." "It is hardly
worth while to beat it into them," said my
father-in-law, " so let us follow the company."
WE did so — they walked toward the
house, and Worthy and myself brought up
I COULD not but remark, as we went on,
that Miss Bourn had spoken the sentiments
of many of her sex ; — " and whence," said I to
Worthy, " arises this detestation of books in
some of us females, and why are they enemies
to anything that may be called sentiment and
conversation : I grant it often happens there
is such rapidity of speeches that one may be at
a loss to distinguish the speakers ; but why is
there such a calm silence, should an unfortu-
nate sentiment inadvertantly — "I will tell
you," interrupted he, " You all read, and it is
from the books which engage your attention,
that you generally imbibe your ideas of the
ttje po)33tt of ^^mpatljB. 57
principal subjects discussed in company —
now, the books which employ your hours of
study, happen to be Novels ; and the subjects
contained in these Novels are commonly con-
fined to dress, balls, visiting, and the like edi-
fying topicks; does it not follow, that these
must be the subjects of your conversation ? I
will not dispute whether the Novel makes the
woman, or the woman makes the Novel ; or
whether they are written to engage your at-
tention, or flatter your vanity. I believe the
results will shew they depend, in some meas-
ure, upon each other ; and an uninformed
woman, by reading them, only augments the
number of her futile ideas. The female mind,
notwithstanding, is com,petent to any talk, and
the accomplishments of an elegant woman
depend on a proper cultivation of her intelli-
gent powers ; a barrenness — a sterility of con-
versation — immediately discovers where this
cultivation is wanting."
58 Z\)e poion: of ^^ntpatl)^.
" GIVE me leave," answered I, "to espouse
the cause of this class of females. Tell me
candidly, Mr. Worthy, whether that insipid
flattery, perhaps sacrificed at the expense of
truth, does not misguide many of us into er-
roneous paths? You declare we are hand-
some — and your conduct demonstrates you
to be more solicitous for the possession of
beautifiily than of fkental charms. Hence is
the deluded female persuaded of the fofce of
her fascinating powers, and vainly imagines,
one glance of her eye sufficient to reduce a
million of hearts whenever she chooses: Hei
aims, therefore, are confined to the decora-
tion of her person, and her views centre solely
in finishing herself in those attractive, all-
powerful graces, with which you declare your-
selves to be enchanted. How then are they
to be censured for neglecting to improve
the mind, when your adulation diverts their
attention to an external object ? "
t))t potoer of ^^mpatlj^. 59
"I JOIN with you," replied Worthy, "in
calling it insipid flattery — and the vain cox-
comb, the powdered beau, the insignificant
petit mattre, are those who make use of it.
Will women of real merit, and sound sense,
believe what is said by them to be their real
sentiments ? — No — There must be a con-
geniality in the minds of those who give and
receive flattery — Has not the vain coquette
as much, inclination to be thought a goddess,
as the empty admirer to declare her so?
" FLATTERY is become a kind of epidemi-
cal distemper: many run into it, perhaps,
without designing it, or only through civility.
There are some women who expect it — who
dress to be admired — and who deem it a
mark of impoliteness and rudeness in men,
who do not pay them the tribute of compli-
ment and adulation. A man of sense may
comply with their expectation — he will still
6o t\)t pofcDcr of §>^mpatl^^.
think then; agreeable playthings, to divert
him at an hour of relaxation ; but I cannot
suppose he will entertain any serious thoughts
of a more per7nane7tt connection.
" MAY we not conclude these things to be
productive of many evils that happen in so-
ciety — do they not frighten all sentiment
from conversation — introduce affectation —
pride — envy — clandestine marriages —
elopements — division of families — and ulti-
mately terminate in the ruin of very many
innocent, but inconsiderate females ? "
By this time we had got into the house,
and our company soon after departed, leaving
us at full leisure to contemplate on the many
wrong ideas entertained, and fallacious steps
pursued by the generality of mankind, in the
sentimental part of female education.
t\)t joiner of ^^mpatljB. 6i
Worthy to Myra.
A PEACEFUL, recluse life, is suited to my
temper — there is something in the soft
breath of Nature — in the delicacy of smiling
meadows and cultivated fields — in the sub-
limity of an aged wood — of broken rocks —
of rivers pouring along their lucid waves, to
which the heart always give a ready reception
— there is something within us congenial to
these scenes ; they impress the mind with
ideas similar to what we feel in beholding one
whom we tenderly esteem.
62 Z\)e |0otDer of g>^mpatt)5,
I WAS making this observation to Mrs.
Holmes, and she told me I was in love —
"These are the very scenes," said she, "which
your beloved Myra used to praise and admire,
and for which you, by a secret sympathy, en-
tertain the same predilection. The piece of
embroidery which she worked at an early age,
and which ornaments the Temple, I have seen
you gaze upon several times — you seem to
trace perfection in every part of it, because it
was executed by the hand of Myra."
I ACKNOWLEDGE I have often gazed
upon it (as Mrs. Holmes terms it) but did not
recollect it to be a piece of your work. I
stole an opportunity to revisit it by myself
and I instantly remembered it — I remem-
bered when you finished it, and all the happy,
inoffensive scenes of our childhood, returned
fresh upon my heart.
IT is the work Myra, said I to myself —
ti)e potoer of g>^mpatl)^. 63
Did not her fingers trace these beautiful ex-
panding flowers ?' — Did she not give to this
carnation its animated glow, and to this open-
ing rose its languishing grace ? Removed as
I am — continued I in a certain interiour lan-
guage that every son of nature possesses —
Removed as I am, from the amiable object of
my tenderest affection, I have nothing to do
but to admire this offspring of industry and
art — It shall yield more fragrance to my soul
than all the bouquets in the universe.
I DID not care to pursue the thought — it
touched a delicate string — at first, however,
I flattered myself I should gain some consola-
tion — but I lost in every reflection.
I CONSIDERED the work as coming
from your hand, and was delighted the more
with it. A piece of steel that has been rubbed
with a loadstone, retains the power of attract-
64 ti)t |0otocr of S>^mpatl)^.
ing small bodies of iron : So the beauties of
this embroidery, springing from your hands,
continue to draw my attention, and fill the
mind with ideas of the artist. i
2;t)c l^otDcr of ^^mpattj^. 65
Harrington to Worthy.
HOW incompetent is the force
of words to express some peculiar sensations !
Expression is feeble when emotions are ex-
I WISH you could be here to see with
what ease and dignity everything comes from
the hand of Harriot — I cannot give a de-
scription equivalent to the great idea I wish
to convey — You will tell me I am in love —
What is love ? I have b,een trying to investi-
gate its nature — to strip it of its mere term,
66 t\)t pomtt of g>^mpatt)^.
and consider it as it may be supported by-
principle — I might as well search for the
EVERY one is ready to praise his mistress
— she is always described in her " native
simplicity," as " an angel " with a " placid
mein," "mild, animated," "altogether captivat-
ing,' and at length the talk of description is
given up as altogether " undescribable." . Are
not all these in themselves bare, insignificant
words ? The world has so long been accus-
tomed to hear the sound of them, that the
idea is lost. But to the question — What is
love ? Unless it is answered now, perhaps it
never will be. Is it not an infinitude of graces
that accompany everything said by Harriot ?
That adorn all she does .? They must not be
taken severally — they cannot be contem-
plated in the abstract. — If you proceed to
chymical analysis, their tenuous essence
£\)t |0otDer of ^^mpatl)^. 67
will evaporate — they are in themselves noth-
ing; but the aggregate is love.
WHEN an army composed of a great
number of men, moves slowly on at a dis-
tance, nobody thinks of considering a single
68 t\)t poton: of ^^mpatl)^.
Harringtoii to Worthy.
AM I to believe my eyes — my ears — my
heart! — and' yet I cannot be deceived. —
We are generally most stupid and incredu-
lous in what most materially concerns us.
We find the greatest difficulty in persuading
ourselves of the attainments of what we most
ardently desire — She loves! — I say to my-
self, " Harriot loves me," and I reverence my-
I THINK I may now take upon me some
share of happiness — I may say I have not
Slje polner of ^^mpatlj?. 69
lived in vain — for all my heart holds dear is
mine — joy and love encompass me — peace
and tranquillity are before me; the prospect
is fair and promising as the gilded dawn of a
summer's day — There is none to supplant
me in her affections — I dread no rival, for
our tempers are similar, and our hearts beat
in unison together.
70 t^i potoer of ^^mpatl)?.
Harrington to Worthy.
LOVE softens and refines the
manners — polishes the asperities of aukward-
ness, and fits us for the society of gentle be-
ings. It goes further, it mends the heart, and
makes us better men — it gives the faint-
hearted an extraordinary strength of soul, and
renders them equal and frequently superior to
danger and distress.
MY passions you know are quick, my prej-
udices sometimes obstinate — She tells me
these things are wrong — This gentle repri-
mand is so tempered with love that I think
2:i)e ^oiau of ^i^mpatlj^. 7 1
she commands me. I however promise a re-
form, and am much pleased with my improve-
ment. Harriot moulds my heart into what
form she chooses.
A LITTLE party is proposed to-morrow
evening and I shall attend Harriot. These
elegant relaxations prevent the degeneracy of
human nature, exhilerate the spirits, and wind
up this machine of ours for another revolution
72 tl)t J0otDer of ^smpatljB.
Harrington to Worthy.
OUR little party was over-
thrown by a strange piece of folley. A Miss
P was introduced, a young lady of beauty
and elegant accomplishments. The whole
company were beginning to be cheerful —
business and care were disgusted at the sight
of so many happy countenances, and had gone
out from among us. Jollity and good humour
bade us prepare for the dance — unhappily at
this juncture a lady and a gentleman were en-
gaged in a conversation concerning Miss
P , and one of them repeated the words
" a mechanick's daughter " — it is supposed the
t\)t ^otDcr of ^^mpatl)^. 73
word " mechanick " was repeated scornfully —
She heard it — thought herself insulted — and
indignantly retired — disorder and confusion
immediately took place, and the amusement
was put an end to for the evening.
I WISH people would consider how little
time they have to f rollick here — that they
would improve it to more advantage, and not
dispute for, any precedence or superiority but
in good nature and sociability — "a mechan-
ick " — and pray whence the distinction !
INEQ UALITY among mankind is a foe
to our happiness — it even affects our little
parties of pleasure — Such is the fate of the
human race, one order of men lords it over
another ; but upon what grounds its right is
founded I could never yet be satisfied.
FOR this reason, I like a democratickal
better than any other kind of government ;
74 t^i)t potuer of §>^mpatl)B,
and were I a Lycurgus no distinction of rank
should be found in my commonwealth.
IN my tour through the United States, I
had an opportunity of examining and com-
paring the different manners and dispositions
of the inhabitants of the several republicks.
Those of the southern states, accustomed to a
habit of domineering over their slaves, are
haughtier, more tenacious of honour, and in-
deed possess more of an aristocratick temper
than their sisters of the confederacy. As we
travel to the northward, the nature of the con-
stitution seems to operate on the minds of the
people — slavery is abolished— all men are de-
clared free and equal, and their tempers are
open, generous and communicative. It is the
same in all those countries where the people
enjoy independence and equal liberty. Why
then should those distinctions arise which are
inimical to domestick quietude .'' Or why
^\)t potocr of §>)?mpatl)^» 75
should the noisy voice of those who seek dis-
tinction, so loudly reechoe in the ears of peace
and jollity, as to deafen the sound of the mus-
ick ? For while we are disputing who shall
lead off the dance, behold ! the instrument gets
out of tune — a string snaps — and where is
our chance for dancing ?
76 t^t potoer of ^^mpatl)^.
LETTER XVIIL .
Harrington to Worthy.
MY beloved has left me for
a while — she has attended Mrs. Francis in a
journey to Rhodeisland — and here am I —
anxious — solitary — alone ! —
NO thoughts, but thoughts of Harriot, are
permitted to agitate me. She is in my view
all the day long, and when I retire to rest my
my imagination is still possessed with ideas of
t^t |0otoei: of ^^mpatlji^. 77
Harrington to Harriot.
IF a wish, arising from the most tender
affection, could transport me to the object of
my love, I persuade myself that you would not
be troubled with reading this letter.
YOU must expect nothing like wit or
humour, or even common sense, from me ; wit
and humour are flown with you, and your re-
turn only can restore them. I am sometimes
willing to persuade myself that this is the
case — I, think I hear the well-known voice,
I look around me with the ecstacy of Orpheus,
but that look breaks the charm, I find my-
78 t\)t ^aoiuer of ^^mpatliv.
self alone, and my Eurydice vanished to the
I HOPE you will not permit yourself to
grow envious of the beauties of Rhodeisland.
Of the force of their charms I am experiment-
ally acquainted. Wherever fortune has
thrown me, it has been my happiness to im-
agine myself in love with some divine creature
or other ; and after all it is but truth to de-
clare that the passion was seated more in
fancy than the heart; and it is justice to
acknowledge to you that I am now more prov-
ident of my passion, and never suffer the
excursion of fancy, except when I am so lib-
eral as to admit the united beauty of the
Rhodeisland ladies in competition with yours.
WHERE there are handsome women there
will necessarily be fine gentlemen, 'and should
they be smitten with yout external graces, I
cannot but lament their deplorable situation,
tlje pofcDEr of ^^mpatt)^. 79
when they discover how egregiously they
have been cheated. What must be his disap-
pointment, who thought himself fascinated by
y-^beauty, when he finds he has unknowingly
\ been charmed by reason and virtue !
BUT this you will say contains a sentiment
of jealously, and is but a transcript of my
apprehensions and gloomy anxieties : When
will your preference, like the return of the
sun in the spring, which dispels glooms, and
reanimates the face of nature, quiet these
apprehensions? If it be not in a short time, I
shall proceed on a journey to find you out ;
until then I commit you to the care of your
8o t\)t pofcper of gj^mpatlip.
Harrington to Harriot.
LAST night I went on a visit
to your house: It was an adventure that
would have done honour to the; Knight of La
Mancha. The moon ascended a clear, serene
sky, the air was still, the bells sounded the
solemn hour of midnight — I sighed — and
the reason of it I need not tell you. This
was, indeed, a pilgrimage ; and no Musselman
ever travelled barefooted to Mecca with more
YOUR absence would cause an insufferable
ennui in your friends, were it not for the art
Z\)t pofcDcr of ^^mpatli^, 8 1
we have in making it turn to our amusement.
Instead of wishing you were of our party, you
are the goddess in whose honour we performed
innumerable Heathenish rites. Libations of
wine are poured out, but not a guest presumes ^
to taste it, until they implore the name of
Harriot ; we hail ' the new divinity in songs,
and strew around the flowers of poetry. You
need not, however, take to yourself any ex-
traordinary addition of vanity on the occasion
as your absence will not cause any repining :
" Harriot our goddess and our grief no more."
BUT to give you my opinion on this impor-
tant matter, I must descend to plain truth, and
acknowledge I had rather adore yon 2l preseitt
mortal, than an absent divinity ; and therefore
wish for your return with more religious
ardour than a devout disciple of the false
prophet for the company of the Houri.
82 Z\)t IBotoer of g>^mpatl)^.
THANKS to the power of imagination for
our fanciful interview. Methought I some-
where unexpectedly met you — but I was
soon undeceived of my imaginary happiness,
and I awoke, repeating these verses : —
THOUGH sleep her sable pinions spread,
My thoughts still run on you ;
And visions hovering o'er my head,
Present you to my view.
By FANCY'S magick pencil drest,
I saw my Delia move ;
I clasp'd her to my anxious breast,
With TEARS of joy and love.
Methought she said — " Why thus forlorn? —
Be all thy care resign'd : " —
I 'woke and found my Delia gone.
But still the TEAR behind.
t\)t polBcr of g)^mpatl)^. 83
Harriot to Myra.
WE arrived here in safety, but
our journey is not without incident — an inci-
dent which exhibits a melancholy picture of
the wickedness and depravity of the human
WHEN we came to the house of Mrs.
Martin, who I suppose you know is cousin to
Mrs. Francis, we were not a little astonished
at the evident traces of distress in her counte-
nance ; all her actions were accompanied
with an air of solemnity, and her former gaiety
of heart was exchanged for sad, serious
thoughtf ulness :
84 t)t potoer of S)^mpatl)^,
thoughtfulness : She, however, put on a face
of vivacity upon our being introduced, but her
cheerfulness was foreign to the feeHngs of her
MR. Martm was equally agitated: he endeav-
oured to dispossess himself of an uncommon
weight of remorse, but in vain — all his dis-
simulation could not conceal his emotion, nor
his art abate the continual upbraidings of
MRS. Francis was anxious to enquire the
cause of this extraordinary change, but wisely
forebore adding to the distress of her friend,
by desiring her to explain it, in a manner too
precipitate. She was in a short time made
acquainted with the particulars of the story —
which is not more melancholy than un-
SOMETIME after the marriage of Martin,
t^t potDcr of ^^mpatli^o 85
the beautiful Ophelia, sister to Mrs. Martin,
returned from a European visit to her friends
in Rhodeisland. Upon her arrival, she re-
iceved a polite offer from her brother-in-law
of an elegant apartment of his house in
town, which was cheerfully accepted — Fatal
acceptation! He, had conceived a passion for
Ophelia and was plotting to gratify it. By a
series of the most artful attention^, suggested
by a diabolical appetite, he insinuated himself
into her affection — he prevailed upon the
heart of the unsuspicious Ophelia, and tri-
umphed over her innocence and virtue.
THIS incestuous connection has secretly
subsisted until the present time — it was in-
terrupted by a sympton which rendered it
necessary for Ophelia to retire mto the coun-
try, where she was delivered of a child, at once
the son and nephew of Martin.
86 t^c potDer of ^^mpatlj^,
THIS event was a severe mortification to
the proud spirit of Shepherd, the father of
Ophelia. His resentment to his daughter was
implacable, and his revenge of the injury
from Martin not to be satiated. The blaze
of family dispute raged with unquenchable
fury — and poor Ophelia received other pun-
ishment from the hand of a vindictive father
than base recrimination.
THE affection of Martin how became
changed to the vilest hatred.
THUS doomed to suffer the blackest in-
gratitude from her seducer on the one hand,
and to experience the severity of paternal
vengence on the other — and before her the
gloomy prospect of a blasted reputation —
what must be the situation of the hapless
Ophelia ! Hope, the last resort of the
wretched, was forever shut out. There was
t\)e ^otoer of g»i?mpatt)^. 87
no one whom she durst implore by the tender
name of father, and he, who had seduced her
from her duty and her virtue, was the first to
brand her with the disgraceful epithets of un-
dutiful and unchaste.
PERHAPS it was only at this time, that
she became fully sensible of her danger ; the
flattery and dissimulation of Martin might
have banished the idea of detection, and
glossed over that of criminality ; but now she
awoke from her dream of insensibility, she
was like one who had been deluded by an
ignis fatuus to the brink of a precipice, and
there abandoned to his reflection to contem-
plate the horrours of the sea beneath him,
into which he was about to plunge.
WHETHER from the promises of J/(2r/m,
or the flattery of her own fancy, is unknown,
but it is said she expected to become his wife,
88 t\)t laotDcr of g>sinpatl)^.
and made use of many expedients to obtain a
divorcement of Martin from her sister : But
this is the breath of rumour : Allowing it to
be truth, it appears to be the last attempt of
despair ; for such unnatural exertions, with
the compunction attending them, represent a
gloomy picture of the struggle between sis-
terly affection and declining honour. They
however proved inavailable, and her efforts to
that end, may with propriety be deemed a
IN the mean while the rage of Shepherd
was augmenting. Time, instead of allaying,
kindled the flame of revenge in the breast of
the old man. A sense of the wounded hon-
our of his family, became every day more ex-
quisite ; he resolved to call a meeting of the
parties, in which the whole mystery should be
developed — that Ophelia should confront her
Z))t |0oincr of ^^mpatt)^, 89
seducer, and a thorough enquiry and expHca-
tion be brought about.
OPHELIA exercised all her powers to pre-
vent it ; she intreated her father to consent to
her desire, but her tears and intreaties were
vain. To this earnest desire of his daughter.
Shepherd opposed the honour of his family.
She replied that a procedure would publish
its disgrace and be subversive of his intention:
That she hoped to live retired from the world,
and^it was in his power to accept her happy
repentance: In extenuating, she wished not
to vindicate her errours, but declared herself
to be. penetrated with a melancholy sense of
her misconduct, and hoped her penitence
might expiate her guilt : ' She now beheld the
sin in the most glaring colours, the dangers to
which she had been exposed, and acknowl-
edged the effects of her temerity had im-
pressed her mind with sincere contrition: " All
go 2;t)C ^otijcr of ^^mpatti^,
persons," continued she, " are not blest with
the hke happiness of resisting temptation: " she
intreated her father, therefore, to beheve her
misfortunes proceeded from credulity and not
from an abandoned principle — that they
arose more from situation than a depraved
heart: In asking to be restored to the favour
and protection of a parent, she protested she
was not influenced by any other motive, than
a wish to demonstrate the sincerity of her
repentance, and to establish the peace and
harmony of the family.
OPHELIA now became melancholy, and
her intentions visibly bent on the mmtner of
her death. As the time drew nigh, her sensi-
bility decame more and more exquisite:
What was before distress, she now averred to
be horrour: Her conduct bordered on insan-
Z\)t ^oiatt of ^^m^atl)^, 91
THE day was appointed to bring to a
settlement this unhappy business — the time
of hearing arrived — the parties met — the
presence of Ophelia was necessary — she was
missing — the unfortunate Ophelia died by her
MRS. Shepherd Q.vA.Qx^dL\}i\^ apartment of her
daughter — she beheld her pale and trembling
— she saw the vial, and the cup with the re-
mains of the poison — she embraced her lost
— " My Ophelia ! my daughter ! return — re-
turn to life."
AT this crisis entered the father — he was
mute — he beheld his daughter struggling
with the pangs of dissolution — he was dumb
with grief and astonishment.
THE dying Ophelia was conscious of the
distress of her parents, and of her own situa-
tion — she clasped her mother's hand, and
92 t\)t ^oiDEr of ^^mpatl)^.
raising her eye to heaven, was only heard to
articulate "LET MY CRIME BE FOR-
GOTTEN WITH MY NAME. — O
FATAL ! FATAL POISON ! "
ADIEU! my dear Myra — this unhappy
affair has worked me to a fit of melancholy.
I can write no more. I will give you a few
particulars in my next. It is impossible to
behold the effect of this horrid catastrophe
and not be impressed with feelings of sympa-
thetick sorrow :
t^c poiDcr of ^^mpatl)^. 93
Harriot to Myra.
HOW frail is the heart ! How
dirn is human foresight ! We behold the
gilded "bait of temptation, and know not un-
til taught by experience, that the admission of
one errour is but the introduction of calamity.
One mistake imperceptibly leads to another
— but the consequences of the whole bursting
suddenly on the devoted head of an unfortu-
nate wanderer, becomes intolerable.
HOW acute must be that torture, which
seeks an asylum in suicide! O SEDUC-
TION ! how many and how miserable are
94 ti}t |0otoer of ^^mpatlj^,
the victims of thy unrelenting vengeance.
Some crimes, indeed, cease to afflict when
they cease to exist, but SEDUCTION opens
the door to a dismal train of innumerable
YOU can better imagine the situation of
the friends of the unfortunate Ophelia than I
can describe it.
THE writings she left were expressive of
contrition for her past transaction, and an
awful sense of the deed she was about to exe-
cute. Her miserable life was insupportable,
there was no oblation but in death — she
welcomed death, therefore, as the pleasing
harbinger of relief to the unfortunate. She
remembered her once-loved seducer with pity,
and bequeathed him her forgiveness. — To
say she felt no agitation was not just, but
that she experienced a calmness unknown to
t^t poioer of ^^mpatlj^, 95
a criminal was certain. She hoped the fash-
ness of her conduct would not be construed to
her disadvantage — for she died in charity
with the world. She felt like a poor wan-
derer about to return to a tender parent, and
flattered herself with the hopes of a welcome,
though unbidden return. She owned the
way was dark and intricate, but lamented she
had no friend to enlighten her understanding,
or unravel the mysteries of futurity. She
knew there was a God who will reward and
punish : She acknowledged she had offended
Him, and confessed her repentance. She ex-
patiated on the miserable life she had suffered:
not that she feared detection, that was impossi-
ble : but that she had been doing an injury to
a sister who was all kindness to her : she
prayed her sister's forgiveness — even as she
herself forgave her seducer ; and that her
crime might not be called ingratitude, because
she was always sensible of her obligation to
96 t\)t ^Boiuer of ^^mpatt)^.
that sister. She requested her parents to
pardon her, and acknowledged she felt the
pangs of a bleeding heart at the shock which
must be given to the most feeling of mothers.
She intreated her sisters to think of her with
pity, and died with assurance that her friends
would so far revere her memory as to take up
one thing or another, and say this belonged to
O MY friend ! what scenes of anguish are
here unfolded to the survivours. The un-
happy Shepherd charged Martin with the se-
duction and murder of his daughter. What
the termination of this most horrible affair
will be, is not easy to foresee.
t))t l^otorr of g>^mpatl)^« 97
Harriot to Myra.
WHATEVER may be the
other causes (if there were any besides her
seduction) which drove the unhappy Ophelia^
temerariously to end her existence, it certainly
becomes us, my dear friend, to attend to them
— and to draw such morals and lessons of in-
struction from each side of the question, as
will be a mirrour by which we may regulate
our conduct and amend our lives. A prudent
pilot will shun those rocks upon which others
have been dashed to pieces, and take example
from the conduct of others less fortunate than
98 Slje potoer of §>^mpat^)^,
himself : It is the duty of the moralist, then to
deduce his observations from preceding facts
in such a manner as may directly improve the
mind and promote the economy of human
THIS may be an apology for 'sending you
the arguments of- Martin in answer to Shep-
herd, who in his rage and grief had called him
the murderer of his child.
HE reminded Shepherd of his obstinacy in
in persisting in an explanatory meeting, and
refusing to grant Ophelias request in suffer-
ing the affair to subside — " Your proud
spirit," said he, "would not barken to the gen-
tle remonstrances of your daughter — your
heart was closed to every conciliatory propo-
sition. Though she expressed a propensity
to fly from the eye of the world, she had
hitherto appeared lulled in a kind of happy
^e ^oloitt of g^^mpatl)?. 99
insensibility ; yet the approaching time of ex-
planation was terrible, it renewed the story
and torture of all her misfortunes, and the
idea filled her with grief and dismay. Had
you been as willing to receive her, as she to
return to you, happy would it have been for
both ; but your pride was the cause of addi-
tional calamities — when the time arrived —
But why shall we harrow upon souls with the
reiteration of her sorrowful exit ? —
" FROM these circumstances," said Martin^
■" you cannot accuse me as the immediate
cause of Ophelias death ; the facts are as I
have stated them — and thus was a straying,
but penitent child, driven to despair and sui-
cide by a severe use of parental power, and a
vain attempt to resent an injury, for which it
was impossible the accused party could make
loo tljE potDcr of g)^mpatl)^.
NOTWITHSTANDING the plausibility
of Martins plea, I have little hesitation in my
mind to charge him with the remote cause of
the miserable end of Ophelia.
HOW far parental authority may be ex-
tended, is a question which I shall not deter-
mine ; I must, however, think it depends upon
the combination Of circumstances. The duty
of a child to her parents will be in proportion
to the attention paid to her education. If, in-
stead of the usual pains bestowed by many
partial parents, upon the vain parade of form-
ing the manners of a child, and burthening
the mind with the necessity of douceurs and
graces, would it not often be happier for both,
to take a small share of thought to kindle one
spark of grace in the heart?
HAPPY the parents, who have bestowed
upon their children such an education, as will
€^t potoer of ^^mpatli^. loi
enable them, by a principle of mediocrity, to
govern them without extorting obedience, and
to reclaim them without exercising severity.
I02 t^t potoer of ^^mpu\ys»
Harriot to Myra.
MRS. Francis is not altogether
pleased with her journey to this part of the
country — She does not delight to brood over
sorrow — She flies from the house of mourn-
ing, to scenes of dissipation — and, like the
rest of the world, bears the misfortunes of her
friends with a most christian fortitude : The
melancholy aspect of affairs here, will there-
fore shorten our visit — so you may expect us
at Boston in a few days.
MY faithful lover (with whom I will cer-
t\)t joiner of ^^mpattj^. 103
tainly make you acquainted in a short time)
continues to write to me in very passionate
and sentimental strains. His last letter
proves him to be a tolerable maker of rhymes
and I inclose it for your entertainm,ent.
I am, my dear,
Your most affectionate Friend.
I04 tlje potoer of ^^mpat^^.
Myra to Harriot.
(written before she had received the
YOUR sorrowful little history has
infected me with grief. Surely there is no
human vice of so black a die — so fatal in its
consequences — or which causes a more gen-
eral calamity, than that of seducing a female
from the path of honour. This idea has been
improved by my brother, on the hint of your
favour — as an acknowledgement for which I
inclose you his production.
2:i)e potoer of ^^mpatlj^. 105
, (the inclosed.)
t^t Court of ©tce»
VIQE " on a solemn night of state,
In all her pomp of terrour sate,"
Her voice in deep, tremendous tone,
Thus issu'd from her ebon throne :
' This night at our infernal court,
' Let all our ministers resort ;
' Who most annoys the human race,
' At our right hand shall take his place,
' Rais'd on a throne — advanc'd in fame —
* YE CRIMES now vindicate your claim.'
Eager for praise, the hideous host.
All spake, aspiring to the post.
Pride said, to gain his private ends.
He sacrific'd his dearest friends ;
Insulted all with manners rude.
And introduc'd ingratitude.
'Twas he infus'd domestick hate.
And party spirit in the state ;
Hop'd they'd observe his mystick plan,
io6 t\)t iBotoer of ^^mpatlj^.
Destroy'd all confidence in man ;
And justifi'd his high pretentions,
By causing envy and dissentions.
INTEMPERANCE loud, demands the
He'd long deceiv'd the human race ;
None could such right as he maintain.
Disease and death were in his train.
THEFT next appears to claim the station,
E'er constant in his dark vocation ;
He thought the place might well repay,
The CRIME who labour'd night and day.
FRAUD own'd (tho' loth to speak his
He gain'd his point by secret ways ;
His voice in cities had been heard.
And oft in senates been preferr'd !
Yet much derision had he borne,
Treated by honest fools with scorn ;
His influence on the western shore
Was not so great as heretofore :
He own'd each side alike assail'd,
Complain'd how sadly he was rail'd,
Curst by the name in ev'ry street.
tt)C jaotoer of ^^mpatlj^. 107
Of Paper, Tendry, Rogue and Cheat :
Yet if some honour should requite
His labour — things might still go right.
MURDER before the footstool stood,
With tatter'd robe distain'd in blood.
' And who,' he cry'd, with daring face,
' Denies my title to the place ?
' My watchful eyes mankind survey,
' And single out the midnight prey ;
' No cowardlike I meet the foe,
' With footsteps insecure and slow,
' Or cause his death by languid strife —
' Boldly this dagger ends his life.
'Give back, ye CRIMES, your claims resign,
' For I demand the post as mine.'
AV'RICE declar'd his love of gold ;
His nation, or himself he sold ;
He taught the sin of PRIDE betimes ;
Was foster-father of all crimes :
He pawn'd his life ; he sak'd his soul.
And found employment for the whole :
Acknowleg'd that he gain'd his wealth,
By FRAUD, by MURDER; and by
io8 t\)e potocr of ^^mpatlj]?.
On one so useful to her cause,
VICE well might lavish due applause.
The hkgger'd host bow'd low the head.
The MONSTER rose, and thus she said :
' Ye MINISTERS of VICE, draw near,
' For fame no longer persevere ;
' No more your various parts disclose,
' Men SEE, AND HATE YOU ALL AS FOES.
' One yet remains among your crew,
'Then rise, SEDUCTION ! claim your due.
' Your baleful presence quickly parts
' The tie that holds the happiest hearts ;
' You ROB — what WEALTH can ne'er repay ;
' Like JUDAS with a kiss betray :
' Hence come the starving, trembling train,
' Who prostitute themselves for gain,
' Whose languid visages impart
' A smile, while anguish gnaws the heart ;
' Whose steps decoy unwary youth,
' From honour, honesty, and truth,
' Which follow'd 'till to late to mend,
' In ruin, and the gallows end —
' Be thine the post. Besides, who knows
' When all thy consequences close ?
' With thee, SEDUCTION ! are ally'd
' HORROUR, DESPAIR and SUICIDE,
Clie pofcDcr of ^i^mpatti^. 109
' You wound • — but the devoted heart
' Feels not alone — the poignant smart :
' You wound — th' electrick pain extends
' To fathers, mothers, sisters, friends.
' MURDER may yet delight in blood,
* And deluge round the crimson flood :
' But sure his merits rank above,
' Who murders in the mask of love.'
no t1)t ipotoer of ^^mpatlj^.
Myra to Mrs. Holmes.
IN one of my former letters I ac-
quainted you that I suspected my brother to
be in love, and now Madam, I am enabled to
tell you with whom — the amiable Harriot.
Harriot attended Mrs. Francis in her
journey to Rhodeisland, and our young hero
has, in her absence, been dreaming of his mis-
tress ; and, in a letter to her has written a
description of his visionary interview. Har-
riot, with whom I maintain a constant corres-
pondence, and who keeps no secret from me,
tl^t potoer of ^^mpatlis. 1 1 1
inclosed the verses in her last, when lo ! the
handwriting of Master Harrington.
I WAS a little mortified that the young
man had kept me in ignorance of his amour
all this time, and this morning determined
upon a little innocent revenge — " Tommy,"
said I, as he entered the room, " here is a
piece of poetry, written by an acquaintance
of mine — I want your judgment on it" —
" Poetry or rhyme," answered he, advancing
towards me, and casting his eyes upon it —
He took the letter and began to read —
" Why do you blush, young man ? " said I,
" Harriot is a fine girl." —
THIS produced an eclaircissement, and as
the matter must remain secret, for a certain
weighty reason, I am to be the confidante.
I MUST acknowledge to you, Mrs. Holmes,
there is a certain/^ ne scais quoi in my ami-
112 W\)t l^oiatt of ^^mpatl)^.
able friend, that has always interested her in
my favour — I have an affection for her which
comes from the heart — an affection which
I do not pretend to account for — Her. de-
pendance upon Mrs. Francis hurts me — I do
not think this lady is the gentle, complaisant
being, that she appears to be in company —
To behold so fine a girl in so disagreeable a
situation, might at first attract my commisera-
tion and esteem, and a more intimate knowl-
edge of her virtues might have ripened them
into love. Certain it is, however, that whom
I admire a^ a friend, I could love as a
SISTER. In the feelings of the heart there
can be no dissimulation.
PLEASE to tell Mr. Worthy, he may con-
tinue to write, and that I will condescend to
read his letters.
tE^ljc potoci: of ^^mpatlis* 1 1 3
Worthy to Myra.
I AM just returned from a melancholy ex-
cursion with Eliza. I will give you the his-
tory of it — We generally walk out together,
but we this time went further than usual —
The fnorning was calm and serene — all
Nature was flourishing, and its universal haf-
mony conspired to deceive us in the length of
WHILE we were pursuing our walk, our
ears were struck with a plaintive, musical
voice, singing a melancholy tune. — " This,"
114 ®^^ potocr of ^^rnpatl)^.
said Mrs. Holmes, " must be Fidelia — the
poor distracted girl was carried off by a ruf-
fian a few days before her intended marriage,
and her lover, in despair, threw himself into
the river," — Eliza could say no more — for
Fidelia resumed her melancholy strain in
the following words : —
TALL rose the lily's slender frame.
It shed a glad perfume ;
But ah ! the cruel spoiler came,
And nipt its opening bloom.
Curse on the cruel spoiler's hand
That stole thy bloom and fled —
Curse on his hand — for thy true love
Is number'd with the dead.
Poor maiden ! like the lily frail,
'Twas all in vain you strove ;
You heard the stranger's tender tale —
But where was thy true love ?
Thou wast unkind and false to him,
But he did constant prove ;
t\)t |3otoer of ^^mpatlj^. 115
He plung'd headlong in the stream —
Farewel, f arewel, my love !
'Twas where the river rolls along,
The youth all trembling stood,
Opprest with grief — he cast himself
Amidst the cruel flood.
White o'er his head the billows foam,
And circling eddies move ;
Ah 1 there he finds a watery tomb —
Farewel, farewel, my love !
WE advanced towards the place from
where the sound issued, and Fidelia, who
heard our approach, immediately rose from
the ground ; " I was tired," said she, " and sat
down here to rest myself."
SHE was dressed in a long white robe, tied
about the waist with a pink ribband ; her fine
brown hair flowed loosely round her shoulders
— In her hahd she held a number of wild
1 16 tl^t ^ofcDcr of ^^mpatl)^.
flowers and weeds, which she had been gath-
ering. " These," she cried, " are to make a
nosegay for my love." "He hath no occa-
sion for it," said Eliza. " Yes ! where he
hves," cried /^zflfe/2a, "there are plenty — and
flowers that never fade too — I will throw
them into the river, and they will swim to
him — they will go straight to him " — " And
what will he do with them ? " I asked; " O ! "
said the poor girl as she looked wistfully on
them, and sorted them in her hand, " he loves
everything that comes from me — he told me
so" — " He will be happy to receive them,"
cried Eliza. " Where he is," said Fidelia, " is
happiness — and happy are the flowers that
bloom there — and happy shall I be, when I
go to him — alas ! I am very ill now " — " He
will love you again," said Eliza, " when you
find him out " — " O he was very kind," cried
she, tenderly, " he delighted to walk with me
over all these fields — but now, I am obliged
t^t poiuer of ^^mpatljy. 1 1 7
to walk alone." Fidelia drew her hand across
her cheek, and we wept with her. — "I must
go," she said, " I must go," and turned ab-
ruptly from us, and left us with great precipi-
ii8 2:1)0 ^otDcc of ^^mpatl)?.
Worthy to Myra.
MY melancholy meditations led me
yesterday to the same place where I had seen
the distracted Fidelia, and walking down the
hill I again beheld her by the side of a beauti-
ful spring — Before I could come up to the
place, she was gone — she went hastily over
the field — I followed her — after a few min-
utes walk, I overtook her, and we both went
on together towards a small, neat /farmhouse.
An old man was sitting at the door — he gave
a sigh as she passed him to go in — I asked
him if she was his daughter — " Alas ! " said
^\)e |0otoer of ^^mpatt)^. 1 19
he, " my poor child — she has been in this
state of affliction for near a twelve month."
I enquired what cause produced the loss of
her senses — He looked down sorrowfully —
the question awakened the gloomy sensations
of past evils, the recollection of which was
painful, and opened wounds afresh that were
not yet healed. '' She has lost her lover,"
cried the old man — "the youth was the son
of one of our neighbours — their infancy was
marked by a peculiar attachment to each
other. When the young people danced to-
gether, Fidelia was always the partner of
Henry — as they grew up their mutual tender-
ness ripened into passionate affection. They
were engaged to each other, and Henry saved
all his little stock of money to begin the
world by himself. All the town beheld them
with pleasure — they wished them success and
happiness — and from their knowledge of
both their characters, were led to hope they
I20 t\)t potoer of ^^mpatlj?.
would one day become good members of
society — but these hopes are blasted, and
they now bestow the bitterest curses on the
wretch who hath crushed their expectations —
who hath deprived Fidelia of her senses, and
caused the death of her lover.
"THE gay Williams comes among us, and
participates in our domestick pastimes — he
singles out Fidelia, and is assiduous in his at-
tentions to her — her little heart is lifted up
— but her prudence rises ^uperior to her van-
ity. Henry observes the operations of Wil-
liams and thinks he sees in him a powerful
rival — the unhappy youth becomes melan-
choly — he sickens with jealousy — the pleas-
ures of our country are forgotten by him —
his thoughts are constantly employed on his
Fidelia. — To complete the measure of his
promised happiness he wishes to call her his
own — he declares the desire of his soul —
t\)t poinei: of §>^mpatlj^.
Fidelia pledges her faith. He now sees the
accomplishment of all his wishes in reversion
— his heart leaps for joy — but — as the little
paraphernalia is preparing, the rufifian hand of
the Seducer dashes the cup of joy from their
lips — Fidelia suddenly disappears — Williams
— the ungrateful Williams — betrays her to
a carriage he had prepared, and she is hurried
off. Henry stands astonished — wild with
grief and dismay, he appears senseless and
" WHEN the heart is elevated by strong
expectation — disappointment and misfortune
come with redoubled force. — To receive pain,
when we look for pleasure, .penetrates the
very soul with accumulated anguish."
THE old man paused — He endeavoured
to hide a tear that was stealing down his
122 t^t jBotocr of ^^mputyi,
cheek — and to check the violence of his pas-
I ASKED him how long his daughter was
missing — "Not long," he answered — "the
young men, enraged at the insult, arm them-
selves and pursue the robber — they overtake
him — Williams is wounded in the scuffle,
and is carried away bleeding, by his servant
— My daughter is regained — we thank
Heaven for her restoration. She enquires for
her Henry — alas ! Henry is no more ! The
object of his love had flown from him, and
with her the light of his soul — Darkness and
grief liad encompassed him — he had no re-
source, no consolation, no hope — she, whom
his soul loved was stolen — was wrested from
his embrace. Who was there to administer
rehef ? — Who was there to supply her loss?
— Not one. — the light of his reason now be-
came clouded — he is seized by despair, and
2^1)0 |0otoer of ^^mpatl)^. 123
urged forward by the torments of disappointed
love, he plunges into the riyer — to close his
sorrows with his life.
" THE loss of Fidelias senses followed this
" SHE hears the fate of her lover and be-
comes petrified — the idea of her sorrows —
her own agitation and care for her person,
are lost in the reflection of her lover's death.
— A while she raved — but this is now some-
what restored, and, as you see, the poor mani-
ack strays about the fields harmless and inof-
THE old man proceeded to inform me of
the death of his wife — the idea of one mis-
fortune aroused in him that of another — or
rather there was a gradual progression in
them, and consequently a connexion — He
1 24 t\)t potoer of g)^mpatl)^.
told me she did not long survive the death of
Henry. " O Charlotte I " he cried, " thdu wast
kind and cheerful — very pleasant hast thou
been unto me. I will not cease to regret thy
loss, till I meet thee in a better world."
" OUR hearts," continued the old man, ad-
dressing me, "are loosened from their attach-
ment to this world by repeated strokes of mis-
fortune. Wisely is it ordered thus. Every
calamity severs a string from the heart — un-
til one scene of sorrow on the back of a,nother
matures us for eternity — Thus are our affec-
tions estranged from this scene of misery.
The cord that detains the bird is severed in
two — and it flies away.
" FORMERLY as I sat in this place — in
the mild shade of the evening — when I had
returned from my labour and took Fidelia on
my knee, how often have I rendered thanks
Z\)t laofcoer of §>^mpatl)^. 125
to Heaven for the happiness I enjoyed, and
implored His power to make my child such
another as Charlotte — This sweet remem-
brance yet swells and agitates my heart, and in
the midst of the distress which surrounds me, I
feel a consolation in tracing to you a feeble
sketch of the happy times that are passed."
THE old man was sensibly affected — he de-
lighted to dwell on what his child had been-^ —
he thought of those times — and he sighed
when he contrasted them with the present.
"IN her disordered state," continued he,
"she knows me not as a, father — I spread my
morsel before her, and she flies from it — she
forgets the sound of my voice — she is no
longer unto me as a daughter. She who hath
so tjften said, she would support me with her
arm, and lead me about, when I should be
old and decrepit — to her I call, but she re-
126 t.\)t potoer of ^pmpatl)^,
turns me no answer. Is not the cause of my
woes, a melancholy instance of the baleful art
of the SEDUCER ? — She is deprived of her
reason, and knows not the weight of her
misery ; and I am doubly deadened with her
affliction, and the accumulated misfortune of
"SEDUCTION is a crime," I observed,
" that nothing can be said to palliate or ex-
" AND WOE to him," added the old man,
" who shall endeavour to extenuate it -■ — T/tey
have taken away my staff'^ — continued he,
raising a look of imploring mercy to Heaven,
while a trembling tear rolled from his swollen
eye, '■ They have taken away my staff in m,y old
FREELY did my heart share in the sor-
rows of the good old man — when I left him,
t\)t |0oiBcr of ^smpatt)?, 127
I prayed Heaven to compassionate his dis-
tress — and as I "bent my pensive step towards
Belleview, I had leisure to animadvert on the
fatal tendency of SEDUCTION.
End of Vol. I.
The Power of Sympathy.
THE POWER OF SYMPATHY
or, the Triumph of Nature.
Founded in Truth.
MRS. PEREZ MORTON
(SARAH WENTWORTH APTHORp).
& PATTERSON *ANi>-rUBLISH-
BAY- BOOKSTORE * 230 • BOYU
By Walter Littlefield,
All Rights Reserved.
POWER OF SYMPATHY:
TRIUMPH OF NATURE.
FOUNDED IN TRUTH.
I N TWO VOLUMES.
Fain would he ftrew Life's thorny Way with Flowers,
And open to your View Elyfian Bowers ;
Catch the warm Pailions of the tender Touth,
And win the Mind to Sentiment and Truth.
PRINTED at BOSTOM
BY ISAIAH THOMAS and Company.
Sold at their Bookftore, No. 45, Newbury Street,
And W faid Thomas's Bookftore in Worcester.
The Power of Sympathy.
Mrs. Holmes to Myra.
I AM sometimes mortified to
find the books which I recommend to your
perusal, are not always applicable to the situ-
ation of an American lady. The general
observations of some English books are the
most useful things contained in them ; the
principal parts being chiefly, filled with local
descriptions, which a young woman here is
•frequently at a loss to understand.
2 t^i)t l^oiatt of ^^mpatt)^.
I SEND you a little work, entitled ''A lady
of Quality's Advice to her Children " which,
though not altogether free from this exception,
is highly worthy of your attention. A parent
who is represented struggling with the dis-
tress of a lingering illness, bequeaths a system
of education to her offspring. I do not rec-
ommend it to you as a Novel, but as a work
that speaks the language of the heart and
that inculcates the duty we owe to ourselves,
to society and the Deity.
DIDACTICK essays are not always cap-
able of engaging the attention of young
ladies. We fly from the laboured precepts of
the essayist, to the sprightly narrative of the
novelist. Habituate your mind to remark the
difference between truth and fiction. You
will then always be enabled to judge of the
propriety and justness of a thought ; and
never be misled to form wrong opinions, by
tirije l^otoer of ^^mpatl)^* 3
the meretricious dress of a pleasing tale. You
will then be capable of deducing the most
profitable lessons of instruction, and the de-
sign of your readhig will be fully accom-
HENCE you will be provided with a key to
the characters of men : To unlock these cu-
rious cabinets is a very useful, as well as
entertaining employment. Of those insid-
ious gentlemen, who plan their advances
towards us on the Chesterfieldian system, let
me advise you to beware. A prudent com-
mander would place a double watch, if he
apprehended the enemy were more disposed
to take the fort by secrecy and undermining,
than by an open assault.
I CANNOT but smile sometimes, to ob-
serve the ridiculous figure of some of our
young gentlemen^ who affect to square their
4 t^t ^otDer of §>^inpatl)?.
conduct by his Lordship's principles of
politeness — they never tell a story unless it
be very short — they talk of decorum and the
etiquette — they detest everything vulgar or
common — they are on the rack if an old man
should let fall a proverb — and a thousand
more trifling affectations, the ridicule of
which arises, not so much from their put-
ting on this foreign dress, as from their ignor-
ance or vanity in pretending to imitate those
rules which were designed for an English
nobleman — Unless, therefore, they have a
prospect of being called by Congress to exe-
cute some foreign negotiation, they ought
certainly to be minding their business.
THIS affectation of fine breeding is de-
structive to morals. Dissimulation and insin-
cerity are connected with its tenets ; and are
mutually inculcated with the art of pleasing.
tf)t |0otoa: of ^^mpatl)^. 5
A PERSON of this character grounds his
motives for pleasing on the most selfish prin-
ciple — He is polite, not for the honour of
obliging you, as he endeavours to make you
believe, but that he himself might be obliged.
Suspect^him, therefore, of insincerity and
treachery, who sacrifices truth to complai-
sance, and advises you to. the pursuit of an ob-
ject, which would tend to his advantage.
ALWAYS distinguish the man of sense
from the cox-comb. Mr. Worihy is possessed
of a good understanding, and an exact judge-
ment. If you are united with him, let it be
the study of your life to preserve his love and
esteem. His amiable character is adorned
with modesty and a disposition to virtue and
sobriety. I never anticipate your future hap-
piness, but I contemplate this part of his
character with pleasure. But remember the
fidelity of a wife alone, will not always secure
6 ti\t pofcDcr of §)rmpatt)^.
the esteem of a husband ; when her personal
attractions do not continue to delight his eye,
she will flatter his judgement. I think you are
enabled to perform this, because you are solic-
itous to supply your mind with those amiable
qualities which are more durable than beauty.
When you are no longer surrounded with a
flattering circle of young men, and the world
shall cease to call you beautiful, your company
will be courted by men of sense, who know
the value of your conversation.
I AM pleased with the conduct of some
agreeable girls, and the return of civility and
attention they often make to the conceited
compliments of a certain class of beaux.
These ladies wisely consider them as the
butterflies of a day, and therefore generally
scorn /o break them on a wheel !
WHEN you are in company, when the vain
Zift potocr of ^^mpatlj^. 7
and thoughtless endeavour to shew their inge-
nuity by ridiculing particular orders of men,
your prudence will. dictate to you not to coun-
tenance their abuse — The book I have just
mentioned, intimates, that " there are a great
many things done and said in company which
a woman of virtue will neither see nor hear."
— To d iscountenance levity, is a sure way to
guard against the encroachment of tempta-
tion; to parcipitate in the mirth of a buffoon,
is to render yourself equally ridiculous. We
owe to ourselves a detestation of folley, and to
the world, the appearance of it. I would have
you avoid coquetry and affectation, and the
observance of my maxims will never make
you a prude — Pretend, therefore, should a
vain youth throw out illiberal sarcasms against
Mechanicks, Lawyers, Ministers, Virtue, Re-
ligion, or any serious subject, not to compre-
hend the point of his wit.
8 ®lj0 |3otoer of ^^mpatlj^.
I HAVE seldom spoken to you on the im-
portance of Religion, and the veneration due
to the characters of the Clergy. I always sup-
posed your good sense capable of suggesting
their necessity and eligibility. The Ministers
of no nation are more remarkable for learning
and piety than those of this country. The
fool may pretend to scorn, and the irreligious
to contemn, but every person of sense and
reflection must admire that sacred order,
whose business is to inform the understand-
ing, and regulate the passions of mankind.
Surely, therefore, that class of men, will con-
tinue to merit our esteem and affection, while
virtue remains upon earth.
I AM always pleased with the reasonable
and amiable light in which the Clergy are
placed by the author of the Guardian — " The
light," says he, " in which these points should
be exposed to the view of one who is preju-
tKlje poiDtt of ^pmpat^?. 9
diced against the names, Religion, Church,
Priest, or the Hke, is to consider the Clergy as
so many Philosophers, the Churches as
Schools, and their Sermons as Lectures for
the improvement and information of the au-
dience. How would the heart of Tully or Soc-
rates have rejoiced, had they lived in a nation
where the law had made provision for philoso-
phers to read lectures of philosophy; every
seventh day, in several thousands of schools,
erected at the publick charge, throughout the
whole country, at which lectures, all ranks
and sexes, without distinction, were obliged
to be present, for their .general improve-
ment ? "
YOU may, perhaps, think this letter too|
serious, but remember that virtue and religion
are the foundation of education.
10 <t\)t potocr of ^^mpatl)^.
Mrs. Holmes to Myra.
YOU will observe, my dear
friend, that most of the letters I have written
to you of late, on female education', are con-
fined to the subject of study. I am sensible
of the ridicule sometimes levelled at those
who are called learned ladies. Either these
ladies must be uncommonly pedantick, or
those who ridicule them, uncommonly igno-
rant — Do not be apprehensive of acquiring
that title, or sharing the ridicule, but remem-
ber that the knowledge which I wish you to
acquire, is necessary to adorn your many vir-
t.\)t potoer of ^^mpatlj^. 1 1
tues and amiable qualifications. This ridicule
is evidently a trans-Atlantick idea, and must
have been imbibed from the source of some
English Novel or Magazine — The American
ladies of this class, who come within our
knowledge, we know to be justly celebrated
as ornajnentsjto^society, and an honour to the
sex. . When it is considered how many of our
countrywomen are capable of the task, it is
a matter of regret that American literature
boasts so few productions from the pens of the
SELF complacency is a most necessary
acquirement — for the value of a woman will
always be commensurate to the opinion she
entertains of herself. A celebrated European
wit, in a letter to a lady, concentres much
good advice in the short rule of conduct:
" Reverence Thyself."
1 2 t\)t ^o\sizt of ^^mpatl)^.
I WAS this morning reading Swift's letter
to a very young lady, on her marriage. Al-
though this famous writer is not celebrated
for delicacy or respect towards us, yet I wish
• some of his observations contained less truth
— If you are in company, says this writer,
when the conversation turns on the manners
and customs of remote nations, or on books in
verse or prose, or on the nature and limits of
virtue and. vice, it is a shame for a lady not to
relish such discourses, not to improve by
them, and endeavour by reading and informa-
tion, to have her share in those entertain-
ments, rather than turn aside, as is the usual
custom, and consult with the woman who sits
next her, about a new cargo of fans.
HE' then descends to particulars, and insists
on the necessity of orthography. Is it not a
little hard, continues he, that not one gentle-
man's daughter in a thousand should be
t^e ^oiDtt of ^^mpatl)^. 13
brought to read or understand her own natu-
ral tongue, or be judge of the easiest books
that are written in it ; as any one may find,
who can have the patience to hear them man-
gle a Play or a Novel ?
IF there be any of your acquaintance to
whom this passage is applicable, I hope you
will recommend the study of Mr. Webster s
Grammatical Institute, as the best work in our
language to facilitate the knowledge of Gram-
mar. I cannot but think Mr. Webster in-
tended his valuable book for the benefit of his
countrywomen: For while he delivers his
rules in a pure, precise, and elegant style, he
explains his meaning by examples which are
calculated to inspire the female mind with a
thirst for emulation, and a desire of virtue.
NO subject has been more exhausted than
that of education. * Many Utopian schemes
14 t^t potoer of ^^mpatl)^.
have been delineated, and much speculation
employed. When I peruse these labours, and
am persuaded the intention of their authors is
ta^jzomote ou-F-welfare, I feel myself prompted
to a prudent and amiable demeanour ; and I
suppose every woman of reason and reflection
feels the same inclination to virtue, and the
same sensations of gratitude in reading the
works of those writers, the characteristicks of
whom, are sentiment, morality and benevo-
WHAT books do you read, my dear ? We
are now finishing Barlow s Vision of Colum-
bus, and shall begin upon DwigMs Conquest
of Canaan in a few days. It is very agreeable
to read with one, who points out the beauties
of the author as we proceed. Such a one is
Worthy. — Sometimes Mr. Holmes makes one
of our party, and his notes and references to
the ancient poets are very entertaining.
ti^ potoer of §>vmpatt)^. 15
Worthy is delighted with the ease and freedom
with which we Hve here. We have little
concerts, we walk, we ride, we read, we have
good company — this is Belleview in all its
ADIEU, my dear — I shall continue this
subject no longer, though I flatter myself you
would receive my hints with satisfaction,' be-
cause you must be persuaded I love you, and
so interest myself in your welfare — I need
not add that I think your conduct worthy of
you. You are such a good girl that I know
not in what to direct you ; for you leave me
no room for advice — continue to anticipate
the desires of my heart, and secure the high
opinion you have there obtained.
Your friend forever !
1 6 ^l)E l^oioer of §>^mpat|)^»
Mrs. Holmes to Myra.
IF the affair of your brother
and Harriot be serious, and matrimony is
really on the tapis, do not fail to make me
previously acquainted with it. — I very much
doubt the evidence of the verses — they
weigh little in my mind — and he is easily ex-
cused for sending them to so fine a girl as
YOUR observations on her dependence on
Mrs. Francis do honour to your heart — virtue
does not consist in affluence and indepen-
tlft laotoer of §>^mpatt)v» 17
dence — nor can it be reflected on us by the
glory of our connexions — those who pride
themselves on it, make but an indifferent fig-
ure ; for in the estimation of all sensible peo-
ple — true merit is personal.
HOWEVER, my dear friend, as one who
wishes for your welfare and the happiness of
your family, I advise you to discourage the
proposed connexion — and if you cannot un-
dertake this disagreeable talk with a certain of
success^ do not fail to acquaint me of it speedily.
1 8 €^t potDfr of ^^xttpuif^.
Harrington to Worthy.
WHAT ails my heart ? I feel
a void here — and yet I verge towards my
happiness — for a few days makes Harriot
mine — Myra say I had better not marry her.
What could prompt her to use such an ex-
pression ? Better not marry her. She has
repeated it several times — and with too much
eagerness — I give no heed to it — and yet,
why should it affect me in this manner? Is it
an artifice to fathom the depth of my love?
Z\)e |0otDer of g>Bmpatl)?. 19
Such schemes are my utter aversion^— it dis-
turbs me — I hate such artifice — You cannot
imagine how it touches my heart.
20 &it potoer of ^^mpW^*
Mrs. Holmes to Myra.
IT is the duty of friends to be in-
terested in all the concerns of one another —
to join in their joys and to avert the stroke of
danger. It is the duty of a centinel to give
the alarm at the approach of what he may
think such — and if the result does not prove
to be a real evil — he has but performed his
duty, and the action is meritorious.
IF your exertions to countermine the con-
nexion of your brother with Harriot should
turtle potocr of ^smpatl)?. 2 1
prove ineffectual (and do not fail to acquaint
me with it either way) I have a tale to
UNFOLD which may possibly forbid the
22 t\)t ^poiuer of ^^mpat|i^»
Harringtori to Worthy.
I FIND my temper grown ex-
tremely irritable — my sensibility is wounded
at the slightest neglect — I am very tenacious
of everything, and of everybody.
A PARTY was made yesterday to go on
the water ; I was omitted, and the neglect
hurt me. I inquired the cause, and what
think you is the answer ? "I am no company
— I am asked a question and return nothing
to the point — I am absent — I am strangely
altered within a few days — I am thinking of
2:t)e potDcr of ^vtttpatl)^« 23
a different subject when I ought to be em-
ployed in conversation — I am extravagant in
my observations — I am no company."
THEY would persuade me I am little
better than a mad man — I have no patience
with their nonsensical replies — Such wise-
acres dp not deserve my pity.
2 4 2:t)c potocr of ^^mpatl)?.
Myra to Mrs. Holmes.
YOUR letter is filled with such
ambiguous expressions that I am utterly at a
loss to discover your meaning.
I HAVE, however, sounded him on the
article of marriage, and the result is — he
loves Harriot most passionately — and on
account of my father's aversion to early mar-
riage, will marry her privately in a few days.
THE oftener 1 read your letter, the more
.1 am perplexed and astonished : " You
Z\)t poiuer of ^^mpatlj^. 25
HAVE A TALE TO UNFOLD " — For Heavcn's
sake then unfold it, before it be too late
— and as you dread the consequence of
keeping it secret, by disclosing it to me, you
will prevent the mischief, you so much depre-
cate — I am all impatience.
26 ^^t ipotoei: of ^^mpatliB.
Harrington to Worthy.
I HAVE just left Harriot — but
how have I left her ? In tears. I wish I had
not gone. Mrs. Francis had intrusted Har-
riot with some trifling commission — It was
not done — she had not had time to perform
it. Harriot was reprimanded — Yes ! by
Heaven — this Mrs. Francis had the insolence
to reprimand Harriot in my presence — I was
mortified — I walked to the window — my
heart was on fire — my blood boiled in my
veins — it is impossible to form an idea of the
disorder of my nerves — Harriot's were
Z\)t laotoer of ^^nqjatt)^* 27
equally agitated — Mrs. Francis saw our con-
fusion and retired — she left me so completely
out of temper that I was forced to follow her
example. I kissed away the tear from the
cheek of Harriot and withdrew to my (
HERE let me forget what has passed —
my irritability will not permit me — my feel-
ings are too easily set in motion to enjoy long
quietness — my nerves are delicately strung;
they are now out of tune, and it is a hard
matter to harmonize them.
I FEEL that I have a soul — and every man
of sensibility feels it within himself. I will re-
late a circumstance I met with in my late
travels through Southcarolina — I was always
susceptible of touches of nature.
I HAD often remarked a female slave pass
2 8 ^\)t )SotDer of ^^mpatl^^.
by my window to a spring to fetch water.
She had something in her air superior to
those of her situation — a fire that the damps
of slavery had not extinguished.
AS I was one day walking behind her, the
wind blew her tattered handkerchief from her
neck and exposed it to my sight. I asked
her the cause of the scar on her shoulder.
She answered composedly, and with an earn-
estness that proved she was not ashamed to
declare it — " It is the mark of the whip,"
said she, and went on with the history of it,
without my desiring her to proceed— " My
-boy, of about ten years old, was unlucky
enough to break a glass tumbler — this crime
was immediately looked into — I trembled for
the fate of my child, and was thought to be
guilty. I did not deny the charge, and was
tied up. My former good character availed
nothing. Under every affliction, we may re-
tKIje pototx of §>^mpatft^. 29
ceive consolation; and during the smart of
the whip, I rejoiced — because I shielded with
my body the lash from my child ; and I rend-
ered thanks to the Best of Beings that I was
allowed to suffer for him."
" HEROICALLY spoken ! " said I, " may
He whom you call the Best of Beings continue
you in the same sentiments — may thy soul
be ever disposed to _ sympathize with thy
children, and with thy brethren and sisters in
calamity — then shalt thou feel every circum-
stance of thy life afford the satisfaction ; and
repining and melancholy shall fly from thy
bosom — all thy labours will become easy —
all thy burdens light, and the yoke of slavery
will never gall thy neck."
I WAS sensibly relieved as I pronounced
these words, and I felt my heart glow with
feelings of exquisite delight, as I anticipated
30 23)0 jaotoer of g>^mpatl)iJ»
the happy time when the sighs of the slave
shall no longer expire in the air of freedom.
What delightful sensations are those in which
the heart is interested! In which it stoops to
enter into the little concerns of the most re-
mote ramification of Nature ! Let the vain,
the giddy, and the proud pass on without
deigning to notice them — let them cheat
themselves of happiness — these are circum-
stances which are important only to a senti-
HAIL sensibility 1 Sweetener of the joys
of life ! Heaven has implanted thee in the
breasts of his children — to soothe the sor-
rows of the afiflicted — to mitigate the wounds
of the stranger who falleth in our way. Thou
regardest with an eye of pity, those whom
wealth and ambition treat in terms of reproach.
Away, ye seekers of power — ye boasters of
wealth — ye are the Levite and the Pharisee,
®l)e potoer of §)^mpatl)^, 31
who restrain the hand of charity from the in-
digent, and turn with indignation from the
way-worn son of misery : — But Sensibility is
the good Samaritan, who taketh him by the
hand, and. consoleth him, and poureth wine
and oil into his wounds. Thou art a pleas-
ant companion — a grateful friend — and a
neighbour to those who are destitute of shel-
FROM thee! Author of Nature! from]
thee, thou inexhaustible spring of love su-
preme, floweth this tide of affection and sym-
pathy — thou whose tender care extendeth to
the least of thy creatures — and whose eye is
not inattentive even though a sparrow fall to i
32 t\)t poiner of gj^mpatli^.
Mrs. Holmes to Myra.
Belleview, 1 2 d clock at night.
I CANNOT rest — this affair
lies so heavy on my mind, that sleep flies
from my eye-lids. Your brother must discon-
tinue his addresses to Harriot — with what
should I not have to upbraid myself, if, through
my remissness — your brother marries his
sister ! GREAT God ! of what materials hast
thou compounded the hearts of thy creatures !
admire, O, my friend! the operation of NA-
TURE— and the power of SYMPATHY !
tf)e potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 33
HarriotlS YOUR SISTER! I dispatch
the bearer at this late hour to confide in your
bosom the important secret !
34 ^bt potocr of ^^mpatl)^.
Myra to Mrs. Holmes.
ACCEPT my warmest acknowl-
edgment, my good friend, for your kindness.
— Your letter sufficiently explains your
former anxiety — it has removed all ambi-
YOUR servant entered hastily with the
letter — and gave it me with evident tokens
of its containing a matter of importance. —
My father was present — I broke it open, not
without agitation — I read it — but the shock
was too severe — it fell from my hands, and I
sunk into the chair.
t^t poiuer of S>^mpatt)^. 35
MY fainting was not of any duration. I
opened my eyes and found my father support-
ing me — but the idea of Harriot was still
engraven deeply in my heart. — I inquired
for my sister — the tear rolled down his
cheek— it was a sufficient answer to my in-
quiry. — He said nothing — there was no ne-
cessity of his saying a word.
COULD I ask him to explain your letter?
No — my heart anticipated his feelings — the
impropriety struck me at once. " You have a
tale to unfold." Do not delay to unfold it.
36 Z\)t J3otoer of ^^mpatl)?.
Mrs. Holmes to Myra.
I READILY undertake to give
you a sketch of the history of Harriot. Her
mother's name was Maria Fawcet; her per-
son I yet recollect, and forgive me if I drop a
tear of pity at the recital of her misfortunes.
MY mother and Mrs. Holmes were remark-
able friends, and the intimacy, you know, was
maintained between the two families. I was
on a visit with my mother when the destiny
of Maria led her to Belleview. I was fre-
ti)t |0otoer of g>^mpatl))?. 37
quently there during her illness — and was
with her in her last moments.
IT was the custom of Mrs. Holmes to walk
in the garden towards the close of the day.
She was once indulging her usual walk, when
she was alarmed by the complaints of a
woman which came from the road. Pity and
humanity were ever peculiar characteristicks
of my amiable parent — She hastened to the
place whence the sound issued, and beheld a
young woman, bathed in tears sitting on the
ground. She inquired the cause of her dis-
tress, with that eager solicitude to relieve,
which a sight so uncommon would naturally
occasion. It was sometime before the dis-
tressed woman could return an intelligible
answer, and then she with difficulty pro-
ceeded : " Your goodness. Madam, is unmer-
ited — you behold a stranger, without home
— without friends — and whose misery bears
38 Z\)t ^Botoet: of ^^mpatl)^.
her down to an untimely grave — Life is a
blessing — but my life is become burthen-
some, and were the Almighty this moment to
command me to the world of spirits, methinks
I could gladly obey the summons, and rejoice
in the stroke which bade me depart from sor-
row and the world." Moderate your grief,
my dear woman, repine not at the will of
Providence, nor suffer yourself to despair,
however severe your misfortunes.
THE unfortunate woman was at length
prevailed on to accompany Mrs. Holmes into
the house, she partook of some refreshment
and retired to sleep. In a few days she
appeared to be better ; but it was a tem-
porary recovery ; she then told her story,
with frequent interruptions, in substance as
follows : —
t\)z |0otDcr of ^SJKpatl)^. 39
J^istor^ of sparta.
" I DATE the rise of my misfor-
tunes, "said Maria, " at the beginning of my
acquaintance with the Honourable Mr. Har-
rington. — But for his soHcitations I might
still have lived in peace — a sister would not
have had occasion to blush at the sound of my
name — nor had a mother's pillow been
steeped in tears, too fondly prone to remem-
ber a graceless but repenting child — We
lived happily together in the days of my
father, but when it pleased Providence to re-
move him, we no longer asserted our preten-
sions to that rank of life which our straitened
finances were unable to continue. — A young
woman in no eligible circumstances, has much
to apprehend from the solicitations of a man
of affluence. I am now better persuaded of
40 t\)t laotDer of g)^mpatl)?.
this truth, than I ever was before — for this
was my unhappy situation — I always enter-
tained a predilection for Mr. Harrington —
he urged his passion with protestations of
sincerity and affection — he found my heart
too slightly guarded — he strove — he tri-
MUST I proceed!
"A SMILING female was the offspring
of our illicit connexion — Ah ! my little Har-
riot ! " continued Maria, as she wiped away a
tear from her eye, " mayest thou enjoy that
happiness which is denied to thy mother."
" OUR amour was not fated to last long —
I discovered his gay temper to be materially
altered — he was oftentimes thoughtful and
melancholy, and his visits became suddenly
shorter, and less frequent.
&)t potDer of ^^mpatl)^. 41
" I AFTERWARDS thought this change
of conduct owing to jealousy — for he once
asked me if a gentleman had called upon me
— I persisted — I persisted in avowing my
abhorrence of his ungenerous suspicion — He
left me abruptly, and I saw nothing of him
"A STROKE so unexpected fell heavy on
my heart — it awakened me to the state of
misery into which my imprudence had hurried
me. — What recompense could I expect from
my Seducer ? — He had been married two
years — From the inflexibility of his temper I
had little to hope, and I formed a determina-
tion of leaving town, for I had now indubi-
table testimony of his affection being es-
tranged from me — half frantick, I immedi-
ately set out — but whither I knew not — I
walked with precipitation until Providence
directed me to your hospitable door: To
42 ^Ije IBotuei: of ^^mpatt)^.
your goodness, Madam, I am indebted for pro-
longing my existence a/^w days: For amidst
the kindness and civilities of those around me,
I feel myself rapidly verging towards the
grave. I prepare myself for my approaching
fate — and daily wait the stroke of death with
SHE wrote to Mr. Harrington about a
week before her decease — I transcribe the
Letter : —
" The Hon. Mr. Harrington.
"To the man for whom my bleeding
heart yet retains its wonted affection, though
the author of my guilt and misery, do I ad-
dress my feeble complaint — O ! Harrington^
I am verging to a long eternity — and it is
with difficulty I support myself while my
trembling hand traces the dictates of my
heart. Indisposed as I am — and unable as I
feel to prosecute this talk — I however collect
all my powers to bid you a long — a final fare-
" OH ! Harrington, I am about to depart
— for why should I tarry here ? In bitter
tears of sorrow do I weep away the night,
and the returning day but augments the an-
guish of my heart, by recalling to view the sad
sight of my misfortunes. And have I not
cause for this severe anguish, at once sorrow
and disgrace of my family ? — Alas ! my poor
mother ! — Death shall expiate the crime of
thy daughter, nor longer raise the blush of
indignation on thy glowing cheek. — Ought
I not, therefore, to welcome the hand of
"But what will become of my poor helpless
infant, when its mother lies forgotten in the
44 tK^ie ipotoer of ^rntpatl)^*
grave ? Wilt thou direct its feet in the path
of virtue and rectitude? Wilt thou shelter it
from the rude blasts of penury and want ? —
Open your heart to the solicitude of a mother
— of a mother agoni^ng for the future wel-
fare of her child. Let me intreat you to per-
form this request — by the love which you
professed for thy Maria — by her life which
you have sacrificed.
" AND wilt thou not drop a tear of pity in
the grave of thy Maria ? — I know thy soul
is the soul of sensibility ; but my departure
shall not grieve thee — no, my Harrington,
it shall not wrest a sigh from thy bosom —
rather let me live, and defy the malice and
misery of the world — But can tenderness —
can love atone for the sacrifices I have made.''
-^ Will it blot out my errours from the book
of memory ? Will love be an excuse for my
crime, or hide me from the eye of the malig-
^\)e potocr of g>^tni)atl)^« 45
nant — No, my Harrington, it will not. The
passion is unwarrantable. Be it thine, gentle
Amelia — be it thine to check the obtruding
sigh, and wipe away the tear from his face —
for thou art his wife, and thy soul is the seat
of compassion — But — for me —
" Farewel — farewel forever !
SHE survived but a short time —
and frequently expressed a concern for the
child — hut Mrs. Holmes quieted her fears by
promising to protect it. She accordingly
made inquiry after it — and it is the same
Harriot who was educated by her order, and
whom she afterwards placed in the family of
The assurances of my mother were like
46 Z\)t poiDtt: of ^^mpatl)?,
balm to the broken hearted Maria — "I shall
now," said she " die in peace."
THE following is a copy of a letter written
by the Rev. Mr. Holmes to the Hon. Mr. ,
Harrington : —
" WE have, a scene of distress at
our house peculiarly pathetic k and affecting,
and of which you, perhaps, are the sole au-
thor — You have had a criminal connexion
with Miss Fawcet — you have turned her
upon the world inhumanly — but chance —
rather let me say Providence, hath directed
her footsteps to my dwelling, where she is
kindly entertained, and will be so, as long as
she remains in this wilderness world, which is
to be, I fear, but a short time — And shall
t.\)t poiurr of S>^mpatl)^. 47
she not, though she hath been decoyed from
the road that leadeth to peace, long Hfe, and
happiness — shall she not, if she return with
tears of repentance and contrition, be entitled
to our love and charity? Yes — this is my
doctrine — If I behold any child of human
nature distressed and forlorn, and in real want
of the necessities of life, must I restrain or
withhold the hand of charity — must I cease
to recall the departing spirit of them that are
ready to perish, until I make diligent inquiry
into their circumstances and character ?
Surely, my friend, it is a duty incumbent on
us by the ties of humanity and fellow-feeling,
and by the duty imposed on us by our holy
religion, equally to extend the hand of relief
to fls// ^Ae necessitous — however they may be
circumstanced in the great family of mankind.
"THE crime of Maria is not the blackest
in the annals of human turpitude ; but how-
48 ^\)t potoer of g>^mpatti^,
ever guilty she might have been, the tears of
penitence do certainly make atonement there-
"THUS much have I thought proper to
say in vindication of my conduct — in shelter-
ing under my roof a poor wanderer — who
hath strayed, but not wantonly, and who hath
now happily returned.
"ONE would imagine, there was little nec-
essity of making such a vindication to you ;
but my sentiments always flow from the
abundance of my heart, and I am willing the
whole world should judge of those which in-
fluence my conduct. — Now, though some
men, whose charity is contracted, and who
may be denominated prudes in virtue, might
deem wrongfully of my attention to the cal-
amity of this frail woman yet let me appeal
to the hearts and understandings of all men,
Z\)t poiucr of §>?mpatl)i?, 49
and these in particular, if I have erred,
whether it be not an errour on the side of
humanity. Would to God such amiable
errours were more frequent! — In as much,
my friend, as there is joy in Heaven over one
sinner that repenteth, I may say with assur-
ance that I have felt an emanation of this
heavenly joy animate my heart, in beholding
this woman delighting to steer her course
" FROM the unhappy condition of Maria,
I have been led to reflect on the mischievous
tendency of SEDUCTION. Methinks I
view the distressing picture in all its horrid
colours : —
"BEHOLD the youthful virgin arrayed in
all the delightful charms of vivacity, modesty
and sprightliness. — Behold even while she is
rising in beauty and dignity, like a lily of the
50 t^t potoei: of ^^mpatti^.
valley, in the full blossom of her graces, she
is cut off suddenly by the rude hand of the
Seducer. Unacquainted with his baseness
and treachery, and. too ready to repose confi-
dence in him — she is deluded by the prom-
ises and flattery of the man who professes
the greatest love and tenderness for her wel-
fare : —
" BUT did she understand the secret vil-
lainy of his intentions — would she appear
thus elate and joyous ? Would she assent to
her ruin ? Would she subscribe her name to
the catalogue of infamy ? Would she kiss
the hand of the atrocious dastard, already
raised to give the final wound to her reputa-
tion and peace ?
" O ! WHY is there not an adequate pun-
ishmeWt for this crime, when that of a com-
tETlje poiDer of ^^mpatlj^. 51
mon traitor is marked with its deserved iniq-
uity and abhorrence !
"IS it necessary to depicture the state of
this deluded young, creature after her fall
from virtue ? Stung with remorse, and fran-
tick with despair, does she not fly from the
face of day, and secrete her conscious head in
the bosom of eternal forgetfulness ? Melan-
choly and guilt transfix her heart, and she
sighs out her miserable existence — the prey
of poverty, ignominy and reproach ! Lost
to the world, to her friends, and to herself,
she blesses the approach of death in whatever
shape he may appear, and terminates a life,
no longer a blessing to its possessor, or a joy
to those around her.
'•BEHOLD her stretched upon the mourn-
ful bier ! — Behold her silently descend to the
grave ! Soon the wild weeds spring afresh
52 Z\)t potoer of ^^mpatl)^.
round the /i^^k hillock, as if to shelter the
remains of betrayed innocence — and the
friends of her youth shun even the spot which
conceals her relicks.
" SUCH is the consequence of SEDUC-
TION, but it is not the only consequence.
Peace and happiness fly from the nuptial
couch which is unattended by love and fidelity.
The mind no longer enjoys its quiet, while it
ceases to cherish sentiments of truth and
gratitude. The sacred ties of connubial duty
are not to be violated with impunity; for
though a violation of those ties may be over-
looked by the eye of justice, the heart shall
supply a monitor, who will not fail to correct
those who are hardy enough to burst them
asunder. I am &c.
" W. Holmes."
®l)e potoer of ^^mpatti^, 53
TO this Letter, Mr. Harrington returned
the following answer.
Hmi. Mr. Harrington to the Rev. Mr.
" PERMIT me, my ever honoured friend,
to return you thanks for your late favours —
need I add — an acknowledgement for your
liberality ? No — your heart supplies a source
of pleasure which is constantly nourished by
your goodness and universal charity. —
"THE picture you have exhibited of a
ruined fernale is undoubtedly just, but that
the rude spoiler has his share of remorse is
equally so — The conclusion of your letter is
a real picture of the situation of my heart.
" PERHAPS you were always ignorant of
the real motives that influenced me, and gave
54 t\)e poiner of §»^mpatl)^.
a particular bias to my conduct. — At an
early period of my life, I adopted a maxim,
that ^^e most necessary learning was a knowl-
edge of the worlds the pursuit of which, quad- '
rating with a volatility of disposition, pre- \
sented a variety of scenes to my heated im-
agination. The eclat of my companions grat-
ifying my vanity and increasing the gale of
passion, I became insensibly hurried down
the stream of dissipation. Here I saw man-
kind in every point of view — from* the acme
of the most consummate refinement, to the
most abject stage of degradation. I soon be-
came a ready proficient in the great school of
the world — but an alteration of conduct was
soon after necessary — I was compelled to it,
not so much from the world's abhorrence of a
dissolute course of life, as the dictates of my
own heart. — It was, indeed, my policy to
flatter the world, and exhibit a fair outside —
for I was in love with Amelia — My licentious
t\)t pototi: ot ^^mpatl)^. 55
amour with Maria was secret — she was
affectionate and tender — her manners were
pleasing, but still I was unhappy. —
"MY CAREER of dissipation, however
alluring it struck my vitiated fancy, left little
satisfaction on the mind — R.eflection had its
turn — and the happiness I had promised my-
self in connexion with the amiable Amelia^
I fully enjoyed in our marriage. A course of
uninterrupted tranquillity ensued, but it was
of short duration. The volatility of myi
temper, and the solicitude of my old associ-
ates, induced me at subsequent periods to fall
into my old vagaries. The taverns frequently
found me engaged in meannesses derogatory
to the character of a gentleman. These
things I perceived affected the soul of Amelia
— she was all meekness, gentleness and com-
passion, and she never once upbraided me
with my illiberal conduct ;
56 ti)t potoer of §>^mpatt)i?.
But let concealment, like a worm in bud,
Feed on her .damask cheek.
" BLESSED be that Power who has im-
planted within us that consciousness of re^
proach, which springs from gentleness andi
love! — Hail sensibility! Ye eloquent ^ears
of beauty ! that add dignity to human nature
by correcting its foibles — it was these that
corrected my faults when recrimination
would have failed of success — it was these
that opened every avenue of contrition in my
heart, when words would have damned up
every sluice of repentance.
"IT was now I appeared fully sensible
that my conduct had hitherto been a course
of disorder, and that systems of reformation,
however well planned, had been overturned
by the breath of adulation, before they had
been thoroughly carried into execution —
that I had been drifting upon a sea of incon-
ttje |0oiDcr of ^^mpatl))?, 57
sistency, without exercising my judgement;
like a ship without a rudder, buffeted on the
bosom of the ocean, the sport of winds and
"THE criminaHty of my connexion with
Maria appeared with the most aggravated
circumstances ; it sturig me with remorse —
and I instantly determined, however severe
the conflict, to tear her from my bosom — to
see her no more. — But how was I to inform
her of it.'' — In what manner was I to bring
about such a talk ? — Maria must be sacrificed
to the happiness of Amelia. This was all I
had to perform — it was a short lesson, but
it was a hard one for me to execute.
" WITH this determination, however, I
entered the apartment of Maria — Duty to
Amelia and gratitude to Maria interchange-
ably agitated me — the contention was dubi-
58 t\)t ^oixitt of §>Bmpat^^.
ous — but duty prevailed, and I adhered to
my former resolution — yet how was I to tell
her ^Azs would be the last visit ? — Conscious
she had ever acted in conformity to my
wishes — how could I accuse her, without
accusing myself ? — I threw out a few incon-
siderate and ungrateful hints of jealousy, and
left the room abruptly. The feelings of
Maria must have been injured — but how-
ever her sensibility was affected, mine was
doubly so ; I felt for her — I felt for our in-
fant, and these feelings were added to the
afflictions which had already burst upon my
devoted head. A few days consideration,
however, convinced me of the impropriety
and ingratitude of my behaviour to Maria —
I hastened to tell her of it — to place her in a
situation that should screen her from penury
and malice — and to make provision for the
child — but she was not to be found. I was
informed that she had suddenly disappeared,
^t)0 potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 59
and that a countryman had, by her order,
called and taken away the child but a few-
hours before. This information burst upon
my head like the voice of sudden thunder — I
stood motionless, but my agitation was too
violent to be of any long duration. —
" A natural tear I shed but wip'd it soon."
•'IT was your goodness, and the humanity
of your family, that sheltered the wretched
Maria, and provided for the helpless Harriot
— Your feelings are your reward.
" FROM all the variegated scenes of my
past life, I daily learn some new lesson of
humanity. Experience hath been my tutor —
I now take a retrospect of my past conduct
with deliberation, but not without some seri-
ous reflection. Like a sailor, escaped from
shipwreck, who sits safely on the shore and
views the horrours of the tempest; but as
6o Z\)t potoer of ^^mpatlj^.
the gale subsides, and the waves hide their
heads in the bosom of the deep, he beholds
with greater concern the mischief of the
storm, and the dangers he hath escaped.
From what innate principle does this arise,
but from God within the mhzd ! — I assert it
for the honour of human nature, that no man,
however dissolute, but comes back to the
hour of reflection and solemn thoughtfulness
— when the actions that are passed return
upon the mind, and this internal monitor sits
in judgment upon them, and gives her verdict
of approbation or dislike.
"HE who listens to its call, views his char-
acter in its proper light. — I have attended to
its cry, and I see my deformity — I recall my
mispent time, but . in vain — I reflect on the
misery of Maria, and I curse my temerity —
I reflect on the state into which I have
plunged a once happy female, and am eager
t-^t potDcr of ^^ntpatl)?. 6i
to apply a speedy remedy, but this is vain
also : Can I restore her that virtue — that
innocence — that peace, of which I have un-
manfully robbed her ? — Let us leave the mel-
ancholy subject. —
" I WILL not so far supercede the fruit of
your benevolence, as to presume to offer you
any other recompense, than my sincere pray-
ers for your happiness.
" I have the honour to be,
" With respect,
" Yours &c.
" J. Harrington."
THE disorder of Maria was fatal
and rapid — but I hasten to the last scene of
her life — it has, though I was young, made
an impression on my mind that time can not
efface. I went to her, as she was seated on
62 tirijc l^oloitt of ^^mpatl)^.
the bed — virtue and harmony were blended
in her aspect — she was serene and composed
— and her mein, while it expressed a con-
sciousness of superior worth and dignity, ex-
hibited in our view, a striking picture of the
grandeur of the human soul — patient though
afiflicted. — of a spirit broken, and borne down
by severe distress, yet striving to surmount
all, and aspire to heaven. In what words
shall I paint to you, my dear Myra, her hero-
ism and greatness of mind? " Weep not for
me," said she, perceiving my emotion —
" Death has nothing shocking to me — I have
familiarized myself to his terrours — I feel the
gradual decay of mortality ; and waiting with
confidence in the Father of Mercy, I am pre-
pared to resign this mortal breath — I resign it
in firm assurance of the soul's blessed immor- '
tality — Death I view as freeing me from a.
world which has lost its reHsh — as opening
new scenes of happiness — But a few mo-
Zf)t potDfi; of g)^mpatl)p. 63
ments," continued she, clasping my hand,
"and the scene of Hfe is closed forever —
Heaven opens on my soul — I go where all
tears shall be wiped away — I welcome death
as the angel of peace." — She uttered these
words with a placid smile of resignation —
her head sunk down on the pillow — and the
next minute she was an angel.
"SOUL of the universe!" exclaimed my
father-in-law — "there flew the gentlest spirit
that ever animated human dust — Great were
thy temptations — sincere thy repentance.
If some human infirmity fell to thy lot, thy
tears, dear shade, have washed out thy guilt
forever ! "
64 tl^t potoer of ^^mpatl)^.
Mrs. Holmes to Myra.
HAVING presented you with
several observations on Seduction, I think it
will not be mal apropos to consider the ques-
tion in another point of view, and discover
how a woman may be accessary to her own
ruin — It is hardly worth while to contend
about the difference between the meaning of
the terms accessary 2X\.di principal. The differ-
ence, in fact, is small ; but when a woman, by
her imprudence, exposes herself, she is acces-
sary ; for though her heart may be pure, her
conduct is a tacit invitation to the Seducer.
€})t ^oiatt of ^smpatl)^* 65
EDUCATED in the school of luxury and
pride, the female heart grows gradually torpid
to the fine feelings of sensibility — the blush
of modesty wears off — the charms of elegant
simplicity fade by degrees — a,nd the continual
hurry of dissipation, supersedes the improve-
ment of serious reflection. Reflection is a
kind of relaxation from frolicking — it encour-
ages the progress of virtue, and upholds the
heart from sinking to depravity.
WE may lay it down as a principle, that
^Aa^ conduct which will bear the test of reflec-
tion, and which creates a pleasure in the mind
from a consciousness of acting right, is virtu-
ous: And she whose conduct will not bear
this test, is necessarily degenerating, and she
is assenting to her destruction.
LET a lady be liberal or even magnificent,
according to her circumstances or situation in
66 t^e :potoer of ^^ntpatlj^.
life ; but let the heart remain uncorrupt, let
her not be contaminated by wealth, ambition
or splendour. She may then take a happy
retrospect of her conduct — her heart cannot
upbraid her — and the suffrage of her own
mind is a convincing proof that she has not
strayed from the path of virtue.
j^APPY they who can thus reflect — who
can recall to view the scenes that are past,
and behold their actions with reiterated satis-
faction — they become ambitious of excelling
in everything virtuous, because they are cer-
tain of securing a continual reward; For as a
mighty river fertilizes the country through
which it passes and increases in magnitude
and force until it empty itself into the ocean:
So virtue fertilizes or improves the heart, and
gathers strength and vigour by continual pro-
gression, until it centre in the consummation
of its desires.
tCtjc l^otoer of ^^mpatlj^. 67
DAZZLED by the -glitter of splendour,
and unmindful of the real charms of economy
and simplicity, the female heart sighs for the
enjoyment of fashion, and flutters to join the
motely train of pleasure. But how is it de-
luded by empty deceptions ! Like the fruit
which sprang up in the infernal regions, beau-
tiful to the eye, but which left upon the taste
bitter ashes, and was followed by repentance
— A great quantity of this kind of fruit pre-
sents itself to my rashly judging sex; and it
'frequently happens that their hearts have as
little iftclination to resist the temptation, as
our general parent to refuse the fatal apple.
WE do not rouse to our aid fortitude to
enable us to surmount the temptation, but
yield ourselves to a kind of voluntary slavery.
Hence it is observable, that a woman is often
unhappy in the midst of pleasures — and pet-
ulant without cause — that she is trifling in
68 t\)t poiuer of §)^mpatljp.
matters of the highest importance; and the
most momentous concern is considered futile,
as whim and caprice may chance to dictate.
THE progress of female luxury, however
slow it may appear, unless timely checked,
works with infallible and destructive advances.
The rule we at first adopted might perhaps
answer this check ; for by the examination
thus recommended we behold the dangers
of a continuation of such conduct — Ruin and
contempt, the invariable concommitants of
vice and immorality, proclaim their denuncia-
tions on a prosecution of it.
LET us examine the gradual steps, and the
I consequences of feraale luxury. — A desire to
1 be admired is the first. Behold a woman
; surrounded by her worshippers, receiving the
sacrifice of adulation — what was given her at
first as compliment, she now demands as her
t})t |9otoer of ^^mpatti^* 69
due. She finds herself disappointed, and is
mortified. The first desire still predominat-
ing, she attaches herself to the votaries of
pride, who direct their feet in the paths of
extravagance and irreligion. Thus sunk into
effeminacy and meanness, she forfeits her vir-
tue rather than her pride. Thus terminates
the career of a woman, whose mind is debili-
tated, and whose life is expended in the pur-
suit of vanity.
IT is said of some species of American ser-
pents, that they have the power of charming
birds and small animals, which they destine
for their prey. The serpent is stretched un-
derneath a tree — it looks steadfastly on the -
bird — their eyes meet to separate no more —
the charm begins to operate — the fascinated
bird flutters and hops from limb to limb, till
unable any longer to extend its wings, it falls
into the voracious jaws of its en^my : This is
70 tl)t |0ofcD0r of ^^mpatt)^.
no ill emblem of the fascinating power of
pleasure. Surrounded with temptation, and
embarrassed in her circumstances, a woman of
dissipation becomes less tenacious of her hon-
our — and falls an easy prey to the fascinat-
ing power of the seducer.
HAVING traced to you, my dear Myra,
the rise, advancement and termination of
pleasure and pride in the female heart, it
appears almost unnecessary to remark that
this conduct cannot bear the test of reflection
and serious examination. We may, however,
observe on the contrary, that a woman who
advances a few steps, often hurries on still
further to prevent thought. This bars the
way to a return to that conduct which can
give pleasure on recollection. She behaves to
herself as the populace did formerly to women
suspected of witchcraft — they were tied neck
and heels and thrown into the river ; if they
t\ft potoei- of ^^mpatl)^. 71
swam they were hung for witches — if they
sank they were acquitted of the crime, but
were drowned in the experiment : So when
we only suspect our hearts of an errour, we
plunge still deeper into the sea of dissipation,
to prevent the trial of that conduct which
impartial reason and judgement would ap-
NOTWITHSTANDING I give this in-
stance of an encouragement for virtue ; yet in
all those I have mentioned is a woman acces-
sary to her ruin.
DO not imagine, my dear Myra, that I
mean to argue against all pleasure -^ Many
of us set out on a principle of false delicacy
and destructive rivalship ; we cannot behold
a fine woman without wishing to appear
finer. A laudable emulation in the conduct
of all women is extremely praiseworthy — it
72 t^e ^ofcoer of gj^mpatlii?,
stimulates them in line of their duty — in-
creases vivacity and good humour; and am-
bition, thus directed and pursued, I beg leave
to designate a female virtue, because it is pro-
ductive of the most happy consequences.
BUT it sometimes happens that particular
virtues lose themselves in their neighbour-
ing vices, and this laudable emulation degen-
erates into destructive rivalship.
A GENTEEL, handsome woman, deser-
vedly shares the esteem and admiration of all
men ; but why should this esteem and admira-
tion, justly paid to merit, give us disquiet ?
The answer is ready. That desire to be ad-
mired so predominant in all females, by de-
grees works itself into the ruling passion, and
precludes from the mind the particular virtue
of emulation ; for why a woman who merits
the love of the world, should draw on her the
^\}t potoet of ^^mpatl)^, 73
disapprobation of many of her own sex, can
be accounted for, by no other principle, than
the mean, pitiful passion of envy.
THIS may possibly give rise to defamation.
It is astonishing how this practice prevails
among a./ew persons — because it is known
by experience, to prove subversive of its very
intention. — The arrows of envy recoil upon
HOW foolish must that woman appear
who depreciates the merit of another, that
she may appear unrivalled ! She raises up
the dykes of ill-nature, and inundates the
land with a flood of scandal, but unhappily
drowns herself in the event.
I LEAVE it to the result of your observa-
tion, my dear Myra, whether the woman who
is first to develope her stores of defamation,
74 ^t)f |0otoer of ^^mpatlj^.
and through false emulation, the first to tra-
duce a woman of real merit and virtue, is not
also the first who becomes a scandal to her-
self, and consequently the first that is con-
HOW opposite are the pursuits and re-
wards of her who . participates in every ra-
tional enjoyment of life, without mixing in
those scenes of indiscretion which give pain
on recollection! — Whose chymical genius
leads her to extract the poison from the most
luxuriant flowers, and to draw honey even
from the weeds of society. She mixes with
the world seemingly indiscriminately — and
because she would secure to herself that satis-
faction which arises from a consciousness of
acting right, she views her conduct with an
eye of scrutiny. Though her temper is free
and unrestrained, her heart is previously se-
cured by the precepts of prudence — for pru-
fflje potoer of §>^mpatl)y, 75
dence is but another name for virtue. Her
manners are unruffled, and her disposition
calm, temperate and dispassionate, however
she may be surrounded by the temptations of
76 t^e ^Botoer of §»smpatl)^.
Harrington to Worthy.
PRAY that the sun of Thurs-
day may rise propitious — that it may gild
the face of nature with joy. It is the day that
beholds thy friend united in the indissoluble
banns of Hymen.
Let this auspicious day be ever sacred,
No mourning, no misfortune happen on it ;
Let it be marked for triumphs and rejoicings.
Let happy lovers even keep it holy,
Choose it to bless their hopes and crown their
t^t ^(tiatt of g>^mpatl)y. 77
IT is the day that gives me Harriot for-
78 tlTlje pototr of ^^mpat^i^.
The Hon. Mr. Harrington to the
Rev. Mr. Holmes.
YOU very well know of my
amour with Maria, and that a daughter was
the offspring of that illicit connexion — that
sixteen years have elasped since, by your
goodness, she has lived with Mrs. Francis,.
and let me add, daily improving in beauty and
every amiable accomplishment — but how
shall we be able — how shall we pretend to
investigate the great springs by which we
are actuated, or account for the operation of,
SYMPATHY/ — my son, who has been at home
s t\)e potoer of ^^mpatlj^. 79
about eight weeks, has accidentally seen her,
and to complete the triumph of nature —
has loved her. He is now even upon the
point of marrying — shall I proceed ! — of mar-
rying his Sister! — A circumstance seem-
ingly fortuitous has discovered this impor-
tant affair — I fly to prevent incest — Do not
upbraid me with being author of my own
misfortunes. — "This comes of your libertin-
ism," you will say, " this comes of your adul-
tery!" — Spare your reflections, my friend —
my heart is monitor enough — I am strangely
8o tift potDcr of ^^mjpatl)]J.
TAe Hon. Mr. Harrington to the
Rev. Mr. Holmes.
MY heart failed me ! twenty
times have I attempted to break the matter to
my son — and twenty times have I returned
frorh the talk — I have a friend to acquaint him
how nearly connected he already is with the
object of his love. This is a new, and to me
a sorrowful instance of the force of sympathy
— My grief is insupportable — my affliction
is greater than I can bear — it will bring
down my grey hairs with sorrow to the
t^t IpotDcr of ^^mpatl))?. 8i
Harrington to Worthy.
ALL my airy schemes of love
and happiness are vanished Hke a dream.
Read this, and pity your unfortunate friend.
To Mr. T. Harrington :
"YOU are about to marry a young
lady of great beauty and accomplishments —
I beg you to bestow a few serious thoughts
on this important business — Let me claim
your attention, while -I disclose an affair,
which materially concerns you — Harriot
82 tlTljE poijytt of ^^mpatl)^.
must not be your wife — You know your
father is averse to your early connecting your-
self in marriage with any woman — The duty
we owe a parent is sacred, but this is not the
only barrier to your marriage — the ties of
consanguinity prevent it — Shciis your SIS-
TER — Your father, or Miss Harrington,
will inform you more particularly — It is suffi-
cient for me to have hinted it in time. — I am,
with the most perfect esteem, and sincere
wishes for your happiness, your
" Unknown friend, &c."
THE gloom of melancholy in
the faces of the family but too well corrobora-
ted this intelligence — so I asked no ques-
tions — they read in my countenance that I
had received the letter, and my sister put into
my hand The History of Maria. — I con-
t\}t potoer of §>^mpatt)^. 83
cealed my emotion while I read the account
— " It is a pitiful tale," said I, as I returned it
: — and walked out of the room to give vent
to the agitation of my heart.
I HAVE not yet seen Harriot — Myra
has run to greet her with the new title of sis-
ter. Adieu ! my friend — little happiness is
left for me in this world.
84 t\)t potoer of ^^mpatl)^.
Myra to Mrs. Hohnes.
IN what words shall I describe
to you, my dear friend, the misery that has
suddenly overwhelmed us ! It is impossible to
communicate the distressed situation of Har-
riot — Expression is inadequate to give you
an idea of our meeting. — I called her my
friend — my sister — She always loved me —
, but joy and affection gave way to passion —
Her speech refused its office —
Sorrow in all its pomp was there,
Mute and magnificent without a tear.
SHE had gained a sister — she had lost a
t\)t |0otoer of ^^mpatliB. 85
lover — a burst of joy would suddenly break
from her, but it was of short duration — and
was succeeded by pangs of exquisite distress
— nature was unable to support it, and she
fainted under the weight of severe conflict.
Her constitution at best is feeble; her present
illness is therefore attended with more danger
— Unless a speedy alteration should take
place, the physician has little hopes of her re-
covery. — Heaven preserve us !
86 t\)t potoer of §>?tnpatl)^.
Harrington to Worthy.
I HAVE seen her — I prest
her to my heart — I called her my Love —
my Sister. The tenderness and sorrow were
in her eyes — How am I guilty, my friend —
How is this transport a crime ? My love is
the most pure, the most holy — Harriot be-
held me with tears of the most tender affec-
tion — " Why," said she, " why, my friend, my
dear Harrington, have I loved ! but in what
manner have I been culpable? How was I to
KNOW YOU WERE MY BrOTHER ? YcS ! I
might have known it — how else could you
Z^t potoer of ^^mpatlj?. 87
have been so kind — so tender — so affection-
ate ! " — Here was all the horrour of conflict-
ing passions, expressed by gloomy silence —
by stifled cries — by convulsions — by sudden
floods of tears — The scene was too much for
my heart to bear — I bade her adieu — my
heart was breaking — I tore myself' from her
WHAT is human happiness? The prize
for which all strive, and so few obtain ; the
more eagerly we pursue it, the farther we
stray from the object ; Wherefore I have de-
termined within myself that we increase in
misery as we increase in age — and if there
are any happy days they are those of thought-
I THEN viewed the world at a distance in
perspective. I thought rjiankind appeared
happy in the midst of pleasures that flowed
88 t\)t potDcr of §>smpatt)B.
round them. I who find it a deception, and
am tempted sometimes to wish myself a child
again. Happy are the dreams of infancy, and
happy their harmless pursuits ! I saw the
ignis fatuus^ and have been running after it,
and now I return from the search. I return
and bring back disappointment. As I reflect
on these scenes of infantine ignorance, I feel
my heart interested, and become sensibly
affected — and however futile these feelings
may appear as I communicate them to you —
they are feelings, I venture to assert, which
every one must have experienced who is pos-
sessed of a heart of sensibility.
t\)e potoer of ^^m^atlj^. 89
Harrington to Worthy.
I NO longer receive satisfaction
■fronn the enjoyments of the world — society is
distasteful to me — my favorite authors I have
entirely relinquished — In vain I try to forget
myself, or seek for consolation — my repose is
interrupted by distressing visions of the night
— my thoughts are broken — I cannot even
HARRIOT is very weak — there is no
hope of her life.
90 Z^t |0otDer of g>^mpatti^.
Harrington to Worthy.
MY dear friend, I have a great
desire to see you — I wish you could come
home speedily — I must be short — I have
some serious business to do.
P. S. THEY say life is a blessing
and it is our duty to improve and enjoy it ;
but when life becomes insupportable and we
find no blessing in it — have we not a right to
resign it ?
€^e poiiott of ^^mpatl)^, 91
TAe Hon. Mr. Harrington to the
Rev. Mr. Holmes.
ACCUMULATED sorrows con-
tinue to break over my devoted head. Har-
riot is at times deprived of her reason, and
we have no expectation of her recovery — my
son is deeply affected — he seems strangely
REVOLVING in my mind all these things
and the unhappy affair that led to them, the
whole train of my past life returned fresh
upon my mind. Pained with the disagree-
able picture, and oppressed with the weight
92 t^t^oinet of ^]?mpatl)S,
of my affliction, I sunk down to sleep : These
circumstances had so strongly impressed my
imagination that they produced the following
Dream — My blood is chilled with horrour as
METHOUGHT I suddenly found myself
in a large, open field, waste and uncultivated
— here I wandered in a solitary manner for
some time — grief seized my heart at the aw-
ful appearance of the place, and I cried aloud
— "How long shall I travel here, alone and
friendless — a dusky mist swims before my
sight, and the obscure horizon seems only to
inclose this dismal wild ! " Having advanced
a few steps, I thought a light at a dis-
tance appeared to my doubtful view. Faint
with fatigue, I approached it, and had the sat-
isfaction to behold a person of the most be-
nign aspect — a quiet serenity was painted
on his brow, happiness ineffable beamed
t})t l^otoei: of ^^tnpatl)^, 93
from his Divine countenance — Joy leaped in
my bosom, and in the ecstasy of passion I en-
deavoured to clasp the blessed spirit to my
heart; but it vanished in my embrace,
" TEACH me, blessed shade," said I, with
a trembling voice — " Teach me to find the
habitations of men — What do I here? — Why
am I doomed to explore the barren bosom of
this baleful desert ? " " This," returned the
spirit, in a voice, which, while it commanded
veneration and love, struck awe and terrour
into my soul — " TAzs is not the habitation of
the sons of mortality — it is the place ap-
pointed to receive the souls of all men, after
they have resigned the bodies they animated
on earth. Those who have violated the laws
of reason, humanity, religion, and have dis-
honoured their God, here meet the punish-
ment due to their crimes.
"ATTEND me, therefore, and view the
94 ^¥ pototr of g>^mpatl)^.
condition of those thoughtless souls, who, a
few days ago, were upon earth immersed in
pleasure, luxury and vice — Regardless of
futurity, and unprepared for their eternal
summons to another world — and who per-
sisted in the delight of their own eyes in op-
position to the Divine law, and deaf to the
voice of reclaiming virtue. These, the sons
of folly and riot, are smitten by the angel of
death, while they are yet drinking of the
bowl of vice — while the words of blasphemy
yet dwell upon their tongues. And when
their unhappy spirits sink to these infernal
regions, their surviving companions rehearse
their funeral panegyricks — the praise of one
is, that he could drink the longest — the
merit of another that he could sing a good
song — a third secures his fame by being ex-
cellent in mimickry and buffoonery. — How
unhappy he must be, who leaves no other
testimony of his usefulness behind him !
tl^t ^oiott of ^^mpatl)^. 95
"HOW different is the fate of the good
man : While upon earth his hfe is employed
in the cause of virtue. —The happiness he
bestows on those around him is reflected back
with ten-fold reward ; and when he takes rank
in that happy place, where there is fullness of
joy, and leaves the world of mankind, what
numbers are joined in the general concern of
his loss ! — The aged, while they prepare for
the same journey, delight to dwell on his
good actions — the virgin strews flowers on
his grave, and the poet consumes the mid-
night oil to celebrate his virtues."
THERE was so much benignity in every
word and action of my attendant, that I found
myself imperceptibly attached to him. My
attention to his discourse had prevented me
from observing the progress we had made —
for we had arrived at a place encircled with
high walls — A great' gate, at the command of
96 Z\)t poiDcr of ^^mpatl)^*
my guide, instantly flew open — " Follow
me," said he — I tremblingly obeyed.
MY ears were instantaneously filled with
the faint cries of those here doomed to re-
ceive the rewards of their demerits. Looking
earnestly forward, I beheld a group of un-
happy wretches — I observed a person who
was continually tormenting them — he held
in one hand a whip, the lashes of which were
composed of adders, and the stings of scor-
pions; and in the other a large mirrour, which,
when he held up to the faces of the ^tormented
exhibited their crimes in the most flagrant
colours, and forced them to acknowledge the
justness of their punishment. " These," said
my guide, " who are scourged with a whip of
scorpions, and who start with horrour at the
reflection of their deeds upon earth, are the
souls of the Gambler — the Prodigal — the
Duellist, and the Ingrate.
t^t potDcr of ^^mpatl)^. 97
" THOSE whom you see yonder," contin-
ued he, "those wasted, emaciated spirits,
are the souls of the Envious — they are
doomed to view the most beautiful fruit,
which they can never taste, and behold pleas-
ures which they can never enjoy. This pun-
ishment is adjudged them because most of
those vile passions, by which men suffer them-
selves to be ruled, bring real evil, for prom^
" FOR this reason the all-wise Judge hath
ordered the same passions still to inflame
those ghosts, with which they were possessed
on earth — Observe yon despicable crew ! —
behold the sin of Avrice ! — those sordid
ghosts are the souls of Misers — Lo! they eye
their delightful bags with horrid pleasure ;
and with a ghastly smile, brood over their
imaginary riches. Unable to carry their
wealth about with them, they are c'onfined to
98 titlje jaoiuer of ^^mpatlj^.
one spot, and in one position. This infernal
joy is the source of their tortures, for behold
them start at every sound, and tremble at the
flitting of a shade. Thus are they doomed to
be their own tormentors — to pore over their
gold with immortal fear, apprehension, and
jealousy and to guard their ideal wealth with
tears of care, and the eyes of eternal watchful-
" BEHOLD here," continued my guide,
"the miserable division of Suicides !" " Un-
happy they ! " added I, " who, repining at the
ills of life, raised the sacrilegious steel against
their own bosoms ! How vain the reiterated
wish to again animate the breathless clay — to
breath the vital air — and to behold the
cheering luminary of Heaven!" — "Upbraid
me not — O my father!" cried a voice — I
looked up, and thought my son appeared
among them — immediately turning from
t))z l^ointv of g>smpatlj^« 99
so shocking a spectacle, I suddenly beheld my
once loved Maria — "O delight of my youth!
do I behold thee once more ! — Let me hide
my sorrows in thy friendly bosom." I ad-
vanced towards her — but she flew from me
with scorn and indignation — " O speak !
Maria ! speak to me ! " She pointed with
her finger to a group of spirits, and was out
of sight in a moment.
" LET me," said my conductor, " prepare
you for a more dreadful sight." The increas-
ing melancholy, and affecting gloom of the
situation, forboded something terrifying to
my soul — I looked toward the place where
Maria had pointed, and saw a number of
souls remote from any division of the un-
happy. In their countenances were depicted
more anguish, sorrow and despair — I turned
my head immediately from this dreadful
sight, without distinguishing the nature of
loo Z\)t ^oinet of ^^ntpat^i^,
their torments. Quivering with horrour, I
inquired who they were — " These," answered
my guide, with a sigh, " are the miserable
race of SEDUCERS. — Repentance and
shame drive them far front the rest of the
accursed. Even the damned look on them
with horrour, and thank fate their crimes
are not of so deep a die."
HE had hardly finished, when a demon
took hold of me and furiously hurried me' in
the midst of this unhappy group — I was so
terrified that it immediately aroused me from
my sleep. —
EVEN now, while I write to you, my good
friend, my hand trembles with fear at the
painful remembrance — Yet
— 'Twas but a dream, but then
So terrible, it shakes my very soul.—
t^t jaotocr of ^?mpatl)^. loi
Harriot to Harrington.
MUST I then forget the en-
dearments of the lover, and call you by the
name of brother? But does our friendship
remain upon this foundation ? Is this all
that unites us ? And has there subsisted
nothing more tender — a sentiment more
voluntary in our hearts ? My feelings affirm
that there was. At the hour of our first in-
terview I felt the passion kindle in my breast.
Insensible of my own weakness, I indulged
its increasing violence and delighted in the
flame that fired my reason and my senses.
I02 Q3^l)c ipofcoei: of g)^mpatl)s.
Do you remember our walks, our conversa-
tion^, our diversions ? — The remembrance of
these things fill my mind with inconceivable
torture — they seem to reproach me with un-
merited criminality — I deprecate, I detest all
these scenes of gaiety and frivolity — yet I
have preserved my innocence and my virtue
— what then have I to deprecate, what have
I to detest ?
ALAS! how have we been forming
schemes of happiness, and mocking our
hearts with unsubstantial joys. Farewel !
farewell ye gilded scenes of imagination.
How have we been deluded by visionary
prospects, and idly dwelt upon that happiness
which was never to arrive. • How fleeting
have been the days that were thus employed !
— when articipation threw open the gates of
happiness, and we vainly contemplated the
approach of bliss ; and we beheld in reversion,
Z^e potoer of ^^mpatti^. 103
the pleasures of life, and fondly promised our-
selves, one day to participate in them ; when
we beheld in the magick mirrour of futurity,
the lively group of loves that sport in the
train of joy. We observed in transports of
delight the dear delusion, and saw them, as it
were, in bodily form pass in review before us;
as the fabled hero views the region of preeex-
istant spirits, and beholds a race of men yet
to be born.
SUCH was our hope, but even this fairy
anticipation was not irrational. We were
happy in idea, nor was the reality far behind.
And why is the vision vanished ? O ! I sink,
I die, when I reflect — when I find in my
Harrington a brother — I am penetrated
with inexpressible grief — I experience un-
common sensations — I start with horrour at
the idea of incest — of ruin — of perdition.
HOW do I lament this fatal discovery,
I04 t^t potocr of ^^mpatl)^.
that includes the termination of a faithful
love! I think of him whom I have resolved
to be eternally constant — and ah ! how often
have I resolved it in my heart. I indulge, in
idea, the recollection of his caresses — of his
protestations, and of his truth and sincerity —
I become lost in a wilderness, and still I travel
on, and find myself no nearer an escape. I
cherish the dear idea of a lover — I see the
danger and do not wish to shun it, because to
avoid it, is to forget it — And can I, at one
stroke, erase from my mind the remembrances
of all in which my heart used to delight.? Ah!
I have not the fortitude — I have not the vir-
tue, to "forget myself to marble." On the
contrary, I strive no longer to remember our
present connexion. I endeavour to forget —
I curse the idea of a brother — my hand re-
fuses to trace the word, and yet
The name appears
Already written ; blot it out my tears !
Z\)e ^oijatt of ^gmpatl)^. 105
AH, whence this sorrow that invests my
soul ! This gloom that darkens — this fire
of impassioned grief, that involves all my
thoughts ! why do I rave, and why do I
again abandon myself to despair ! Come,
O Harrington ! be a friend, a protector, a
brother — be him, on whom I could never yet
call by the tender, the endearing title of par-
ent. I will reverence him in whom all the
charities of life are united — I will be dutiful
and affectionate to you, and you shall be unto
me as a father — I will bend on the knee of re-
spect and love, and will receive your blessing.
Why did you go away so soon ? Why
leave me when I was incapable of bidding
you adieu ? When you pressed my cheek
with the kiss of love, of fraternal affection
what meant its conscious glow ? What meant
the ebullition of my veins, the disorder of my
nerves, the intoxication of my brain, the blood
io6 &)t poioer of ^^mpatl)^.
that mantled in my heart ? My hand trem-
bled, and every object seemed to swim before
my doubtful view — Amidst the struggle of
passion, how could I pronounce the word —
how could I call you by the title of brother ?
True — -I attempted to articulate the sound,
but it died upon my tongue, and I sank
motionless into your arms.
ALLIED by birth, and in mind, and sim-
ilar in age — and in thought still more inti-
mately connected, the sympathy which bound
our souls together, at first sight, is less extra-
ordinary. Shall we any longer wonder at
its irresistible impulse ? — Shall we strive to
oppose the /mk 0/ nature that draws us to
each other .'' When I reflect on this, I re-
lapse into weakness and tenderness, and be-
come a prey to warring passions. I view you
in two distinct characters : If I indulge the
idea of one, the other becomes annihilated,
tf)t potorr of ^^mpatl)^. 107
and I vainly imagine I have my choice of a
brother or —
I AM for a while calm ^ — but alas ! how
momentary is that calmness ; I dwell with
rapture on what fancy has represented; but
is the choice regulated by virtue ? Is it
prompted by reason ? I recollect myself, and
endeavour to rouse my prudence and forti-
tude ; I abhor my conduct, and wish for ob-
scurity and forgetfulness. Who can bear the
torment of fluctuating passion ? How de-
plorable is the contest? The head and the
heart are at variance, but when Nature pleads
how feeble is the voice of Reason ? Yet,
when Reason is heard in her turn, how crim-
inal appears every wish of my heart ? What
remorse do I experience ? What horrours
surround me ? Will my feeble frame, already
wasted by a lingering decline, support these
evils ? Will the shattered, frail bark outride
io8 t\)t potDer of ^^mpatl)^.
the tempest, and will the waves of afifliction
beat in vain ? Virtue, whose precepts I have
not forgotten, will assist me — if not to sur-
mount, at least to suffer with fortitude and
OH ! I fear, I fear my decaying health —
If I must depart, let me beseech you to forget
me — I know the strength of your passion,
and I dread the fatal consequences my depar-
ture may occasion you.
ONCE more let me intreat you, my dear
friend, to arm yourself with every virtue
which is capable of sustaining the heaviest
calamity. Let the impetuosity of the lover's
passion be forgotten in the undisturbed quiet-
ness of the brother's affection, and^.may all
the blessings that life can supply be yours —
Seek for content, and you will find it, even
tW }poijott of ^T^mpatl)?. 1 09
though we should never meet again in this
I lo t^t poton: of g>^mpatl)^.
Myra to Mrs. Holmes.
THE curtain is dropped, and
the scene of life is forever closed — The
Lovely Harriot is no More.
SHE is fit to appear in Heaven, ^or her
life was a scene of purity and innocence — If
there is any consolation to be felt by a sur-
vivour, it is in the reflection of the amiable
qualities of the deceased. My heart shall not
cease to cherish her idea, for she was beauti-
ful without artifice, and virtuous without
turtle jaotoer of ^^mpatljv. 1 1 1
See ! there all pale and dead she lies ;
Forever flow my streaming eyes —
There dwelt the fairest — lovliest mind,
Faith, sweetness, wit together join'd.
Dwelt faith and wit and sweetness there ?
O, view the change, and drop a tear.
MY brother is exceedingly agitated — He
will never support this disastrous stroke —
Nothing can attract his attention — nothing
allay his grief — but it is the affliction of rea-
son and not of weakness — God grant that it
prove not fatal to him.
Adieu ! — Adieu !
1 1 2 Z\)e jaotDcr of ^^mpat^iB.
Harrington to Worthy.
SHE is gone — she is dead — she
who was the most charming, the most gentle,
is gone — You may come — you may desire
to behold all that was lovely — but your eyes
will not see her.
YES ! I raved — I was distracted — but
now I am calm and dispassionate — I am
smooth as the surface of a lake — I shall
see her again.
WHEN our spirits are disencumbered of
this load of mortality, and they wing their
2;i)e potoer of g)^mpatl)^« 1 13
flight to the celestial regions, shall we not
then know those who were dear to us in this
world ? Shall we not delight in their society,
as we have done in this state of existence ?
Yes — certainly we shall — we shall find
them out in Heaven — there alone is happi-
ness — there shall I meet her — there our
love will not be a crime — Let me indulge
this thought — it gives a momentary joy to
my heart — it removes the dark mist that
swims before my eyes — it restores tranquil-
ity ; but the more I reflect on this thought —
the more I long to be there — the more I de-
test this world and all it contains. I sigh to
fly away from it.
1 14 tKljt poiucr of S>^mpatl)^.
Harrington to Worthy.
INGRATITUDE is a predominant
principle in the conduct of man. The perfid-
ious — , who owes to me his reputation and
fortune, and with whom I intrusted a great
part of my property, has deceived me. The
affair will materially retard my business.
TO be unfortunate in trade is not worth a
sigh — to receive inattention and incivility
does not merit a frown ; but Ingratitude —
it is this that cuts to the quick. Yet I freely
give him my pity ; for what man, who con-
sidered for a moment the inconsistency of
the human heart, would hurl the thunderbolt
2;i)e potoec of ^^mpatl)^, 115
of indignation at the head of an ingrate ?
What an important little thing is man ! he
contrives to over-reach his neighbour, and
mount to the enjoyment of riches, ambition
and splendour ; but remember not the period
of enjoyment — that his life is a day, and his
space a "point !
NATURALISTS inform us of insects
whose term of existence is confined to a few
hours — What is the business and importance
of such a life ?
WOULD not a being, -whost circle of living
is immensity of ages, inquire with equal pro-
priety: "What is the importance of man —
What actions can he perform — What happi-
ness can he enjoy, whose insignificant life is
circumscribed to seventy years?" — In this
point of view I behold the tinsel, the vanity
and noise of the world, and the little plots
ii6 Z^t pottjer of S)?mpatti^.
and cunning artifices of mankind to cheat
and ruin one another.
INGRATITUDE, then, is constitutional,
and inseparable from human nature, but it
ought not to fill us with surprize, because it
is no new discovery — It has ever been invar-
iably the characteristick of man. Is not the
page of antiquity distained with blood of
those who ought to have received honour and
adoration ? Behold the brilliant race of the
world's benefactors : Consider their benevo-
lent actions, and regard their ungrateful re-
turn — these benefactors, who have been sent
from Heaven to inform and entertain man-
kind, to defend the world from the arm of
, tyranny, and to open the gates of salvation,
have been despised, and banished, and pois-
oned and crucified.
BEHOLD the support of the Roman
power, the invincible Belisarius ! who pro-
t^t poioer of ^^ntpatl)?. 1 1 7
tected his country from the ravage of the
Huns, and displayed the Roman eagle in
every quarter of the globe ! Behold him fall
a sacrifice to malice, to faction and ingrati-
tude ! Bfehold him cast out by the country
he had defended, and for which he had wasted
his life to protect and honour, and left alone
to deplore his unfortunate condition, when he
was old, and blind, and naked and miserable !
UNFORTUNATE is the man who trusts
his happiness to the precarious friendship of
the world — I every day become more of a
misanthrope, and see nothing to increase my
desire of living, but your esteem and affection.
I want advice, but am too proud to let the
world know I am weak enough to be under
obligation to anyone else.
THAT you may never want friends or
advice, is the sincere prayer of
1 1 8 t^t ^o\Dtt of ^^mpatljB.
Harrington to Worthy.
ALL the scenes of my past life
return fresh upon my merriory. I examine
every circumstance as they pass in review be-
fore me — I see nothing to cause any disa-
greeable or unwelcome sensations — no ter-
rour upbraids — no reproaching conscience
stings my bosom as I reflect on the actions
that are past. With her I expected happi-
ness — I have expected a vain thing — for
there is none — She is gone — gone to a far
country — she is preparing a place for me —
a place of unutterable blisS — But oh ! an im-
Z^t potner of ^^mpatl)^. 119
measurable gulph lies between us — Who can
tell the distance that separates us? What
labour — what toil — what pain must be en-
dured in traversing the thorny paths that lead
to her blessed abode ? — And will she not
receive me in those happy regions with as
much joy — with as sincere a welcome — if
I cut short my journey? — And will not the
Eternal Dispenser of Good, pardon the awful
deed that frees me from this world of misery
— the deed by which I obtrude myself into
his divine presence ?
WHY must I wait the lingering hand of
the grisly messenger to summon me to the
world above ?
I20 Z))t potoer of S>^mpat^^.
Harrington to Worthy.
AM I a child that I should
weep? — I have been meditating on the
course of my calamities — Why did my father
love Maria — or rather, why did I love their
Harriot? Curse on this tyrant custom that
dooms such helpless children to oblivion or
infamy! Had I known her to have been my
sister, my love would have been regular, I
should have loved her as a sister, I should
have marked her beauty — I should have de-
lighted in protecting it. I should have
observed her growing virtues^ — I should have
been happy in cherishing their growth.
But alas ! She is gone — and I cannot stay
— I stand on the threshold of a vast eternity.
ti)t ^omx of ^^mpat^^, 12 1
Harrington to Worthy.
I AM determined to quit this
life. I feel much easier since my determina-
tion. The step must not be. taken with rash-
ness. I must be steady — calm — collected —
I will endeavour to be. so. —
HER eager solicitation — the anxiety she
always expressed for me — When I think she
is no more, it wrings my heart with grief, and
fills my eyes with tears —
— I must go —
THE idea chills me — I am frozen with
122 tift |0otDfr of ^^mpatl)^.
horrour — cold damps hang on my trembling
body — My soul is filled with a thousand
troubled sensations — I must depart — it
must be so — My love for thee, O Harriot !
is dearer than life — Thou hast first sat out
— and I am to follow. —
WERE it possible that I could live with
her, should I be happy ? Would her presence
restore peace and tranquility to my disor-
dered mind ? Ah no ! it never would here —
it never would. I will fly to the place, where
she is gone — our love will there be refined
— I will lay my sorrows before her — and she
shall wipe away all tears from my eyes.
WHEN the disembodied spirit flies above —
■when it leaves behind the senseless clay, and
wings its flight — it matters not to me what
they do with his remains.
Cover his head with a clod or a stone,
It is all one — it is all one !
t^t |3oiiifr of ^^mpat^^. 123
Harrington to Worthy.
THE longer I live, and the
more I see the misery of life — the more my
desire of living is extinguished. What I for-
merly esteemed trifles, and would not deign
to term misfortunes, now appear with a for-
midable aspect — though I once thought
them harmless, and innoxious to my peace,
they assume new terrours every day. — But
is not this observation general .? It is — It is
thus every son of human nature, gradually
wishes for death, and neglects to seek for,
and improve those comforts, which by dili-
gent search there is a possibility of attaining.
124 ^IJf potocr of ^^mpattiy.
AM I to reason from analogy ? I know
what has been — the afflictions I have felt;
but what is the prospect before me ? The
path is darkened by mists —
Puzzled in mazes, and perplexed with errours —
WHO is there hardy enough to try difficul-
ties ? Is not the view horrible ! My pains
and anxieties have been severe — those
which, if I live, I shall suffer, may be yet
more so — This idea sinks me to despair.
AS a thing becomes irksome to us, our de-
testation is always increased — Whatever
object is disagreeable, we pine and sicken
until it is moved out of sight. Life growing
upon one in this manner — increasing in hor-
rour — with continual apprehension of death
— a certainty of surviving every enjoyment,
and no prospect of being delivered from sus-
pense — it is intolerable — he will assuredly
be tempted to terminate the business with
his own hand.
tf)t potoer of ^rmpatl)?. 1 2 5
Worthy to Harrington.
YOU argue as if your reason
were perverted — Let your mind be em-
ployed, and time will wear out these gloomy
ideas ; for it is certainly a truth, the love of
life increases with age — Your letters, there-
fore, are predicated on the most erroneous
REMEMBER the story of the old man,
who had been buried in a dungeon the greater
part of his life, and who 'was liberated at an
advanced age. He viewed, once more, the
126 ®l)e polnei: of S>^mpatl)^.
light of the sun, and the habitations of men —
he had come into a new order of beings, but
found their manners distasteful — In the
midst of the sunshine of the world he remem-
bered the prison, where he had wasted his
life, and he sighed to be again immured
within its walls.
SUCH is our passion for life ; we love it
because we know it; and our attachment be-
comes the more riveted, the longer we are
acquainted with it — Our prison grows
familiar — we contemplate its horrours — but
however gloomy the walls that surround us,
there is not one but sets a full value on his
dreary existence — there is not one but finds
his partiality for his dungeon increase, in pro-
portion to the time he hath occupied it — for
among the race of human beings confined to
this narrow spot — how few are they who are
hardy enough to break their prison ?
tl^t jQotoer of ^^mpatl)^. 127
LET us watch over all we do with an eye
of scrutiny — the world will not examine the
causes that gave birth to our actions — they
do not weigh the motives of them' — they do
not consider those things which influence our
conduct — but as that conduct is more or less
advantageous to society, they deem it mad-
ness or wisdom, or folly or prudence — Re-
member this —
128 t^t ^oiiaet of S)Bmpatl)?,
Harrington to Worthy.
YOU are egregiously mistaken,
argue as you will. — My perceptions are as
clear as any one's — The burden that is at
first heavy and inconvenient, galls us as we
proceed — it soon becomes intolerable, we
sink under its weight, and lie gasping in the
publick way long before night.
AS to the world — who strives to please
it, will be deservedly rewarded — ;he will reap
his labour for his pains — Let it judge of my
conduct. I despise its opinion — Independency
of spirit is my motto— I think for myself.
t\)e fototr of ^^mpatl)^. 129
Harrington to Worthy.
HOW vain is the wish that
sighs for the enjoyment of worldly happiness.
Our imagination dresses up a phamton to
impose on our reason : As Pygmalion loved
the work of his own hand — so do we fall in
love with the offspring of our brain. But
our work illudes our embrace — we find no
substance in it -and then fall a-weeping
and complain of disappointment. Miserable
reasoners are we all.
WHY should I mourn the the loss of Har-
1 30 t^t ^oinet of ^^mpat^ip.
rio^ any longer ? Such is my situation — in
the midst of anxiety and distress, I com-
plain of what cannot be remedied. — 1 lament
the loss of that which is irretrievable : So on
the sea-beat shore, the hopeless maid, unmind-
ful of the storm, bewails her drowned lover.
t\)t |0otoei: of ^^mpatl)?. 1 3 1
Worthy to Harrington.
I THANK you for your letters,
but I wish you had something better for the
subje.ct of them — the sad repetition of your
feelings and sorrows, pains me exceedingly —
I promise to be with you soon — perhaps be-
fore you can receive this letter.
WHATEVER concerns my friend, most
sensibly affects me — You, Harrington^ are
the friend of my heart, and nothing has so
much grieved me as the story of your mis-
132 tE'\)e poiotv of ^^mpatlj^.
IT is a maxim well received, and seems to
be admitted an article in the moral creed of
mankind, " that the enjoyments of life do not
compensate the miseries." Since, then, we
are born to suffer, and pain must attend us
in all the stages of our journey, let us philoso-
phically welcome our companion. The most
eligible plan we can adopt, is to be contented
in the condition that Providence hath as-
signed us. Let us trust that our burden will
not be heavier than we can bear — When we
adopt this plan, and are sensible we have
this trust, our lesson is Complete — we have
learned all — we are arrived to the perfection
of sublunary happiness.
DO not think I am preaching to you a
mere sermon of morality — let me impress
your mind with the folly of repining, and the
blessing of a contented mind.
LET me intreat you not to puzzle your
t^t ^omt of §)^mpatt)s. 133
brain with vain speculations — if you are dis-
posed to argue, do not put foolish cases that
never existed — take the light of facts, and
reason from them.
WHEN we are surrounded with miseries
of life — the baseness of false friends — the
malice of enemies — when we are inveloped
in those anxious fears, the result of too much
sensibility, human nature feels a degree of
oppression, which, without a manly exertion
of reason and 'this practical philosophy,
would be intolerable. I have heard you men-
tion St. Evremond as a philosopher of this
kind. Arm yourself with his prudence and
fortitude — he, though in exile — though re-
duced, almost to penury, and labouring under
the disadvantages of a bad constitution, lived
to be a very old man ; he established a course
of rational pleasures — for when the mind is
employed, we regret the loss of time — we
become avaricious of life.
134 ^l)f potoer of ^^mpatl)^,
WHEN misfortunes come upon us without
these consolations, it is hard, I acknowledge,
to buffet the storm — it is then human frailty
is most apparent — there is nothing left to
hope — Reason is taken from the helm of
life — and Nature — helpless, debilitated
Nature — lost to herself, and every social
duty, splits upon the rocks of despair and
suicide. We have seen several examples of
this — By exploring and therefore shunning
the causes, let us avoid the catastrophe.
THE pensive and melancholy will muse
over the ordinary accidents of life, and swell
them, by the power of imagination, to the heav-
iest calamities. Hence we find a treacherous
friend will sensibly affect some men, and a
capricious mistress will destroy a real lover :
Hence people in misfortune frequently con-
strue the slightest inattention into neglect
and insult, and deem their best friends false
t^t potoer of ^^mpatlip. 1 3 5
and ungrateful. The sting of ingratitude,
deeply pierces the heart of sensibility.
THE passions and affections which govern
mankind are very inconsistent. Men, con-
fined to the humble walks of life, sigh for the
enjoyment of wealth and power, which, when
obtained, become loathsome — The mind un-
accustomed to such easy situation, is discon-
tented, and longs to be employed in those
things in which it was formerly exercised.
THE greatest rulers and potentates become
unhappy — they wish for the. charms of soli-
tude and retirement, which, when attained,
become more irksome than their former con-
dition — Charles the Fifth, of Spain, resolved
to taste the pleasures of a recluse life, by ab-
dicating the "throne — he soon found his im-
agination had deceived him, and -repented of
the step he had taken. This lazy life, when
136 &)t poioer of ^ympatl)^,
compared to the business and grandeur of a
court, became tasteless and insipid. — " The
day," says a historian, " he resigned his crown
to his son, was the very day in which he re-
pented making him such a present."
\ IT is a great art to learn to be happy tin the
\ state in which we are placed — I advise you
to mingle in the concerns of your acquain-
tances — be cheerful and undisturbed, nor
give yourself up to those gloomy ideas which
lend only to make you more wretched — If
such obtrude themselves, avoid being alone —
I had rather been a dupe to my imagination
than sacrifice an hour's calmness to my sensi-
bility or understanding. Determine to be
happy, and you will be so —
God be with you !
&)t potocr of ^^mpatl)^. 137
Harrington to Worthy.
WHEN we seek for diversion
in any place, and there is nothing to be found
that we wish, it is certainly time to depart.
TOMORROW I go— There is nothing
here that can calm the tumult of my soul — I
fly from the sight of the human countenance
^ I fly from the face of day — I fly from
books — Books that could always ch^er me in
a melancholy moment, are now terrifying —
They recall scenes to my recollection that are
past - — pleasant scenes that I am never more
138 tE^lje ipotuec of ^rmpatlj?.
to enjoy. They present pictures of futurity
— I just opened a book, and these words that
I read: — "The time of my fading is near,
and the blast that shall scatter my leaves.
Tomorrow shall the traveller come, he that
saw me in my beauty shall come ; his eyes
shall search the field, but they will not find
THESE words pierce me to the quick —
they are a dismal prospect of my approaching
' TOMORROW I shall go — But oh!
whither .'' —
O ! MY friend, when we find nothing we
desire in this world, it is time to depart. To
live is a disgrace — to die is a duty.
t\)e |0otDcr of ^^mpat^^. 139
* LETTER LXIII.
Worthy to Mrs. Hohnes.
I ARRIVED in town last eve-
ning — you desire rpe to write you a state-
ment of affairs as I should find them here —
and of my marriage with the amiable Myra —
I promised to obey — but how little do we
know of the termination or consequences of
the most probable event !
I SAW my beloved — her eyes were yet
heavy and smarting with weeping for the
death of Harriot — and this, once the house
of joy and cheerfulness, is turned into the
I40 t\)t potocr of ^^mpatljy.
house of mourning. My unfortunate friend
had just then fallen into a calm sleep, and it
was impossible to see him ^ it was what I
very much desired — but it was the wish of
the family that I should desist for the present
— he had not slept the evening before — he
had been heard walking across his chamber
all the night, with little intermission, often-
times talking to himself in a passionate tone
THIS melancholy account deeply affected
me — and I parted from my beloved, praying
Heaven to give her consolation, and to be
the support of my disordered friend.
IT is with difficulty I bring myself to the
serious and the painful employment of being
the informer of unwelcome tidings — my heart
feels the wound — vainly it tells me my friend
is no more — my hand reluctantly traces —
my friend — my Harrington is no more.
Z))t l^oiotv of ^^mpatt)^, 141
EARLY thismdrhing I was surprised with
a visit, from a gentleman, whom I had form-
erly seen at Myrds — it was the same neigh-
bour who informed Harrington of his affinity
to Harriot — he found a difficulty in his
utterance — he told me, with trembling lips,
my young friend Harrington was dead —
" He has killed himself," said I — he asked
me if I had heard the news — I told him my
heart presaged it.
WHEN any uncommon event happens to
us, we often have a presentiment of it — The
circumstances of his death are these : — At
midnight the gentleman heard the report of
the pistol, and went into the house — he
found the unhappy youth wheltering in his
blood — few signs of life remained — the ball
had entered his brain — the surgeon came,
but in a few hours he was cold. A few
friends were requested to attend — and this
142 tf)t ^otDcr of §>)?mpatl)^.
gentleman had called upon me, by desire of
IT is impossible to describe the distress of
the family and connexions — I shall leave it
to your imagination.
A LETTER that he had written for me,
laid unsealed upon the table, and The Sorrows
of Werter was found lying by his side. I
send you the letter — it appears to have been
written at intervals, and expresses the dis-
order and agitation of his mind.
t^t ^oiatt of ^^mpatl)^. 143
Harrington to Worthy.
HARRIOT is dead --and the
world to me is a dreary desert — I prepare to
leave it^ the fatal pistol is charged — it lies
on the table by me, ready to perform its duty
— but that duty is delayed till I take my last
farewel of the best of friends.
YOUR letter is written with the impetu-
osity of an honest heart ; it expresses great
sincerity and tenderness.
I THANK you for all your good advice —
it comes too late — O Worthy ! she is dead —
she is gone — never to return, never again
to cheer my heart with her smiles and her
144 ®l)^ poiDcr of ^^mpatlji?.
amiable manners — her image is always be-
fore me — and can I forget her ? No ! — She
is continually haunting my mind, impressing
the imagination with ideas of excellence —
but she is dead — all that delighted me is be-
come torpid — is descended into the cold
Certain my resolution is to die ;
How can I live without thee — How forego
Thy converse sweet, and love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild woods forlorn?
loss of thee
Will never from my heart — no ! no ! — I feel
The link of nature draw me.
From thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bHss or woe.
THOU hast sat out on a long journey —
but you shall not go alone — I hasten to
^l)t potoer of g>^miJatt)s. 145
overtake thee. My resolution is not to be
diverted — is not to be shaken — I will not
be afraid — I am inexorable —
I HAVE just seen my father — he is de-
jected — sullen grief is fixed upon his brow —
he tells me I am very ill — I looked at Myra
— she wiped her face with her handkerchief
— perhaps they did not imagine this was
the last time they were to behold me.
SHE mentioned the name of Worthy, but
my thoughts were differently engaged. She
repeated your name, but I took no heed of it.
Take her, my Worthy — Myra is a good girl
— take her — comfort her. Let not my de-
parture interrupt your happiness — perhaps
it may for a short time. When the grass is
grown over my grave, lead her to it, in your
pensive walks — point to the spot where my
ashes are deposited — drop one tear on the,.
146 W\)t potoer of ^^mpatl)^.
remembrance of a friend, of a brother — but
I cannot allow you to be grieved — grieve
for me ! Wretch that I am — why do I delay —
I WISH I could be buried by the side of
her, then should the passenger who knows
the history of our unfortunate loves, say —
" Here lies Harrington and his Harriot — in
their lives they loved, but were unhappy — in
death they sleep undivided." — Guardian
spirits will protect the tomb which conceals
her body — the body where every virtue
delighted to inhabit. —
DO not judge too rashly of my conduct —
let me pray you to be candid, — I have taken
advantage of a quiet moment, and written an
Epitaph — If my body were laid by her's, the
inscription would be pertinent. Let no one
concerned be offended at the. moral I" havfi
chosen to draw from our unfortunate story.
Z^e ^olaott of ^ympatlj^. 147
MY heart sinks within me — the instru-
ment of death is before me — farewel ! f are-
wel! — My soul sighs to be freed from its
confinement — Eternal Father! accept my
spirit — Let the tears of sorrow blot out my
guilt from the book of thy wrath.
148 tift l^otorr of ^^mpntfys.
Worthy to Mrs. Holmes.
WE have surmounted the per-
formance of the last scene of our tragedy,
with less difficulty and distress than I imag-
ined. Great numbers crowded to see the
body of poor Harrington; they were im-
pressed with various emotions, for their sym-
pathizing sorrow could not be concealed —
Indeed a man without sensibility exhibits no
sign of a soul. I was struck with admiration
at the observations of the populace, and the
justness of the character they drew of the de-
ceased, " Alas ! " said one — '- poor youth thou
Z\)t |0otQcr of ^^mpatl)^. 149
art gone. Thou wast of a promising genius,
of violent passions, thou wast possessed of a
too nice sensibility, and a dread of shame. It
Is only such an one who would take the
trouble to kill himself. Ah ! poor well na-
tured, warm hearted, hot headed youth — how
my heart bleeds for you ! We consider thee
as the dupe of Nature, and the sacrifice of
Seduction." The old father hears this, and
becomes overwhelmed with shame and
THE jury which sat upon the body of our
friend, after mature consideration, brought in
their verdict Suicide. The rigour of the law
was not executed -^ the body was privately
taken away, and I saw it deposited by the
side of his faithful Harriot.
I SEND you inclosed a copy of the Monu-
mental Inscription, as written by Harrington.
I50 tl^e poSder of g>^mpat^r«
I found it with many loose papers. It con-
tains the story of our unfortunate friends, and
a profitable moral is deduced from it.
THOUGH a few weeks begin to spread
calm over our passions, yet the recollection of
our misfortunes will sometimes cause a mo-
mentary agitation, as the ocean retains its
swell, after the storms subsides.
THOU who shalt wander o'er these humble plains,
Where one kind grave their hapless dust contains,
O pass not on — if merit claim a tear.
Or dying virtue cause a sigh sincere.
Here rest their heads, consign'd to parent earth.
Who to one common father ow'd their birth ;
Unknown this union — Nature still presides,
And Sympathy unites, whom Fate divides.
tift IBofcoer of ^^mpatt)^. 151
They see — they love — but heav'n their passion, tries,
Their love sustains it. but their mortal dies.
Stranger ! contemplate well before you part,
And take this serious counsel to thy heart :
Does some fair female of unspotted fame,
Salute thee, smiling, with a father's name,
Bid her detest the fell Seducer's wiles, ■"
Who smiles to win — and murders as he smiles.
If ever wandering near this dark recess.
Where guardian spirits round the ether press ,
Where, on their urn, celestial care descends,
Two lovers come, whom fair success attends.
O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads,
And drink the falling tears each other sheds.
Then sadly say, with mutual pity mov'd,
" O ! may we never love as these' have loved."
For many reasons it has been thought best to reprint
this book exactly after the original copy, "verbatim et
LITERATIM ET PUNCTUATiM " ; and although the modern
purist may feel offended at the archaisms of orthography,
syntax and punctuation — the last of which appears to
have been used with rhetorical and not grammatical sig-
nificance — , he must content himself with the fact that art
would have lost all and science gained nothing by the
rewriting of the above pages in the diction of today.
Out of regard for the feelings of the descendants of
the originals of certain characters of the novel, who are
living today in Boston, the editor has decided to reveal
the identity only of those of the personae who are
already known, to a more or less extent, through the lit-
erary history of New England. Although curiosity
may turn away unsatisfied with the volume, yet the art
of it all remams through considering Harrington, father
and son, Maria and Harriot, and Mrs. Holmes nothing
more than types and not as individuals whose true bi-
ographies are written. ^
Vol. I, page 83, begins the story of " Martin " and
" Ophelia," the real characters of which were recognized
at the time to be Mr. Perez Morton an(f)his young
sister-inrlaw, Theodosia Francis Apthorp. In comment-
ing on this fact in the book, Sabin writes in his " Books
relating to America" (Vol. xv, Page 377) " This work
created quite a sensation, and was suppressed by inter-
ested parties. The names of Fanny Apthorp and
Perez Morton are not yet forgotten as connected with
Perez Morton was born at Plymouth, Nov. 13, 175 1.
His father settled at Boston, and was keeper of the
White Horse Tavern, opposite Hayward-place, and died
in 1793. The Son entered the Boston Latin School in
1760, and graduated at Harvard College in 1771, when
he studied law ; but the revolutionary war prevented his
engaging in the practice, and he took an active part in
the cause of freedom. In 1775 he was one of the
Committee of Safety, and in the same year became
deputy-secretary of the province. After the war, he
opened an office as an attorney at law, at his residence
in State-street, on the present site of the Union Bank.
In 1777 he married Sarah Wentworth Apthorp, at
Quincy, noted by Paine as the American Sappho. Mr.
Morton was a leader of the old Jacobin Club, which held
meetings at the Green Dragon Tavern, and became a
decided Democrat. A political poet of Boston thus
satirizes Perez Morton :
" Perez, thou art in earnest, though some doubt thee !
In truth, the Club could never do without thee !
My reasons thus I give thee in a trice,—
You want their votes, and they want your advice !
" Thy tongue, shrewd Perez, favoring ears insures, —
The cash elicits, and the vote secures.
Thus the fat oyster, as the poet tells,
The lawyer ate, — his clients gained the shells."
Mr. Morton was Speaker of the House from 1806
to 1811, and was attorney-general from 1810 to 1832;
was a delegate from Dordhester to the convention for
revising the State constitution, in 1820, and was vigo-
rous in general debate. He died at Dorchester, Oct.
14, 1837. He was an ardent patriot,, an eloquent
speaker, of an elegant figure and polished manners.
This Mansion, (the home of " Worthy," later the city
residence of Mr. Perez Morton) as enlarged and embell-
ished by its honoured proprietor, the late Charles Ap-
thorp, Esq. was then, that is, about the middle of the
Eighteenth Century, said to be the scene of every ele-
gance, and the abode of every virtue. Now, (1823) its
beautiful hall of entrance, arches, sculpture, and base-
relief ; the grandstair-case, and its highly finished saloon,
have been removed, or partitioned off, to accommodate
the bank and its dependencies.
Thomas Wentworth Earl of Strafford, the Minister,
and favourite of Charles the First, sacrificed by that
Monarch to his own personal safety -— was beheaded
near the end of the reign. Charles, in his last moments,
declared that he suffered justly for having given up the
Earl of Strafford to popular fury.
The near Relations of this Nobleman were the
founders of the American Family of Wentworth. This
family being presumptive heirs to the now extinct Title
of that Earldom of Strafford.
These were Henry and Samuel Wentworth, the ma-
ternal uncles of the Author, both perished before they
had attained the age of twenty. The first, on a northern
voyage of curiosity and improvement, was entangled
amid floating masses of ice,. and in that situation ex-
pired along with the whole ship's company, passengers
His young brother, Samuel Wentworth, having been
invited to England by his noble relatives, was under the
patronage of those, admitted as student at the Temple ;
at which period he first met Miss Lane, the object of
his honourable passion, and the cause of his fatal mis-
fortune, the daughter of a great commercial house of
that period. Her large inheritance, by her father's will,
made dependent on the pleasure of her mercantile
brother, to the aristocracy of whose wealth, young Went-
worth could only oppose nobility of birth, accomplish-
ment of mind and beauty of person, possessions which
tl'je man of commerce held as nothing, compared with
the superior treasures of monied interest.
Consequently the love was prohibited, and the
lover banished from his mistress ; who though closely
imprisoned in her own apartment, found means to pre-
serve an epistolary connection. The correspondence
encreasing the enthusiasm of restricted passion, until
every possible hope of their union being extinguished,
a deadly vial was obtained, and the contents, equally
divided, were at one desperate moment swallowed by
both. Their last desire, of being buried in the same
grave, was denied.
These frantic and too affectionate lovers, finisfied the
short career of their miseries on the birth day of Went-
worth, being that which completed the nineteeth year of
his age. And it is riot irrelevant to add, that the
brother of the lady lived to lose his immense posses-
sions, and died desolate and distressed ; at which
period, we trust, repentance came, and forgiveness was
John, the founder of the transatlantic race of Ap-
thorp, was a man of taste and talent in the Fine Arts ; ,
particularly those of Painting and Architecture. A
taste and talent, which has in some instance been trans-
mitted to his descendants even of the iifth generation.
An ardent imagination, and an ambitious desire of
mental improvement, led him fr©m his native country of
Wales. And in England, he saw, loved, and married,
Miss Ward, a celebrated beauty, with a large fortune,
whose Portrait, by Sir Peter Lely, yet remains with her
descendant. This portrait is distinguished by the long
dark eyes, which that artist preferred and made fashion-
The qualities of both parents live, and are conspic-
uous in some of their descendants. A highly respect-
able individual of these, whose superiority of mind may
possibly disdain such recollections, was, in his minority,
so transcendantly handsome, that upon a Tour through
the Southern States, he was generally designated " The
Eastern Angel." As he now is, the Genius of Canova
might design that form as a model for the sublime
statue of melancholy, since his fortunes have fallen
like those of his race — a voluntary sacrifice to the best
sentiments, and the noblest feelings of humanity, while
domestic bereavements coming yet nearer to his gracious
heart have left it the prey of sorrow.
Charles Bulfinch, Esq. of Washington, at this
time (1823,) the National Architect, is one more evidence
of the inestimable happmess of a good descent.
The present Stone Chapel (corner of School and
Tremont Streets) — >originally the King's Chapel —
founded by Royalty, was finished by the generosity of
individuals. Charles Apthorp, Esq. the son of John, gave
5 cool, sterling, a very large sum for the Provinces at that
period, about the middle of the eighteenth century.
His Marble Monument with a very fine Latin Inscrip-
tion, by his Son, still remains in the Chapel, which
Monument covers the Tomb of the truly noble-minded
race of Apthorp.
How erst the shield, whose crested pride.
The Crest, if not the whole Armorial Bearing, is
thought or said to have been conferred upon the Battle
Field by Richard.
The shield of the Apthorp arms, which bearing a
mullet or spur, in heraldry, with truly Welsh prepos-
session, the family were fondly, perhaps foolishly, wont
to trace back to the Crusades.
Belleview was undoubtedly the Apthorp homestead
at Quincy where Mrs. Morton passed her youth.
In the Rev. Mr. Holmes, Quincy antiquarians will
readily recognize the Rev. Dr. Greenleaf, whose religious
and philosophical teachings undoubtedly had great in-
fluence on the author who was to come so near being
\The above notes are compiled principally from
"My Mind AND Its Thoughts." — a book referred
to in the Introduction^