Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Conclus on.

indicative of what they had been: she was thinner and paler, but she was more interesting. She appeared to look forward with hope; it was the sweet hope that calumny will not again assail her, and it never will while she is very rich !!!

SIR THEODORE BRYDGES.

« Quod non vetat lex, hoc vetat fieri pudor."

SENECA.

Tus is a kind of character which we should hope seldom appears on the great theatre of life: a disgrace to the part allotted him; presenting only to the beholders a picture of depravity and vice, instead of following the steps of virtue chalked out for him at his entrance into polished life, by virtuous instructors and anxious parents.'

[ocr errors]

By such a man as Sir Theodore Brydges is the female mind and character destroyed; watching, like the wily crocodile, how he can draw into his power unsullied virgin innocence and conjugal honour; both are equally his predestined prey. He admires the modesty of the bashful maid, destroys what he admires, and then deserts her ; he is

Seduction described.

charmed with beholding an affectionate wife ; like the first tempter, he watches the endearments of an happy couple, resolves to undermine and destroy that felicity by every art which man can put in practice, and rests not till a wife's caresses are lavished on himself. So consummate is his artifice, so progressive the steps he takes, and the plans he lays for the seduction of a weak-minded young female, when his intended victim is married, that he gains first the friendly confidence of the wife, and by degrees a portion of that wife's tenderness, till she finds herself plunged at last in irremediable guilt ; this renders 'her, who is not yet lost to the sense of virtue, odious to herself: unable to wear the burden of her crime, she becomes cheerless, she loses all her former gaiety ; and the bright glow of beauty gone by, she becomes disgusting to him who has despoiled her of her charms and vivacity, who deserts and

Clarissa Wakefield.

abandons her to carry discord and anguish into the bosom of some other family.

The subject we shall first treat of, is Sir Theodore's seduction of a virtuous and innocent young female, the daughter of a respectable Ecclesiastic. Lovely in her person, mild and modest in her demeanor, the unfortunate Clarissa Wakefield could not yet be insensible to those delicate attentions paid her by a man of Sir Theodore's rank: In vain her mind, in the hour of reasoning reflectior', would urge to her, that he was exalted too high above her, and that his heart-stealing blan. dishments might most probably be followed by illicit proposals. She shuddered at the idea ; and the next time she saw him, received him with a becoming distance and reserve.

He had been accustomed to study, with care, that faihful picture of a youthful unsullied mind, the countenance;

Cunning and Hypocrisy.

and when he saw her fearful modesty painted on her's, he knew well how to be the kind and cheerful, though correct, friend : without hazarding one word that might glance on the subject of love, without giving one single pressure of the hand, and carefully to abstain from all particular conversation : his adieu rather bordered on coldness, and he took care that a long interval should take place before he repeated his visit. “I have been perhaps too rigid ;" the sweet girl would say to herself—for the love he had already professed, the chastened softuess of his former embraces had, unheedingly and insidiously, stolen into her bosom. “ I see him not now, perhaps I shall never see him more, or, worse than all, perhaps he no longer loves me !" .

She was anxious to prove to him, at their next interview, that he was by no meanz indifferent to her. But he watched her; he kept her in that continued state

« ПредишнаНапред »