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with me, it would destroy all the charm of the first volume. It is easy to draw a deep, designing, and uniform villain, with specious qualities. Such would Falkland be as the seducer of Miss Melville and the murderer of his own child. The
confession of having seduced Miss Melville, and by her had a child, whom he had caused to be murdered; and, for his own security, having destroyed his agent in that nefarious act; but, not knowing how to conceal the bodies, he had inclosed them in the iron chest, where, from gradual putrefaction, they had become skeletons. This putrefaction was the first cause of that sallow look and unhealthy symptoms, which always appear. ed after his visits to the trunk. In the course of the narrative, some warm descriptions occur of the delights he had experienced from his connection with Miss M. They excite new ideas in the breast of Caleb ; for it has been justly observed, that where the whole of an animal's faculties are engrossed by the care of supporting existence, there is less passion for the intercourse of the sexes. Thus Caleb thcught not of woman till this change in his circumstances ;-but now the same ardour of spirit, the same energy of frame, are directed to new pursuits; and, being disappointed in bis first attempt to form an honourable connexion with a lady, whose history furnishes an interesting episode, he by degrees loses his boasted integrity, and, at length, by the help of his large property, becomes the greatest oppressor to those who oppose his libidinous pursuits. From hence we learn, that the temptation of wealth is more powerful and dangerous than that of poverty, and that the only security against vice, is a well-grounded confidence in that Supreme Being, who nesses all our actions. Human laws can never be so framed as to reach the secret sins of man. Power must always have some relation to wealth.”
interest, and the original moral would at once be lost, and the whole design of the work subverted, by making Falkland a born fiend rather than a fallen angel demonized. Besides, in the former, such unremitting agony of remorse would be unnatural. The habitually hypocritic and cruel, never feel lasting remorse till the near approach of detection and punishment awakens it. Godwin, aware of that, exhibits the remorse of Tyrrel as a sudden electric shock of reproach and contrition-not, as in the long virtuous Falkland, an inconsolable, unsubsiding anguish. Tyrrel's repentance soon changes into rage and vexatiou over the consequences of his crime, the disappointment and mortification to his pride. He hates his neighbours for their abhorrence of his guilt, not himself for its perpetration.
You have seen this author's Memoirs of his wife—the famous authoress of the Rights of Woman. It is the fashion to abuse him for them violently. Bearing strong marks of impartial authenticity as to the character, sentiments, conduct, and destiny of a very extraordinary woman, they appear to be highly valuable. Since, on balancing her virtues and errors, the former greatly preponderate, it is no disgrace to any man to have united his destiny with hers. Nor can he be justly blamed as exposing the frailties of his wife,
since, in her admired northern tour, she acknowledges herself a mother by Imlay, to whom she could not have been a legal wife, as he was known to be living when she married Godwip.
To reveal the motives on which she had acted; --to paint the strength of her basely betrayed attachment to that villain Imlay, was surely not injury but justice to the memory of a deceased wife.
I have but one fault to find with these Memoirs. It is, however, a great one-the needless display of his own infidelity as to revealed religion, and his seeking to involve her in the scepticism by implication, not by proof, since he allows she was habitually and fervently devout. Why then should he expose her to the censure of irreligion from the mass of mankind, who imagine God can be worshipped effectually in no way but their own?
I must not say farewell, without inquiring after the Muse of Landscape, and expressing my hope that the number of votaries who seek her shrine, and
you, her high-priest, does not abate at the grin of those monsters in finance, the assessed taxes.
The Right Hon. LADY ELEANOR BUTLER,
AND Miss PONSONBY.
Lichfield, April 24, 1798. THE frame for Honora's exact, though accidental, resemblance in the print of Romney's Serena reading by candle light, is at length arrived. I dare believe my charming friends will think the figure, countenance, and features, express the sweetness, intelligence, and grace, with which the strains, honoured by their mu tual partiality, invest the fair friend of
You must each have been deeply disquieted by the miserable scenes which have been acted in your native Ireland since I had last the honour to address you. None of your particular friends are, I trust, on the dire list of those who have fallen the victims of its assassinations. Had 'my gallant friend, the murdered Colonel St George, the happiness of your acquaintance ?-Of him at least you must well know, from your
intimacy with his lovely and accomplished sisterin-law.
My Telemachus has taken a snail's walk since I gave myself the pleasure of writing to you. Two mornings of leisure, the only ones I could obtain in the interim, produced the inclosed extract. You have heard me say, that I could scarcely ever persuade myself to admit the muses, in exclusion of any social or epistolary duty or plea
Small, therefore, with connections and correspondence so numerous, is the probability that I shall ever finish an epic poem.
You will perceive that Fenelon's Telemachus forms as yet but the mere basis of this attempted work; but I conclude, that when the prince, in what will form my third book, narrates his own adventures, I must be more indebted to the prose composition. Whether those incidents, not very interesting from Fenelon's pen, are capable of receiving poetic spirit and animation from mine, remains to be tried. If I retain my excursive manner of going over the ground, there will be sufficient length for an epic poem, without pursuing the long train of less animated events that ensues after Telemachus and Mentor quit Calypso's island. Homer follows not Achilles when he leaves the ruins of Troy; and if Virgil had