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intercourse with the world ?-Certainly not: and as Laura is a woman of sense and talent, I cannot conceive why she persists in this course, unless she hopes, by continual practice, to verify the proverb,
“ Habit is second nature. Now, from what I know of Laura's character, and hear of the character of naïveté, if it come at all, it will come only with second childhood : yet, as Laura is a very pretty woman, I am afraid it will be difficult to convince her that the continued agitation of a light and symmetrical figure, and the display of a pretty foot is not haïveté. Indeed, had I the same advantages, I too would shut my ears against conviction, and be like her, in spite of naturé; however, ås my masterly arguments have convinced all persons with thick ankles or club feet, that Laura is not naïve, we will proceed. The next species is an affected modesty, and a retiring timidity, which is exceedingly graceful, and must interest every body who admires the delicacy of the sex ; it is, moreover, easier than the first, and requires only a quick eye and a quantum sufficit of impudence. Being, however, easier and less hazardous than the first, it is of course less brilliant, and indeed is generally used as an ornamental appendage to it. We will therefore pass on to the third class; this consists in saying every thing you think, or, more properly, in going out of your way to say rude things. If you were to ask one of the lady professors of this branch, in the same palace, the definition would be short, but emphatic—to be regularly, systematically, actively, ill-bred. So much for the naïveté of candour. I cannot forbear noticing in conclusion the affectation of resignation in public, though it does not exactly belong to naïveté, in which a person is continually making a pretence of misfortune, to be pitied for her sorrows, and admired for her patience: this, however, is never successful, nor would I recommend it, for it is very soon discovered that a young lady who is perpetually in the dismals, however pretty it may be for a time, infallibly becomes neither more nor less than a dismal bore.
Again my cares and labours cease,
Such was the scene of joy on earth,
But some there were whose kinder heart More genial feeling could impart : Some could discern a trembling lyre, A glimm'ring of the poet's fire, Take Mercy's wand for Judgment's rod, And favour and acceptance nod; And these were many: and to these Again may artless Numbers please; Again may pardon'd errors lie Conceal'd in dark obscurity, Again may boyhood's efforts raise The shout of undeserved praise.
But, hark! I hear a thund'ring cry That bids my pleasing prospects fly~ Where are your sober pages ?” where “ Good things of all kinds ?" light as air, And fleeting as the breezes gone, Descend to Styx and Phlegethon; There let the furies' scourges try The courage of your youthful fry.
Go, Zoilus! I fear not thee, I fear not all thine obloquy; This will I bear, and
more, To reap the meed I reap'd before. : An hundred adverse critics' spite Would but enhance mine own delight; An hundred friendly voices round Shall bid me spurn one angry sound.
Not yet defunct, I roam on earth, Made ready for my second birth; And, with your leave, my worthy friend, I will not quite so quick descend: Full soon thou 'lt see me gaily drest In Calf-perhaps in Russia-vest ; Long, long, I trust, my sacred strains Shall dwell in these terrestrial plains, And, when the hour of death shall come, Repose in soft Elysium,
INTRODUCTION. I HAVE been taught by experience, since I first addressed the public, that the condition of an author is not one of unmixed pleasure. Not long ago I met with a line in Euripides, which is peculiarly consolatory to me in my present frame of mind :
ουκ έστιν ουδένι δία τέλος ευδαιμονείν. . When I have heard myself abused on one side, and commended on another, and when all the resources of my natural vanity have been exhausted, I have made up my mind to share with patience the common lot of mortals, and to be contented—as well indeed I may~ with the unmerited patronage, and the liberal praise, which have been bestowed upon me.
I shall here present to the public two metrical epistles on the subject of the merits of this publication; as, if true, they deserve insertion, and, if unfounded, they will not injure me.
But soon the cloud spread o'er my eyes,
The Sun of Truth did banish : Soon did the weak and thin disguise
Of feign'd discretion vanish.
Some of thy verse is good, I own,
And some of it is fairish;
And sexton of the parish.
But oh! thou dry and barren stick,
Thy prose is prose indeed, Sir ; 'Twas form'd to make thy readers sick,
And well does it succeed, Sir.
Then I will close, as thou did'st close,
With sober admonition;
And mourn his sad condition.
Go where no self-dubb’d poet's tongue
His fustian rant rehearses :
? To B. BOUVERIE.