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often to appear a greater libertine than he is, that he may keep himself in countenance among the men of modę. Our excess of modesty makes us shame-faced in all the exercises of piety and devotion. This humour prevails upon us daily; insomuch, that at many well-bred tables, the master of the house is so very modest a man, that he has not the confidence to say grace at his own table: a custom which is not only practised by all the nations about us, but was never omitted by the heathens themselves. English gentlemen who travel into Roman catholic countries, are not a little surprised to meet with people of the best quality kneeling in their churches, and engaged in their private devotions, though it be not at the hours of public worship. An officer of the army, or a man of wit and pleasure in those countries, would be afraid of passing not only for an irreligious, but an ill-bred man, should he be seen to go to bed, or sit down at table, without offering up his devotions on such occasions. The same show of religion appears in all the foreign reformed churches, and enters so much in their ordinary conversation, that an Englishman is apt to term them hypocritical and precise.
This little appearance of a religious deportment in our nation, may proceed in some measure from that modesty which is natural to us, but the great occasion of it is certainly this: those swarms of sectaries that over-ran the nation in the time of the great rebellion, carried their hypocrisy so high, that they had converted our whole language into a jargon of enthusiam ; insomuch, that upon the Restoration men thought they could not recede too far from the behaviour and practice of those persons, who had made religion a cloak to so many villanies. This led them into the other extreme; every appearance of devotion was looked upon as puritanical, and falling into the hands of the ridiculers who flourished in that reign, and at、 tacked every thing that was serious, it has ever since
been out of countenance among us. By this means we are gradually fallen into that vicious modesty, which has in some measure worn out from among us the appearance of Christianity in ordinary life and conversation, and which distinguishes us from all our neighbours.
Hypocrisy cannot indeed be too much detested, but at the same time is to be preferred to open impiety. They are both equally destructive to the person who is possessed with them; but in regard to others, hypocrisy is not so pernicious as bare-faced irreligion. The due mean to be observed is to be sincerely virtuous, and at the same time to let the world see we are so. I do not know a more dreadful menace in the Holy Writings, than that which is pronounced against those who have this perverted modesty, to be ashamed before men in a particular of such unspeakable importance.
THE FLOWER GIRL.
AVE the goodness to buy a nosegay of a poor orphan!' said a female voice, in a plaintive and melodious tone, as I was passing the corner of the Hay-market. I turned, and beheld a girl of fourteen ; whose drapery, tho' ragged, was clean, and her form such as a painter might have chosen for a youthful Venus. Her neck, without covering, was of the purest white; and her features, though not perfectly beautiful, were interesting, and set off by a transparent complexion; her dark and intelligent eyes, were shaded by loose ringlets of raven black, which shed their sweetly supplicating beams through the silken shade of long lashes. On one arm hung a basket of
roses, the other was stretched towards me with a bud. I drew out of my pocket some money. Take this, sweet innocent!' said I, putting it into her hand, and may thy existence and thy virtue be long preserved!' I was turning from her, when she burst into a flood of tears. Her look touched my soul;-I was melted by the artless gratitude of this poor girl, and a drop of sympathy fell from my own cheek. -I returned to console her, when she added as follows.-Your's, sir, have been the first kind words I have heard since I lost all that was dear to me on earth. A sob interrupted her discourse. O, sir,' she continued, 'I have no father, no mother, no relation; alas! I have no friend in the world!' She was silent for a moment before she could proceed.
My only friend is God! on him, therefore, will I rely. O may I support, with fortitude, the miseries. I am born to experience, and may that God ever protect you!' She dropped a curtesy full of humility and native grace. I returned her benediction, and went
'And can I thus leave thee, poor creature?' said I, as I walked pensively on ;- can I leave thee for ever, without emotion? What have I done that can entitle me to thy prayers? Preserved thee a few days from death-that is all! And shall I quit thee, fair blossom! to see thee no more? leave thee to be destroy ed by the rude blast of adversity? to be cropped by some cruel spoiler? to droop thy lovely head, beneath the blight of early sorrow? No; thou hast been nurtured by the soft tears of maternal affection; thou hast budded under the sweet sun of domestic content; and under it thou shalt bloom! I returned to her, my heart beating with its newly formed purpose.The beautiful flower girl was again before me. I took her hand-the words of triumphant virtue burst from my lips. Come, lovely forlorn one! come, and add one more to the happy group who call me father!
Their home shall be thine; thou shalt share their comforts; thou shalt be taught with them that virtue alone constitutes true happiness.' Her eyes flashed with frantic joy: she flung herself upon her knees before me, and burst into rapturous tears. I raised her in my arms; I hushed her eloquent gratitude; and led her to a home of peace and tranquillity. She loves my children; she loves their father; and the poor orphan of the Hay-market is now the wife of my
The CHARACTER of a TRUE FRIEND.
YONCERNING the man you call your friendtell me, will he weep with you in the hour of distress? Will he faithfully reprove you to your face, for actions for which others are ridiculing or censuring you behind your back? Will he dare to stand forth in your defence, when detraction is secretly aiming its deadly weapons at your reputation? Will he acknowledge you with the same cordiality, and behave to you with the same friendly attention, in the company of your superiors in rank and fortune, as when the claims of pride or vanity do not interfere with those of friendship? If misfortune and losses should oblige you to retire into a walk of life, in which you cannot appear with the same distinction, or entertain your friends with the same liberality as formerly, will he still think himself happy in your society, and, instead of gradually withdrawing himself from an unprofitable connection, take pleasure in professing himself your friend, and cheerfully assist you to support the burden of your afflictions? When sickness shall call you to retire from the gay and busy
scenes of the world, will he follow you into your gloomy retreat, listen with attention to your "tale of symptoms," and minister the balm of consolation to your fainting spirit? And lastly, when death shall burst asunder every earthly tie, will he shed a tear upon your grave, and lodge the dear remembrance of your mutual friendship in his heart, as a treasure never to be resigned? The man who will not do all this, may be your companion-your flatterer-your seducer -but, depend upon it, he is not your friend.
WAS in that delightful month which Love prefers before all others, and which most reveres the Deity that month which ever weaves a verdant carpet for the earth, and embroiders it with flowers, The banks became inviting through their coverlets of moss; the violets, refreshed by the moisture of descending rains, enriched the tepid air with their agreeable perfumes. But the shower was past; the sun had dispersed the vapours; and the sky was clear and lucid, when Polydore walked forth. He was of a complexion altogether plain and unaffected; a lover of the Muses, and beloved by them. He would oftentimes retire from the noise of mixed conversation, to enjoy the melody of birds, or the murmurs of a waterfall. His neighbours often smiled at his peculiarity of temper; and he, no less, at the vulgar cast of their's. He could never be content to pass his irrevocable time in an idle comment on a newspaper, or in adjusting the precise difference of temperature betwixt the wea ther of to-day and yesterday. In short, he was not