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proaching to the libertine effusions of Otway and Dryden. Yet we are constrained to deplore the manner in which all that is chaste and holy is set at naught by the author of Don Juan, and the daring persifflage of the professed atheist Shelly.
Now, if ever, are the words of the Bard made true, " The lunatic, the lover, and the poet &c.”—but in a sense far different from that wbich he intended. I therefore venture, even at the risk of being stigmatized as a laudator temporis acti, to express my wish that the good old style of Queen Anne's days, should once more obtain a predominating influence over our literature.
FOR THE AMERICAN MONTHLY MAGAZINE
EXTRACTS FROM A BACHELOR'S CHRONICLE.
Varium et mutabile semper.- Virgil.
it is no childes play, To take a wif.
CHAUCER.— The Marchantes Tel.
VIRGIL ÆNEIS, Book IV.
Since the publication of my two first numbers, I have been almost inundated with annonymous communications ; praying a continuance of my EXTRACTS; and hoping that some of them would be on subjects, which were enumerated. My correspondents, if I may judge by the style and tenor of their notes, are husbands and wives, bachelors and old maids, coquettes and fops, widows and widowers-to whom I most repectfully return my thanks for their flattering attention to my pieces. Entertaining a proper sense of the honour they have done me, I assure them, that. as far as it lies in my power, and is consistent with prue dence, I will comply with their several requests.
The other morning as I was drinking my Souchong, and eating my toasted muflin, a servant whom I had sent to the PostOffice, to enquire for letters, entered the room, and presented me with a note, addressed to E. R. The reader may imagine my astonishment, when on opening it, I read the words that follow:
“The design of your “ Extracts” entitled: “ Travelling" 66 and " The Village Inn,” is evidently to hold up to ridicule 66 the female sex. When you resume your pen for the like “purpose, one who is better acquainted with E. R. than he “ imagines, would have him recollect that he did not always “think of them so scornfully :-Perhaps if he does so, he “ will level his satire, at less unoffending objects.
That this note was purposely written to prevent my indulging in the Benedict style, was certain ; and it appeared as certain, that my fair correspondent wished to intimidate me, if I published any thing of which she did not approve, by threatening a disclosure of some circumstance of my life, which she believed I wished to have concealed. I knew of nothing that I had committed, that could expose me to censure. To what then did she allude? At length it struck me: reader, let your very humble and devoted servant confess, that he once bowed before the shrine of woman's charms. A public revelation of this, was irrefragably what Melissina menaced me with. Whilst I commend her spirit in thus standing forward the champion of her sex, I must add, that I have not arrived at so late a period of my existence, without being under the controul of woman, now to submit to petticoat subjection. Therefore, by a narration of the intercourse, I have had with woman, as faithfully detailed in my itinerary, I shall bid defiance to Melissina and all her sex, and, it may be, amuse my readers for a few moments.
During a temporary relief from a most excruciating attack of the gout, which had nearly proved fatal, I was visited by many sympathizing friends, among whom was Mr. Sterling, a man who was very dear to me. In our earlier days we had contracta ed a warm friendship, which was mellowed by maturer years. Unhesitatingly we unfolded to each other our thoughts and actions. We had been long parted by our fortunes, when about the time of which I am speaking, he returned from a Southern State, to this city. One day, after I had been telling him of the anguish, and torture I experienced from my disease, with the feeling and varmth of one anxious for the welfare of his friend, he urged me to marry. I laughed at the idea-he descanted on my pensive, forlorn, and desolate way of living ; the happiness locked up in woman's love; the comforts of a wife ; etcetera, etcetera. I spoke of the miseries of a turbulent, scolding rib, and noisy children. He pictured an amiable and affectionate mate, smiling offspring, and a cheerful fire-side ; till moved by his ratiocination, and delighted with his picture of connubial felicity, I promised him that I would look about me for a partner. Sterling was overjoyed at hearing my determination; and taking my hand, and pressing it warmly between his own, he said: “ From the bottom of my soul I am happy at bearing this resolution pass your lips; but my dear friend be cautious—be very cautious in your choice of a wife. Be guided by prudence. Be not attracted merely by beauty, for that is of little, very little worth, unless added to virtues that ennoble the mind. Get a woman that is possessed of a vigorous and cultivated mind; and a lovely and amiable temper, and believe me, you will find that wedlock is indeed the Paradise of earth."
When I recovered my health, according to my promise, I set out in search of a wife.
The first person that caught my attention was, Miss Phæbe Mowhair, a lady near her twenty-fifth year, and not disageeable either in figure or person. Her father had once been a barber in this city. There being little opposition in his line, when he “ laboured in his vocation," it was not long before he amassed a neat little sum, which by carefully nursing, and carrying on a little pedling trade, our knight of the razor, made out so handsomely, that he took down his sign, drew in his pole, shut up his shop, bade farewell to his occupation, bought his town and country house, and sported an apology for a carriage, drawn by two Rozinantes. Often would it be remarked by persons that passed Mowhair's splendid mansion, “ That they well remembered seeing little Toby Mowhair, in his grey hose, russet coat, and buckskin breeches, brushing by the folks early in the mórning, with his basin and professional apparatus under his arın, as he went to shave bis customers.” My readers may smile at my choosing the daughter of such a person for a wife, but the truth is this: Though I was disgusted with the blustering vulgarity of the father, I really admired Miss Phæbe. Her face was not unpleasing, and she appeared to possess an expanded mind. Her charms I must own, however, were heightered by the portion I understood she was to receive from her father-not that I intended ever to marry from mercenary motives. Yet, though I was possessed of a competence, an addition to my fortune would have been very acceptable with a wife I had advanced pretty far in the good graces of Miss Phæb
Mowhair, as I thought, and was about to ask her hand in marriage, (for her carriage had been so very exemplary, that I believed it would be changing my state for a better) when, calling to pay my morning visit, rather mal-apropos, my eyes were opened to her real character. When as usual I knocked at the door, I observed, as I carelessly lifted up my eyes, the head of my intended, bound round with an old Barcelona handkerchief, slyly peeping at me through the bowed window shutters above. I was ushered into the withdrawing 'room by a servant, who accidentally left the door a-jar as he left the parlour. There seemed to be considerable confusion in the house, and I soon heard a voice which I recognised as the ci-devant tonsure's, saying; “Who's at the door, dater!" Honor said listen no more ; but who is there, that if placed in the same situation as myself, would have attended to its dictates. Knowing I was the subject of conversation, I could not forbear for once in my life playing the eves-dropper and bending an attentive ear. It was well for me I did So, as the sequel will show. “ Why its that fool Sober. love," returned the daughter. (Soberlove is my name, most courteous reader) “ Make haste, dater; up stairs and dress yourself, you must not let him slip through your fingers." me alone to manage him;" said his amiable offspring. “He shall not escape if I can help it;I wish he had staid away to-day though -confound him!” “Never mind, he's here now, so go to your room and put on your best bib and tucker.” Miss Mowhair, some time after made her appearance, most gaudily attired. She received me with an air and smile which were intended to impress me with an idea of her sweetnes, and pefectability; wondered why I had not called earlier; she was then just setting ont on a visiting tour, she must positively visit the Misses Sqanders, the Nabob's daughters—I would go with her, &c.--I heard her in silence; and disgusted with her hypocrisy and simulation, apologized for my not being able to attend her in her morning calls, and bad her adieu. I never visited her again, but left her to entrap some greater fool than myself. I hope I was not unthankful to Dame Fortune for this escape.
The next lady to whom I paid my devour was Mrs. Patience Lurey, a widow with a neat little sum at her command. I met with her at a private ball, and was struck with the neatness of her attire, and the exquisite fairness and softness of ber countenance. She was also possessed of a certain suavity of manners, which never failed to call forth the admiration of those who beheld her. I had often heard of fair complexions, and seen thein too ; but of all I had ever seen, Mrs. Lurey's had the procedence. Her neck and face might literally be said to vie with alabaster, or the lily. Her perfect countenance," as it was termod, was the wonder of the city. She always treated me with marked urbanity of manners; and smiled most graciously upon me. At that time, as it is at present, it was customary for the higher ranks of society to resort to the sea shore in the Summer months for the sake of enjoying the salutiferous balneation. Among the number that resorted to the shore” was Mrs. Lurey, where, with all the ardour of an enraptured swain I followed her, to press my suite, for I longed to call the fairest of the fair by the dear title of mine. But all is not gold that glitters,” and a secnud time I was doomed to be deceived. My apartment was near to Mrs. Lurey's, on the second floor, and when I descended to the breakfast parlour it was necessary for me to pass her by her room. Now it so happened that one morning I arose earlier than I was wont to do, and was proceeding down stairs, when as I was passing Mrs. Lurey's door, she, unluckily mistook me for her waiting maid; and popping out her head with a segar in her mouth, and stretching out her hand in which she held an oyster shell, she cried: “Here, Lucy, get me another coal of fire; my segar has gone quite out." At that moment perceiving her mistake, she sbricked, and shut to the door with such force that it made the whole mansion totter to its foundations. For some minutes I was motionless ; I was actually confounded. Her smoking did not so much astound me as the change in her appear
Her hair, I then perceived was as grizzled as any grey goose that ever waddled; and her perfect countenance," but a few shades lighter than that of a Cherokee Indian. “Can it be possible," exclaimed I, that I have been following a painted creature? Good Heavens! how we are deceived by appearances! Farewell: Mrs. Lurey when I marry it must be to something real. Chagrined that I had been so duped, I left the place the same day and hurried back to Philadelphia. It was a considerable time after this occurrence, before I again thought of changing my state; and probably it would have been much longer but for a circumstance which I shall relate. I was one evening. returning to my lodgings, when a female just before me, who was hastening along the street, was set upon by a large mastiff, shrieking, she called aloud for help. I flew to her assistance, and drove off the animal. As I held the almost fainting female, in my arms. I begged that I might be allowed to see her home. Feebly articulating her thanks for my interference, she consented, and I ac companied her. This was an adventure so truly romantic that I determined to make something of it. I saw by the moun's beams, that the Lady was both young and handsome, " If." said I, as I returned home ruminating upon the events of the evening; “ she be but unmarried, I am a made man.” By means not neccessary here to be told, I became intimate