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you, with a propofal that infults our misfortunes, and would throw us to a lower degree of mifery than any thing which is come upon us. How could this barbarous man think that the tendereft of parents would be tempted to fupply their want, by giving up the beft of children to infamy and ruin? It is a mean and cruel artifice to make this propofal at a time when he thinks our neceffities must compel us to any thing; but we will not eat the bread of shame; and therefore we charge thee not to think of us, but to avoid the fnare which is laid for thy virtue. Beware of pitying us it is not fo bad as you have perhaps been ⚫ told. All things will yet be well, and I shall write · my child better news.
I have been interrupted: I know not how I was moved to fay things would mend. As I was going on I was startled by a noife of one that knocked at the door, and had brought us an unexpected fupply of debt which had long been owing. Oh! I will now tell thee all. It is fome days I have lived almoft without fupport, having conveyed what little money I could raife to your poor father.-Thou wilt weep to think where he is, yet be affured he will foon be at liberty. That cruel letter would have broke his heart, but I have concealed it from him. I have no compá⚫nion at prefent befides little Fanny, who ftands watching my looks as I write, and is crying for her fifter; the fays fhe is fure you are not well, having difcovered that my prefent trouble is about you. But do not think I would thus repeat my forrows, to grieve thee. No, it is to intreat thee not to make them infupportable, by adding what would be worse than all. Let us bear chearfully an affliction, which we have not brought on ourselves, and remember there is a power who can better deliver us out of it, than by the lofs of thy innocence. Heaven preferve my dear child." Thy affectionate Mother
The mesenger, notwithstanding he promifed to deliver this letter to Amanda, carried it firft to his master, who he imagined would be glad to have an opportunity
of giving it into her hands himself. His mafter was impatient to know the fuccefs of his propofa!, and therefore broke open the letter privately, to fee the contents. He was not a little moved at fo true a picture of virtue in diftrefs; but at the fame time was infinitely furprised to find his offers rejected. However he refolved not to fupprefs the letter, but carefully fealed it up again, and carried it to Amanda.. All his endeavours to fee her were in vain, till fhe was affured he brought a letter from her mother. He would not part with it but upon condition that the fhould read it without leaving the room. While fhe was perufing it, he fixed his eyes on. her face with the deepest attention; her concern gave a new softness to her beauty, and when the burst into tears, he could no longer refrain from bearing a part in her forrow, and telling her, that he too had read the letter, and was refolved to make reparation for having been the occafion of it. My reader will not be difpleafed to fee the fecond epiftle which he now wrote to Amanda's mother.
Am full of fhame, and will never forgive myself, if I have not your pardon for what I lately wrote. 'It was far from my intention to add trouble to the af'flicted; nor could any thing but my being a stranger C to you, have betrayed me into a fault, for which, if I live, I fhall endeavour to make you amends, as a fon. You cannot be unhappy while Amanda is your daughter nor fhall be, if any thing can prevent it, which is in the power of,
Your most obedient humble Servant
This letter he fent by his fteward, and foon after went up to town himself to complete the generous act he had now refolved on. By his friendship and affiftance Amanda's father was quickly in a condition of re-, trieving his perplexed affairs. To conclude, he married Amanda, and enjoyed the double fatisfaction of having restored a worthy family to their former profpe
rity, and of making himself happy by an alliance to their virtues.
The WHISPERERS and GIGGLERS among the fair Sex complained of. [Connoif. No. 14.]
S the ladies are become the immediate
A objects of your care, will you permit a complaint
to be inferted in your paper, which is founded upon a matter of fact? They will pardon me, if by laying before you a particular inftance I was lately witnefs to of their improper behaviour, I endeavour to expofe a reigning evil, which fubjects them to many fhameful imputations.
I received laft week a dinner-card from a friend, with an intimation that I should meet fome very agreeable ladies. At my arrival, I found that the company confifted chiefly of females, who indeed did me the honour to rife, but quite difconcerted me in paying my refpects, by their whispering each other, and appearing to stife a laugh. When I was feated, the ladies grouped themfelves up in a corner, and entered into a private cabal, feemingly to difcourfe upon points of great fecrecy and importance, but of equal merriment and diverfion.
The fame conduct of keeping close to their ranks was observed at table, where the ladies feated themselves together. Their converfation was here alfo confined wholly to themselves, and feemed like the myfteriés of the Bona Dea, in which men were forbidden to have any share. It was a continued laugh and a whisper from the beginning to the end of dinner. A whole fentence was scarce ever spoken aloud. Single words, indeed, now and then broke forth; fuch as odious, horrible, deteftable, fhocking, HUMBUG. This laft new-coined expreffion, which is only to be found in the nonfenfical vocabulary, founds abfurd and disagreeable, whenever it is pronounced; but from the mouth of a lady it is. "fhocking, deteftable, horrible, and odious.”
My friend feemed to be in an uneafy fituation at his Own table: but I was far more miferable. I was mute, and feldom dared to lift up my eyes from my plate, or turn my head to call for small beer, left by fome awkward pofture I might draw upon me a whifper or a laugh. Sancho, when he was forbid to eat of a delicious banquet fet before him, could scarce appear more melancholy. The rueful length of my face might poffibly encrease the mirth of my tormentors: at leaft their joy feemed to rife in exact proportion with my mifery. At length, however, the time of my delivery approached. Dinner ended, the ladies made their exit in pairs, and went off hand in hand whispering, like the two kings of Brentford.
Modest men, Mr. Town, are deeply wounded, when they imagine themselves the objects of ridicule or contempt: and the pain is the greater, when it is given by those whom they admire, and from whom they are ambitious of receiving any marks of countenance and favour. Yet we must allow, that affronts are pardonable from ladies, as they are often prognostics of future kindness. If a lady ftrikes our cheek, we can very willingly follow the precept of the Gofpel, and turn the other cheek to be fmitten. Even a blow from a fair hand conveys pleafure. But this battery of whispers is against all legal rights of war ;-poifoned arrows, and ftabs in the dark, are not more repugnant to the general laws of humanity.
Modern writers of comedy often introduce a pert witling into their pieces, who is very fevere upon the reft of the company; but all his waggery is fpoken afide. Thefe gigglers and whisperers feem to be acting the fame part in company, that this arch rogue does in the play. Every word or motion produces a train of whispers; the dropping of a fnuff-box, or fpilling the tea, is fure to be accompanied with a titter; and upon the entrance of any one with fomething particular in his perfon or manner, I have feen a whole room in a buzz like a bee. hive.
This practice of whispering, if it is any where allow ble, may perhaps be indulged the fair fex at church,
where the conversation can only be carried on by the fecret fymbols of a curtfey, an ogle, or a nod. A whisper in this place is very often of great ufe, as it ferves to convey the moft fecret intelligence, which a lady would be ready to burft with, if he could not find vent for it by this kind of auricular confeffion. A piece of fcandal tranfpires in this manner from one pew to the other, then prefently whizzes along the chancel, from whence it crawls up to the galleries, 'till at last the whole church hums with it.
It were also to be wifhed, that the ladies would be pleafed to confine themfelves to whispering, in their tête à téte conferences at an opera or the play-house; which would be a proper deference to the reft of the audience. In France, we are told, it is common for the parterre to join with the performers in any favourite air: but we feem to have carried this cuftom ftill further, as the company in our boxes, without concerning themselves in the leaft with the play, are even louder than the players. The wit and humour of a Vanbrugh or a Congreve is frequently interrupted by a brilliant dialogue between two perfons of fafhion; and a lovefcene in the fide-box has often been more attended to, than that on the ftage. As to their loud bursts of laughter at the theatre, they may very well be excufed, when they are excited by any lively ftrokes in a comedy: but I have feen our ladies titter at the most distressful fcenes in Romeo and Juliet, grin over the anguish of a Monimia or Belvidera, and fairly laugh King Lear off the stage.
Thus the whole behaviour of thefe ladies is in direct contradiction to good manners. They laugh when they fhould cry, are loud when they should be filent, and are filent when their conversation is defirable. If a man in a felect company was thus to laugh or whisper me out, of countenance, I fhould be apt to conftrue it as an affront, and demand an explanation. As to the ladies, I would defire them to reflect how much they would fuffer, if their own weapons were turned against them, and the gentlemen fhould attack them with the fame arts
laughing and whispering. But, however free they may