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married about two years to a young lady of great beauty and large fortune ; they had one child, a boy, on whom they bestowed all that affection which they could spare from each other. He knew nothing of gaming, nor seemed to have the least passion for play, but he was unacquainted with his own heart'; he began by degrees to bet at the tables for trifling sums, and his soul took fire at the prospect of immediate gain;, soon surrounded with sharpers, who with calmness lay in ambụsh for his fortune, and coolly took advantage of the precipitancy of his passions,
His lady perceived the ruin of her family approaching, but at first, without being able to form any scheme to prevent it. She advised with her brother, who at that time was possessed of a fellowship in Cambridge. It was easily seen, that whatever passion took the lead in her husband's mind, seemed to be there fixed unalterably; it was determined therefore, to let him pursue fortune, but previously take measures to prevent the pursuit being fatal.
Accordingly this gentleman was a constant attendant at the hazard tables, he understood neither the arts of sharpers, nor even the allowed strokes of a connoisseur, yet he still played. The consequence is obvious ; he lost his estate, his equipage, his wife's jewels, and every other moveable that could be parted with, except a repeating watch. His agony upon this occasion was inexpressible , he was even mean enough to ask a gentleman who sat near him, to lend him a few pieces, in order to turn his fortune ; but this prudent gamester, who plainly saw there were no expectations of being repaid, refused to lend a farthing, alledging a former resolution against lending. Hedges was at last furious with the continuance of ill success, and pulling out his watch, asked if any person in company would set him sixty guineas upon; it ; the company were şilent; he then demanded fifty; still no answer; he sunk to forty, thirty, twenty ; finding the company still without answering, he cried out, by G-d it shall never go for less, and dashed it against the floor ; at the same time, attempting to dash out his brains against the marble chimney-piece.
This last act of desperation immediately excited the attention of the whole company; they instantly gathered round, and prevented the effects of his passion” ; and after he again became cool, he was permitted to return home, with sullen discontent to his wife. Upon his entering her apartment, she received him with her usual tenderness and satisfaction ; while he answered her caresses with contempt and severity ; his disposition being quite altered by his misfortunes. But, my dear Jemmy, says his wife, “ perhaps you do not know the news I have to tell; my mamma's old uncle is dead, the messenger iş now in the house, and you know his estate is settled upon you.” This account
only seemed to increase his agony, and looking angrily at her, said, “You mistake, madam, his estate is not settled upon me.” “I beg your pardon" says she, I really thought it was, at least you have always told me so.” « No" returned he, “as sure'as you and I are to be miserable here, and our children beggars hereafter; I have sold the reversion of it to-day, and have lost every farthing I got for it at the hazard table.” * What, all ?" replied the lady,
Yes, every farthing," returned he, * and I owe á thousand pounds more than I have to pay." Thus speaking, he took a few frantic steps across the room. When the lady had a little enjoyed his perplexity—"No, my dear," cried she, “you have lost but a trifle, and you owe nothing ;' our brother and I have taken care to prevent your rashness, and are the only persons who have won your fortune ; we employed proper persons for this purpose, who brought their winnings to me; your money, and equipage, are in my possession, and I return them to you, from whom they were unjustly taken. I only ask permission to keep my jewels, and to keep you, my dearest jewel, from such dangers for the futnre. Her prudence had the proper effect; he ever after retained a sense of his former follies, and never played with the smallest sums, even for amusement.
The earlier part of this month may still be reckoned winter; though the cold generally begins to abate. The days are sensibly lengthened ; and the sun has power enough gradually to melt away the snow and ice. Sometimes a sudden thaw comes on, with a south wind, and rain, which at once dissolves the snow. Torrents of water then descend from the hills ; every little brook and rill is swelled to a large stream ; and the ice is swept away with great violence from the rivers. The frost, however, returns for a time ; fresh snow falls, often in great quantities ; and thus the weather alternately changes during most part of this month.
Various signs of returning spring occur at different times in February. The woodlark, one of the earliest and sweetest of our songsters, often begins his note at the very entrance of the month. Not long after rooks begin to pair, and geese to lay. The thrush and Chaffinch then add to the early music of the groves.
Moles go to work in throwing up their hillocks as soon as the earth is softened.—Under some of the largest, a little below the surface of the earth, they make their nests of moss, in which four or five young are found at a time. These animals live on worms, insects, and the roots of plants. They do mnch mischief in gardens, by loosening and devouring flower-roots; but in the fields do no other damage than rendering the surface of the ground unequal by their hillocks, which obstruct the sithe in mowing. They are said also to pierce the sides of dams and canals, and let out the water : but this can only be an accidental occurence, attended with their own destruction.
Many plants emerge from under ground in February, but few flowers yet adorn the fields or gardens. Snow-drops in general are fully opened from the beginning of the month, often peeping from the midst of the snow:
Already now the snow-drop dares appear,
The alder-tree discloses its flower-buds; the cakins of hazel become very conspicuous in the edges; and young leaves appear on the gooseberry and current bushes. The farmer is impatient to begin his work in the fields, as soon as the ground is sufficiently thawed. He ploughs up his fallows ; sows beans and pease, rye and spring wheat ; sets early potatoes ; drains his wet land ; dresses and repairs hedges ; lops trees and plants, those kinds which love a wet soil, as poplars and willows.
It is a question whether exquisite beauty, extreme sensibility, termagancy of temper, or versatility of attachment or preference, has with the greatest propriety been attributed to woman-perhaps all of them may have a place in the composition of the feminine character.
Philosophers would be puzzled in determining to whom the moon, the weather, the vegetable world, and the vicissitudes of the seasons, emblematically apply with so mnch exactness as to the tastes, the humours, and the frailties of the fair.
Alas ! fashion is not more variable ; nor, in all the interchanges of vision, is there a more constant or fascinating succession of light and shade, of sadness and gaiety.
“ Yet, 0 thou fairest and sweetest of Nature's works, how desolate and disconsolate were man, though possessed of every other enjoyment, without thee! The fountain is not more necesssary to the stream, than thou art to his happiness. The fierceness of his nature, the barbarity of his manners, the violence of his passions, would precipitate him into every misery, and leave him no other associates than the prowling savages of the desert, but for the softening influence of thy charms! The earth would not be more gloomy and blighted in the absence of the heavenly luminaries, the salutary winds, or refreshing rains, than he is in thine. The tenderness of thy hand proves a healing balsam to all his wounds ; thy friendship lightens the pressure of his cares !" There is no distress in which he can be involved, no disaster that can befal him, nu bitterness to which his heart may be liable, in which he does not find, in the sympathy of a kind and worthy woman, a more sovereign remedy, and a more immediate relief, than from any nostrum the medicinal world has yet produced.
But yonder comes a rake, or man of gallantry! His presence, like a mildew, suddenly blasts this pleasing prospect. His progress resembles that of a storm, which is every where marked with devastation and horror. Before him is the garden of
Eden; behind him a desolate wilderness !" He examines the map of the female world, like the fellest murderers of the species, only to sketch out for himself one cool geographical line of destruction. Would you contemplate the havock which this splendid monster has made, and hourly makes, among the choicest of Nature's offspring—explore the habitations of the wretched, the hospitals of the diseased, or the walks of the lewd and abandoned ! The man who is not shocked by these awful spectacles, either has not a heart, or must possess the heart of a monster.
“Ye batchelors, who abstract or seclude yourselves from such endearments as a manly and lawful reciprocity of affection with the sex, how contemptible your taste, how pitiable your condition! The wide world is to you a solitude ; and some malignant dæmon, by perverting your affections, blinds and abuses you, only that your misery may be inevitable. In the animal and vegetable creation there is no instance of such folly : the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the field, upbraid your preference of a single life, as treasonable against the first law of your being, and as an insult on the bounties of Providence."
Happy the man who is married to a sensible, a quiet, and virtuous woman !she is the greatest blessing this world can bestow. On earth he enjoys a heaven; in want, he acquires wealth; in misery, he arrives at felicity.
“ Othou whom my soul loveth thy beauties, thy virtues, and even thy foibles, controul the workings of my understanding, as well as the feelings of my heart! The satire which I meditated against thy sex is changed, by thy wonder-working influeuce, into a panegyric on their excellencies !"
This volcano was called the Pillar of Heaven, by Pindar, who flourished four hundred and thirty-five years before the Christian era. Its astonishing height is such, that Vesuvius, if placed be