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Del. But pardon me, madam, fór hinting that a young lady of condition, who has 'a proper sense of her dignity, cannot be seen too rarely, or known too litile.
Lady Hon. O, but I liate dignity! for it is the dullest thing in the world, I have always thought, Sir, it was owing to that you was so liitle amusing-really I beg your pardon, Sir, I meant to say so little talkative.
Dei. I can easily believe your ladyslip spoke hastily : for it will hardly be supposed that a person of my family came into the world for the purpose of amusing it:
Laay Hon. O no, Sir, no body I am sure, ever knew you to have such a thought. [l'urning to Cecilia u ith a low voice] You cannot imagine, my dear Mrs. Morti. mer, how I detest this old cousin of nine! Now I pray tell me honestly, if you don't hate him yourself?
Cec. I. hope, Madam, to have no reason to hate him.
Lady Hon. La, how you are always upon your guard ! If I were half as cautious, I should die of the vapors in a mouth; the only thing that keeps me at all alive, is now and then making people angry: for the folks at our house let me go out so seldom, and then send me with such stupid company, that giving thein a little torment is really the only entertaininent I have. Obat I had almost forgot to tell you a most delightful thing!
Cec. What is it ?
Lady Hon. Why you must know I have the greatest hopes in the world that my father will quarrel with old Mr. Delvill!
Cec. And is that such a delightful thing!
Lady Hon. O yes; I have lived upon the very idea this fortnight; for then, you know, they'll both be in a pas. sion, and I shall see which of them looks frightfulest.
Mortimer Del. When Lady Honoria talks aside, I always suspect some mischief.
Lady Hon. No, no, I was only congratulating Mrs! "Mortimer about lier marriage. Tho' really upon second thoughts, I don't know but I ought to condole with her, for I have long been convinced she has a prodigious antipathy to you. I saw it the whote time I was at Delvill Castle, where she used to change color at the very sound of your name ; a symptom I never perceived when I talk
ed to her of Lord Derford, ubo would certainly have made her a thousand times.better husband,
Del. If you mean on account of his title, lady Honoria, your ladyship must.be strangely forgetful of the connec tions of your family; for Mortimer, after the death of his uncle, and myself, must inevitably inherit a title far more "honorable, than any which can be offered by a new sprung up family, like my Lord Erpolf's.
Lady Hon. Yes, Sir; but then you kuew she would have kept her esi. ., which would have been a vastly better thing than an old pedigree of new relations. Besides, I don't find that any body cares for the noble blood of the Delvills.but themseves ; and if she had kept her fortune, every body, I fancy, would have cared for l bat.
Del. Every body, then, must be highly mercenary and ignoble, or the blood of an ancient and honorable . house, would be thought contaminated by the most distant hint, of so degrading a comparison.
Lady Hon. Dear Sir, what should we all do with birth ..if it was not for wealth. It would neither take us to Ranelagh nor the Opera ; nor buy us caps nor wigs, nor supply ns with dinners nor bouquets.
Del. Caps nor wigs, dinners and bouquets! Your ladyship's estimate of wealth is extremely minute indeed!
Lady Hon. Why yon know, Sir, as to caps and wigs, they are very serious things, for we should look mighty droll figures to yo about bareheaded, and as to dinners, how would the Delvills have' lasted all these hundred centuries, if they had disdained eating them?
Del. Whatever may be your ladyship's satisfaction in depreciating a house that has the honor of being mearly allied to your own, you will not, I hope, at least
instruct this lady (turning to Cecilia]to imbibe a similar contempt of its antiquity and dignity,
Mort. Del. This lady, by becoming one of it, will at least secure us from the danger that such contempt will spread further.
Cec. Let me only be as secure from exciting as I am from feeling contempt, and I can wish no more.
Dr. Lys. Good and excellent young lady: the first of blessings indeed is yours in the temperance of your own mind. When you began, your career in life, you appeared to us short-sighted mortals, to possess more than your share of good things. Such a union of riches, beauty, independence, talents, education, virtue, seemed a monopoly to raise general envy and discontent; but mark with what exactress the good and the bad'is ever balanced! You have had a thousand sorrows to which those who have looked up you, have been total strangers, and which balance all your ada antages for happiness. There is a levelling principle in the world, at war with: pre-eminence, which finally puts us all upon a footing.
Del. Not quite: I think an ancient and respectable family
Lady Hon. With a handsome income and high life, gives one a mighty chance for happiness. Don't you: think so, Mürtiiner ?
Mort. Del, I do, indeed ; but add, a connection with an amiable woman, and I think the chances for happiness are more than doubled, Dr. Lys. Right, Mortimer; we are well agreed.
saith Seneca, and yet have much more thanı we know what to do with. Our lives, says he, either in doing nothing at all, or in doing norint purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do: we are always complaining our cia s are few, and acting as tho' there would be no end of them. That noble philosopher has described our inconsistency with ourselves in this particular; by all those various turns of expression and inought which are peculiar to his writings.
2. I often consider mankird as wholly inconsistent. ith itself in a point that bears some affinity to the former. Though we seem grieved at the shortness of life in general, we are ivishing every period of it at an end.. The minor longs to be at age, then to be a man of business, then to make up an estate; then to arrive at honours, then to retire. Thus, although the whole of life is allowed by every one to be short, the severai divisions of it appear long and fedrouso 3. We are for lengthening ours
span in general, but would fain contract the parts of which it is composed,
The usurer wonld be very well satisfied to have all the time anuihilated that lies between the present moinent and next quarter day. The politician would be content ed to lose three years in his life, could he place things in the posture which he fancies they will stand in after such a revolution of time.
4. The lover would be ;lad to strike out of his existence all the moments that are to pass away before the happy meeting. Thus as fast as our iie runs, we should be very glad in most parts of our lives, that it ran much faster than it does. Several hours of the day harig upon our hands, nay, we wish away whole,y ears; and travel thrcugh time as through a country filled with many wild and empty wastes, wrich we would fain hurry over, that we may arrive at those several little setilements or imagi. nary points of rest which are dispersed up and down in it.
3. Ifwe may divide the life of most men in twenty parts, we shall find that at least nineteen of them are mere gaps and chasms which are neither filled with pleasure nor bu. sive:5. I do not however include in this calculation the life of those men who are in a perpetual hurrý of affairs, but of those only who are not alwa: s engaged in scenes of action; and t hope I shall not do an unacceptable piece of service to these persons, it I point out to them certain méthods for filling up their emptv spaces of life, The methods I shall propose to them are as follows :
6. The first is the exercise of virtue, in the most gen. erai acceptation of the word. That particular schemą which comprehends the social virtues, ma give employ..i ment to the most industrious temper, and find a man in business mure than the most active station of life. To advise the ignorant, relieve the needy, comfort the afAicted, are du ies that fall in our way almost every day of cur lives.
7. A man has frequent opportunities of mitigating the fierceness of a párty; of doing justice to the character of a deserving man; of sofiening the envious, quieting the angiy, and rectifying the prejudiced; which are all of them employments suited to a reasonable nature, and bring great satisfaction to the person who can busy himself in them with discretion. .
-8. There is another kind of virtue that may find em- . ployment for those retired i hours in which we are allos gether left to ourselves, and destitute of company and conversation.'.I mean that intercourse and communica: tion which every reasonable creature ought to maintain with the great Author of his being.
9. The man who lives under an habitual sense of the divine presence, keeps up a perpetual cheerfulness of temper and enjoys every moment the satisfaction of thinking himself in “company with his dearest and best of friends. The time never lies heavy upon him; it is impossible for him to be alone.
10. His thoughts and passions are the most busied at such hours when those of other men are the most unactive; he 110 sooner steps out of the world, but his heart burns with devotion, swells with hope, and triumphs in the consciousness of that presence which every where surrounds baim; or, on the contrary, pours out its fears, its sorrows, its apprehensions, to the great supporter of its existence,
11. I have here only considered the necessity of a man's being virtuous, that he may have something to do; but if we consider further, that the exercise of virtue is not only an amusement for the time it lasts, but that its influence extends to those parts of our existence which lie beyond the grave, and that our whole eternity is to take. its colour from those hours which we here employ in vir-: ture or in vide, the argument redoubles upon us, for putting in practice this method of passing away our time.
12. When a man has a little stock to improve, and has opportunities of turning it all to good account, what. shall we think of him if he suffers nineteen parts of it to he dead, and pernaps employs even the twentieth to his fuin or di advantage ? But becanse the mind cannot be always in its fervor nor strained up to a pitch of virtue, it is necessary to find out proper employments for it in its relaxationsa
13. Tnê next method therefore that I would propose to till up our time; should be useful and innoceni divers sion, i inust confess I think it is below reasonable ceeaures to be aliogetner conversant in such diversions