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We are puzzled to discover what they learn be- , Therese, who lived with Rousseau nearly half a yond an intimate acquaintance with the personal century, had, according to the united testimony history and position of the parents of their fel- of all his contemporaries, only one good quality lows. They can glibly tell you who is in the to recommend her, and that was her skill in the wholesale, or who is in tbe retail business; kitchen. Cooke, the actor, was so charmed with whether Miss A.'s father lives in Fifth Avenue or a beef steak at the old Tontine Coffee-house, in East Broadway; whether Miss B.'s house is a this city, that he swore he would marry the kitchen four-story brown stone mansion or a two-story wench who cooked it, and kept his vow. We can brick front. They have already settled the gen- assure our fair dames that better lessons of the tility and the expectations of every girl in the heart can be learned from Miss Beecher’s cookery school, and are, at the earliest age, devout wor- book than from the Sorrows of Werther. Sin shipers of the golden idol. Their substantial ac- There is one manæuvre on the part of our ladies quirements are such, that not one in twenty can which we here, in the name of manhood, protest indite a billet-doux without the aid of a dictionary, against, and that is the ingenious one of shifting and their arithmetic is puzzled by the washer their own burdens upon the backs of their huswoman's bill. If you meet them in society, and, bands. Nineteen out of twenty of the once proud taking them for rational beings, start some sub- cavaliers of our queens of beauty are broken down ject of conversation which bears upon politics, into mere domestic drudges. They do four-fifths literature, or art, they stare at you with stupid of the family duty-go to market, select the dinamazement, or laugh outright at you as a pedant ner, leave the orders at the grocers, stop on their or a clown unacquainted with polite society. As way down town at the intelligence office, leave for literature, they have not enterprise enough to word for the sweeps, go at midnight after their study current history in the daily papers, and only wives to bring them home when they are sated spell through some popular ephemeral book, when with pleasure and dissipation abroad, keep house it has become, by a lucky accident, the talk of the in the dog-days in town, while their fashionable town. Art ranks with them somewhere between spouses are coquetting at Newport or Saratoga, cabinet ware and upholstery, and they estimate a run after the doctor at all hours, and spend the picture as they do a damask curtain or a rosewood better part of the winter nights in nursing the table, according to the show it makes in the draw-baby. If this is to continue, we might better transing-room. Woman, from her intellect and vigor- fer one of those painted, well-stuffed, and elegantous culture, is said to be a power in France, and ly-dressed wax figures which revolve in Trufitt Napoleon had more fear of Madame de Staël than the barber's window, to our drawing-room, and of combined Europe ; here the sex is impotent dispense with an American wife. and harmless in every respect but in its folly, and We might have sermonized upon the danger to is composed, not of De Staëls, but of just the kind society from the character, or rather want of charof women the Corsican tyrant would have cher- / acter, of our fashionable women, for of them we ished to debauch and enslave the land which he have been speaking, and not of the fair daughters subjected to his iron rule.
of America whose simpler life is an honor to the - These butterflies of fashion
land, but we have preferred drawing a series of * All glossy gay, enamel'd all with gold,
portraits which may aid the inexperienced in an!! ! The silly tenants of the summer air,
swering the question wbich we confess our ina2. In folly lost, of nothing take they care," bility to doflutter forth only in the glare of vanity and dis
Whom SHALL WE MARRY? play. In the sober atmosphere and subdued light of home they are torpid and useless. The quiet
THE QUAKER'S WIFE. virtues of the household, the domestic duties, the TN 1769, the Society of Friends comparatively humble utilities of a housewife's daily life, are I was a new one, and the strictness of its memquite beneath our fine ladies' attention. These bers in regard to dress and manners was quite bring with them merely the reward of a good con- unmodified, and remarkable even in that period science, the happiness of a husband and family, I of formality and decorous observances. Many, the goodly influence of a virtuous life. is very many, good and noble hearts have lain hid*1As long as we can hire good cooks for twelve den beneath the uncreased broadcloth and dovedollars a month, we have no desire to have our colored silk of Friends, and so many singular broth spoiled by the interference of the ten pretty things have come to my knowledge, what I am fingers of our wives. The turn of the spit, and now going to tell, though it must be regarded as the boiling of the pot are, however, by no means a deviation from the ordinary state of things in contemptible influences in the happiness of life, Quaker families, will, I trust, be regarded in this and should not be lightly contemned by woman. light--that there is no rule, or set state of things, Rousseau was, as we all know, so full of senti- but there is an exception. My exception to the ment that he fairly boiled over, and not only blub- usual frigidity and formality of young female bered outright himself, but had all France blub- Friends was a young girl of that sect whom I bering with him for a score of years. Now, while came to know, named Martha Clifton. How I the author of Heloise was puling in his books, and came into possession of some strange passages in theorizing about his heart, he did not fail practi- her life, it is not essential to tell, nor for my readcally to realize his possession of a stomach, anders to know-suffice it that what I relate are facts, took to his home a skillful caterer to its wants. / and having outlived the dear and sweet lady who is the subject of my story, as I think it interest-, in the commercial world. When they were united, ing, I mean to relate it. Among the many beau- nothing that luxury—though clothed in the forms tiful girls I have seen in my time, I never saw any of the severest simplicity-could give, was wantone who surpassed Martha Clifton. Somehow ing, and Martha was radiant with happiness; and the rigid Quaker dress only lent added charms to in her plain garb of pure white silk, with no her noble simplicity of beauty. You might as soon trimming or ornament, which she wore on her have thought of decking out one of those young wedding-day, I think a lovelier creature could not Roman women (whom Little Mary" reads about have been seen in Queen Charlotte's own court. sometimes in her history-books) in furbelows and Yes! the fair Quakeress married, went to her ribbons, as to wish Martha's dress any thing but new home, and for a long time I neither saw nor just what it was. Sooth to say, our young heard any thing of her, save such odd scraps as "Friend" knew well enough how to attire her- Christiana Marcourt gleaned now and then from self, and to contrive that the tasteless form of her Ruth Clifton, Martha's grave and quiet mother dress should be so disposed as to enhance her ex- (my forewoman went there now and then with quisite face and figure. Her parents occupied a some of the Brussels net, which the female large sad-looking mansion opposite our house, so Friends of the wealthier classes used for kerthat I had frequent opportunities of studying the chiefs and aprons), and that was little enough. « Quaker beauty,” as our pert needle-women Whenever I thought of my former beautiful neighwould call her, and I observed that her thick silks bor, it was to imagine her in the enjoyment of and satins, nay, even sober camlets, were always cloudless happiness; but I reckoned too fast. of the most becoming colors-dove, silver gray, Five months after Martha's wedding-day, as I sat rich brown, or, on festive occasions, spotless at the window one day at work, a plain coach maiden white. She was but eighteen when I first drew up to Friend Clifton's door, and from it, rebegan to observe her, though she looked grave and ceived by her father and mother, came forth Martha sedate enough for forty—but the snows of Etna Wilson, oh, so changed, so wan—thin, even to cover fire. Inclined by her natural taste to love meagreness, so that it was with difficulty I satisintensely the ideal and beautiful, she was restrain-fied myself that this was the beautiful girl whom ed from such indulgences by the cold and frigid I had seen go from her father's house, even as a habits of her society; still her imagination was bride. Still her altered appearance and her quansometimes gratified by the composition of poems, tity of luggage convinced me that something was which were of no mean order. Such a mind, you wrong in that Quaker ménage; for allowing may be sure, stagnated amidst the formal and joy- Martha a plenitude of filial affection, still, from less life of Quakerism. She knew herself to be all I had heard, I knew the formality and want of fair; she could scarcely help it, when every pass- genial feeling in her patemal home to be ill suiter-by confirmed the knowledge with his admira-ed to her taste. It was a long time after that I tion, and even the cool and sober “Friends” vied found out the truth of my surmises, and the with each other in the endeavor to gain her love; events which, having after a few months of marbut Martha Clifton was hard to please where love ried life caused a separation, and return of the was concerned, and believed her heart to be in- | young wife to her parents' roof, made some comsensible to the passion; yet the fire was but motion among the body of “Friends," connections smouldering, to burst forth with increased in- of both parties. Martha Wilson had scarcely been tensity when fairly kindled. She believed it could settled in her own handsome and comfortable resnot be possible for her to love one of her own idence, than she discovered that her husband was sect. Quakers, she used to remark, were so fond absent many hours from his home, when business of personal comfort, that she feared their selfish- she well knew had no claims on his time. Great ness was too great ever to allow them to love any absence of manner, too, marked his conduct; still but themselves. She was mistaken though, as so Martha was long ere she suspected that her husmany of us are, when we attempt to decide on our band's affections were no longer hers. There was future course. Scarcely had she known Everard not on his part less kindness, when present; but Wilson one week, when she knew that her destiny this grew a thing of such rare occurrence, that had arrived. He was a young and very handsome not merely her days, but her evenings were solQuaker, who had gone in his boyhood to Phila- itary. Still her mind was unawakened to jealdelphia, from whence he had not long returned. ousy, till an anonymous letter-one of those deadLike Martha, his eager and intelligent mind ly firebrands in domestic estrangements—arrived soared far beyond the narrow limits of the soci- one day, and informed Martha that her husband ety, but he had dared to go further than the fair was daily in the habit of visiting a young female “ Friend," and had read worldly books extensive in an obscure street; that he was even in the habit ly. It was only necessary for Martha and him of accompanying this woman to places of public self to have an opportunity of conversing, unheard entertainment, more especially the Opera House, by their elders, to discover that they were indeed where he might be seen in a certain box, dressed kindred souls. That discovery soon led to an in the garb of the world, and listening to the diother, namely, that their hearts also were indis- vine strains of Belleroni and Staffonini. It was solubly united; and the course of their love, the Martha's misfortune that, instead of taking this depth of which was known truly but to them- precious epistle to her husband, she chose rather selves, ran smooth enough. Martha was the only to muse and brood over the information it conchild of a wealthy house, Everard of a family high tained, till her brain became fermented and her reason warped. She unhesitatingly believed the gazed, enchanted. The gray Cashmere went over calumny. This belief was confirmed, by finding all, and a black silk whalebone hood, and then she in her husband's linen-drawer a pair of soiled rang the bell, and desired her maid to bid them white gloves—things certainly not worn by any call a hired chair. Rachel obeyed, not without a of the Society of Friends. To her jaundiced eye look of surprise. Telling her woman that she this was sufficient proof. The young wife as- should be late home, she stepped into the sedan, sumed a coldness equal to what she felt to be her and the Irish chairmen bore her away. The adinjuries. A wild thought took possession of her venture was fairly commenced, it must be finished, brain ; pondered on, it became more and more and in a short time she would enter the temple of tangible—what was it? Why, that she, too, Apollo alone. Yes, alone; she had forgotten till would don gay clothes, visit the house of sin, and now that even the daughters of the world usually with her own eyes behold if the husband of her went into public with a cavalier to attend on them; choice was there, partaking with her favored rival she felt the color rush into her face, as she was these worldly snares and vanities. And Martha ushered to a seat in the pit, which then, as now, truly thought them thus, for though latitudinarian was the resort of the Macaroni, and such of the as a Quaker, still she went not to the extreme of citizens' wives as affected, in spite of not comlonging after stage-plays, and such like vanities prehending Italian music, a taste for this fashionand temptations. Her inner life was still pure able amusement. Martha could not fail, in spite and intellectual. If this presumed slander proved of her extreme perturbation, to perceive that she to be a truth, her fate was decided. This resolu- was an object of the general gaze, and murmurs tion formed, she felt impatient till it was acted on. reached her ear which made her sink into the As her maid Rachel could by no means be trust- nearest seat she could find. Not daring to look ed, Martha had to undertake the difficult arrange- up, she bent her eyes on her fan, wishing dements of this matter herself. She availed herself voutly for the Cashmere cloak which she had left of the excuse that she required choice nets, to behind in the sedan chair. Her great beauty and visit the house of a fashionable modiste, and re- unprotected appearance led the gentlemen around questing to speak with the principal, she ordered to regard her with an impertinent curiosity, and (not without much confusion, as she marked the the ladies with an affected shrinking. The unismile of the dressmaker, a Frenchwoman) a suit versal opinion being, I am sorry to say, in spite of clothes proper to appear in at the scene of gay- of her modesty, youth, and timidity, that she was ety, which she was now quite determined to in- any thing but a woman of reputation. Such was vade. She requested that the dress and a large the predicament into which the pure, retired gray mantle, with which she meant to hide it from young Quakeress had involved herself. The the eyes of her staid household, should be sent by opera had commenced, but she attended to noa messenger to her house. She took good care thing on the stage. Her eyes, when, indeed, she to be in the way when it arrived, and conveyed mustered sufficient courage to raise them, were the strange habiliments to her own apartment. busily employed in making a survey of that brillThat very evening she had ascertained there was iant assemblage. Suddenly her eyes dwelt on a to be an opera, at which their majesties were to box on the second tier, in which a young girl of be present, and she had, through the means of exquisite beauty sat conspicuously forward. Furthe foreign woman, the dressmaker, obtained a ther back, dressed à-la-mode, sat Martha's husticket, which was inclosed with the dress. She band. “Yes, it was truth, then ; she was glad had, in her own phraseology, “ determined to go she was there to confront him ; glad that she sat forth to the house of Belial" that very night. Now, there a living witness of his shame." She gazed in a Quaker household, such a resolution was not for some minutes on the pair. The young girl easy of accomplishment; but Martha had seriously cast her brilliant eyes about the house—she seemed resolved, and she determined to brave all. After as if seeking some one amidst the splendid throng. the three o'clock dinner, which, as usual now, Everard, on his part, appeared to be absorbed passed in silence, Everard Wilson retired to his in constantly watching her, though apparently he room, and soon after went out: stung to the seldom spoke. At length Martha, who had gazed quick, she also went to her own apartment, lock- at this sight till her woman's heart, burning with ed the door, lit the candles herself, and unfolding excitement, she could bear it no longer, rose up her finery, surveyed it with any feelings but pleas- and abruptly quitted her seat. Some of the beaux urable ones. In another hour's time she looked who were lounging about started up also, and, to at the time-piece, and perceived it was six o'clock. her extreme vexation, she was surrounded by The opera began, she was told, at eight. She re- offers of assistance ; she hardly knew what imluctantly proceeded to clothe herself in the costly pulse caused her to take the arm of the least obgarments, in which for the first time, the only trusive, but she did so, saying, in her formal time, she would enter the world of fashion. The phraseology (to which being accustomed, she pale-blue satin sacque, over a petticoat of the color could not, under excitement and irritation, alter “ maiden's blush," the costly Mechlin lace which to more conventional forms)," Friend, I accept adorned the robe, the gipsy-looking cloak and hood thy proffered assistance; be respectful, I entreat of Murrey velvet which served to adorn, not con- thee, and convey me to yonder small compartceal this exquisite toilet, enhanced Martha's per- ment—that one hung with scarlet, wherein thou fect beauty so greatly, that for a moment she for- seest that fair but shameless woman.” You may got the cause of this strange metamorphosis, and guess the amazement of the votaries of Fops' Al
ley at hearing this Quaker language ; but though home, she gave orders to the men that her woconceited and a fashionable lounger, the young men should bring a cloak out; her order being man addressed had still the feelings of a gentle- obeyed, she enveloped her person in it before she man; so quietly clearing the way from his con- quitted the sedan. But, truth to say, the quiet temptuously-smiling companions, he said, with Quaker household were sufficiently scandalized some respect, “ Depend on me, madam ; you at their mistress's proceedings without beholding honor me by trusting me," and in a very short with their own eyes her strange and unseemly space of time they arrived at the box-door. Call- transformation. Martha's first step, after deing the box-keeper, the young nobleman, for such stroying her opera costume, and securely hiding he was, signed to him to open the door ; he was the remains from the prying eyes of Rachel, was obeyed, and on Martha thanking him, he bowed to abandon her own apartment, and lodge herself and rejoined his friends below, who were en- in a remoter one; she had succeeded in discovergaged in an animated discussion as to the pretty ing the source of her uphappiness; she felt deQuakeress in disguise. As the box-door opened, graded in her own estimation; her husband had Everard Wilson tumed, and I will not attempt to all but avowed that she had forfeited his, and a depict the expression on his face as he, with some more thoroughly miserable woman perhaps did difficulty, recognized his wife. "Thou!” said not at that moment exist. he, knitting his brows; then taking her by the The next morning, having spent the night in wrist, he led her toward the door. “Martha !” tears and lamentations, she dispatched a letter to he exclaimed, “ dost thou understand thine ac- Everard, requesting that if he could not satisfactions ? art thou departed from reason? This torily account for his conduct, he would prepare dress? Oh, shame! that thy husband should measures for an immediate separation. Everard blush for thee.”
| turned pale when he read this letter, so haughty “ Shame on thyself,” said the exasperated wife. and uncompromising in its tone-as he thought, “ Darest thou to confront me, thou and thy shame- so unwifelike. He had been all that night preless paramour ?"
paring for a humiliating confession, but one which The young female, who had hastily drawn the would have restored him Martha's unbounded love curtains, and had sat apparently much amazed at and confidence. Now, the demon of pride stepthis scene, and who, with her eye-glass directed ped in and whispered, “ To act thus, I will not toward the excited Martha, seemed likewise con- wound my own feelings to save hers.” He theresiderably amused, burst at this crisis into a loud fore returned an answer, avowing it impossible to laugh. She was about to address Martha, when explain at present, the matter involving another Everard laid his hand on her arm.
person's honor. He also requested his wife to “Silence,” said he, “I will not have her ad- summon her parents and provide her own man of dressed by thee-dost thou understand ? not one business. Martha, heart-stricken, and firmly consentence." Then turning to the disgusted and vinced of his guilt, did as he desired, and the realienated wife, “Woman," he said, “I am thy sult of these proceedings was, that she returned husband; on thy duty I command thee to depart to her own family in a state of health which afhome. This is no time or place to explain, if I forded the most serious grounds for apprehensions even chose to do so but I do not. Come, I will of the worst kind. .... assist thee to thy conveyance. Edith," to the Thus did twelve months pass away, mournfully strange female,“ do thou remain here-alone enough to Martha. Her appearance was so al. mark me. I trust thee for a few short moments; tered that, save for elegance of demeanor, few let me not on my retum find myself deceived;" would have recognized the beautiful Quakeress. so saying he took his wife's hand and led her out, Her own fortune had been returned, and all alresistless, powerless, stupefied with combined an- lowance from Everard declined. ger, terror, and apprehension. As one in a dream, She never heard of him, for all communication she suffered him to lead her; then as Everard between the families was interdicted. Quakers dispatched a messenger for a chair, she demand are silently vindictive, and Friends Clifton, lor. ed if he meant to leave the “Woman of Belial," ing their daughter fondly, resented strongly her and depart with her ?
wrongs. One day she received a note written "I do not,” said Everard; “my duty leads me in a small female hand, requesting Mrs. Wilson to remain here : ask no questions, for I shall an-would visit a house in a street named in the swer none. Thou hast much transgressed this neighborhood of Bloomsbury, where there was a night, and it will need all my love to accord thee dying woman who bad injured her. Such an pardon."
invitation Martha would scarcely have refused at “Thou,” said Martha, “ pardon me! I thank any time, but perhaps a foreboding of who this thee; thou hast said well; henceforth join whom enemy might be, induced her still more urgently thou wilt. Street,” she said to the chair- on this occasion to go. She desired Christiana men, as, repulsing Everard's assistance, she en- Marcourt to attend her thither, and Christiana, tered the sedan; the bearers went on, and Martha, who possessed her confidence and was much rein the midst of her indignation, was reminded by spected by her, consenting, they departed together her chilliness that she had lost the wrapping in to the locality indicated in the note, and arrived which she came, so that she would have to enter at the door of a mean-looking house. A womanher own house in her assumed dress was very servant ushered them to a room on the first floor; evident. When the chair stopped at her own there, stretched on a couch arranged as a bed,
lay a girl evidently in the last stage of rapid de- / gate nobleman. Everard, though burning with cline. The invalid beckoned her visitors to take shame and confusion, stopped the carriage, and chairs close to the couch, for a cough, distressing addressing his sister by name, insisted on her even to hear, interrupted the poor girl every min- alighting and entering a private hotel close at ute. Martha, who had recognized her opera ri- hand. The shameless girl defied him, till he, val, turned pale, and the tears came into her fine threatening to pursue her for robbery, she found dark eyes; she evidently anticipated a heart-rend- herself obliged to succumb, and dismissing her ing confession of wrongs and injuries done to gaudy equipage, accompanied her brother in siherself; judge, then, how great was her surprise, lent rage to the house he pointed out. A long when, after a paroxysm of coughing was, over, and most unsatisfactory conversation ensued. and the sick girl able to speak, she addressed Edith persisting in her right to pursue any course Mistress Wilson by saying, “I sent to tell you of life she pleased; her brother, equally determ-for I could not die till I had done so--that ined to force her into decorum and submission, your husband is innocent of all guilt as regards asserted his resolution never to leave her unmyself, for I am-his sister.” An exclamation watched or unguarded. At first the wretched burst from the lips of Martha. She continued, girl laughed the idea to scorn, but she soon found “ Hear what I have to say while breath is yet Everard was perfectly in earnest. He dispatchgiven me. It was shame first sealed Everard's ed a messenger with a note to an old servant of lips, and pride seals them now, and the fear that his, now retired from service, and to whom he false shame and wounded pride together will seal resolved to intrust the charge of his sister when them when I am gone, has induced me to send he was forced to be absent. When the old man for you to-day." A pause ensued; the unhappy arrived, obedient to his late master's summons, young creature was breathless and nearly faint- he desired him to call a hackney-coach, and to ing; when a little recovered, she related such look for lodgings in a certain part of the town he circumstances as I shall narrate precisely as I named; and leading the indignant Edith to the heard them.
coach, placed her in it, and drove slowly thither. At sixteen years of age Edith Wilson, notwith- She had then recourse to tears and entreaties, standing the strictness of her education and the but they had as little effect as her passion. “Lost sobriety of her father's household, possessed an as she was," he told her, “ irretrievably for earth, incorrigible levity of heart and mind. Gifted he would try to save her for heaven.” She with great beauty, her gayety was not the par- asked, with scorn and baffled rage flashing from donable effervescence of youth, but the frivolity her beautiful eyes, if he intended to take her to and natural vicious tendency of an idle disposi- his house. He indignantly asked if she thought tion joined to strong passions. She formed, se- such a thing possible. What! pollute his pure cretly, acquaintances out of the society; and many and beautiful Martha's eyes with the sight of a night, when her parents deemed her retired to such a sister! Thus they reached the apartments rest, had she quitted her paternal roof, and been which Andrew, who was waiting in a street prea partaker of all the secret and not over-reputable viously agreed on, had hired; and here, these diversions, which even in the strict and Puritan- plainly-furnished rooms was Edith Wilson told ical city of Philadelphia found votaries among the she must consider her home for the present. She young and viciously inclined. Some natures are raved, stormed, and threatened, but to no purpose. so warped, so gnarled, and knotted by secret vice, She was never left unguarded by her brother or that not all the pious training in the world could his servant; and being without money she had bend them straight. One bad female acquaint- no means to break her chain. This life continued ance, many vile books, had so perverted Edith some time, till one day, reading the Gazette, she Wilson, that at sixteen she secretly laughed at discovered that a rich and childless relative, igall moral or religious notions. I do not wish, norant of course of her misconduct, had left her however, to dilate on the errors of this guilty a large sum of money. Not being able to claim young creature; suffice it, that when she was by it without Everard's assistance, she formed a new her parents formally betrothed to a staid and plan-she affected extreme penitence and humilsomewhat elderly merchant of the Quaker per- ity; and so perfectly deceived her brother, that suasion, she eloped from her father's house, rob-having claimed the legacy for her, he was induced bing his bureau of a large sum in money, and to place the power of disposing of it in her own sailed from New York undiscovered, though her hands, and hoped that she might be now trusted. distracted brother and father lost no time in pur- She pursued this new conduct for some time, till suit. She made her voyage alone and unpro- | Andrew and her brother off their guard, she gave tected. On arriving in England, though to con- unbounded license to her love of expense. Her tinue so formed no part of her plan, gifted with object being to see her former admirer, she enthe rarest beauty and immense vivacity, destruc-gaged a box at the Opera; and Everard found to tion, seeking for it as she did, was inevitable. his horror that opposition was in vain; nothing When her brother Everard (whose chief object in seemed effectual but his constant surveillance. coming to England was to discover and reclaim A billet from Lord — having been interher if possible), some short time after his marcepted by Andrew, and Edith persisting that riage, did recognize her, to his unfeigned horror she would frequent her Opera-box, Everard anand subsequent torment, she was dressed in splen- nounced his determination to go with her. It dor, lolling in the carriage of a well-known profli, was received with the wildest shouts of laughter.