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most amiable expressions of countenance, as if to charm each other. As they approached, each man took a female by the hand, for although the entrance to the garden was very wide, yet they must necessarily enter it in pairs. Sometimes the selection was made with the utmost delicacy of caution ; at others, it seemed as much the effect of accident as of choice. They then applied to the guardian deity for a passport, which was granted, but with this injunction: that they considered seriously what they asked ; for, having once entered the garden, it would be impossible for them to return during life. They went on, however, not the least discouraged. The younger part of the company delighted to decorate themselves with garlands of flowers from the gate, which, however, suffered nothing from the robbery, but appeared with renewed beauty and fragrance to those who succeeded; while the more advanced in age, beheld with longing eyes the gilded ornaments, and sighed that they were out of their reach; they flattered themselves that they would be bestowed on them when they should have entered the garden.
I now became desirous to know the reason why so many people had voluntarily immured themselves in a place where they were doomed to remain during life, when turning I saw on my right hand a female of a sedate countenance—“Come a little this way,” said she, “and yon will perceive the object at which they aim. My name is OBSERVATION; remain with me and you will also learn whether they attain it.
At the termination of that spacious avenue which leads directly from the gate, you see an elegant building, in the
American style, neat and simple; it is the temple of Domestic Happiness. Thither they mean to go; but it often happens, from various causes, sometimes even unobserved by themselves, that they stray from that beautiful walk into a thousand crooked paths, from which they no longer see the temple, and it is fortunate if at last they can reach either of its wings. The right is the habitation of Content, the left is that of Indifference. These are so contrived, that although they do not disfigure the mansion by their disproportionate size, yet they are capable of, and do actually contain, many more inhabitants than are admitted to the main building."
My guide now directed my attention to a group who had just entered the garden. They had taken but a few steps in the direct road when they struck into the crooked paths, unheeding where they might stray, tripping merrily through the weeds and brambles; smiling and bowing with extreme civility to all their neighbours, but thoughtless and neglectful of the companion whom they had so lately chosen. “ Many of these,” said she, “ are not vicious, but they are unfortunately matched with those who differ from them in their habits, their tastes, and their tempers. They will take no pains to accommodate themselves to each other; consequently they cannot expect to be happy. Attend to them, and you will see the characters I describe.
“That gentleman, in the thread-bare coat, is one of your penny-wise people. His wife abhors nothing more than meanness. He would forgive a thousand faults in a saving wife. She has tired of his lectures on economy, and is going to find better entertainment.
" That tidy little woman, care-worn and thoughtful, has chosen the walk in which you see her, because it is excessively nice. She has no idea which she can separate from a bucket and a broom ; her husband is careless, kind, and social; he has left her, and is gone to seek for-society.
“ There you see a couple of another description, but equally discordant. They are both profuse in their dispositions, and have some money to spare, but they are never of one mind in spending it. He loves fine horses, good eating, and the best Madeira. She dotes on superb furniture and splendid dress. They will get rid of their wealth between them, but will never know the pleasure of agreeing in any one purchase!
“ That pleasant looking lady is a votary of the Muses. She carries a bundle of manuscripts, and is reading in the Port Folio. Her partner is making memorandums for his next dinner, and is very angry that she attends to any thing else. He calls himself Timothy Plainsense; he does not know that women have genius enough to read, work, and scribble all at once. He has been warned to let his wife take her own way sometimes if he wish to reach the temple.
“ Look now at that couple in that narrow path on your left. Do you mark his stern commanding aspect, while he speaks to her ? He thinks submission comprises the whole of a woman's duty! Her eyes are fixed on the ground to conceal from the world her tears; she despairs of reaching the temple—but her religion will direct her to the habitation of Content. “ But, come; it is time to turn your eyes from such
mortifying scenes, and survey the brighter side of the picture. The Garden of Wedlock has many a narrow and perplexing path, into which you must inevitably fall if your passions are suffered to lead your reason in chains ; if, without tenderness, without consideration for your partner, your own will is to be always a law, your own pleasure the rule of your conduct. But there are some who have not only selected the most suitable companions, but have conducted themselves with delicacy and prudence ever since their first entrance into the garden. These have not deviated from the straight walk, but have cheered it with politeness and good humour. If, in gathering the roses that abound on its margin, they have been sometimes scratched by the thorns, patience and sympathy have supplied a balm for the wound. They ascend the steps of the temple of Domestic Happiness, and are welcomed by Love and Vir. tue, who guard the door on either side, and patronise the union of congenial minds”
I will go and join them, interrupted I. I see no difficulty in the attainment of happiness on such reasonable terms—but, in my haste to descend the hill, I struck my foot against a stone and instantly awoke; but with an impression so vivid that I could not persuade myself for a considerable time that it was only a dream!
DEFENCE OF AMERICAN WOMEN.
In a recent, and I am sorry to say, a reputable magazine, the following paragraph is introduced into a sort of lampoon, entitled “the Truth respecting England :"
“ Young women of no fortune, who are above the ne. cessity of labouring, are, for the most part, brought up among us in America, with an utter ignorance and disregard to every species of domestic usefulness and economy. They flare away, and sport the summer of life, which lasts while the labour of the parent can administer to their extravagance; and when he dies, become dependents on some brother, or married sister, for the rest of their lives; or in failure of that, retire to board in some cheap country vil. lage, become exceedingly pious, and withal a little scandalous—and take snuff at all mankind. There are but few young men in our country that can afford to support an extravagant wife, who does not bring the means of supplying her own fictitious wants, and this is the true reason why there are such swarms of our blooming damsels withering in the streets of our cities, and such an alarming crop of old maids by brevet, who are preparing themselves for what is to come, by studying the Balance of Comfort, and deriving consolation from the single blessedness of good Mrs. Charlton, and little Mrs. Amy Finch. As stanch friends to the gentle sex, we would advise them forthwith to begin