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cestors, they treat me with more inhumanity than a fying fish. If I dive and run my nose to the bottom, there a devouring shark is ready to swallow me up ; if I skim the surface, a pack of dolphins are at my tail to snap me; but when I take wing and attempt to escape them by flight, I become a prey to every ravenous bird that winnows the bosom of the deep.
TO THE SAME
The formalities, delays and disappointments, that precede a treaty of marriage here, are usually as numerous as those previous to a treaty of peace. The laws of this country are finely calculated to promote all commerce, but the commerce between the sexes. Their encouragements for propagating hemp, madder and tobacco, are indeed admirable ! Marriages are the only commodity that meet with none.
Yet from the vernal softness of the air, the verdure of the fields, the transparency of the streams, and the beauty of the women, I know few countries more proper to invite to courtship. Here love might sport among painted lawns and warbling groves, and revel upon gales wafting at once both fragrance and harmony. Yet it seems he has forsaken the island; and when a couple are now to be married, mutual love of
an union of minds is the last and most trifling consideration. If their goods and chattels can be brought to unite, their sympathetic souls are ever ready to guarantee the treaty. The gentleman's mortgaged lawn becomes enamoured of the lady's marriugeable grove ; the match is struck up, and both parties are piously in love-according to act of parliament.
Thus they, who have fortune, are possessed at least of something that is lovely; but I actually pity those that have none. I am told there was a time, when ladies with no other merit but youth, virtue and beauty, had a chance for husbands, at least, among the ministers of the church, or the officers of the army. The blush and innocence of sixteen was said to have a powerful influence over these two professions. But of late, all the little traffic of blushing, ogling, dimpling, and smiling, has been forbidden by an act, in that case wisely made and provided. A lady's whole cargo of smiles, sighs and whispers, is declared utterly contraband, till she arrives in the warm latitudes of twenty-two, where commodities of this nature are two often found to decay. She is then permitted to dimple and smile, when the dimples and smiles begin to forsake her; and when perhaps grown ugly, is charitably entrusted with an unlimited use of her charms, Her lovers, however, by this time have forsaken her; the captain has changed for another mistress; the priest himself leaves her in solitude, to bewail her virginity, and she dies even without benefit of clergy
Thus you find the Europeans discouraging love with as much earnestness as the rudest savage of Sofala. The Genius is surely now no more. region I find enemies in arms to oppress him. Avarice in Europe, jealousy in Persia, ceremony in Chi.
na, poverty among the Tartars, and lust in Circassia, are all prepared to oppose his power. The Genius is certainly banished from earth, though once adored under such a variety of forms. He is no where to be found ; and all that the ladies of each country call produce, are but a few trifling reliques as instances of his former residence and favour.
The Genius of Love, says the Eastern Apologue, had long resided in the happy plains of Abra, where every breeze was health, and every sound produced tranquillity. His temple at first was crowded, but every age lessened the number of his votaries, or cooled their devotion.
Perceiving, therefore, his altars at length quite deserted, he was resolved to remove to some more propitious region, and he apprised the fair sex of every country, where he could hope for a proper reception, to assert their right to his presence among them. In return to this proclamation, embassies were sent from the ladies of every part of the world to invite him, and to display the superiority of their claims.
And first the beauties of China appeared. No country could compare with them for modesty, either of look, dress, or behaviour; their eyes were never lifted from the ground ; their robes of the most beautiful silk hid their hands, bosom and neck, while their faces were only left uncovered. They indulged no airs that might express loose desire, and they seemed to study only the graces of inanimate beauty. Their black teeth and plucked eye-brows were, however, alleged by the Genius against them, but he set them entirely aside when he came to examine their little feet.
The beauties of Circassia next made their appear ance. They advanced hand-in-hand, singing the most
immodest airs, and leading up a dance in the most luxurious attitudes. Their dress was but half a covering ; the neck, the left breast, and all the limbs, were exposed to view, which after some time seemed Father to satiate than inflame desire. The lily and the rose contended in forming their complexions; and a soft sleepiness of eye added irresistible poignance to their charms : but their beauties were obtruded, not offered, to their admirers ; they seemed to give rather than receive courtship; and the Genius of love dismissed them as unworthy his regard, since they exchanged the duties of love, and made them. selves not the pursued, but the pursuing sex.
The kingdom of Kashmire next produced its charming deputies. This happy region seemed peculiarly sequestered by Nature for his abode. Shady mountains fenced it on one side from the scorching
and sea-born breezes, on the other, gave pe. culiar luxuriance to the air. Their complexions were of a bright yellow, that appeared almost transparent, while the crimson tulip seemed to blossom on their cheeks. Their features and limbs were delicate beyond the statuary's power to express ; and their teeth whiter than their own ivory. He was almost persuaded to reside among them, when unfortunately one of the ladies talked of appointing his seraglio.
In this procession the naked inhabitants of Southern America would not be left behind ; their charms were found to surpass whatever the warmest imagination could conceive; and served to show, that beauty could be perfect, even with the seeming disadvantage of a brown complexion. But their savage education rendered them utterly unqualified to make the proper use of their power, and they were rejected as being
incapable of uniting mental with sensual satisfaction, In this manner the deputies of other kingdoms had their suits rejected : the black beauties of Benin, and the tawny daughters of Borneo, the women of Wida with well-scarred faces, and the hideous virgins of Cafraria ; the squab ladies of Lapland, three feet high, and the giant fair ones of Patagonia.
The beauties of Europe at last appeared: grace was in their steps, and sensibility sate smiling in every eye. It was the universal opinion while they were approaching, that they would prevail ; and the Genius seemed to lend them his most favourable attention. They opened their pretensions with the utmost modesty; but unfortunately as their orator proceeded she happened to let fall the words house in town, settlement and prin-money. These seemingly harmlegs terms had instantly a surprising effect : the Genius with ungovernable rage burst from amidst the circle ; and waving his youthful pinions, left this earth, and flew back to those etheriul mansions from which he descended.
The whole assembly was struck with amazement: they now justly apprehended, that female power would be no more, since love had forsaken them. They continued some time thus in a state of torpid despair, when it was proposed by one of the number, that, since the real Genius had left them, in order to continue their power, they should set up an idol in his stead ; and that the ladies of every country should furnish him with what each liked best. This proposal was instantly relished and agreed to. An idol was formed by uniting the capricious gifts of all the assembly, though no way resembling the departed Ge nius. The ladies of China furnished the monster with wings ; those of Kashmire supplied him with