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the mind of Thekla Mayville with the most unjust suspicions against Edward Fairfield. When Thekla was left alone, she revolved in her mind, again and again, the strange events of the last twenty-four hours. She had ever been accustomed to regard her aunt as an oracle of truth and wisdom. The conflict between the feelings of her heart, and the convictions which the conversation of her aunt had produced in her mind, was long and violent. To crush those feelings which she had indulged towards Edward Fairfield seemed like sacrilege, and harbor them she dare not.
But to return to Fairfield. He congratulated himself that he had at length found a spirit kindred to his own—a lady of sweet simplicity artlessness and sincerity. He despised that artificial state of society which he found in the ranks of fashion, and the mannerism and heartlessness which characterized the young ladies of his acquaintance. He believed Thekla Mayville artless and frank; a girl of genuine enthusiasm, of real soul and sentiment; one who could love without doing it by the rule of three or vulgar fractions, and who could appreciate and return a love deep, tender and enthusiastic as that which he longed to bestow upon some worthy object. She seemed indeed
“ The boon prefigured in his earliest wish,
When his young heart first longed for sympathy."
a full declaration of my feelings towards you. Our acquaintance has been brief; yet it has wrought a great change in me. I am no longer the being I was before I saw you. This confession is humiliating to me, for I clearly see from your conduct that my love is not reciprocated. If you can give me one ray of hope that I may ever win you, speak."
Miss Mayville's feelings, notwithstanding her apparent indifference, were almost irrepressible, and she was upon the point of giving vent to them; but the warning of her aunt came like the voice of an oracle upon her ear, and by a desperate struggle she restrained them, and with as much indifference as possible, replied, “I suppose, Mr. Fairfield, all this is a mere farce, to try your power over my heart : I hope I have sense enough not to be duped by your trickery."
“You do me great injustice," said Fairfield, “ by supposing me capable of dissimulation or trickery. I aver most seriously and solemnly, Miss Mayville, that I have made a frank and honest disclosure of the real sentiments of my heart.”
“I am told,” said Miss Mayville, " that loud professions of honor and sincerity, are very trite affairs among gentlemen."
They had now arrived at the door of Miss Mayville's dwelling, and as the lateness of the hour forbade further conversation, they bade each other a formal farewell.
Patient reader my story is most done. Thekla Mayville, by indulging the suspicions whispered or rather thundered in her ears by her aunt, gave them strength and permanency till they became a part of her own mind. The false construction put upon the conduct of Fairfield, and the continued struggle of months and years to suppress every generous sentiment towards him, have changed her into the very image and superscription of her aunt. Her lovely frankness and sweet simplicity are gone. Suspicion, dark, gloomy, detestable suspicion, has left its withering curse upon her and made her a monument of its blighting power.
Edward Fairfield, left the village of H-, in moody silence, and returned to the University. The conduct of Miss Mayville had changed his views of her character and the sex. I will not describe the alternations of feeling through which he passed before he became confirmed in his suspicions that deception and artifice are universal characteristics of woman-kind. He has become a rabid satirist of the sex, and devotes the powers of his fine mind, when disengaged from professional pursuits, to the detection and exposition of their wiles and tricks, as he bitterly and sneeringly calls woman's sweetest smiles and kindest sympathies. He has thrown himself without the pale of social sympathy, and delights to scandalize and ridicule the fairest work of God, man's choicest boon, and jeers at
“ Domestic happiness, the only bliss
Reader, my story is finished. Do you say the events are too hurried and rapid to be natural. Be it som -I will not contend with thee. Yet it describes nothing but what have gathered from real life by personal observation. But I wrote it for the sake of the instruction and moral which it contains.
Suffer then for a moment the word of exhortation. Art thou a young lady
in the pride of thy youth and beauty ? Torture not thy own heart, and that of thy lover by regarding him with a suspicious eye. It is the very way to make him suspect and distrust thy sincerity. It is the very way to se. cure the reputation of a suspicious disposition, and at length to crown thee with the withered laurels of perpetual celibacy. Art thou a young man, I beseech thee for the honor of our sex prove, demonstrate by thy conduct, that the charges preferred by Thekla's aunt are a libel on our sex and with. out foundation, and verily thou shalt have thy reward.
Art thou a disaffected old bachelor, of the same school with Edward Fair. field. What shall I say to thee. Thou art indeed in a sad dilemma. But there is yet hope for thee, if thou wilt renounce thy suspicious temper—and give honor to whom honor is due. Tears of repentance may again restore thee to the sympathies of society and perhaps to the bosom of female affection.
For tbe Microcosm.
WELCOME ye grassy mounds and moss.grown rocks,
The stream and vale and mountain top
There steals ofttimes
For the Microcosm.
THE INFLUENCE OF FICTION UPON THE MORAL FEELINGS
AND DOMESTIC HAPPINESS.
It was evidently the design of his Maker, that man be governed by reason. Every trace of the Divinity that may yet be seen in his fallen mind, clearly shows that he was created for a noble end—that the purpose of his being is to fill the cup of existence with happiness, to shed a healing and cheering influence around him, and to prepare his immortal nature for the future state to which it is destined. But this truly benevolent design of our Creator can only be accomplished by viewing things soberly and rationally. Fiction, is a miserable agent to be employed in bringing the mind into a proper frame, preparing it to feast upon the real and substantial enjoyments of this life, and to be cheered by the anticipations of that into which we are yet to be born. If a fondness for it be contracted, and that fondness be indulged, it mars the symmetry of the mental and moral frames, and destroys the beautiful proportion which nature has made in the affections; to preserve and adorn which, should be one of the leading objects of life. Why then should we spend our energies in the pursuit of shadows, and exhaust our powers in dwelling upon the sickly and often corrupting productions of imagination? Is it wise for us to pursue objects which can exist only in the world which imagination creates, while we live amid scenes which require the most calm contemplation and sober thought? The human constitution is such that we are inclined by nature to fall into reverie, and trains of thought full of the unreal and wonderful ; and if this natural fondness for fiction which is implanted in the human mind, be fostered by continually tracing the steps of imagination in her airy flights, the mind will most certainly become wild, be thrown from its balance, and made to exist forever in a state of unbappy deformity. How mournful the spectacle, when what is exalted in its nature and capacities, is ruined and lost! We must beware how we trample upon mind. As it is the most noble and divine of all created things, when shielded from all that would corrupt, so when it does go to ruin by the corroding influences which are suffered to reach it, its wreck is most vile and loathsome! There can, we think, be no doubt of the baneful influence of fiction upon the moral feelings. When did folly and impurity of thought, feeling, and language, prevail to a more lamentable extent, than during the age in which fiction may be said to have had its origin? Then it was noble to be vicious, and to give loose reins to the most groveling and malignant passions of the human heart. The taste of that era has been perpetuated, and has fixed a stain upon the soul which, it is feared, will not soon be removed. It will descend from sire to son, and from the generation now upon the stage to that which is yet to come from the land of silence ; corrupting the source of every moral, social, and reciprocal feeling, until the days of primeval purity shall return, and moral beauty and excellence shall be esteemed as they ought. Lest, however, our real sentiments upon this subject should be misapprehended, it becomes us to state, that we would by no means include all fiction in these objections ; for we believe some adapted to purify, rather than corrupt the heart; and to elevate the affections, rather than bind them more closely to the folly and impurity with which our world is filled. We would be slow to condemn the perusal of such fiction as that of Goldsmith,