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in him, though surrounded with difficulties; hopes even against hope, and prays without ceasing. His hopes now are superior to his joys then. Glorious exchange! from reposing on flowers, to tread upon stars,—from naked purity, to a robe of glory,--from the food which cometh out of the earth, to the bread which cometh down from heaven. For ignorance of ill he hath knowledge of good; for smiles of innocence, tears of rapture; for the bowers of paradise, the gates of heaven. Hadst thou, Adam, never fallen, shepherds and husbandmen only would have
sprung from thee;—now patriots, martyrs, confessors, apostles!
BETWEEN MADAME COSMOGUNIA AND A PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRER OF THE
JAŅUARY 1, 1793.
E. I REJOICE, my good madam, to see you. You bear your years extremely well. You really look as fresh and blooming this morning as if you were but justout of your leading-strings; and yet you haveI forget how
upon your shoulders. C. Do not you know, son, that people of my standing are by no means fond of being too nicely questioned about their years? Besides, my age is a point by no means agreed upon.
E. I thought it was set down in the church register?
C. That is true; but every body does not go by your register. The people who live eastward of us, and have sold tea time out of mind, by the great wall, say I am older by a vast deal; and that long before the time when your people pretend I was born, I had near as much wisdom and learning as I have now.
E. I do not know how that matter might be; one thing I am certain of, that you did not know your letters then; and every body knows that these tea-dealers, who are very vain, and want to go higher than any body else for the antiquity of their family, are noted for lying.
C. On the other hand, old Isaac, the great chronicler, who was so famous for casting a figure, used to say that the register itself had been altered, and that he could prove I was much younger than you have usually reckoned me to be. It may be so ;-for my part, I cannot be supposed to remember so far back. I could not write in my early youth, and it was a long time before I had a pocket-almanack to set down all occurrences in, and the
my children, as I do now. E. Well; your exact age is not so material ;-but there is one point which I confess I wish much to ascertain. I have often heard it asserted, that as you increase in years, you grow wiser and better; and that you are at this moment, more candid, more liberal, a better manager
your affairs, and, in short, more amiable in every respect, than ever you were in the whole course of your life; and others.----you will excuse me, madam,- pretend that you are almost in your dotage; that you grow more intolerable every year you live; and that whereas in
you were a sprightly innocent young creature, that
rose with the lark, lay down with the lamb, and thought or said no harm of any one; you are become suspicious, selfish, interested, fond of nothing but indulging your appetites, and contiņually setting your own children together by the ears for straws. Now I should like to know where the truth lies?
C. As to that, I am, perhaps, too nearly concerned to answer you properly. I will, therefore, only observe, that I do not remember the time when I have not heard exactly the same contradictory assertions.
E. I believe the best way to determine the question will be by facts. Pray be so good as to tell me how you have employed yourself in the different periods of your life; from the earliest time you can remember, for instance?
C. I have a very confused remembrance of living in a pleasant garden full of fruit, and of being turned out because I had not minded the injunctions that were laid upon me. After that, I became so very naughty, that I got a severe ducking, and was in great danger of being drowned.
E. A hopeful beginning, I must allow! Pray what was the first piece of work you
recollect being engaged in ?
C. I remember setting myself to build a prodigious high house of cards, which I childishly
thought I could raise up to the very skies. I piled them up very high, and at last left off in the middle, and had my tongue slit for being so selfconceited. Afterwards 1 baked dirt in the sun, and resolved to make something very magnificent, I hardly knew what; so I built a great many mounds in the form of sugar-loaves, very broad at bottom and pointed at top :—they took me a great many years to make, and were fit for no earthly purpose when they were done. They are still to be seen, if you choo
choose to take the trouble of going so far. Travellers call them my folly.
E. Pray what studies took your attention when you first began to learn?
C. At first I amused myself, as all children do, with pictures; and drew, or rather attempted to draw, figures of lions and serpents, and men with the heads of animals, and women with fishes' tails; to all which I affixed a meaning, often whimsical enough. Many of these my first scratches are still to be seen upon old walls and stones, and have greatly exercised the ingenuity of the curious to find out what I could possibly mean by them. Afterwards, when I had learned to read, I was wonderfully entertained with stories of giants, griffins, and mermaids; and men and women turned into trees, and horses that spoke, and of an old man that used to eat up his children, till his