are essential to human happiness. Good humour, according to Johnson's definition, endurance of the follies and absurdities of others, appear qualities of such easy attainment, that they are neglected as vulgar. What a mistake-how fatal in its consequences ! Talents extort admiration ; but genuine and habitual affectionate feelings alone beget love. Well has Rousseau insisted so much upon the coeur aimant of Julie.

I know two women, both highly gifted, the one of very striking and generally admired talents, the other possessing taste and powers of conversation in a very high degree, yet neither of them can boast the possession of one friend even in their own families. For, • proud with opinion of superior merit,' it tinctures their manners, it renders even their condescension offensive. And à propos to remarkable women, Helen Maria Williams's history is briefly as follows:

- I believe it is many years since she first came forward as a literary character. The novel of Julia was, I think, her first publication : it has merit, but certainly a very bad tendency_some of the poetry in it is, I think, very beautiful. She was soon known to Dr. Johnson and other literary characters. She was at that time not more than twenty. The year after the French revolution, she was in Paris, and was present at a meeting of the National Assembly, of which she gives a very lively picture. In Paris she met a Mr. Stone, a married man; but with a noble disdain of every opinion we are bound by the laws of God and man to respect, she chose this gentleman for her companion in a tour to Switzerland. Perhaps you will think me harsh in my judgment, but certainly a woman possessing those talents that necessarily imply strong and delicate feelings, more justly incurs blame than another, when she sacrifices to passion the respectability of her character, and voluntarily incurs contempt when she might command respect and admiration. She becomes useless when she might highly benefit her fellowcreatures. *

* It is not without much pain that I revive the memory of cir. cumstances, which ought to lie buried in the tomb of the eminent lady to whom they relate. There is nothing so certain, as that morality varies with times and places; and that to censure conduct without reference to the age and nation of the individual, is substantial injustice. Helen Maria Williams came into life at a moment when the malignant influence of bad institutions on happiness, and the prevailing hypocrisy of the times, had rendered every moral principle problematical, and, like her highly gifted cotemporary, the author of the Rights of Woman, she fell into the common error of supposing, that whatever is opposed to wrong must be right. But, though the individual should not be hastily condemned, the interests of the younger part of my own sex require that the error should be signalized. Female purity is indispen. sable to social happiness. It is one of nature's own laws; and is never violated with impunity.

“ As I have not been out, I gave your two commissions to Tom. Archer has not yet received the English edition of St. Clair. He also called at Power's music shop, who lays the fault upon Stevenson that Castle Hyde has not yet come out. He has had it, I know not what time, to put basses to it.

“ I have just been reading St. Clair for the third time, and was more pleased with it than at first, but I think the hero and heroine very dangerous people. You will tell me that the catastrophe would prevent any mischief arising from the witchery of such characters. I do not think so, for we all know that people are not punished in this world because they are vicious; and (as Horatio has it) to be good' is not always to be happy.' Moralists lead you into errors, and often throw you into despair, when they tell you so; for if yon

are good to the best of your lights and means, and the events of


life are disastrous, you will certainly not feel happy, though you may be resigned ; and you will then, like Burgher’s Leonora, , either be tempted to arraign Providence, or reject altogether doctrines, of which you have found the fallacy.”

Time passed : and it became my turn to receive odes from young ladies in the country, beginning “Oh thou,” quite as good and as poetical as my own. Yet oh! how many successive idols of admiration had my fancy erected in the interval. There was Miss Edgeworth, and Madame de Staël, and Madame Cottin, and Miss Baillie, and a long et cetera of literary females, to each and all of whom I felt the sincerest gratitude for the amusement and instruction they afforded me, though I did not write them odes to tell them so.

On my arrival in Paris in 1816, I found that I also had my petit bout de réputation, such as it was; that my letters of recommendation were letters of supererogation, and that I had nothing to do, but sit quiet (no very easy task by the by for

me), and to see and receive all that was best worth seeing and receiving in France. On looking over a list of visitors, one day, presented by Pierre, the porter of the Hôtel d'Orléans, I read the immortal name of Humboldt, and under it, Helen Maria Williams, Rue de Bondi. A visit from Humboldt was always an epoch ; and a visit from Helen Maria, the amiable and elegant, the subject of my first ode, was no vulgar event. I made my inquiries as to the present position of the admired of Dr. Johnson, and the adored of Bozzy ; and learned that for the last quarter of a century she had lived in literary retirement, in the neighbourhood of the Sévignés, and the Ninons ; that she was much beloved and esteemed, surrounded by a circle of sober, sedate, literary friends, and much liée with the enlightened Protestant party in France, and their excellent chief, who (with the name of the protestant Pope, given him by Napoleon) was respectable and influential with all parties. I immediately returned her visit, wrote my name at her door, and shortly after re. ceived an invitation to a soirée, which I accepted.

I happened to be asked, for this very same evening, to a ball at Lord H-k’s; and was accord

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