« السابقةمتابعة »
the copiousness and Auency of expression which she became mistress of by this ingenious practice, that she could fill four sides of letter paper with what other people express upon the back of a card : Clemens once, in the exultation of his heart, put a bundle of these manuscripts into my hands, which he confesfed he did not clearly understand, but nevertheless believed them to be the most elegant things in the language; I shall give the reader a sample of two of them, which I drew out of the number, not by choice, but by chance; they were carefully folded, and labelled at the back in Sappho's own hand as follows, Mufidorus to Sappho of the 10th of June ; underneath the had wrote with a pencil these words:
HAPPY ALLUSION TO THE SUN!
KING DAVID NOT TO BE COMPARED TO MU
Here follows the note, and I cannot doubt but the reader will confess that its contents deserve all that the label expresses.
June the 10th 1785. “ As soon as I arose this morning, I. di“rected my eyes to the east, and demanded < of the fun, if he had given you my good« morrow : This was my parting injunction a last night, when I took leave of him in the " west, and he this moment plays his beams " with so particular a lustre, that I am satisfied « he has fulfilled my commission, and saluted “ the eyelids of Sappho: If he is described to
come forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber, "how much rather may it be said of him, « when he comes forth out of your's? I shall “ look for him to perform his journey this day es with a peculiar glee ; I expect he will not “ suffer a cloud to come near him, and I shall “not be surprized, if through his eagerness to
repeat his next morning's falutation, he should « whip his fiery-footed steeds to the west some “ hours before their tiine; unless indeed you « should walk forth whilft he is descending, and he should delay the wheels of his chariot “to look back upon an object so pleasing. " You see therefore, most amiable Sappho, « that unless you fulfil your engagement, and “consent to repeat our usual ramble in the cool “ of the evening, our part of the world is “likely to be in darkness before it is expected,
« and that nature herself will be put out of “ course, if Sappho forfeits her promise to “ Mufidorus.”
SAPPHO IN REPLY TO MUSIDORUS." “ If nature holds her course till Sappho forfeits her word to Mufidorus, neither the « setting nor the rising fun shall vary from his “ appointed time. But why does Müfidorus “ ascribe to me fo Aattering an influence, when, “ if I have any interest with Apollo, it must be « to his good offices only that I owe it? If he “ bears the messages of Mufidorus to me, is it « not a mark of his respect to the person who « sends him, rather than to her he is sent to? « And whom fhould he so willingly obey, as
one whom he so copiously inspires ? I shall “ walk as usual in the cool hour of even-tide, “ listening with greedy ear to that discourse,
which, by the refined and elevated sentiments “it inspires, has taught me to look down with “ filent pity and contempt upon those frivolous “ beings, who talk the mere language of the « senses, not of the soul, and to whose filly
prattle I neither condescend to lend an ear, or u to fubfcribe a word. Know then that Sappho “ will reserve her attention for Mufidorus, and “if Apollo fhall delay the wheels of his chariot
“to wait upon us in our evening ramble, be« lieve me he will not stop for the unworthy « purpose of looking back upon Sappho, but “ for the nobler gratification of listening to « Mufidorus.”
The evening walk took place as usual, but it was a walk in the dusty purlieus of London, and Sappho fighed for a cottage and the country: Mufidorus seconded the figh, and he had abundance of fine things to say on the occasion: Retirement is a charming subject for a fentimental enthusiast; there is not a poet in the language, but will help him out with a descrip, tion; Mufidorus had them all at his fingers ends, from Hesperus that led the starry hoft, down to a glow-worm.
The passion took so strong a hold of Sappho's mind, that the actually assailed her father on the subject, and with great energy of persuasion moved him to adopt her ideas : It did not exactly suit Clemens to break up a very lucrative profession, and set out in search of some folitary cottage, whose romantic situation might suit the spiritualized desires of his daughter, and I am afraid he was for once in his life not quite so respectful to her wishes, as he might have been; Sappho was so unused to contra
diction, diction, that she explained herself to Mufidorus with some asperity, and it became the subject of much debate between them: Not that he held a contrary opinion from her's; but the difficulty which embarrassed both parties was, where to find the happy scene the sighed for, and how to obtain it when it was found. The first part of this difficulty was at last surmounted, and the chosen spot was pointed out by Mufidorus, which according to his description was the very bower of felicity; it was in a northern county at a distance from the capital, and its situation was most delectable : The next measure was a strong one ; for the question to be decided was, if Sappho should abandon her project or her father ; she called upon Musidorus for his opinion, and he delivered it as follows :-“If I was not convinced, most ami“ able Sappho, that a second application to « Clemens would be as unsuccessful 'as the first, "I would advise you to the experiment; but
as there is no doubt of this, it must be the “heighth of imprudence to put that to a trial, " of which there is no hope : It comes there“fore next to be considered, if you “ up your plan, or execute it without his pri
vity; in other words, if you shall or shall not do that, which is to make you happy :