Adeline Mowbray (1805): Reviews

The Lady’s Monthly Museum, vol. 14, May 1805, p. 343.

We always feel great satisfaction in taking up a work which has employed the ingenuity and talents of Mrs Opie, and it is but justice to confess, that our expectations have never been disappointed. What we have looked for from her invention, we have rarely missed; and what we have thought due from her powers of description and pathos, has almost invariably been meted to us in a measure overflowing. Adeline Mowbray abounds in all these desirable qualities, and will be read with infinite interest and no small degree of instruction.

The Lady’s Monthly Museum, vol. 15, September 1805, pp. 198-9.

Many productions of the present author are well known, not only to us, but to the public. Of the present, we shall speak with all the impartiality that mortal critics can muster in such cases. The story of this novel may be thus briefly comprised. Adeline, naturally amiable, but neglected in early life, becomes tinctured with the principles of modern philosophy, principles which seem to be rapidly sinking to the oblivion they so well deserve; of these, contempt of marriage is one of the most prominent, and Adeline forms a compact with herself never to marry; – thus, neither vicious nor depraved, by uniting herself to Glenmurray, by whose [199] writings she had been deceived, or, as she states it, convinced, she subjects herself to the imputation of vice and depravity. From the consequent difficulties of such a situation the main interest arises. Glenmurray, less obstinately attached to his opinion, and far more reasonable in his requests, constantly, though vainly, solicits her to give him the title of a legal protector; but she acts from conviction, she pleads his own arguments, and finally compels him to desist.

Glenmurray declines in health, and on his death-bed obtains from Adeline something like a promise to marry his relation, who had given proofs of a sincere and virtuous attachment. Finding herself still pursued by ignominy and disgrace, she makes all the atonement in her power, by acknowledging her mistake, and reluctantly consents to become the wife of Berrendale, whose ardour of affection soon subsides, and who at last deserts her with circumstances of aggravated cruelty and injustice. Broken down by sorrow and affliction, she retires to her native place, obtains a reconciliation with her mother, and dies shortly after, when the history is abruptly concluded.

Monthly Mirror, vol. 19, 1805, p. 180.

We always feel great satisfaction in taking up a work which has employed the ingenuity and talents of Mrs Opie, and it is but justice to confess, that our expectations have never been disappointed. What we have looked for from her invention, we have rarely missed, and what we have thought due from her powers of description and pathos, has almost invariably been meted to us in a measure overflowing. Adeline Mowbray abounds in all these desirable qualities, and will be read with infinite interest and no small degree of instruction

Critical Review, series 3, vol. 4, 1805, pp. 219-21.

We opened with great pleasure a new novel from the entertaining pen of Mrs Opie, a lady whose uncommon talents do honour to her sex and country. She displayed, in her pathetic tale of ‘the Father and Daughter,’ a power of working upon the passions we think unrivalled (perhaps with the single exception of Mrs Inchbald,) by any writer of the present day. Nor has she failed to affect her readers with many heart-rending scenes in the work before us.

The story of ‘the Mother and Daughter’ may be comprised in few words. The former imbibes and supports in theory the principles of the new code of morality; the latter carries them into practice, and becomes the mistress of one of the authors who broached them to the world. Upon this her mother, inconsistently, but naturally, renounces her; and by the death of her lover she is driven to seek support in the exercise of those accomplishments her education had bestowed upon her. But her course of virtuous industry is interrupted by the scandalous reports of those who remembered her in her former vicious situation; and she is awakened to a sense of her misguided conduct. She is in consequence married; but her husband using her ill, after much misery she is restored to her mother, and dies contented.

But this scanty outline Mrs Opie has most ably filled up with a variety of characters and incidents, well conceived, and adroitly introduced. She keeps up the attention of her readers to the end. The moral of her work is declared in the following passage: (Vol. iii. p. 13.)

The example of Adeline is held up ‘as a warning to all young people; for her story inculcates most powerfully how vain are personal graces, talents, sweetness of temper, and even active benevolence, to ensure respectability, and confer happiness, without a strict regard to the long established rules for conduct, and a continuance in those paths of virtue and decorum which the wisdom of ages has pointed out to every one.’

But we cannot avoid remarking that the effect of this moral does not seem to have been consulted, when the state in which Adeline and Glenmurray lived was represented as perfectly happy, as far as their happiness rested in themselves; but the instant that Adeline marries, she becomes miserable from the conduct of her husband. Rightly considered, this reflects nothing upon the marriage state; but what we have to object to are the fascinating colours thrown over the erroneous virtues of Adeline and Glenmur-[220]ray, ‘making’ (as the benevolent quaker observes, Vol. ii. page 109) ‘vice more dangerous by giving it an air of respectability.’

We have to remark a few inaccuracies in Mrs Opie’s style: solely from a regard to her reputation as a writer, for we doubt not her good sense will profit by our hints. ‘Gulping down sobs and sighs’ is an expression that occurs too often throughout the three volumes; ‘a fine moral tact’ we cannot help thinking a silly and affected phrase; ‘it was the dark hour’ means nothing but ‘it was dark;’ and why should ‘the maternal feeling’ be substituted for the feelings of a mother?

The interesting interview between the mother of Adeline and the benevolent quaker, in which the latter gives the former tidings of her daughter, is successfully imitated from the scene between Lady Randolph and the Stranger, in the play of Douglas.

But the description of the death of Adeline may bear a comparison with that of Richardson’s Clarissa, or Rousseau’s Heloise. Her last letter to her mother, where she bequeaths [sic] her infant daughter to her care, must move every reader to tears who can melt at the recital of unmerited distress; and that to colonel Mordaunt, recanting her false principles, and strongly contending in favour of marriage for the sake of the children and their education, is an honourable proof of Mrs Opie’s powers of argument in the defence of the good old cause.

We shall conclude our observations on the present work, with an extract from the second volume, page 116, which we conceive to be a very beautiful specimen of Mrs Opie’s eloquent and interesting flow of language. Mrs Pemberton (the benevolent quaker) thus addresses Adeline; whom she had heard of in her days of innocence, and now met with in disgrace.

‘And art thou,’ she cried ‘Adeline Mowbray? art thou hat [sic] courteous, blooming, blessed being, (for every tongue that I heard name thee blessed thee) whom I saw only three years ago bounding over thy native hills, all grace, and joy, and innocence?’ Adeline tried to speak, but her voice failed her. ‘Art thou she,’ continued Mrs Pemberton, ‘whom I saw leaning from the window of her mother’s mansion, and inquiring with the countenance of a pitying angel concerning the health of a wan labourer who limped past the door?’ Adeline hid her face with her hands. Mrs Pemberton went on in a lower tone of voice. ‘I came with some company to see thy mother’s grounds; and to hear the nightingales in her groves; but’ (here Mrs Pemberton’s voice faltered) ‘I have seen a sight far beyond that of the proudest mansion, said I to those who asked me of thy mother’s seat; I have heard what was sweeter to my ear than the voice of the nightingale; I have seen a blooming girl, nursed in idleness and prosperity, yet active in the discharge of every christian duty; and I have heard her speak in the soothing accents of kindness and of pity, while her name was followed by blessings, and parents prayed to have a child like her. Oh! lost, unhappy girl! Such was Adeline Mowbray: and often, very often, has thy graceful image recurred to my remembrance; but [221] how art thou changed! Where is the open eye of happiness? where is the bloom that spoke a heart at peace with itself? I repeat it, and I repeat it with agony, Father of mercies! is this thy Adeline Mowbray?’

Annual Review, vol. 4, 1805, p. 653.

Novels in former days were nothing but love stories, or works professing, often indeed falsely enough, to exhibit pictures of real life and manners. The importance that they have lately been allowed to usurp in the republic of letters, is at once a curious and an alarming symptom of the frivolity of the age. There was a time when a person wishing to inform himself in the higher branches of literature or philosophy, would have been obliged to undergo the labour of perusing dry crab-bed treatises, written professedly on serious and important subjects. Now, happy revolution! he may luxuriantly imbibe, in the tempting form of a novel, the beauties of history embellished with all the eloquence of fiction, encumbered by no dates, and perplexed with no documents. Through the same medium he may see the happy effects of a new scheme of education, illustrated by the example of children who were never born; or the advantages of a new system of morals displayed, or its evil consequences exposed, on the unexceptionable authority of characters that have never existed. The work before us undertakes to shew, from the example of miss Adeline Mowbray, that a young lady who ventures to ridicule and condemn the marriage-tie, will expose herself to insult; that if she consents, though from the purest motives imaginable, to live with a man as his mistress, she will assuredly be driven out of decent company; that her children, being illegitimate, will be destitute of the right of inheritance, and subject to a thousand affronts; and that she cannot do better, if deprived of her lover by death, than to accept the first legal protector that offers. From the adventures of the mother is taught, the folly of neglecting all the duties of life for the study of metaphysics and politics; the ill consequences attendant on a complete ignorance of the world in the mother of a grown up daughter; and the madness of a rich widow’s falling in love with and marrying a profligate young Irishman overwhelmed with debt, from whom she forgets to demand a settlement. It must be confessed that these great truths are sufficiently familiar; and in spite of the rage for experiment in moral conduct, which some years ago prevailed to a considerable extent, we hope there are few ladies ‘so to seek in virtue’s lore,’ as to be inclined to put in practice the extravagances of poor Adeline. As for the faults and follies of her mother, we fear the causes of most of them are too deeply wrought into the constitution of the human race, to be removed by the united eloquence of all moralists, novelists, and divines, who have ever written, preached, or taught. If, therefore, it was Mrs Opie’s wish, by the present work, to establish her name among the great guides of female conduct and promoters of practical wisdom, she has assuredly failed of her object; but if she has adopted the vehicle of system only for the sake of placing interesting characters in new and striking situations, contenting herself with the more appropriate task of amusing the fancy and touching the heart, she may certainly lay claim to a pretty large portion of applause. In drawing characters indeed we do not think she has been very successful, for both Adeline and her mother appear to us considerably out of nature; but there are situations and incidents of great effect. Glenmurray, the hero, is a most interesting being; and several well-imagined circumstances serve to set in a strong light the native benevolence and sensibility of his mind, triumphing first over the stoical pride of system, and afterwards over the fretful selfishness produced by lengthened sickness. The account of Adeline’s meeting with the illegitimate child at Richmond is natural and striking, and the speech of the quaker over the body of the misguided Glenmurray is quite in character. There are other passages of considerable merit interspersed throughout, and some of deep pathos; but we should have been better pleased if the tale had ended with the death of the hero, before the odious Berrendale had appeared to put us out of love with husbands.

New Annual Register, vol. 26, 1805, p. 357.

The novels of the year are, upon the whole, of a better character than the dramas…. Mrs Opie’s ‘Adeline Mowbray’ is a busy, and on several occasions, a pathetic story. [excerpt from review of many works]

Monthly Magazine, vol. 19, 1805, p. 660.

‘Adeline Mowbray’ is from the interesting pen of Mrs Opie.

Literary Journal, vol. 5, 1805, p. 171-5.

The mother of Adeline Mowbray was an only child, and heiress to a large fortune. Her parents were of that common character which is generally distinguished by the appellation of ‘good sort of people,’ and indulged her in all her whims. Her education was left to an old maiden aunt, who had a strong passion for what has been called eccentric philosophy. This learned lady initiated her inexperienced niece into all the mysteries of her school, and Mrs Mowbray at an early age began to entertain a thorough contempt for the prejudices of the world. Her parents considered her as a genius, and forgot to teach her to be useful, because a genius was not to be managed in the common way. But though she despised the prejudices of the world, she thought proper to comply with some of them, and was accordingly in due time married. Her husband a short time after the marriage, died and left one daughter, Adeline, wholly dependant on her mother. Numerous were the plans formed by Mrs Mowbray for the education of her daughter. Her favourite authors were ransacked for materials to form a system of education that should give her every requisite qualification both of mind and body with the least possible pains and trouble. Various doubts, however, occurred on particular points which wonderfully retarded the progress [172] of the system. Light shoes would give agility to the limbs; but heavy ones would strengthen the muscles by exertion. Here was a dilemma. But while the system was constructing, Adeline would have probably grown up without any education at all, had not her grandmother taught her something according to the old way. The old lady was repaid by the attentions and usefulness of her grand-daughter, and often blessed heaven that Adeline was no genius. The compliment of being no genius, did not however sound agreeably in the ears of Adeline, and after the death of her grand-mother, she resolved to try whether or not it was possible for her to rival her mother. The first thing to be done, was to learn what were the books on which her mother’s reputation for learning had been founded. Having discovered this, she went to work, and soon had a sovereign contempt for the ignorance and prejudices of society. – There was this difference, however, between the mother and the daughter. Mrs Mowbray studied these books for the sake of her own amusement and the superiority which she fancied her learning gave her over other women. Adeline studied without ostentation, but with a full resolution when she was introduced into society to act up to the principles which she professed. Such was the state of matters when Adeline and her mother took leave of their old friend Doctor Norberry, and set out for Bath.

Glenmurray, a young enthusiast, whose works had been read and admired by Adeline and her mother, was at that time at Bath, and visited the public places, though his company was universally shunned on account of his principles. – These principles, however, were a recommendation to our eccentric ladies, and they soon contracted an intimacy with Glenmurray. Between him and Adeline a mutual affection took place. The mother was rich, and also found a lover in Sir Patrick O’Carrol, a gentleman of an ancient family and small fortune. Adeline made no secret of her principles, and openly declaimed against the folly and immorality of marriage. In a short time Mrs Mowbray had no visitors but Sir Patrick and Glenmurray. The former was delighted with the libertine principles, as he conceived them to be, of Adeline, and enjoyed the idea of having the mother for a wife, and the daughter for a mistress. Glenmurray saw with vexation, the light in which Adeline was considered in the world; and in opposition to his own system he offered to marry her, and fought a duel with Sir Patrick on her account. But Adeline was too much devoted to her system to consent to marriage, and had almost deserted her lover on account of the duel. Sir Patrick married Mrs Mowbray, and insisted that she should forbid Glenmurray to visit her daughter. This was done, and Adeline went to Ireland with her mother. There Sir Patrick began to make ardent love to her, and insulted her in such a manner, that she made her escape to Glenmurray, with whom she immediately proceeded to the continent.

The remaining part of Adeline’s life was almost a series of misfortunes, chiefly the consequence of her principles. She found herself driven from society. This she did not much regard, as Glenmurray was [173] every thing to her. A letter from Doctor Norberry informed her of the death of Sir Patrick, the misery of her mother, and her resentment against her daughter, whom she considered as the cause of her misfortunes. Adeline and Glenmurray return to England. Doctor Norberry endeavours to effect a reconciliation between herself and her mother, but is unable to succeed. Mrs Mowbray retires to Cumberland, while Adeline and Glenmurray take a house at Richmond. There she is insulted by libertines with offers of protection, and to add to her mortification Glenmurray refused to introduce her to any of his visitors, or to combat their prejudices on her account, but like other men seemed to do homage to ‘things as they are.’ Glenmurray too was extremely infirm, and at his death his property would go to the nearest male heir. Adeline had been insulted by her own servant who presumed on her situation. She went out one day on a walk, and passing near the church yard, saw a funeral. A woman was looking at it, and giving it as her opinion that the dead man’s soul was in hell for having an illegitimate child, which, because he had not made a will, was left with its mother to starve. – The woman asked Adeline whether the child ought not to curse both father and mother. – Adeline made her escape from this scene, which had the most violent effect upon her. She was with child and that child might live to curse her. The idea for a while overturned her system in her mind, and she was proceeding home to Glenmurray to beg of him to marry her, but her principles again usurped their sway and altered her resolution. It was a fine season of the year. The noise of several boys at play was heard. Adeline went to overlook them, but her attention was soon arrested by a boy who was sobbing at a distance. The other boys would not allow him to join in their sports, because he was a little bastard. Adeline advised him to go home to his parents. He would not, he replied, for they were wicked people. Such will be the future anguish of my child, thought Adeline, and such his opinion of his parents. She ran home, eagerly intreated Glenmurray to marry her and fainted. Her anxiety brought on premature labour. The child was still-born, and all Adeline’s arguments against marriage recurred in their full force. Glenmurray had been for a considerable time ill, and his dissolution appeared at no great distance. The misery which his opinions had brought on the object of his affections constantly tormented him. His remorse for having given these opinions to the public before they had received the sanction of his maturer years was extreme. He informed Adeline that some of them were changed, and that the rest though he believed them to be right in theory were utterly unfit for practice in the present state of society. Berrendale a relation of Glenmurray’s had visited him in his illness. He saw Adeline and loved her. The dying request of Glenmurray was that she should consent to marry his relation. The death of Glenmurray was followed by the insanity of Adeline, which continued for six months. She could not, after her recovery, bring her mind to endure the idea of marrying Berrendale, and retired to a village where she opened a school for children. The village [174] was the native place of the female servant who had insulted Adeline. She came there on a visit to her relations and told Adeline’s story. Nobody would believe it, and the woman, enraged at this, took an opportunity of exposing Adeline in the parish church. The school scheme was of course at an end, and she had no resource but in marrying Berrendale. – He turned out a bad and unfeeling husband, and refused to introduce his wife into society. The wretchedness of Adeline was extreme, from the churlish temper of Berrendale who at last abandoned her. Having accidentally been infected with the small-pox, and dreading that her death might be the consequence, she resolved to set out from Cumberland to her mother’s house. – They met and were reconciled. The disease was of the malignant sort, and Adeline breathed her last in her mother’s arms.

Such is the substance of the story before us. It will readily appear that its object is to point out the consequences of opinions that have been propagated by certain persons calling themselves philosophers, especially respecting the institution of marriage. The tale itself is simple, elegant, and highly interesting throughout. The style is perspicuous, and though it cannot be said to be always pure and correct, yet it does not deserve the epithets of harsh and unpleasant. The characters are ably drawn and well preserved. Adeline is represented with all those qualities that can command our esteem, or gain our affection. Her faults arise from the want of an enlightened instructor, a circumstance over which she herself had no controul. She is young and beautiful, possessed of the most benevolent heart and of the most pleasing manners. Her mind is invigorated by exertion. Having once adopted erroneous principles, she acts upon them with ardour and decision. While we condemn her conduct, we pity her as a martyr to mistaken notions of virtue. The fortitude with which she bears her distresses is exemplary. The change in her sentiments is sufficiently accounted for, and the sincerity of her repentance consistent with her character. It may perhaps be supposed that such a character as this must be prejudicial to the interests of morality, by giving vice the appearance of respectability. Here the address of our authoress is conspicuous. The error in Adeline’s education is constantly kept in view, and all her miseries are clearly exhibited as its natural consequence. By its operation we find a being, formed to adorn society, rejected as an outcast; and our abhorrence of the vice almost rises in proportion to our esteem for her virtues, and our pity for her misfortunes. The character next in importance is Glenmurray, a young man who is also formed to adorn society, but whose opinions have rendered him an isolated and useless being. He had published one of the works which had perverted the mind of Adeline. His mind is constantly tormented with the idea of the miseries which his opinions brought upon the object of his affection. When we find him blaming his own rashness and youthful presumption, and brought by anxiety to an early grave, we are forced to confess that his punishment is adequate to his offence. The character of Mrs Mowbray is also well drawn, but her continued affection for a man who [175] deceived and married her, while he had another wife alive, does not seem to be altogether natural. Her virulent hatred against her daughter for having been an object of preference to such a wretch, is equally objectionable. Instances, however, are not wanting that might at first view appear to justify such a departure from probability. But unless all the circumstances could be brought under our view that contributed to produce such instances, they cannot be considered as decisive in favour of our authoress. Doctor Norberry is represented as a man of the highest benevolence, with a dash of eccentricity, which adds considerably to the effect of his character.

The moral of the story is unobjectionable. it points out the fatal consequences of an improper education, and the danger of acting upon principles contrary to the established rules of society. It shews the folly of forming rash and presumptuous opinions in our youth, and propagating them before they have received the sanction of our maturer years. The tale is throughout a lively representation of the incompatibility of a disregard of the institution of marriage with the happiness of the individual and the good of society.

Upon the whole this work must be allowed to rank considerably higher than the ordinary productions of the same kind. The interest of the story is well preserved to the end. The incidents in general follow naturally from the causes assigned, and are wrought up with uncommon skill. The tale is for the most part close and connected. We only recollect one instance of what appeared an unnecessary digression from the principal story. It is the rise and progress of Colonel Mordaunt’s love for the sister of Major Douglas. But this digression, though it detracts from the uniformity of the tale, is in itself so agreeable that we cannot wish it away.

Monthly Review, ns, vol. 51, 1806, pp. 320-1.

These volumes are, both in their design and execution, so superior to those which we usually encounter under the title of novels, that we can safely recommend them to the perusal of our readers. We wish, nevertheless, to hint to Mrs Opie, that her work would be improved by a more strict attention to the proprieties of some of her expressions, which at times are affected, and at others inelegant: but we forbear to point out instances, under the persuasion that our caution is already sufficient to a writer who possesses so much good sense.

It is the intention of this work to portray the lamentable consequences, which would result from an adoption of some lax principles [321] relative to a rejection of matrimonial forms, which have been inculcated by certain modern writers.

European Magazine, vol. 47, 1805, pp. 129-30.

Mrs Mowbray is a learned lady, and a widow, devoted altogether to abstruse and metaphysical speculations. While this ill-judging mother is occupied in preparing a voluminous system of education, Adeline her daughter, for whom she entertains nevertheless the most parental and tender regard, remains in the mean time neglected and uninstructed; and had she not found in Mrs Woodville, the mother of Mrs Mowbray, a teacher after ‘the old fashion,’ her mind at fifteen would have been without improvement and without knowledge; the important system of Mrs M being still imperfect and incomplete. Adeline, who has the highest respect for her mother’s literary talents, about this period, and after Mrs Woodville’s death, becomes emulous of similar pursuits. Totally inexperienced, and without any proper director of her studies, she obtains the perusal of her mother’s books, and unfortunately, in the writings of an author who is called Glenmurray, she discovers objections which she deems invincible against the institution of marriage. Upon the strength of this conviction, she forms a solemn compact with herself, and resolves never to marry. At Bath, she meets Glenmurray, and, of course, they are mutually enamoured. He is reasonable enough, notwithstanding the public avowal of her sentiments, to offer her marriage; but this she disclaims, and in defiance of a parent’s command, of the sense of the world, and the solicitation of Glenmurray himself, she unites herself to him, on her own baneful and absurd principles ‘of love and honour:’ – a step this, it must be admitted, not consistent with that delicate feeling, and those exalted notions of filial affection and duty, which she is represented to possess; and although her conduct, with this single exception, be considered faultless, yet such an obstinate pertinacity of opinion must be conceived as belonging rather to the bold and lawless innovator, than to the submissive, the gentle, the benevolent, Adeline Mowbray.

This unlicensed union could only produce misery, shame, and disgrace; and of this Adeline is an eminent, and, it may be hoped, a useful example. By no means so much can be said for Glenmurray; a man without any fixed notions of religion, or indeed of any thing else, ‘for he doubts of all things,’ who dies without any renunciation of his errors, and yet is exhibited in the fascinating colours of splendid talents and attractive excellence and virtue. On the death of Glenmurray, Adeline is brought to some acknowledgment of her great mistake; and, in obedience to his dying request, resolutely struggling with her feelings, she marries his relation, Mr Berrendale. By him she is deserted; and at length, after some additional evidences, she relinquishes, on conviction, her former way of thinking; – she is convinced, that if the ties of marriage were dissolved, or it were no longer to be judged infamous to act in contempt of them, unbridled licentiousness would soon be in general practice. The remainder of the tale is short. Mrs M, by a wild sort of conditional oath, had renounced her daughter; and after many mutual attempts at reconciliation, which were frustrated by a malicious Miss Woodville, Adeline, in a declining state, retires with her child, an only daughter, by Mr Berrendale, to a cottage within two miles of her native place, where her mother resides.

Here they casually meet; Adeline in a dying condition, and Mrs Mowbray full of unabated affection: the former is conveyed, at her particular entreaty, to the shelter of a parent’s roof; and the whole concludes, ‘in the German stile,’ at the moment of her death.

Mrs Opie is well known as ‘a mighty mistress of pathetic song,’ and though the above outlines seem unpromising, because the sufferings of Adeline are deserved; yet so many affecting incidents, so manly little circumstances, are skilfully introduced, that this tale [130] cannot be perused without strong emotion, even by those ‘unused to the melting mood.’

The character of Mrs Pemberton, a quaker, merits unqualified praise; and Dr Norberry, a physician, blunt, and rather vulgar, is well drawn.

The language of Mrs Woodville, the early instructress of Adeline, is rather overcharged; it is ‘downright vulgar;’ and therefore scarcely correct enough for ‘the sole surviving daughter of an opulent merchant of London.’

To conclude with a specimen of the work: on the subject of Mrs Mowbray’s early and abstracted pursuits Mrs O thus ably observes: –

Fatal and unproductive studies! While, rapt in philosophical abstraction, she was trying to understand a metaphysical question on the mechanism of the human mind, or what constituted the true nature of virtue, she suffered day after day to pass in the culpable neglect of positive duties; and while imagining systems for the good of society, and the furtherance of general philanthropy, she allowed individual suffering in her neighbourhood to pass unobserved and unrelieved; while professing her unbounded love for the great family of the world, she suffered her own family to pine under the consciousness of her neglect, and viciously devoted those hours to the vanity of abstruse and solitary study, which might have been better spent in amusing the declining age of her venerable parents, whom affection had led to take up their above with her. – V. I.