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sweetest lustre, and diffuse their richest fragrance.
Heaven has not a finer or more perfect emblem on earth than a woman of
genuine simplicity. She affects no graces which are not inspired by
sincerity. Her opinions result not from passion and fancy, but from
reason and experience. Candor and humility give expansion to her heart.
She struggles for no kind of chimerical credit, disclaims the appearance
of every affectation, and is in all things just what she seems, and
others would be thought. Nature, not art, is the great standard of her
manners; and her exterior wears no varnish, or embellishment, which is
not the genuine signature of an open, undesigning, and benevolent mind.
It is not in her power, because not in her nature, to hide, with a
fawning air, and a mellow voice, her aversion or contempt, where her
delicacy is hurt, here temper ruffled, or her feelings insulted.
In short, whatever appears most amiable, lovely, or interesting in
nature, art, manners, or life, originates in simplicity. What is
correctness in taste, purity in morals, truth in science, grace in
beauty, but simplicity? It is the garb of innocence. It adorned the
first ages, and still adorns the infant state of humanity. Without
simplicity, woman is a vixen, a coquette, a hypocrite; society a
masquerade, and pleasure a phantom.
The following story, I believe, is pretty generally known. A lady, whose
husband had long been afflicted with an acute but lingering disease,
suddenly feigned such an uncommon _tenderness_ for him, as to resolve on
dying in his stead. She had even the address to persuade him not to
outlive this extraordinary instance of her conjugal fidelity and
attachment. It was instantaneously agreed they should mutually swallow
such a quantity of arsenic, as would speedily effect their dreadful
purpose. She composed the fatal draught before his face and even set him
the desperate example of drinking first. By this device, which had all
the appearance of the greatest affection and candor, the dregs only were
reserved for him, and soon put a period to his life.
It then appeared that the dose was so tempered, as, from the weight of
the principal ingredient, to be deadly only at the bottom, which she had
artfully appropriated for his share. Even after all this finesse, she
seized, we are told, his inheritance, and insulted his memory by a
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