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These are truths that will be readily admitted by every one who is young and unhackneyed in the ways of men; but as age approaches, these sympathetic affections seem to subside : the pleasures of social intercourse diminish ; and the love of wealth and power acquire dominion in their stead. Aged persons in general, greedy of power, and callous to the impulses of kindness, imagine that wealth or grandeur alone are fufficient to gratify every desire of the foul. Forgetting their own rule for judging while young, they wish to deprive others of the same privilege they valued once so highly themselves; and thus are led to dietate with the moft inflexible authority to their children as to the choice of a companion for life; the most-momentuous transaction in which any man can ever be en
Nor is this propensity confined to one country, or to one set of people on the globe ; but it extends its inAuence, in a greater or leffer degree, to all nations that can assume to themselves the proud name of civilized. Among such people, laws have ever been contrived, which, by a stern inflexibility, overpower the voice of nature, and make man submit to her imperious decrees. The following affecting story evinces the truth of these remarks-would to God it were in the regions of defpotism alone, that such transactions were to be found ! But in despotic and in free governments, the same cruel principle will be found to prevail. Even in Britain, which boasts of the happiness her people are permitted to enjoy, the same tyrannical law in this respect preyails, as in that despotic state, where the transaction I am about to relate, took place. What follows is a li.
teral tranftaion of a letter from Rome, which appeared I as an article of intelligence in the Mercurio de Espana for the month of December 1786. .
“ In this capital (Rome) we have just now witneffed an event, which has drawn tears from every body here. It is five years since a young gentleman of the family
Amedei, married an amiable and virtuous young wo. man he loved, but whose birth was not equal to hiš. At the end of one year, they had a daughter as the fruit of their love ; but this tender union was in a short time cruelly disturbed by the parents and relations of the gentleman, who'exclaimed against his marriage aś clandeftine, and obtained against the unhappy young man an order of the Pope, by virtue of which they tore him from the arms of his spouse, and conducted him a prisoner to the castle of St. Angelo. A process was immediately instituted for annulling the marriage. The gentleman tried every means possible to prove that his marriage was valid, and to make it be ratified; his wife also went with her daughter in her arms, and threw herself at the feet of her judges; but in vain. A sentence was at last pronounced, annulling the mar; riage, obliging the mother, that inconsolable wife, to write to her husband with her own hand, the fatal news of their eternal separation. Oppressed with the most cruel despair, she thus wrote to him: “I find myself under the cruel necessity of renouncing those sweet and sacred bands, which till now have held our hearts firmly united; but I resign myself with less repugnarće,' from the confideration that it will be the means of terminating that long and severe captivity which you have suffered for my fake. 'Live free, dear husband, (this alas! is the last time thật my lips will pronounce so sweet a name): O'live! take comfort ; and, if it be possible, live happy, far from me. Since you love the mother, remember the daughter which she has given to you, and take care of her when you know that I no longer exist ; for the grief which this separation causes' to me is so bitter, fo penetrating, and absorbs in fuch a manner the faculties of my soul, that I want strength to resist it. Very soon I shall cease to live ;' may my death satiate the inhumanity of our cruel persecutors ! God bless you. Farewell!
Farewell !--for ever!” Four days afterwards that unhappy and tender wife died in horrible convulfions ; and her death set the gentleman at liberty, whose dem fpair has not yet been calmed.
Kantiffa, or Abyffinian Thorn. . Plants, which are very troublesome, or very useful io man, are nearly alike interesting to him. The beautiful plant, which forms the subject of the presentarticle, is of the forn.er class, in those uncultivated countries of which it is a native. Its branches are so numerous and flexile, and its thorns so strong and so much hooked, as to make it an object of terror to approach it in almost any case. The natives, if naked, have their Alesh so much lacerated by it, as to make them dread coming near it; and if clothed, it catches such firm, hold of their garments as to tear them to pieces, if they be of a fine texture ; and it burries its hooks so deep into them, when coarse, as to stop the progress of any person it has once laid hold of; nor is it ealy, even by patience and address, to get one's self disengaged from it; for the prickles, pointing in opposite directions, often link deeper in one side, while they are drawn out from the other; and while the unfortunate sufferer is busied in extricating one part of his dress, the flexible branches, agitated by the flightest motion of the wind, or otherwile, seize him at unawares in another place, till he is sometimes under the neceflity of quitting his garments, and leaving them behind him. Soldiers alone, who are covered with the skin of a lion or a tiger, dare with safety approach it; for these thick hides are impervious by the thorns.
So troublesome are these trees to travellers, that it is customary for the Emperor every year, before he sets out from his capital, to the distant part of his do. minions, to make proclamation to this effect : “ Cut