8. Massachusetts Gazette, 14 September 17871


(NUMB. I.)


This lady descended from a family no less honourable than ancient. She inherited, by nature, all the virtues of her parents, but was not polluted with any of their vices. Together with her external accomplishments were united, an amiable disposition, dignity of sentiment, a refined taste, and an honest mind. Her conduct was always virtuous, and her manners graceful, simple, and engaging. When dependent on her parents, and obedient to their authority, her native charms and real worth were wholly obscured by her mother’s barbarous restrictions. She at length grew impatient of that cruel and unnatural treatment, which so much cramped the native dignity of her mind, and so deeply wounded the delicate sensibility of her heart. Having gradually lost every impression of filial duty and attachment, she nobly recognized the natural rights of humanity, and asserted that liberty, to which she was intitled by the laws of God, and the dictates of reason.

Although filial affection had been the pendulum of her bosom, yet she was possessed of too great a magninimity of soul, and her feelings were too refined, to suffer her, tamely, to wear the galling chains of parental tyranny. Therefore, with a noble indignation, she sacrificed the duty of a child to the prerogatives of justice. Thus she exhibited to the world such striking proofs of the honesty of her intentions, and such a laudable resentment for injuries received, as excited the admiration and love of every friend to virtue.

Thus the character of lady Americana began to command the esteem and respect of a numerous train of courtiers. Monarchichus, Aristocraticus and Anarchus severally paid their addresses to this incomparable goddess. But her penetrating eye discovered in them so many defects, and so much disingenuity, that she refused all their proposals, and resented their assurance. Respublicanus, having gradually gained her affections, no sooner was she liberated from the arbitrary controul of parental authority, than he insensibly captivated her heart.

Thus Respublicanus and Americana were united by the endearing ties of mutual attachment, which were immediately confirmed by the sacred sanction of Hymenial rites.

But, alas! how unstable and momentary is human happiness!—This pleasing connection apparently enjoyed the approbation of heaven; and imagination promised the most permanent blessings. But, like a visionary phantom, or an empty bubble, it blasted every fond hope and began to disappear.

Luxuriosus, that infernal fiend! that pest of society, and the determined foe of virtue! envied Respublicanus his late happy connection. He knew, however, that he must despair of success, in effecting his design, unless he could conceal his character, and at the same time, make use of every artifice. He therefore appeared in the most graceful garb of fashion, till by degrees he had gained the entire confidence of Americana.

Alas! too late, she discovered, that the familiarity with which she had indulged him, and the complacency she had shewn him, would be productive of the most pernicious effects. He, having disordered her brain with the inebriating draught of sensuality, and lulled to sleep the noble faculties of her mind, soon forced her to become a prostitute to gratify his sordid propensities. In consequence of which, her reputation was ruined, and her constitution impaired.

Respublicanus, highly resenting these open insults, and anxious to recover the wretched A—a, attempted, by forces to get satisfaction for these injuries; but he soon found himself unable to combat this miscreant monster, assisted by his infernal banditti. He therefore wisely resolved to ask the opinion of his most judicious friends. It is sincerely hoped they will be able to retrieve the character of Americana, and to restore her to the embraces of the anxious Respublicanus. Altho’ Monarchicus and Anarchus are strong competitors for this valuable prize which they fondly suppose R—nus has lost; yet it is hoped, that they will suffer a deserved disappointment.

1. Reprinted: Pennsylvania Herald, 25 September.