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she had practised. Lilinet asked her with a smile, for what she had been wishing; and being told, made her this reply, You are not, my dear, to wonder or complain : you may wish for yourself, but your wishes can have no effect upon another. You may become lovely by the efficacy of the fountain, but that you shall be loved is by no means a certain consequence ; for you cannot confer
another either discernment or fidelity: that happiness which you must derive from others, it is not in my power to regulate or bestow.
Floretta was for some time fo dejected by this limitation of the fountain's power, that she thought it unworthy of another visit; but being on some occasion thwarted by her mother's authority, she went to Lilinet, and drank at the alabaster fountain for a spirit to do her own way.
Lilinet saw that she drank immoderately, and admonished her of her danger ; but fpirit, and ber own way, gave
such sweetness to the water, that she could not prevail upon
herself to forbear, till Lilinet in pure compalfion snatched the cup out of her hand.
When she came home every thought was contempt, and every action was rebellion : she had drank into herself a spirit to resist, but could not give her mother a disposition to yield; the old lady asserted her right to govern ; and, though she was often foiled by the impetuosity of her daughter, she supplied by pertinacy what The wanted in violence; so that the house was in condinual tumult by the pranks of the daughter and opposition of the mother.
In time, Floretta was convinced that spirit' had only made her a capricious termagant, and that her own ways ended in error, perplexity and disgrace; she
perceived that the vehemence of mind, which to a man may sometimes procure awe and obedience, produce to a woman nothing but detestation; she therefore went back, and by a large draught from the flinty fountain, though the water was very bitter, replaced herself under her mother's care, and quitted her spirit, and her own way.
Floretta's fortune was moderate, and her desires were us not larger, till her mother took her to spend a summer at one of the places which wealth and idleness frequent, under pretence of drinking the waters.
She was now no longer a perfect beauty, and therefore conversation in her presence took its course as in other company, opinions were freely told, and observations made without reserve. Here Floretta first learned the importance of money. When she saw a woman of mean air and empty talk draw the attention of the place, she always discovered, upon enquiry, that she had so many thousands to her fortune.
She foon perceived that where these golden goddesses appeared, neither birth, nor elegance, nor civility, had any power of attraction, that every art of entertainment was devoted to them, and that the great and the wise courted their regard.
The desire after wealth was raised yet higher by her mother, who was always telling her how much neglect she suffered for want of fortune, and what distinctions if The had but a fortune her good qualities would obtain. Her narrative of the day was always, that Floretta walked in the morning, but was not spoken to because she Bb
had a small fortune, and that Floretta danced at the ball better than any of them, but nobody minded her for want of a fortune.
This want, in which all other wants appeared to be included, Floretta was resolved to endure no longer, and came home, flattering her imagination in secret, with the riches which she was now about to obtain.
On the day after her return, she walked out alone to meet lady Lilinet, and went with her to the fountain: riches did not taste so sweet as either beauty or spirit, and therefore she was not immoderate in her draught.
When they returned from the cavern, Lilinet gave her wand to a fairy that attended her, with an order to conduct Floretta to the black rock.
The way was not long, and they foon came to the mouth of a mine in which there was a hidden treasure, guarded by an earthy fairy, deformed and shaggy, who opposed the entrance of Floretta, till he recognized the wand of the lady of the mountain. Here Floretta faw vast heaps of gold and silver, and gems, gathered and reposited in former ages, and entrusted to the guard of the fairies of the earth. The little fairy delivered the orders of her mistress, and the surly sentinel promised to obey them.
Floretta, wearied with her walk, and pleased with her success, went home to rest, and when she waked in the morning, first opened her eyes upon a cabinet of jewels, and looking into her drawers and boxes, found them filled with gold.
Floretta was now as fine as the finest. She was the first to adopt any expensive fashion, to subscribe to any
pompous entertainment, to encourage any foreign artist, or engage
frolic of which the cost was to make the pleasure.
She was on a sudden the favourite of every place. 55 Report made her wealth thrice greater than it really was, and wherever she came, all was attention, reverence and obedience.
The ladies who had formerly Nighted her, or by whom she had been formerly caressed, gratified her pride by open flattery and private mur
She sometimes overheard them railing at upstarts, and wondering whence some people came, or how their expences were supplied. This incited her to heighten the splendor of her dress, to increase the number of her retinue, and to make such propositions of costly schemes, that her rivals were forced to defift from conteft.
But she now began to find that the tricks which can be played with money, will seldom bear to be repeated, that admiration is a fiort-lived passion, and that the pleasure of
is gone when wonder and envy are no more excited. She found that respect was an empty form, and that all those who crouded round her were drawn to her by vanity or interest.
It was however pleasant to be able on any terms to elevate and to mortify, to raise hopes and fears; and she would still have continued to be rich, had not the ambition of her mother contrived to marry her to a lord, whom she despised as ignorant, and abhorred as profigate. Her mother persisted in her importunity; and Floretta having now lost the spirit of resistance, had no other refuge than to divest herself of her fairy fortune. - She implored the assistance of Lilinet, who praised Bb 2
her resolution. She drank chearfully from the flinty fountain, and found the waters not extremely bitter. When she returned she went to bed, and in the morning perceived that all her riches had been conveyed away she knew not how, except a few ornamental jewels, which Lilinet had ordered to be carried back as a reward for her dignity of mind.
She was now almost weary of visiting the fountain, and folaced herself with such amusements as every day happened to produce: at last there arose in her imagination a strong desire to become a wiť.
The pleasures with which this new character appeared to them were so numerous and so great, that she was impatient to enjoy them; and rising before the fun, hastened to the place where she knew that her fairy patroness was always to be found. Lilinet was willing to conduct her, but could now scarcely restrain her from leading the way but by telling her, that if she went first the fairies of the cavern would refuse her passage.
They came in time to the fountain, and Floretta took the golden cup into her hand; she filled it and drank, and again the filled it, for wit was sweeter than riches, fpirit, or beauty.
As she returned she felt new successions of imagery rise in her mind, and whatever her memory offered to her imagination, assumed a new form, and connected itself with things to which it seemed before to have no relation. All the appearances about her were changed, but the novelties exhibited were commonly defects. She now saw that almost every thing was wrong, without often seeing how it could be better; and frequently im