Perhaps a fire and a shipwreck are the two scenes of destruction that impress on man’s mind most forcibly his own impotency as compared with the elements. The latter of these catastrophes is, indeed, awful during its progress; but when its work is accomplished, not a vestige is left of the ruin that has been effected. The good ship has been broken up; and in a few hours, spars and timbers have been scattered fer and wide, while her hull sinks, fathom by fathom, slowly down into the calm mysterious regions of the great deep.
Amongst the many promises offered by the future, there is none to which people look forward with so much pleasure as to that condition they are pleased to term independence. With men the idea of this abnormal state is comprised either in the tenancy of a public-house, or the occupation and tillage of land, according to the means of the visionary independent; while with women the letting of lodgings alone would seem to satisfy a craving for self-government utterly opposed to the very conditions and peculiarities of their sex.