« السابقةمتابعة »
though chiefly intended to teach us the knowledge of salvation, and be our guide to happiness on high, yet also regulates our conversation in the world, extends its benign influence to every circle of society, and peculiarly diffuseth its blessed fruits in the paths of domestic
The exaltation of the fair sex in the eyes of ours being my sole motive in this essay, I cannot close it better than by an extract from Irving—the most delicately and affectingly beautiful of any thing that ever was written on the female character. "Man is the creature of interest and ambition. His nature leads him forth into the struggle and bustle of the world. Love is but the embellishment of his early life, or a song piped in the intervals of the acts. He seeks for fame, for fortune, for space in the world's thought, and dominion over his fellow men. But a woman's whole life is a history of the affections. The heart is her world; it is there her ambition strives for empire ; it is there her avarice seeks for hidden treasures; she sends forth her sympathies on adventure ; she embarks her whole soul in the traffic of affection, and if shipwrecked, her case is hopeless, for it is a bankruptcy of the heart. *
"To a man the disappointment of love may occasion some bitter pangs: it wounds some feelings of tenderness, it blasts some prospects of felicity; but he is an active being; he may
dissipate his thoughts in the whirl of varied occupation, or may plunge into the tide of pleasure; or if the scene of disappointment be too full of painful associations, he can shift his abode at will, and, taking as it were the wings of the morning, can fly to the uttormost parts of the earth.
" But woman's is comparatively a fixed, a secluded, and a meditative life; she is more the companion of her own thoughts and feel. ings; and if they are turned to ministers of sorrow, where shall she look for consolation ? Her lot is to be wooed and won; and if unhappy in her love, her heart is like some fortress that has been captured, sacked, abandoned, and left desolate.
“How many eyes grow dim, how many soft cheeks grow pale, how many lovely forms fade away into the tomb, and none can tell the cause that blighted their loveliness! As the dove will clasp its wings to its side, and cover and conceal the arrow that is preying on its vitals, so is it the nature of women to hide from the world the pangs of wounded affection. The love of a delicate female is always shy and silent. Even when fortunate, she scarcely breathes it to herself; but when otherwise, she buries it in the recesses of her bosom, and there lets it cower and brood among the ruins of her peace. With her the desire of the heart has failed the great charm of existence is at an end! She neglects all the cheerful exer
cises which gladden the spirits, quicken the pulses, and send the tide of life in healthful currents through the veins. Her rest is broken, the sweet refreshment of sleep is poisoned by melancholy dreams, dry sorrow drinks her blood, until her enfeebled frame sinks under the slightest external injury. Look for her after a little while, and you find friendship weeping over her untimely grave, and wondering that one who but lately glowed with all the radiance of health and beauty should so. speedily be brought down to darkness and the worm." You will be told of some wintry chill, some casual indisposition, that laid her low; but no one knows of the mental malady that previously sapped her strength, and made her so easy a prey to the spoiler.
“She is like some tender tree, the pride and beauty of the grové-graceful in its form, bright in its foliage, but with the worm preying at its heart. We find it withered when it should be most fresh and luxuriant; we see it drooping its branches to the earth, and shedding leaf by leaf, until, wasted and perished away, it falls even in the stillness of the forest; and as we muse over the beautiful ruin, we strive in vain to recollect the blast or thunderbolt that could have smitten it with decay. This world has many pleasures between the cradle and the grave, yet, alas ! how many of them are futile and vain! but the sweetest of them all, and one that will never decay, is to cherish the heart that loves you." -The Ettrick Shepherd.
THE MARRIAGE OF HYMENÆUS AND
TRANQUILLA. The following extract from the Rambler contains many most useful hints for a newly married pair.
SIR,It is not common to envy those with whom we cannot easily be placed in comparison. Every man sees without malevolence the progress of another in the tracts of life which he has himself no desire to tread, and hears, without inclination to cavils or contradiction, the renown of those whose distance will not suffer them to draw the attention of mankind from his own merit. The sailor never thinks it necessary to contest the lawyer's abilities; nor would the Rambler, however jealous of his reputation, be much disturbed by the success of rival wits at Agra or Ispahan.
We do not therefore ascribe to you any superlative degree of virtue, when we believe that we may inform you of our change of condition without danger of malignant fascination; and that when you read of the marriage of your correspondents Hymenæus and Tranquilla, you will join your wishes to those of their other friends for the happy event of a union in which caprice and selfishness had so little part.
There is at least this reason why we should be less deceived in our connubial hopes than many who enter into the same state, that we
have allowed our minds to form no unreasonable expectations, nor vitiated our fancies, in the soft hours of courtship, with visions of felicity which human power cannot bestow, or of perfection which human virtue cannot attain. That impartiality with which we endeavour to inspect the manners of all whom we have known was never so much overpowered by our passion, but that we discovered some faults and weaknesses in each other; and joined our hands in conviction, that as there are advantages to be enjoyed in marriage, there are inconveniences likewise to be endured; and that together with confederate intellects and auxiliar virtues, we must find different opinions and opposite inclinations.
We however flatler ourselves—for who is not flattered by himself as well as by others on the day of marriage ?--that we are eminently qualified to give mutual pleasure. Our birth is without any such remarkable disparity as can give either an opportunity of insulting the other with pompous names and splendid alliances, or of calling in, upon any domestic controversy, the overbearing assistance of powerful relations. Our fortune was equally suitable, so that we meet without any of those obligations which always produce reproach or suspicion of reproach, which though they may be forgotten in the gayeties of the first month, no delicacy will always suppress, or of which the suppression must be considered as a new favour, to be repaid by tameness and submission, till