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(for all conflicts of the soul bear a deep inter-resemblance) amongst men and women and happy children under bright sun and laughing sky, and yet an insuperable and everlasting wall of severance betwixt me and them, and in my ears the sentence of condemnation ringing. Sure, thought I, I am forsaken of God : sure I am given up to

I • the devil. And thus I continued a long while, and now my heart was exceeding hard : if I would have given a *thousand pounds for a tear, I could not shed one ; no, nor sometimes scarce desire to shed one. I would cry with ' pangs after God, that He would be merciful unto me ; but • then I would think that God did mock at these my prayers, saying, and that in the audience of the holy angels,—This poor simple wretch doth hanker after me, as if I had nothing to do with my mercy but to bestow it on such as he. Alas, poor soul ! how art thou deceived ! • It is not for such as thee to have favour with the Highest. * And now was I both a burden and a terror to myself ;

now was I weary of my life, and yet afraid to die. Oh! “ how gladly would I have been anybody but myself ! any

thing but a man, and in any condition but my own ! but, • alas ! wishings were now too late ; this thought had passed

; my heart,— God hath let me go, and I am fallen. Oh!

thought I, that it was with me as in months past— as in the days when God preserved me!'

VI John Bunyan found Grace Abounding at length, and peace in the faith of forgiveness for fancied sins, in the removal of real wretchlessness. But for me — was it sin that I had so loved Désirée ? Where was the wrong, where the error, what the cause of this great calamity ? Before long such inquiries forced themselves before my heart with voices of irresistible command : the stunned stupor passed ; and, with regranted consciousness, a

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thousand fearful thoughts bore down upon me as it were in leagued and shouting battalions, arrayed for the warfare of the Spirit.

That whenever I had spoken the same result awaited me, from the perfect sincerity and frankness of Désirée, I could not doubt. She had borne herself always with an equable sisterly affection, untarnished by time or circumstance; this was what she would give; she was, I had long exulted in the conviction, not less exempt from chance action and mutability, clogs (as the Poet said) of the soul in her soaring, than from the least shadow of even those pardonable littlenesses, the soavi disdegni e soavi ripulse', derogations too frequent from the absolute truth and ideal greatness of Love. But now- w-alas ! for that strong simplicity which seemed to leave no hope for the blessing of change! I said to myself “ No hope, none': yet while thus surrendering Paradise, knew that, call it desire or despair, in that ineffaceable sweetness with which every thought of Désirée came united, there was hope still, even in the heart of hopelessness.

Why, then, followed the obstinate questioning,—and none more humiliating or painful can perhaps arise,- to what error, defect, or accident must I trace this great misery, this deviation from what appears almost more natural than a law of nature — love returned for love given? But the answer,

if than that it cannot be otherwise', is known to her only. Truth, or affection, or generosity, would never permit her to assign as conducive to this result that unworthiness on his part, which the writer, on just grounds, and with the strongest sense of its existence, would confess of course was a more than sufficient reason, were it not almost ludicrously inconsistent to plead

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this reason in a narrative which records at the same time that he held himself in the most real sense, worthy of Désirée. Indeed this common paradox of love, mutual confessed unworthiness, was at no time urged between two souls, who knew each other and each other's love of the directest truth, too well to think such profession needful to strengthen compliment, or to account for defeat.

Nor, on the other hand, was there any shadow of comfort in that other suggestion of the distracted heart suggestion rejected almost when conceived, that this long affection had been misplaced on one who could not return it. Had she been fickle, I could have said, such is woman's nature ; base, I could have buried personal pain in pain for her. But that curse, bitterer than the frenzy of love, which the disheartened poet in his sad irony proclaims the true, the inevitable close of passion, when charm by charm unwinds which robed our idols', whether in the mercy or the further wrath of Providence, was not reserved for me. Even now, inexperienced in the unwavering affection by which Désirée, through many later years, was destined in some degree to console the desire thus made more desiring, I knew but too well that here, at least, had been no selfdeception. To have believed her in the faintest degree unequal to such return had she found me worthier, would have been, in truth, to destroy for myself the very power of believing If there were one thing sure on this wandering and changeful earth, it was this fair creature's noble nature. Nay, there seemed a secret selfishness something not knightly and heroic in any consideration of this character. As a great teacher said of true love towards God, was not mine also to be given for love's own sake, and without thought of return? What bond had I thus on Désirée ? And yet

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VII In the silences of the night, during wakefulness, so rare and prized in youth when I could lie still with a thousand thoughts of Désirée, this warfare now raged within my soul, and I strove against self in the madness of the moment. There is some truth, I cried, in the conventional phrases we find in real and imaginary narratives:-- ungrateful, cold, cruel-hearted : some possibility in what books teach, the transference of passion to another, some happiness surely in the after-love which the experienced assure us) most men find refuge in for lifesome folly at least in an eternity of unrewarded persistence. Weak heart, surrender this idle longing ; unfix affection from a thing so far above; manfully resign the unattainable ; seek consolation elsewhere ; love her less. ... 0 voice of little faith and faint-heartedness! counsels of cowardice disguised in worldly wisdom ! O if an angel had spoken thus from heaven, I could not have prized her less utterly : this one answer was all-sufficient; Désirée's inseparable dearness.

Fatal intimacy supplied many remembrances, some already recorded, each enough to justify an affection for which one life, prolonged even to patriarchal limits, would have furnished, I thought, an inadequate extension. At this time, walking alone at midnight over level sea sands, where the waves in their relapse left a momentary mirror starred with blue phosphoric spangles or glistening with an uncertain and ghostly moonlight, I reviewed often the years of desire, not only in the great periods of crisis, La Collina or the Moselle-side ascent, but in their lesser and even more pathetic interspaces. There, successive proofs of Désirée's sisterly and unforethoughtful affection-gifts given without significance, or reproofs without fear, pleasures shared till pleasure, humiliated at its own

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sweetness, passed into pure heart-thankfulness ; or, dearer still, assistance sought in her perplexity, confidence reposed in sorrow (the touch of Nature beyond all others affecting), had each in turn raised Love through so many thousand gradations, that the series of his possible ascension appeared of more than stellar infinity. Men who have forgotten, or never felt, tell us of the consolations of Nature, the excellent lessons of her teaching : but what relief could it be, set against this endless exile from the only love, if, indeed the stars in the poet's phrase, were going lightly with their golden feet over heaven, fearing 'to awaken earth', if ocean murmured peace ?

What end was here to my complaint?
This haunting whisper made me faint

* More years had made me love thee more’. Rather, there was something fearful-- a stroke of superhuman irony, in the calm I could not share, and the power which could not save me. For with these remembrances came the further conviction, how vast the loss, how cruel and unmitigated the punishment. It seemed I was living a posthumous existence—a buried and phantomatic life, where the constellations above me were the ghastly wisps and exhalations hung from the roof of some charnel-vault, and the ! moon a white face of mockery — the arch of heaven, from horizon to zenith, did not appear a sepulchre too large for such a sorrow. And then, whilst spectral voices were calling the Lost ! Lost! I heard, perhaps, the “ measured pulse of shoreward oars, and the sailors' animated Oi-oi cry.-I was in presence of the stern activity of life; I felt the strange compassion some readers will have probably experienced for personal calamity, an almost fierce and passionate regret for my own ruined early energy, for the youth I remembered as half divine; for the manly hopes and

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