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comfort anywhere-whither should I turn? new disclosures of despair opened momently around me. For, grant this creed of personal recognition, of household reunion, authentic, and must not the sorrow of to-day pursue me through eternity? If so, I should accept it as the decree of a pitiless Fate; I could not acquiesce with thankfulness in the doctrine which said that, losing Désirée here, I should be recompensed by indifference for ever. O, the sick comfort that is here--forgetfulness! What with entire justice we dread so much as the possible fate of earthly affection whilst those we love are with us, that we hardly permit ourselves to dread it,—was I indeed to hold this shame, in last resort, an essential element of happiness in the long hereafter ?

XXIV Except as recording the whole truth of an individual experience, this narration can be of little value However unwilling to contravene the judgments of the wise, or meet the darken'd brows' of Urania, however diffident of his own conclusions, the writer holds it therefore right to record how yet further arguments for hope and solace --- arguments obvious, perhaps, to readers already— failed him in support like the reeds of Egypt. It were far easier —in a certain sense much safer, I might say— to follow the general formula which, silencing grief rather than solacing, re-asserts that unchristian doctrine, • Partial evil universal good', under the disguise of thank- ful submission to a Divine Hand', which magnifies the human wish for ultimate and all-embracing happiness into the certain law of the Infinite, and frames our future from an idealized past. Assuredly, whilst dissenting from the dear friends, seen and unseen, Wordsworth and Tennyson, Pascal and -, who, with thousands more, are willing

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to entrust all final issues to reverent Hope, the writer cannot but regret a conviction in which the inane longing for originality has no portion, in which, indeed, let him say boldly, he is rather the follower of those, and he cannot hold their humility or their wisdom less,—who have said simply, Here is the Inexplicable. To take the consolation offered is the more attractive, the sweeter course ; but Truth, once for all, is unconcerned with consoling doctrines'. That way, I should be supported by whatever support lies in a majority : but to me, at least, it would not be true ; but I should betray the last and deepest Faith, Conscience.

Men may indeed say, • All is for the best': but the feeble optimism, disguised to Christian ears under the current phraseology, 'It is God's world', is disbelieved before spoken, refuted without need to raise the eyes. If it be so, how should such things be done in it ? And is there not another Prince of this world also ? The reasonings of Candide' gain nothing by restatement in the terms of theology. Simple acquiescence in what is inevitable lies below that consolatio usitata, Cease from 'impatient sorrow. It must be for the best. You are in higher hands. He gives, and He takes away. It may be true that your loss seems the loss of all that ' makes life worth living : 'tis a trial of faith : be sure • the chastisement is deserved, or is for greater ultimate

blessing'. Why use my own weak words, whilst anxious to give their fullest weight to reasonings from which I cannot deduce the intended moral, when one conspicuous amongst men for the love of wisdom and the “wisdom of love' has devoted a discours bien consolatif to this very topic ? Blaise Pascal wrote on his father's death, · C'est que nous devons chercher la consolation à nos maux, non pas dans nous-mêmes, non pas dans les

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· hommes, non pas dans tout ce qui est créé; mais dans · Dieu. Et la raison en est que toutes les créatures ne sont pas la première cause des accidents que nous appellons maux ; mais que la providence de Dieu en étant l'unique et véritable cause, l'arbitre et la souveraine, il est indubitable qu'il faut recourir directement à la source et remonter jusqu'à l'origine, pour trouver un solide allége"ment.

Not as chance, not as fatal necessity, not as the • trick of the elements are we to think of calamity, but as an indispensable, inevitable, just, holy, and God-exalting consequence

of a providential decree : connu de toute 'éternité pour être exécuté dans la plénitude de son temps, en telle année, en tel jour, en telle heure, en tel lieu,

telle manière:—to see it in God, a thing determined in • the secret of His will, and to be accepted with thankful 6 and adoring silence'. Is it indeed so? this the last best conclusion of the sweet moralist ?- Fatalism clothed in eloquent phrases : an attempt to refine comfort from resignation to the Inevitable and the Irresistible: to make evil good by a trick of fair speaking! What proud presumption, again, is it, however draped in gracious humility, which thus attempts to solve the ways of Providence, the riddle in more modest moments named mystery, — which refutes the doctrine of Fate by the substitution of everlasting Decree, and then enforces silence with shouts of sophistry ? More courageous to confess, we stand here between contradictions hopelessly and fearfully irresoluble. Turn what way we will, far, far beyond the reconcilement of our frivolous mediation, the sky is darkened with antagonist portents — the horizon 'throng'd (with dreadful faces': there is still war in heaven. Shall we dare deny the influence of Prince Ahriman over earth ? Shall we dare ascribe unmerited anguish to Eternal Love?

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Is it well, if, penetrating the abyss further, we presume to find a reason for human agony in divine glorification ? discover some secret charm in confessing the disfavour of our benefactor? or fancy, that by a voluntary assumption of sin we can destroy the sting of sorrow? These positions are frequent in preachers' mouths: but is there any real

repose for the heart in this juggle of the intellect?

XXV • 'Tis held that sorrow makes us wise’; a simple text on which volumes have been written with all that profluence of rhetoric inherent in the literature of consolation. He, however, would hardly be wise who could consider with much satisfaction wisdom won at such sacrifice ; nor could I with any truth allow myself that sad indulgence. Yet I had honestly accepted whatever gain the soul might receive from calamity : I too had long endeavoured “to catch the far-off interest of tears', and convert to present amelioration. But, if indeed attained, was such personal benefit in any true sense commensurate with the final loss of the One who was my choice of all the world'? Could this be set, and against that, in the balance ? or could I complacently build self-improvement on forgetfulness of Désirée ?

Should I, again, join with other moralists, Augustine or Taylor, in their emphatic attempt to make banning blessing; should I say the deprival was to teach me detachment of the soul from earth, the vanity of mortal things, when that reckoned in the contemptuous censure was the one passion which is most divine - love so spontaneous, strong, and innocent, that, if any thing, assuredly I might ascribe this to immediate Providential inspiration ? I often heard the voice of the scorner - and notably in that shallow monastic mockery of human hope, the falsely-named · Imitation '- supporting his disingenuous system with such

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arguments : but something in the heart above logic refuted the barren impiety, the treason against Heaven and Désirée. In their own language, no congruity lies between the terms thus opposed : in language more suitable to these pages, to mistrust her love could not augment my faith in celestial mercy. There is something eminently pathetic, I think, in this zeal of poor human nature to deduce a lesson and a reward at all hazards from all events, in this blind unrecognized resolute optimism :- but if offered as serious arguments, a sad smile is all that grief can gain from or give them.

Away! we know that tears are vain,

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That death nor heeds nor hears distress:
Will this unteach us to complain ?

Or make one mourner weep the less ?
And thou— who tell’st me to forget,
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.

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What reasons remained ? what more consolatories writ' or spoken ? If ten thousand more, Désirée would be at last no less fondly dear, no less endlessly regretted., We know not any thing': away with these hollow fallacies, I said in my despair. To accept them was to betray myself, to change substantive grief, Nature's work, for Man's unreal consolations, for the unattainable river of life to substitute the mirage waters of the desert. And, however heartshaken and darkened, this sad prerogative of reason I still retained, that I could not voluntarily blind myself with delusive doctrine, lie to Heaven by confessing that love for Désirée had lessened or eclipsed higher aspirations, or in

too frequent transaction with conscience which supports the pride of system beneath the disguise of humility, create some fancied demerit to justify and to

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