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lungs, distorted their spines, impeded the action of of the brutes that perish! Dr. Winter ought to their hearts, shut them safely up from the free have been a horse-dealer, or something of that sort, breath of nature, taught them assiduously every and then he'd have been in his proper element. fashionable accomplishment and every artificial One would really think, to hear him talk, that there grace, but would have fainted at the vulgarity of a were different kinds of human beings, just as there morning run over a breezy hill, had common sense are of cattle and such things.' ventured to propose such a remedy for the poor “Why, I've heard him say,' replied Mrs. Bland, creatures' pallid cheeks and wasting forms. And that if we took half as much care to improve our as for reflecting on the effect this false system must own race as we do to improve our horses and have on their children's children, that of course sheep, the doctors would be obliged to turn farmthey never did. Women did not often reflect at ers.' that time, except upon the characters of their “ •Pray, my dear friend, don't repeat such things neighbors. It has often struck me as a singular to me. The man is low.' anomaly, that we calculate the extent of land or 6. He is rather indelicate sometimes,' said the the amount of money we shall bequeath to our other, urbanely siding with indignant virtue ; but offspring, but never bestow a thought on the health then he's such a clever creature, one must make they will inherit from us !
allowances for his odd little ways.' “Well, ignorance of such matters was prevalent "Oh, clever! I've no patience !' exclaimed when my sister, then about eighteen, married a Miss Rumball. young man of good family, but no wiser than her- "For many an hour afterwards did I puzzle my self. My father rejoiced at the unexceptionable little brain to make out what they had been talking match, and pleased himself with flattering visions about; but, as I said before, the interpretation of her future welfare. In short, everything seemed came at last. Six years passed away. My dear to me to smile upon their union, until one evening I sister was blessed, as we thought it, with four happened to overhear a conversation that made a sweet children— little fairies, like living lilies and strong impression upon me, though I did not under-roses ; but her own health was delicate. But stand it till some years after. Our medical friend, suddenly my whole attention was engrossed by a Dr. Winter, who had been on the continent for new object; and the conseqnences, a new and several months, and had only heard of my sister's powerful feeling. This object was a cousin, a marriage on the day of his return, was chatting nephew of my mother. He was about twenty-two with Miss Rumball, the clergyman's sister and years of age, intellectual, accomplished-in short, another lady—the wedding of course being the a perfect gentleman. He was the only survivor staple of their discourse.
of a large family, and had lived from infancy with " . It is a great pity,' said the doctor with a deep his widowed mother in the mildest regions of Italy. sigh ; her mother died of consumption, and I un- Important business at length compelled them to derstand that his family is not free from the same come to England, and it was then that Henry malady. They ought on no account to have mar- Goring paid his first visit to our quiet home. ried. The children will pay the penalty.”
“I sometimes smile, and sometimes weep, but “But there may not be any, you know, doctor,' oftener both together, when I think how very happy interposed one of the ladies, (not Miss Rumball, for I was for two months after his arrival. Every she, I remember, kept her eyes fixed on the point object seemed to glow with radiant colors; the of her toe, and looked excessively shocked ;) there perfume of the commonest flowers became intoxicatare many happy marriages without children.' ing; all the sounds and sights of nature spoke a
“ Miss Rumball here cast a horrified glance first new and delightful language. Music was--ah, I at me and then at them. Mrs. Bland stopped must not attempt to describe what music was! A short; the doctor shrugged his shoulders, and strain that was familiar then, and is mixed up, as it walked away. I could not imagine why Miss were, with the dream-like recollections of that Rumball had checked them, as if they were saying delightful time, will sometimes return, and wander something which it was improper for me to hear ; through my brain for days and nights together, and 80 I stood behind the window-curtain, (not very then I sadly live over again my former happiness. creditable, you will say; and I hope you will not But that is enough. One day you will know by suspect I should do so now,) that I might hear the experience how delightfully such moons as these remarks of the two ladies when the doctor was roll by. gone.
“ As yet, no word had been said of our attachSingular man!' said Mrs. Bland, who was a ment. We had looked into each other's eyes, and warm-hearted, weak-headed matron; now, for read our souls there ; and we might have gone on my part, I can see no possible objection to the in the same way for two months more, had not match ; there are youth, wealth, and beauty on Henry been summoned to London upon the busiboth sides.'
ness that had brought him from Italy. This drew “Oh, I've no patience!' exclaimed Miss Rum- matters to a crisis. It was just such a lovely evenball, indignantly whisking the crumbs off her black ing as this when he first spoke to me of his silk dress ; 'it is dreadful, it is dis-gust-ing, to attachment. It was agreed between us that he hear human beings with immortal souls talked of should speak to my father the next morning. He in that way!—actually brought down to the level did so; and all seemed propitious to our wishes, for my father gave a cordial consent. Another bear anything you may have to tell me, even though day of bliss, almost too intense for endurance, and it were that I must break my engagement with then came my first sorrow—the departure of my Henry Goring-provided,' I added, that I am lover for one whole wearisome week. Well might convinced it is a duty.' Moore sing
“ • Thank God! he exclaimed, clasping me to • There's nothing half so sweet in life as love's
his heart; "and thank you too, my beloved child,
for sparing me the trial I so much dreaded. I young dream!'
could not have hoped for this fortitude in one so The first-love of a girl who knows that she loves young. My poor Lucy!' and as he said this he worthily—the sacred halo which her pure thoughts held back my face to look at me, it is a severe cast around her ardent feelings—all make of that trial for you, and one that ought not to have been epoch in life a veritable foretaste of heaven. imposed upon you ; but how could I teach you
“My approaching marriage soon became the that which I knew not myself? Read this book talk of the little town. Everybody said what a carefully. Had I been acquainted with it before good match it was. Miss Rumball was quite I married, I should have avoided committing two oracular on the subject ; but Dr. Winter called grievous errors. Your noble conduct gives me the upon my father, with a book under his arm, and assurance that you will help me to prevent another. after being closeted with him for nearly two hours, May God in heaven bless and reward you !' And went away, leaving the book behind him. I met so we parted at the untouched breakfast table. him in the hall : he stopped, looked earnestly at “With a despairing calmness I shut myself up me for a moment; then his eyes filled with tears, with that terrible volume, whose pages seemed to and he passed on without speaking. I felt as if be inscribed with my death-warrant. For awhile under the influence of a coming nightmare. 1 I felt prompted to blind myself to its warnings, and could do nothing but wander about the house and rush madly to the enjoyment of a brief summer-day gardens, visiting again and again the spots that of happiness. But calmer reason, and my father's were rendered sacred by some association with my solemn words, prevailed, and I sat down to its beloved Henry; and cherishing but one definite perusal. You shall read that book yourself one of idea th
all the chaos of my feelings, and these days : it is sufficient for me now to tell you that was, a firm resolve that no power on earth that it explains the laws governing the transmission should prevent my fulfilling the promise I had of qualities, mental and bodily, from parent to given him.
child ; the immense amount of suffering and disease “My father remained in his study the whole with which the world is filled in consequence of day. The meals passed away without his appear the frequent disregard of these laws; and how ing; and as I crept up stairs to bed, I saw, by a fearfully the sins of those who marry with a strong ray of light streaming through the keyhole, that he taint of hereditary disease are visited upon their was still watching. The vague sense of approach children, even to the third and fourth generation. ing evil still hung over me; and as I laid my I now understood Miss Rumball's outcry against aching head upon my pillow, the words which I Dr. Winter's indelicacy. She was a good sort o had heard Dr. Winter utter respecting my sister's person, but too narrow-minded to perceive that marriage rushed upon my memory, giving to this prudery is in general far more indelicate than phiforeboding a shape of formless yet ghastly terrors. losophy. My dream of happiness was at an end !
Well, love, I must not now stand shivering on “ You may imagine I did not sleep much that the brink of resolution, as I did when the light of night. In the morning, I hastened down, anxious that calmly-reasoned book was clearing away the to see my father. He was in the breakfast room, mists which had made the valley of the shadow of and a glance at his soiled dress and disordered death look like a paradise. As I read on, I saw hair showed that he had been up all night. I even clearly the position in which I was placed. The thought I could detect the traces of tears on his very affection, so ardent, so buoyant in its youthpale and haggard cheeks. He looked at me as Iful energy, which I bore to my lover, was enlisted entered, and then turned away with an expression to oppose my marriage with him ; for what true or keen suffering on his face. In the midst of my love would doom its object to the misery of seeing agitation, that look made me think of Jephtha and all his dearest ones sinking into an early tomb? his daughter. He was evidently striving to arrange Such at least was not my love ; and seeing my his words and ideas to open some painful subject, path of duty thus strongly marked out before me, when it occurred to me that, by speaking first, on I resolved unflinchingly to follow it. But there the clue of my suspicions, I might spare him the was something more to be done. He, too, was agony of plunging a dagger into his poor child's deeply tainted with the same fell disease, and must happy heart, and rudely destroying all her air-built therefore be convinced that marriage was forbidden castles.
to him. My own grief was nearly forgotten when “ It is now twenty years since this happened ; I thought of this. Could I have borne the burden but I remember the whole scene as vividly as alone, it would have been comparatively light; but though it had taken place but yesterday. I hung he must share it, and that indeed was bitter. To upon my father's neck, and said in as firm a voice teach him to love me as a friend—to behold him as I could command, ‘Father, I am prepared to happily married to some one who might marry—to
train up his children, and rejoice over their health | fected soon began to assume a real existence. I and beauty—this would have been to me a dear may praise myself at this distance of time, just as delight; but, alas! the ban was upon him likewise, old ladies are permitted to boast of their youthful and bound us both in the same dreary fate. All charms, because I have now nothing to do with that was left me, as I now thought, was sternly to disinterestedness, heroism, or anything, in fact, but pluck out every hope of happiness from both our taking care of my own little self, and doing such hearts, and make the best preparation for the atoms of service to my fellow-creatures as chance early grave that yawned at our feet.
may throw in my way. Then life appeared to me “ I could fill a volume with the thoughts and a blank—dull, hopeless, soulless. I was immoemotions that passed through my mind during those lated on the altar of unrelenting justice, a sinless few hours, but such a recital would be useless. but unresisting victim ; for the sentence was as It is enough, that when the sharp conflict was over, distinct as it was righteous, and I could no wish and my resolution firmly bent to perform the hard to evade my doom. Gradually a serener mood task assigned to me, I felt a degree of tranquil came over me. First of all, my father required composure that surprised myself, and which arose my every care : he would sit fur hours plunged in from a lofty faith that so great a sacrifice to truth melancholy reverie ; and Dr. Winter, a wise stuand justice would not be made in vain.
dent of human nature, excited me to redoubled “I went into my father's study, to concert with exertions, by awakening fears concerning his menhim the best means of breaking the subject to tal health“knowing that the surest means of Henry. He was dreadfully agitated, but my drawing me from my own grief was to engross calmness communicated itself to him; and when I my attention with some external object. Under saw that, it stimulated me to still greater efforts our united care, my father slowly regained his of self-control. He appeared astonished and de- tranquillity ; but he had sustained a shock from lighted; and the fervent blessing he called down which he never wholly recovered. upon me, mingled with praises of what he called “I had received one letter from Henry Goring, my heroic fortitude, reflected back upon me the to which I had answered briefly, informing him of consolation I had inspired. This was the first fruits my sister's death. This sad event was also an of the faith that sustained me.
excuse for leaving long unanswered that which he “ It was agreed that I should not write to Henry sent in reply, full of gentle and affectionate condo immediately, but await the arrival of his next letter, lence, but not a word of our expected marriage. which would give me time to deliberate. Sorrow But the work was to be done, and delay seemed seldom comes alone : while expecting this letter, but to magnify the evil. By Dr. Winter's advice, we received a summons to my sister's bedside, as I wrote at first vaguely, hinting that our marriage her illness had taken an alarming character. Her might be deferred longer than we had anticipated, husband had carried her to Torquay soon after but without assigning any reason. By return Henry's first arrival, and thither we followed them. came his answer, assuring me that he would not
“ A description of her illness would add noth- press our union until my grief had quite subsided. ing to the usefulness of my narrative, so I will not I thought he had not taken the alarm as we burden your young mind with it. She died a fort- intended he should do; but then followed these night after our arrival. There is, however, one words in a postscript—'On reading your letter painful circumstance which I shall relate, because again, my mind misgives me. Surely there can it bears directly on the principle I am endeavoring be no other reason than your late bereavement for to enforce. This was my poor father's sorrow. any delay of our marriage ? For mercy's sake do He saw his daughter die, and that was grief not speak to me in riddles, but write immediately, enough ; but it was trifling compared with the and explain.' I did write as he wished, entreatremorse that gnawed his soul at having first, by ing him to read the fatal book, and divesting himhis imprudent marriage, inflicted upon her the en- self as much as possible of the trammels of feebled existence which could not stand the ordi- passion, to submit implicitly to the dictates of nary trials of a mother's life; and having then right and justice. allowed her to commit the same error, by which “On the evening of the following day, as I sat her life was probably shortened, and her fatal mal- by my father's sofa, watching the first sound sleep ady transmitted to her four innocent children. It which he had enjoyed for many a weary day and was no alleviation that he had acted in ignorance ; night, the door opened hastily, and Henry entered. he continually repeated that ‘he ought to have I suppressed with difficulty the scream that was known it.' The only drop of comfort in this bit- bursting from my lips, and rising quietly, with a ter cup was derived from my patient submission to gesture of silence, I took his hand and led him my own sorrow. To the hour of his death, he into the garden never knew what were my real sufferings; for I “ Have you read the book ?' was my first fortunately possess a good share of self-control, question. which enabled me to appear more calm than I felt. “I have,' he replied. He did not see the paroxysms of agony which at “Then,' said I, you know what must be our times prostrated all my energy. They did not resolution.' last long, however, and became daily of less fre- “Alas! I had judged too hastily. Either his quent occurrence, for the resignation which I af-| feelings were stronger than mine, or he was less
in the habit of controlling them. I was terrified | Dr. Winter warned me not to be deluded by at the storm my words aroused. The wildest appearances. Again he sunk ; again his mother expressions of love were mingled with anger, de- thought she read returning health in the bright spair, bitter reproaches, jealousy, vengeance on hectic fush; and yet again was she compelled to those who had instigated me to such unnatural own that her hopes had been illusory. Amid all conduct: he was indeed shaken by a tornado of these apparent variations, the insidious enemy all violent emotions. He even declared, poor fel- silently continued its ravages, and ere the spring low, that changed affection was the real cause, and was quite gone, my poor Henry slept in his that the book and its arguments were only a sub- grave. He died; and (mark this, dear Margaret, terfuge to get rid of him. Very, very dearly and for it has been my consolation during all the years truly did I love him, so you must not be surprised that have since elapsed) his last words were a that, unaided and weak as I was, my resolution blessing on me for clinging to the right. began to quail. Still I argued, I entreated, I “I bore his loss with comparative patience, for wept; and he did the same, yielding at times to sorrow had become my familiar companion ; and fearful paroxysms of passion. Dreading the effects thenceforth I devoted myself wholly to promoting of such powerful excitement upon his delicate my father's comfort. When he died, which was lungs, I strove to calm him ; and was about to about six years ago, I became, at the invitation of give him a promise to reconsider my resolve, when your kind parents, a member of your family. his voice became suddenly husky and stifled, a And here I am still, you see ; living very happily, deadly paleness displaced the brilliant flush upon and prepared, but not watching, for death ; renhis cheeks, he staggered, and fell upon a garden dering what services I can to my fellow-creatures, seat, near which we had been standing. Believing and thereby securing constant pleasures to myself ; that he had fainted, I raised his head, when I felt fearless as to the future, careful of the present, and, my hand covered with the hot blood that was above all—and oh, Margaret, think, think, think gushing from his mouth. He had broken a blood of this—free from remorse for the past! And vessel.
do you at last understand," continued Cousin “I dared not scream, lest I should arouse my Lucy, with a gentle smile gleaming through a tear father, whose reason might be wholly unseated by that did not fall," why I am an old maid ?" the spectacle that poor Henry then presented. I “I do, dear cousin ; but may I ask you one or dared not leave him while I ran to the house ; but two questions? Will it be painful to you to say I supported him in my arms, and looked wildly something more?” round for help; and help was
at hand. Dr. “ Certainly not. It must always be a sad, but Winter had caught a glimpse of Henry's face as can never be a painful subject.
Ask as many he rushed through the town in a postchaise, and questions as you like; my object would be ill had followed immediately, to sustain me by his attained if you did not perfectly understand all that presence and advice, or to be at hand in case of I have said." such an accident as had actually happened. He “I think I understand it all; but I wish to quickly summoned the servants, who, under his know if you did not feel as though you had been direction, removed the poor invalid to the bed the cause of poor Mr. Goring's accident? I think which he had occupied a few weeks before in I should.” apparent health.
“In the first burst of grief I did ; but I was “You may be sure that every imaginable care soon convinced that I had done right, and that left was lavished upon him that affection and skill no room for self-reproach." could suggest ; but I saw from the first that Dr. “ And yet you must have been very miserable Winter entertained little hope. The intelligence when you reflected that you could never have a was broken with the utmost care to my father, kind husband, or loving children to comfort you ; whose greatest anxiety was on my account; but you who are so fond of children too?" when he saw me no less tranquil than before, “For that very reason, how much more miser(paler, my gluss had told me, I could not be,) able should I have been to see those children he resigned himself patiently to this new afflic- blighted in their youth; or, dying myself, to know tion.
that I left behind me unfortunate beings whom ] “It was now the commencement of autumn ; had endowed with mortal disease! With what during that season, and the following winter and tranquillity could I meet death, knowing that my spring, I was a constant attendant upon Henry life had been injurious to the world—that I had Goring. His mother shared with me the duties spread contamination throughout unborn generaof nursing him. At first, she treated me with tions—that by my deliberate and premeditated great coldness, I might almost say harshness, guilt, incurred from intensely selfish motives, I because she thought I had sacrificed her son's life had increased, to the utmost of my power, the and happiness to a fantastic and unnatural whim. mass of human misery? Is not my present lonely But when Henry himself, calmed by suffering, at life preferable to this?" last recognized the rectitude of my conduct, her “ A thousand times !” exclaimed Margaret ; manner completely changed, and she became as as your poor sister must have felt. What kind as she had before been stern. At the begin- became of her children?" ning of the spring our patient seemed to rally ; but “By very great care, they were reared to the LIVING AGE.
age of man and womanhood ; and then, one by preserve his health in the best possible state, for an one, they dropped off, and now all are dead." unhealthy member is a burden instead of a support
“To what can you attribute your own exemp- to the community. Think of this when a little tion from this dreadful disease?"
spice of vanity prompts you to wear a pair of “In the first place, to my having been brought pretty, thin shoes in dubious weather, instead of up from my earliest infancy in a very healthful less sightly but more substantial old friends. “If farmhouse; and secondly, to the incessant watch I do catch cold," whispers vanity, “ that will hurt which I keep over my health, thanks to the judi- nobody but myself.” But vanity would mislead cious advice of Dr. Winter. In short, to avoid you, as she generally does those who listen to her; being thrown a sickly burden upon my friends, my and pass over in silence the trouble which an illexistence is one continued course of self-denial. ness would entail upon your family. You would Am I invited to a ball, (and you know that I am so be nursed and petted, while not one other person sometimes, old maid though I be,) I consider in the house would be exempt from care and whether it would be wiser to go and enjoy myself anxiety on your account.” very much, but at the risk of late hours, heated “Thank you, dear Lucy. I have often sinned rooms, cold currents of air, the temptations of in that respect quite thoughtlessly, but I will take dancing, ices, and so on; or to stay quietly at care to do so no more.” home, read, work, or chat, content with my biscuit If
you act up to that resolution, Margaret, I and glass of negus, and go to bed at ten as usual? shall see that my warning tale has not been given In the same manner I reduce everything to this in vain. But come, the sun has just set, and I question—Which is the wiser? Not from any must not wait for the night dews; thereby, like great love for life, but from a desire to preserve too many teachers, spoiling a good precept with a my independence as long as possible. It is indeed, bad example.” a duty incumbent on every member of society to
A GENERAL MOVEMENT IN THE WORLD.— The day. A man without something indispensable to period of the Conquista, (the Spanish conquests in do, will find his life to be involved in some of the America,) at the end of the fifteenth and commence- difficulties by which a woman's life is often beset, ment of the sixteenth century, was marked by a one of which difficulties is the want of a claim parawonderful coincidence of great events in the political mount upon her time. And these difficulties will and moral life of the nations of Europe. In the not be the less if the poet have, as he ought to have, same month in which Hernando Cortes commenced something of the woman in his nature ;—as he his march against Mexico, after the battle of Otum- ought to have, I aver: because the poet should be ba, Martin Luther burnt the papal bull at Witten- hic et hæc homo—the representative of human nature berg, and laid the corner-stone of the Reformation. at large, and not of one sex only. With the diffiA little earlier the most glorious creations of ancient culties of a woman's life, the poet will not find that Grecian art, the Laocoon, the Torso, the Apollo any of its corresponding facilities accrue ; he will Belvedere, and the Medicean Venus had risen as it find claims to be made upon him as upon a man, and were from their graves. Michael Angelo, Leonardo indemnities granted to him as a poet. Thus it is da Vinci, Titian, and Raphael, were illustrious in that in the bustling crowds of this present world, a Italy; Albert Durer and Holbein in our own Father- meditative man finds himself, however passively disland. The true system of the universe was discov-posed, in a position of oppugnancy, to those around ered by Copernicus the very year in which Colum- him, and must struggle in order to stand still.bus died, though he did not make it known till some- “ Henry Taylor's Notes from Life.” what later.–. Translation from Humbolt's Kos
PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF LEDYARD THE TRAVmos,” vol. ii, p. 338.
:- Mr. Beaufoy had an interview with LedTHE MODERN MEDITATIVE Man's Disadvan- yard just as he was setting off on his last expedition, TAGES.—The man who lies under no external and repeats the following passage from his converobligation (none that is apparent and palpable) to sation :-“I am accustomed,” said Ledyard, “ 10 occupy himself in one way or another, will become hardship. I have known both hunger and nakeda prey to many demands for small services, atten- ness to the utmost extremity of human suffering. tions, and civilities, such as will neither exercise I have known what it is to have food given me as his faculties, add to his knowledge, nor leave him charity to a madman; and I have at times been to his thoughts. The prosecution of a contempla-obliged to shelter myself under the miseries of that tive life is not an answer to any of these demands ; character, to avoid a heavier calamity. My distresses for though the man who is in the pursuit of an active have been greater than I have ever owned, or ever calling is not expected to give up his guineas for will own, to any man. Such evils are terrible to the sake of affording some trifling gratification to bear; but they never yet had power to turn me from some friend or acquaintance or stranger, yet the my purpose. If I live, I will faithfully perform, in man who has renounced the active calling and the its utmost extent, my engagement to the society; guineas, in order that he may possess his soul in and if I perish in the attempt, my honor will still be peace, is constantly expected to give up his medita- safe, for death cancels all bonds."'_“
"_" Ledyard's tions, and no one counts it for a sacrifice. Medita- | Life.” tion, it is thought, can always be done some other