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And the gray turret of our own chateau,
D’A. Upon my brow, dear girl,
B. Thou dost not mean-
D’A. Where is the spirit's home?
B. My Father!
D’A. We must die!
B. Oh! clasp me fast !
D’A. Alas! my flower, thou'rt young to go; Young, and so fair! Yet were it worse, methinks, To leave thee where the gentle and the brave, And they that love their God, have all been swept, Like the sear leaves away. The soil is steeped In noble blood, the temples are gone down; The sound of prayer is hushed, or fearfully Muttered, like sounds of guilt. Why, who would live · Who hath not panted, as a dove, to flee, To quit forever the dishonored soil, The burdened air ? Our God upon the cross, Our king upon the scaffold ; let us think Of these, and fold endurance to our hearts, And bravely die!
B. A dark and fearful way! An evil doom for thy dear honored head ! Oh! thou, the kind, and gracious! whom all eyes Blessed, as they looked upon! Speak yet again! Say, will they part us?
D’A. No, my Blanche; in death We shall not be divided.
B. Thanks to God ! He, by thy glance, will aid me. I shall see His light before me to the last. And whenOh! pardon these weak shrinkings of thy child ! When shall the hour befall ?
D’A. Oh! swiftly now,
B. My father! lay thy hand
D'A. If I may speak through tears,
B. Now is there strength
D’A. Seest thou, my child,
It seems to quiver; yet shall this night pass,
Though man has barred it from our sight.
We read no more, O God! thy ways
May vail it with a midnight shroud.
We feel no more that aid is nigh,
Yet, by the anguish of thy Son
In our deep need to thee we turn!
GOOD SENSE AND BEAUTY. NOTWITHSTANDING the lessons of moralists, and the declamations of philosophers, it cannot be denied that all mankind have a natural love, and even respect, for external beauty. In vain do they represent it as a thing of no value in itself, as a frail and perishable flower; in vain do they exhaust all the depths of argument, all the stories of fancy, to prove the worthlessness of this amiable gift of nature. However persuasive their reasonings may appear, and however we may, for a time, fancy ourselves convinced by thein, we have in our breasts a certain instinct, which never fails to tell us, that all is not satisfactory ; and though we may not be able to prove that they are wrong, we feel a conviction that it is impossible they should be right.
They are certainly right in blaming those, who are rendered vain by the possession of beauty, since vanity is, at all times, a fault. But there is a great difference between being vain of a thing, and being happy that we have it; and that beauty, however little merit a woman can claim to herself for it, is really a quality which she may reasonably rejoice to possess, demands, I think, no very labored proof. Every one naturally wishes to please. To this end we know how important it is, that the first impression we produce should be favorable.
Now, this first impression is commonly produced through the medium of the eye; and this is frequently so powerful as to 2517 Deck
resist, for a long time, the opposing evidence of subsequen observation. Let a man of even the soundest judgment be presented to two women, equally strangers to him, but the one extremely handsome, the other without any remarkable advantages of person, and he will, without deliberation, attach himself first to the former. All men seem in this to be actuated by the same principle as Socrates, who used to say when he saw a beautiful person, he always expected to see it animated by a beautiful soul.
The ladies, however, often fall into the fatal error of imagining that a fine person is, in our eyes, superior to every other accomplishment; and those, who are so happy as to be endowed with it, rely with vain confidence on its irresistible power to retain hearts, as well as to subdue them. Hence the lavish care bestowed on the improvement of exterior and perishable charms, and the neglect of solid and durable excellence; hence the long list of arts that administer to vanity and folly, the countless train of glittering accomplishments, and the scanty catalogue of truly valuable acquirements, which compose for the most part, the modern system of fashionable female education. Yet so far is beauty from being, in our eyes, an excuse for the want of a cultivated mind, that the women who are blessed with it, have, in reality,a much harder task to perform, than those of their sex who are not so distinguished. Even our self-love here takes part against them; we feel ashamed of having suffered ourselves to be caught like children, by mere outside, and perhaps even fall into the contrary extreme.
Could “ the statue that enchants the world,”—the Venus de Medicis,-at the prayer of some new Pygmalion, become suddenly animated, how disappointed would he be, if she were not endowed with a soul answerable to the inimitable perfection of her heavenly form! Thus it is with a fine wonian, whose only accomplishment is external excellence. She may dazzle for a time ; but when a man has once thought, “ What a pity that such a masterpiece should be but a walking statue !” her empire is at an end. On the other hand, when a woman, the plainness of whose features prevented our noticing her at first, is found, upon nearer acquaintance, to be possessed of the more solid and valuable perfections of the mind, the pleasure we feel in being so agreeably undeceived, makes her appear to still greater advantage:
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