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mouths, then, is to be my utmost hope. Well I embrace your two months with their
Sweet, reluctant, indolent delay."
No epithets in Milton, to be sure! Come, I must at last confess your contention in their favour triumphant, from the proofs you produce of their frequency on the pages of that verse demi-god. You write like an angel, and I would go to the end of the world for a lock of your hair ; and so pray send me one at the two months' end-and let me carry off your picture by force from Romney.
“ It's rather impudent, after all, that you should be so eloquent, so able, yet so feminine, so touching. It is not fair ;-you ought to be an elephant, and you are a charming woman, dear to me as any one of your enchanting sex, though I never saw you but once; exactly an hundred and nine years ago. Farewel, Urganda!”
Lichfield, March 23, 1787. You misunderstood me if, in speaking of the refined, the learned and eloquent Mr 's union with a woman of such mere common-life talents, you thought I meant that happiness was confined to people of exalted intellect. So far from asserting that idea, I am inclined to believe those the happiest who mutually plod on in the narrow circle of every-day minds, and adopt prejudices for principles. No; I said, and I still think it ill for married happiness, where the abilities, acquirements, and pursuits are very unequal. Rochefoucault says, we cannot long love those by whom we are despised, or for whom we feel any degree of contempt. Something very like contempt must arise where the disparity is extreme, and the pursuits wholly dissimilar. My life has not been very short, or by any means unobservant. Many miseries have I witnessed consequent upon intellectual inequality, where people have a great deal of time for companionable purposes. Where
they have not, it matters less. One happy couple only have I known, where there was the leisure without the powers for companionship. The late Mr and Mrs V. of this city. He was a man of wit and learning ;—she the veriest intellectual blank imaginable ;—but then Mr V. wished not so much to converse with people, as to be heard. He was not fastidious about the ability of his listeners. I have known him go on for hours, talking with infinite wit and humour, about himself, his connections, his wife's simplicity, and his childrens' good qualities--and this without seeming at all to want or expect respondent animadversion. Mrs V. was beautiful, good humoured, and silent. The last was an all-atoning merit, which does not often belong to so narrow a mind. The noise of the shallow stream is proverbial. This couple were happy ;- but how rare is it that
prety idiots are quiet and silent! The new bride is not likely to be either.
I have this morning seen a very old acquaintance, unbeheld since my thirteenth year. I believe you know him: that shadow of a shade, Sir G. C. His figure is not an atom more formidable than in those my heedless and very youthful years, when, about seven years older than myself, the sight of him, and his tiny brother, dispersed my father's apprehensions about my accepting their
mother's invitation to pass a month with her at the old family seat at Bn;-apprehensions, which had arisen from her odd declaration, that she hoped her sons would be men of gallantry and intrigue.“ Ah, ha!” said my father, seeing them alight with their mamma from the coach, “ what have we here? these Coldbrands the giants! these same mighty men In the name of chastity let the girl go. If she can be in danger from such heroes, she must be infinitely too seducible to escape by any possible restraints parental prudence can impose.” I, who had been educated in the strictest temperance of diet, and who had run about the fields in the bounding vigour of health, and with the gay hopes of dawning womanhood, was yet charmed with the novel ideas of B-n luxuries, and of bowling thither in a coach and four, with two out-riders. Deuce take my Eveish desire of rambling from my pleasant home, and healthy deprivations. Mrs Cmnfed me up in that fatal month, like a porket, with chocolate, drank in bed at eight; a nap till ten; tea and hot-rolls at eleven; pease soup at one; a luxurious dinner at four ; and an hot and splendid supper at midnight-the day-light intervals filled up with slow airings in the old coach, along the dusty roads, for it was in the heats of a blazing summer; and with lying on a couch, picking
honesty for madam's flower-pots, without any danger of molestation from her puny sons. wanted to read to her: “ No child, I detest reading.”—I begged permission to walk about the gardens; no, that would spoil my complexion ;to pursue my needle-works in her presence'; no, that was vulgar. You will imagine how soon I sickened of the joyless luxury, and unsocial grandeur, for they visited but little with the neighbouring families, who were too rational to please, or be pleased with the fine town-lady, who professed to think the months of country-residence worse than annihilation- Alas ! my month of vegetation was pledged, and during its oppressive progress, the change of diet, and total want of exercise, gave my constitution its first propensity to plumpness, which, to my regret, no future temperance, or resumed activity, could subdue.-Till this luckless excursion I was light as a wood-nymph. The very many intervening years, and the change of effeminate youth into more decrepitude than usually appears in middle life, had not so obliterated the remembered traces of that pale and penknife face, that shadowy form, which “ the blasts of January must blow through and through,” but that I instantly knew Sir George C. If he is not more corporally consequential than he was at twenty, he is much more interesting. His man