“I can’t have a second sermon upon honour. ’Can honour take away the grief of a wound?’ as Falstaff says. Love is the only subject I care to preach about; though, unlike many young ladies, we can talk about other things too; but as to this Duke, I certainly ’had rather live on cheese and garlic, in a windmill far, than feed on cakes, and have him talk to me in any summer-house in Christendom;’ and now I have had Mrs. Douglas’s second-hand sentiments upon the subject, I should like to hear your own.”
“I have never thought much upon the subject,” said Mary; “my sentiments are therefore all at second-hand, but I shall repeat to you what I think is not love, and what is.” And she repeated these pretty and well-known lines:—
CARELESS AND FAITHFUL LOVE.
To sigh—yet feel
To weep-yet scarce know why;
To sport an hour with beauty’s chain,
Then throw it idly by;
To kneel at many a shrine,
Yet lay the heart on none;
To think all other charms divine
But those we just have won:—
This is love-careless love—
Such as kindleth hearts that rove.
To keep one sacred flame
Through life, unchill’d, unmov’d;
To love in wint’ry age the same
That first in youth we loved;
To feel that we adore
With such refined excess,
That though the heart would break with more,
We could not love with less:—
This is love—faithful love—
Such as saints might feel above.
“And such as I do feel, and will always feel,
for my Edward,” said Lady
Emily. “But there is the dressing-bell!” And she flew off, singing—
“To keep one sacred flame,” etc.
“Some, when they write to their friends, are all affection; Some are wise and sententious; some strain their powers for efforts of gaiety; some write news, and some write secrets—but to make a letter without affection, without wisdom, without gaiety, without news, and without a secret, is doubtless the great epistolic art. “-DR. JOHNSON.
AN unusual length of time had elapsed since Mary had heard from Glenfern, and she was beginning to feel some anxiety on account of her friends there, when her apprehensions were dispelled by the arrival of a large packet, containing letters from Mrs. Douglas and Aunt Jacky. The former, although the one that conveyed the greatest degree of pleasure, was perhaps not the one that would be most acceptable to the reader. Indeed, it is generally admitted that the letters of single ladies are infinitely more lively and entertaining than those of married ones—a fact which can neither be denied nor accounted for. The following is a faithful transcript from the original letter in question;—
“GLENFERN CASTLE, —–SHIRE, N.B. Feb. 19th, 18—.