’Hail, blest estate
Happy enjoyments of such minds
As, rich in self-contentedness,
Can, like the reeds in roughest winds,
By yielding, make that blow but small,
By which proud oaks and cedars fall.’”
“There is both poetry and painting in such prose as this,” said Mary; “but I should certainly as soon have thought of looking for a pearl necklace in a fishpond as of finding pretty poetry in a treatise upon the art of angling.”
“That book was a favourite of your father’s, Charles,” said Mrs. Lennox, “and I remember, in our happiest days, he used to read parts of it to me. One passage in particular made a strong impression upon me, though I little thought then it would ever apply to me. It is upon the blessings of sight. Indulge me by reading it to me once again.”
Colonel Lennox made an effort to conquer his feelings, while he read as follows:—
“What would a blind man give to see the pleasant rivers, and meadows, and flowers, and fountains, that we have met with! I have been told that if a man that was born blind could attain to have his sight for but only one hour during his whole life, and should, at the first opening of his eyes, fix his sight upon the sun when it was in its full glory, either at the rising or the setting, he would be transported and amazed, and so admire the glory of it that he would not willingly turn his eyes from that first ravishing object to behold all the other various beauties this world could present to them. And this, and many other like objects, we enjoy daily—–”
A deep sigh from Mrs. Lennox made bier son look up. Her eyes were bathed in tears.
He threw his arms around her. “My dearest mother!” cried he in a voice choked with agitation, “how cruel—how unthinking—thus to remind you—”
“Do not reproach yourself for my weakness, dear Charles; but I was thinking how much rather, could I have my sight but for one hour, I would look upon the face of my own child than on all the glories of the creation!”
Colonel Lennox was too deeply affected to speak. He pressed his mother’s hand to his lips—then rose abruptly, and quitted the room. Mary succeeded in soothing her weak and agitated spirits into composure; but the chord of feeling had been jarred, and all her efforts to restore it to its former tone proved abortive for the rest of the day.
“Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love:
Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues;
Let every eye negotiate for itself,
And trust no agent.”
Much Ado about Nothing.
THERE was something so refreshing in the domestic peacefulness of Rose Hall, when contrasted with the heartless bustle of Beech Park, that Mary felt too happy in the change to be in any hurry to quit it. But an unfortunate discovery soon turned all her enjoyment into bitterness of heart; and Rose Hall, from being to her a place of rest, was suddenly transformed into an abode too hateful to be endured.