If it be a grateful sight to behold the young and happy when all life is bright before them, when the soil which they tread on is covered with flowers, and the only murmurs which they hear are the murmurs of soft breezes, and the only sighs are sighs of passion; not less beautiful is it to see the young linked together in love, struggling with adversity; to see two beings whose sole object in life it is to alleviate the daily toil of each other; to whom every effort of self-denial through the object of its exercise becomes a blessing; to whom the future is full of promise, because exertion gives confidence, and self-confidence is the source of all hope. There is something very touching in the sight of those whom the world deserts, or to whose interests the world is at best indifferent, arousing all their energies to battle with adverse circumstances. Then every little addition to the daily comforts is prized, as the result of independence and of honorable exertion—in a word, as the reward of labor: every holiday arrives fraught not merely with enjoyment, but with blessing. To such there are sources of happiness, which the gay, the wealthy, the children of life’s sun know nothing of, but which in their noonday career of splendor and greatness they might well stop to envy.
On such an existence Marguerite had entered. Hers was a simple history, told in few words, but connected with long previous chapters of passions and regrets; for she was the child of love, begotten in tears, and brought up in one of those admirable foundling establishments which prevail in Germany, and are at once the incentives to love and the protection of its offspring. She left it a year previously to the period when we are writing, to enter a family of distinction as a humble friend and teacher. There Dumiger chanced to meet her. When first he met he loved; and like all men of earnest purpose, he loved with no common passion. The family were of that kind so frequently met with in society—affecting great consideration for those whom fate has placed beneath them, but expressing consideration in such terms as made it almost an offense, and proving their vanity in the very manner in which they affected humility. She at once accepted Dumiger, though some months elapsed before it was possible for them to marry. At last, by dint of great exertion, they laid aside sufficient money to commence the world with. Dumiger had the small apartment, within whose narrow limits his mind expanded to the contemplation of the vast field of inquiry on which he presumed to enter, and he transported Marguerite to her new home; there to indulge in imaginations of love, boundless and visionary, as his were of ambition.