of our salvation. And though, when I look up as you did at the worlds with which our midnight sky is studded, I feel inclined to break out, “The heavens declare the glory of God,” or, when I stand upon the shore, can hardly refrain from crying aloud, “The sea is His, and He made it,” I do not in these moments of sublime emotion forget that He is the God to whom all hearts be open; who, from the moment I rise until I lie down to rest, witnesses my every thought and feeling; to whom I look for support against the evil of my own nature and the temptations which He allots me, who bestows every blessing and inspires every good impulse, who will strengthen me for every duty and trial: my Father, in whom I live and move and have my being. I do not fear that my imagination will become over-excited with thoughts such as these, but I often regret most bitterly that my heart is not more deeply touched by them. Your definition of the love of God seemed almost like a reproach to my conscience. How miserably our practice halts behind our knowledge of good, even when tried at the bar of our own lenient judgment, and by our imperfect standard of right! how poorly does our life answer to our profession! I should speak in the singular, for I am only uttering my own self-condemnation. But as the excellence we adore surpasses our comprehension, so does the mercy, and in that lies our only trust and confidence.
I fear Miss W—— either has not received my letter or does not mean to answer it, for I have received no reply, and I dare not try again. Up to a certain point I am impudent enough, but not beyond that. Why do you threaten me with dancing to me? Have I lately given you cause to think I deserve to have such a punishment hung in terrorem over me? Besides, threatening me is injudicious, for it rouses a spirit of resistance in me not easy to break down. I assure you o [in allusion to my mispronunciation of that vowel] is really greatly improved. I take much pains with it, as also with my deportment; they will, I hope, no longer annoy you when next we meet. You must not call Mrs. J—— my friend, for I do not. I like her much, and I see a great deal to esteem and admire in her, but I do not yet call her my friend. You are my friend, and Mrs. Harry Siddons is my friend, and you are the only persons I call by that name. I have read “Paul Clifford,” according to your desire, and like it very much; it is written with a good purpose, and very powerfully. You asked me if I believed such selfishness as Brandon’s to be natural, and I said yes, not having read the book, but merely from your report of him; and, having read the book, I say so still.
MY DEAR H——,