It is natural that women should be very susceptible to such impressions; that they should view life with almost a poetic eye; and that they should be peculiarly sensitive to its vicissitudes. And though a Quixotic quest after adventures is as silly as it is vain, and to invest every trifle with importance, or to see something marvelous in every incident, is equally absurd; there is no reason why the imagination should not grasp whatever is picturesque, and the mind dwell upon whatever is impressive, and the heart warm with whatever is affecting, in the changes and the chances of our pilgrimage. There is indeed a great deal of what is mean and low in all that is connected with this world; quite enough to sully the most glowing picture; but let us sometimes view life with its golden tints; let us sometimes taste its ambrosial dews; let us sometimes breathe its more ethereal atmosphere; and let us do so, not as satisfied with any thing it can afford—not as entranced by any of its illusions—but as those who catch, even in this dull mirror, a shadowy delineation of a brighter world, and who pant for what is pure, celestial, and eternal. This is surely better than clipping the wings of imagination, or restraining the impulses of feeling, or reducing all our joys and sorrows to mere matters of calculation or of sense.
They are indeed to be pitied who are in the opposite extreme—whose happiness or misery is entirely ideal; but we have within us such a capacity for both, independent of all outward circumstances, and such a power of extracting either from every circumstance, that it is surely more wise to discipline such a faculty, than to disallow its influence.
Youth is of course the season for romance. Its buoyant spirit must soar till weighed down by earthly care. It is in youth that the feelings are warm and the fancy fresh, and that there has been no blight to chill the one or to wither the other. And it is in youth that hope lends its cheering ray, and love its genial influence; that our friends smile upon us, our companions do not cross us, and our parents are still at hand to cherish us in their bosoms, and sympathize in all our young and ardent feelings. It is then that the world seems so fair, and our fellow-beings so kind, that we charge with spleen any who would prepare us for disappointment, and accuse those of misanthropy who would warn our too-confiding hearts. And though, in maturer life, we may smile at the romance of youth, and lament, perhaps, its aberrations, yet we shall not regret the depth of our young emotions, the disinterestedness of our young affections, and that enthusiasm of purpose, which, alas! we soon grow too wise to cherish.
What a pity it is that the thousandth chance of a gentleman’s becoming your lover should deprive you of the pleasure of a free, unembarrassed, intellectual intercourse with all the single men of your acquaintance! Yet, such is too commonly the case with young ladies who have read a great many novels and romances, and whose heads are always running on love and lovers.