Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 238 pages of information about Tales.

TALE VIII.

THE MOTHER.

What though you have beauty,
Must you be therefore proud and pitiless? 
             Shakespeare, As You Like It.

I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that
Adam had left him before he transgressed. 
                                               As You Like It.

Wilt thou love such a woman?  What! to make thee an instrument,
and play false strains upon thee!—­Not to be endured. 
                                               As You Like It.

                                 Your son,

As mad in folly, lack’d the sense to know
Her estimation hence. 
                All’s Well that Ends Well.

                     Be this sweet Helen’s knell;

He left a wife whose words all ears took captive, Whose dear perfections hearts that scorn’d to serve Humbly call’d Mistress. 
                          All’s Well that Ends Well.

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There was a worthy, but a simple Pair,
Who nursed a Daughter, fairest of the fair: 
Sons they had lost, and she alone remain’d,
Heir to the kindness they had all obtain’d,
Heir to the fortune they design’d for all,
Nor had th’ allotted portion then been small;
And now, by fate enrich’d with beauty rare,
They watch’d their treasure with peculiar care: 
The fairest features they could early trace,
And, blind with love saw merit in her face —
Saw virtue, wisdom, dignity, and grace;
And Dorothea, from her infant years,
Gain’d all her wishes from their pride or fears;
She wrote a billet, and a novel read,
And with her fame her vanity was fed;
Each word, each look, each action was a cause
For flattering wonder and for fond applause;
She rode or danced, and ever glanced around,
Seeking for praise, and smiling when she found,
The yielding pair to her petitions gave
An humble friend to be a civil slave,
Who for a poor support herself resign’d
To the base toil of a dependant mind: 
By nature cold, our Heiress stoop’d to art,
To gain the credit of a tender heart. 
Hence at her door must suppliant paupers stand,
To bless the bounty of her beauteous hand: 
And now, her education all complete,
She talk’d of virtuous love and union sweet;
She was indeed by no soft passion moved,
But wished with all her soul to be beloved. 
Here, on the favour’d beauty Fortune smiled;
Her chosen Husband was a man so mild,
So humbly temper’d, so intent to please,
It quite distress’d her to remain at ease,
Without a cause to sigh, without pretence to tease: 
She tried his patience on a thousand modes,
And tried it not upon the roughest roads. 
Pleasure she sought, and disappointed, sigh’d
For joys, she said, “to her alone denied;”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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