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We have stray'd
Wild as the mountain bee, and cull'd a sweet
I OFFER this Volume, not so much to the general reading public who have
so kindly appreciated those various works of reference which I have compiled, as to those who, with mutual affection, are about to be, or have just been, united in the Divine bonds of Matrimonial fellowship.
This BRIDAL BOUQUET I wish to be redolent with the fragrance which sweetly wafted over that Eden where Marriage, pure and holy, with the Creator's special benediction, had its origin and highest enjoyment. Every Bridal garland brings its reminiscence of the primeval Paradise, and of the bliss of the first human pair, mated by Him who meant their perfect happiness. In our present condition, however, it must be remembered-to use the words of JEREMY TAYLOR-"that they that enter into the state of marriage cast a die of the greatest contingency, and yet of the greatest interest in the world, next to the last throw for eternity;" and that, "life or death, felicity or a lasting sorrow, are in the power of marriage."
It has been my aim in these multifarious and numerous quotations to indicate, in choice passages from the best Authors, the means of matrimonial happiness and content. There is many a flower here, which, if it bloom in the household of married love, will diffuse its sweetness in mutual delectation, confidence, and rest. With this design, and with many valuable suggestions and appropriate illustrative passages I have received at the hands of my Publisher, Mr. LOCKWOOD, for which I cannot be sufficiently grateful, I have culled the blossoms for this BRIDAL BOUQUET, and now present it, with the desire that it may add to the sweetness and joy of many a home where dwell the mutually loving and loved, and help to make it-in the sunny summer, the generous autumn, and the cheerful winter of married life-the fulfilment of all the promise of the Bridal spring. Whatever of contingency there may be in Marriage, there is reliable truth in the old apothegm, "She that is loved is safe, and he that loves is joyful."
A man falls in love just as he falls down stairs. It is an accident,-perhaps, and very probably, a misfortune; something which he neither intended, nor foresaw, nor apprehended. But when he runs in love, it is as when he runs in debt-it is done knowingly and intentionally; and very often rashly, and foolishly, even if not ridiculously, miserably, and ruinously. Marriages that are made up at watering-places are mostly of this running sort; and there may be reason to think that they are even less likely to lead to-I will not say happiness, but to-a very humble degree of contentment, than those which are a plain business of bargain and sale; for into these latter a certain degree of prudence enters on both sides. But there is a distinction to be made here: the man who is married for mere worldly motives, without a spark of affection on the woman's part, may nevertheless get, in every worldly sense of the word, a good wife; and while English people continue to be what, thank Heaven! they are, he is likely to do so but when a woman is married for the sake of her fortune, the case is altered, and the chances are five hundred to one that she marries a villain, or at best a scoundrel.
ENTHRALLED BY SURPRISE.
I'll paint you to the world at best
OFT TAKES SUDDEN HOLD.
Tranio. I pray, Sir, tell me--is it possible That love should of a sudden take such hold? Luc. O Tranio, till I found it to be true I never thought it possible, or likely; But see! while idly I stood looking on I found the effect of love in idleness: And now in plainness do confess to thee,That art to me as secret and as dear As Anna to the queen of Carthage wasTranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio, If I achieve not this young modest girl : Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst; Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
Tra. Master, it is no time to chide you
Affection is not rated from the heart :
Redime te captum quam queas minimo.
MAN'S CHIEF WISDOM IS LOVE.
Love is the happy privilege of the mind-
All are compatible-all needful; one
To these they all determine-sum and scheme: The three are one in centre and in round; Wrapping the world of life as do the skies Our world. Hail! air of love, by which we live!
How sweet, how fragrant! Spirit, though
Void of gross sign-is scarce a simple essence,
In all things animate is therefore cored
As He contains the whole and penetrates.
According to their reason, love us too :
The new religion-final, perfect, pure-
His all-sufficient precept-was't not love? Truly to love ourselves we must love God,To love God we must all His creatures love,
To love His creatures, both ourselves and Him.
Thus love is all that's wise, fair, good, and happy!
The birds chaunt melody on every bush
Replying shrilly to the well-tuned horns,
A SPIRITUAL COUPLING OF TWO SOULS.
That he or she that loves, engraves or stamps
Is both the parent and the nurse of love.
Not feign'd or made, but born: and then so precious,
As nought can value it but itself; so free,