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kind of witchery about the sex. “Her life," said he, “shall be like a fairy tale."
7. The věry difference in their characters produced a harmonious combination ;-he was of a romantic' and somewhat serious cast; she was all life and gladness. I have often noticed the mute rapture with which he would gaze upon her in company, of which her sprightly powers made her the delight; and how, in the midst of applause, her eye would still turn to him, as if there alone she sought favor and acceptance..
8. When leaning on his arm, her slender form contrasted finely with his tall, manly person. The fond, confiding air with which she looked up to him seemed to call forth a flush of triumphant pride and cherishing tendernèss, as if he doted on his lovely burden for its very helplessness. Never did a couple set forward on the flowery path of early and well-suited marriage with a fairer prospect of felicity.
9. It was the misfortune of my friend, however, to have embarked his property in large speculations ; : and he had not been married many months, when, by a succession of sudden disasters, it was swept from him, and he found himself reduced almost to penury. For a time he kept his situation to himself, and went about with a haggard" countenance, and a breaking heart. His life was but a protracted agony ;' and what rendered it more insupportable was the necessity of keeping up a smile in the presence of his wife ; for he could not bring himself to overwhelm her with the news.
10. She saw, however, with the quick eyes of affection, that all was not well with him. She marked his altered looks and stified sighs, and was not to be deceived by his sickly and vapido attempts at chēerfulness. She tasked all her sprightly powers and tender blandishments’ to win him back to happiness; but she only drove the ărrow deeper into his soul. The more he saw cause to love her, the more torturing was the thought that he was soon to make her wretched.
1 Ro măn' tic, wild ; fanciful ; ex- or wasted by want or suffering. travagant.
• Ag'o ny, extreme or very great Felic'ity, pure happiness. pain of body or mind.
* Spěc'u lā' tions, schemes or • Văp'id, dead spiritless. · plans to make money.
· Blănd' ish ments, kind words; * Hăg' gard, pale; ghastly; worn winning expressions or actions.
length be of the det heard hing question. .. if you haver that
11. A little while, thought he, and the smile will vanish from that cheek,—the song will die ăwāy from those lips,—the luster of those eyes will be quenched with sorrow; and the happy heart, which now beats lightly in that bosom, will be weighed down, like mine, by the cares and miseries of the world. At length he came to me, one day, and related his whole situation, in a tone of the deepest despair.
12. When I had heard him through, I inquired, “Does your wife know all this?" At the question, he burst into an agony of tears. “For God's sake!” cried he, “if you have any pity on me, don't mention my wife ; it is the thought of her that drives me almost to madness!” “And why not?” said I. “She must know it, sooner or later ; you can not keep it lòng from her, and the intelligence may break upon her in a more startling manner than if imparted by yourself ; for the accents of those we love soften the harshest tidings. .
13. “Besides, you are depriving yourself of the comforts of her sympathy; and not merely that, but also endangering the only bond that can keep hearts together-an unreserved community of thought and feeling. She will soon perceive that something is secretly preying upon your mind ; and true love will not brook' reserve; it feels undervalued and outraged, when even the sorrows of those it loves are concealed from it.”
14. “Oh, but, my friend! to think what a blow I am to give to all her future prospects—how I am to strike her věry soul to the earth, by telling her that her husband is a beggar! that she is to forego all the elegances of life, all the pleasures of society,—to shrink with me into indigence and obscurity! To tell her that I have dragged her down from the sphere in which she might have continued to move in constant brightness, the light of every eye, the admiration of every heart! How can she bear poverty ? she has been brought up in all the refinemènts of opulence. How can she bear neglect.? she has been the idol® of society. Oh! it will break her heart—it will break her heart !"
munity ing is so reser
the admiratione in constante
menis ar poverty
' In těl' li gence, information ; 4 In' di gence, want; poverty ; tidings.
need. ? Ac' cents, words, language, or 5 Op' u lence, wealth; riches. expressions in general.
• I' dol, an image for worship; an 'Brook, bear; endure ; submit to. object of great love
15. I saw his grief was eloquent, and I let it have its flow; for sorrow relieves itself by words. When his paroxysm' had subsided, and he had relapsed’ into moody: silence, I resumed the subject, and urged him to break his situation at once to his wife. He shook his head mournfully, but positively.
16. “But how are you to keep it from her? It is necessary she should know it, that you may take the steps proper to the alteration of your circumstances. You must change your style of living—nay,” observing a pang to pass across his countenance, "don't let that afflict you. I am sure you have never placed your happiness in outward show ; you have yět friends, warm friends, who will not think the worse of you for being less splendidly lodged ; and surely it does not require a palace to be happy with Mary-”.
17. “I could be happy with her,” cried he, convulsively,' “ in a hovèl!—I could go down with her into poverty and the dust!
-I could —I could—God bless her !—God bless her!" cried he, bursting into a transport of grief and těndernèss.
18. “And, believe me, my friend,” said I, stepping up, and grasping him warmly by the hand,—“believe me, she can be the same with you. Ay,' more : it will be a source of pride and triumph to her—it will .call forth all the lātento energies and fervent sympathies of her nature ; for she will rejoice to prove that she loves you for yourself. There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant' in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up, and beams and blazes, in the dark hour of adversity.
19. “No man knows what the wife of his bosom is—no man knows what a ministering angel she is—until he has gone with her through the fiery trials of this world.” There was something in the earnèstnèss of my manner, and the figurative style of my language, that caught the excited imagination of Leslie. I knew the auditor I had to deal with ; and, following up the impression I had made, I finished by persuading him to go home and unburden his sad heart to his wife.
· Păr oxysm, passion ; high state of excitement.
2 Re lăpsed', fallen back ; returned.
• Mood' y, angry ; peovish ; sad.
Con vŭl' sive ly, with violent agitation.
Ay, (år), yes. • Lā' tent, secret; hidden; unseen 'Dormant, sleeping; not used.
T MUST confess, notwithstanding all I had said, I felt some I little solicitude for the result. Who can calculate on the fortitude of one whose whole life has been a round of pleasure? Her gay spirits might revolt' at the dark, downward path of low humility suddenly pointed out before her, and might cling to the sunny regions in which they had hitherto reveled. Besides, ruin in fashionable life is accompanied by so many galling mortifications, to which in other ranks it is a strānger. In short I could not meet Leslie, the next morning, without trepidation."
2. He had made the disclosure. “And how did she bear it ?" “Like an angel! It seemed rather to be a relief to her mind, for she threw her arms round my neck, and asked if this was all that had lately made me unhappy. But, poor girl!” added he, “ she can not realize the chānge we must undergo. She has no ideä of poverty but in the abstract;' she has only read of it in poëtry, where it is allied' to love.
3. “She feels as yet no privation; she suffers no loss of accustomed conveniences nor elegances. When we come practically to experience its sordid' cares, its paltry wants, its petty humiliations, then will be the real trial.” “But,” said I, “now that you have got over the severèst task,—that of breaking it to her,—the sooner you let the world into the secret the better. The disclosure may be mortifying ; but then it is a single misery, and soon over ; whereas you otherwise suffer it, in anticipation, every hour in the day.
4. “It is not poverty so much as pretense that harasses a ruined man,—the struggle between a proud mind and an empty purse,—the keeping up a hollow show, that must soon come to an end. Have the coŭrage to appear poor, and you disarm pov
i So lic' i tūde, anxiety; uneasi. 3 Trep'i dā' tion, a trembling of ness of mind caused by the fear of the limbs from fear; agitation. evil or the desire of good.
4 Abstract, a general view; sep Re võlt', rebel ; become disobe- aration from other things. dient; turn away.
. 5 Sor' did, contemptible; mean.
erty of its sharpèst sting.” On this point I found Leslie perfectly prepared. He had no false pride himself; and as to his wife, she was only anxious to conform to their altered fortunes.
5. Some days afterward, he called upon me in the evening. He had disposed of his dwelling-house, and taken a small cottage in the country, a few miles from town. He had been busied al day in sending out furniture. The new establishment required few articles, and those of the simplest kind.
6. All the splendid furniture of his late residence had been sold, excepting his wife's harp. That, he said, was too closely associated with the idea of berself; it belonged to the little story of their loves; for some of the sweetest moments of their courtship were those when he had leaned over that instrument, and listened to the melting tones of her voice. I could not but smile at this instance of romantic gallantry in a doting' husband.
7. He was going out to the cottage, where his wife had been all day, superintending its arrāngemènt. My feelings had become strongly in'terested in the progress of the family stors, and, as it was a fine evening, I offered to accompany him. He was wearied with the fatigues of the day, and, as he waked out, fell into a fit of gloomy musing.
8. “Poor Mary!” at length broke, with a heavy sigh, from his lips. “And what of her ?” asked I ; “has any thing happened to her ?” “What!" said he, darting an impatient glance ; “-isi nothing to be reduced to this paltry situation,—to be caged in a miserable cottage,-to be obliged to toil almost in the mēnial" concerns of her wretched habitation ?
9. “Has she, then, repined at the change ?” “Repined! She has been nothing but sweetness and good-humor. Indeed, she seems in better spirits than I have ever known her; she bas been to me all love, and tenderness, and comfort!” “ Ad’mirable girl!” exclaimed I. “You call yourself poor, my friend; you never were so rich,—you never knew the boundless treasa ures of excellence you possess in that woman.”
10. “Oh! but, my friend, if this, our first meeting at the com tage, were over, I think I could then be comfortable. But this is her first day of real experience; she has been introduced into
1 Dot' ing, loving greatly or to relating to a servant; servile. excess.
Re pīned', complained ; express * Mē' ni al, being low or mean; ed sorrow or regret.