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her ornaments, he ate and drank, and passed the night socially, and suspended the delicate subject. Here was a sagacity displayed, to the despair of our dealers in romance, who preposterously jumble together inconsistencies, and deviate eternally from prudence, and nature. In the morning, however, he desired his answer. Whatever were the sentiments of the fair virgin, the brother and mother relented, and desiring her company a few days longer, they promised she should go. In this request thereis a surprising sweetness: how the relation speaks in it? At any rate, she must abide with us a little while, at the least ten days: we cannot,part without some endearing preparations; it would break our hearts. I pray thee therefore- allow thus much to our kindred feelings; and if thou findest the maid nothing reluctant, why, after that, stie shall go back with thee to thy master and his son. But possibly, the servant did not wish to trust the thing so many days undecided ; and he might understand enough. of human fickleness to apprehend
strange strange changes of mind in the course of that time. However th's be, he strongly urged an instant reply. The whole matter was drawing to a crisis. . They called-the damsel, and put to her the decisive question; and the result was, her consent to the suit: in consequence of which, (he set off with the man, attended by a favourite servant, (her nurse) for the house of Abraham. In the mean time Isaac was not indifferent to the event of the transaction; for, he went out in the field at even-tide, to meditate, as we are told, but, more probably, to meet his destined bride; and when he saw the camels were coming, he was, no doubt, much affected with the approaching interview. .
There is great delicacy preserved in the character of Rebekah, in the description of this interview. As soon as she saw her future lord, she lighted off her camel; and when the servant informed her it was Isaac, With a modesty truly feminine, and beyond the mere force of custom, ihe covered herself self with a veil. When the servant communicated to Isaac the whole of the circumstances, he was charmed with her conduct;; and the last verse of this interesting history represents the lover tenderly leading her into the tent of his mother; soon after which, he courted her heart, and she became his wife, and was beloved. What a noble poem, or rather, what a poetical fact, is here exhibited in a single leaf? Tenderness, sweetness, and the most delicate assemblage of images are judiciously blended, without the least appearance of affectation, or the smallest want of advantageous language.
Nor is the story ^of the loves of Jacob and Rachel less enchantingly related. This young woman, as Jacob was journeying eastward, happened to pass by him with her father's stieep, which it was her allotted employment to tend; and when he knew the damsel to be Rachel, he wept; telling her that he was her father's brother, and the son of Rebekah: Laban, her father, E rejoiced rejoiced at the tidings, and embracing his kinsman, invited him into his house. Jacob continued there as a visitant a whole month, during which time he conceived a very tender regard for Rachel, who is represented to us as a very beautiful woman. "And Laban said to Jacob, Because thou "art my brother, Ihouldest thou therefore *« serve me for nought? Tell me, what '« shall thy wages be?" To this, Jacob, willing to shew his tenderness for Rachel, and his wish to deserve her, replied, I will serve thee, my brother, seven years for thy younger daughter, for, I confess, she hath made an impression on my heart. Laban agreed to this; "And Jacob served seven "years for Rachel; and they seemed unto *« him but seven days, for the love he had ** to her." Thus far the dealing was brotherly on both fides: the remaining passages of the story are coloured by deceit. At the expiration of the seventh year, Jacob demanded his wife; and Laban, with a (hew of much honesty, courtesy and contentment, prepared to celebrate the nup
tials of his daughter. Accordingly, the day was passed in all that innocent gaiety, which was very early a custom on such occasions. Laban gathered together his people, even all the men of the place, and made a feast. But the stratagem which was put upon Jacob in the evening, considered literally, was equally base, unbrotherly and barbarous. Instead of the object of his affections, Laban deceiveth him with Leah. What a confusing circumstance did the beams of the morning discover? for, behold, "in the morning, it was "Leah." Notwithstanding this deception, however, he was still resolved to persist in his passion for the lovely Rachel, and at length obtained her.
It is unnecessary to make farther comment on this text, than just to observe, that the passion of love, which is almost the foundation of all poetry, is more pleasingly, and highly touched in several parts of the Scriptures, than in all the pastoral, dramatic, or amorous attempts since the scriptures were written. £ 2