« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
familiarity, by mutual infirmities, and even by a feeling of modesty which will arise in delicate minds, when they are conscious of possessing the same or the correspondent excellence in their own characters. In short, there must be a mind, which, while it feels the beautiful and the excellent in the beloved as its own, and by right of love appropriates it, can call Goodness its Playfellow; and dares make sport of time and infirmity, while, in the person of a thousand-foldly endeared partner, we feel for aged Viarur the caressing fondness that belongs to the INNocence of childhood, and repeat the same attentions and tender courtesies as had been dictated by the same affection to the same object when attired in feminine loveliness or in manly beauty. eLiza. What a soothing—what an elevating idea! cat it raine. If it be not only an idea. Frt le No.
At all events, these qualities which I have enumerated, are rarely found united in a single individual. How much more rare must it be, that two such individuals should meet together in this wide world under circumstances that admit of their union as Husband and Wife. A person may be highly estimable on the whole, nay, amiable as neighbour, friend, housemate—in short, in all the concentric circles of attachmen, save only the last and inmost; and yet from how many causes he estranged from the highest perfection in this? Pride, coldness or fastidiousness of nature, worldly cares, an anxious or ambitious disposition, a passion for display, a sullen temper—one or the other—too often proves • the dead fly in the compost of spices,” and any one is enough to unfit it for the precious balm of unction. For some mighty good sort of people, too, there is not seldon a sort of solemn saturnine, or, if you will, ursine vanity, that keeps itself alive by sucking the paws of its own self-importance. And as this high sense, or rather sensation of their own value is, for the most part, grounded on negative qualities, so they have no better means of preserving the same but by negatives—that is, by not doing or saying any thing, that might be put down for fond, silly, or nonsensical,—or (to use their own phrase) by never forgetting themselves, which some of their acquaintance are uncharitable enough to think the most worthless object they could be employed in reonembering.
* liza (in answer to a whisper from CAthenine).
To a hair! He must have sate for it himself. Save me
from such folks! But thcy are out of the question. Fair. Nd.
True! but the same effect is produced in thousands by the too general insensibility to a very important truth; this, namely, that the Misray of human life is made up of large masses, each separated from the other by certain intervals. One year, the death of a child, years after, a failure in trade; after another longer or shorter interval, a daughter may have married unhappily;-in all but the singularly unfortunate, the integral parts that compose the sum total of the unhappiness of a man's life, are easily counted, and distinctly turnleinbered. The mappiness of life, on the contrary, is made up of minute fractions—the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a sinile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the disguise of playful raillery, and the count
less other infinitesimals of pleasureable thought and genial feeling. CAthenine. Well, Sir; you have said quite enough to make me despair of finding a • John Anderson, my jo, John, to totter down the hill of life with. Frienn. Not so | Good men are not, I trust, so much scarcer than good women, but that what another would find in you, you may hope to find in another. But well, however, may that boon be rare, the possession of which would be more than an adequate reward for the rarest virtue. ELIZA. Surely, he who has described it so beautifully, must have possessed it? friend. If he were worthy to have possessed it, and had believingly anticipated and not found it, how bitter the disappointment!
Where was it then, the sociable sprite
O bliss of blissful hours!
THE GARDEN OF BOCCACCIO.
Of late, in one of those most weary hours,
Wild strain of Scalds, that in the sea-worn caves
Thanks, gentle artist' now I can descry
From the high tower, and think that there she dwells.
With old Boccaccio's soul I stand possest, And breathe an air like life, that swells my chest.
The brightness of the world, O thou once free,
See: Boccace sits, unfolding on his knees
* Boccaccio claimed for himself the glory of having first introdard the works of Homer to his countrymen.
* I know few more striking or more interesting proofs of the overwhelming influence which the study of the Greek and Roman classics exercised on the judgments, feelings, and imaginations of the literati of Europe at the commencement of the restoration of literature, than the passage in the Filocopo of Boccaccio: where the sage instructor, Rachco, as soon as the young prince and the beautiful girl Biancafiore had learned their letters, sets them to study the lioty Book, Ovid's Amr or Lovs. - Incomincio Racheo a mettere is sue officio in essecurioue coa intera sollecitudine. E