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I was once congratulating a friend, who had around him a blooming family, knil together in the strongest affection. “I can wish you no better lot,” said he, with enthusiasm, “ than to bave a wife and children.-If you are prosperous, there they are to share your prosperity; if otherwise, there they are to comfort you." And, indeed I have observed that a married man falling into misfortune is more apt to retrieve his situation in the world tban a single one; partly because be is more stimulated to exertion by the necessities of the helpless and heloved beings. who depend upon him for subsistance; but chiefly because his spirits are soothed and relieved by domestic endearments, and his self-respect kept alive by finding, that though all abroad is darkness and humiliation, yet there is still a little world of love at home, of which he is the monarch. Whereas a single man is apt to ruu to waste and self neglect; to fancy himself lonely and abandoned, and his heart to fall to ruin like some deserted mansion, for want of an inhabitant.
These observations call to mind a little domestic story, of wbich I was once a witness, Myintimate friend Leslie had married a beautiful and accomplished girl, who had been brought up in the midst of fashionable life. She had, it is true, no fortune, but that of my friend was ample; and be delighted in the 'anticipation of indulging her in every elegant pursuit, and administering to those delicate tastes and fancies that spread a kind of witchery about the sex-Her life,'said he shall be like a fairy tale.'
The very difference in their characters produced an 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 ber the delight; and how, in the midst of applause, her eye would still turn to him, as if there aloue she sought favour and acceptance. When leaning on his arm ber 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 fush of triumphant pride and cherishing tenderness, as if he doated on his lovely burthen 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,
It was the mishap of my friend, however to have embarked his fortune in large speculations; and he had not
been married many months; when, by a succession of sudden disasters, it was swept from bim, and be 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 neces. sity of keeping up a smile in the presence of his wife;' for he could not bring himself to overwhelm her with the news. She saw, however, with the quick eyes of affection, that all was not well with him. She marked his altered looks and stifled sighs, and was not to be deceived by bis sickly and vapid attempts at cheerfulness. She tasked all her sprightly powers and tender blandishments to win hiin back to happiness; but she only drove the arrow deeper into his soul. The more he saw cause to love her, ihe more torturing was the thought that he was soon to make her wretched. A little while, thought he, and the smile will vanish from that cheek-íhe song will die away from those lips—the lustre 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 the tone of the deepest despair. When I had heard him through, I required, 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 cannot keep it long from her, and the intelligence may break upon her in a more startling manner, ihan if imparted by yourself ; for the accents of those we love soften the harshest tidings. Besides you are depriving yourself of the comforts of ber sympathy; and not merely that, but also endangering tbe only bond that can keep hearts together-an unreserved community of thoughi 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.'
Oh, but my friend I to think what a blow I am to give to all her future prospects-how I am to strike her very soul to the earth, by telling her that her husband is a
beggar !--that she is to forego all the elegencies of life all the pleasures of society--to shrink with me into indigence and obscurity! To tell ber that I have dragged her down from the sphere in which she might have continued to move in constant brightness--the light of every eyethe admiration of every heart! How can she bear poverty? she has been brought up in all the refinements 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!
I saw his grief was eloquent, and I let it have its flow; for sorrow relieves itself by words. When his proxysm had subsided, and he had relapsed into moody silence, I resumed the subject geutly, and I urged him to break bis situation at once to his wife. He shook his head and mournfully, but positively. But how are you to ke
from her It is necessary she should know it, that you may take the steps proper to the alteration of your circumstances. You must cbange 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 yet 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.-"'
I could be happy with her' cried be, convulsively, in a hovel !-I could go down with her inio poverty and the dust - could I could God bless her!-God bless her!' cried he, bursting into a transport of grief and tenderness.
• 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. Aye, more: it will be a source of pride and triumph to her-it will call forth all the latent energies and fervent sympathies of her nature; for she will rejoice to prove that she loves you for yourself. There is ju every true woman's beart 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. 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,'
(To be continued)
ON AN EOLIAN HARP.
Whose various wild notes seem by witchery given; How sooth'd each rude passion contemplating solus, Thou sweet harp of the winds--thine's the music of
heaven, 0! list to the sound in the air that now lingers,
Inviting repose, whilst the winds gently blow; Sure the harp strings are swept by unseen fairy fingers,
Now the quick notes of mirth, now the sad sounds of woe. May those sad solemn tones then assist meditation,
And those quick cheerful notes to my ear ne'er return; May each string seem to say, in its plantive vibration,
“Vain man whilst on earth, 'tis thy sad lot to mourn."
MELODY. When the tear-drop of sorrow hangs bright on thine eyelid,
And thoughts of distress in thy bosom arise, Let memory whisper the words that beguiled
Thy heart of its anguish, thy breast of its sighs; And oh! if the voice that hath sooth'd thee in sadness,
The eye that hath beam'd on thy beauties in joy,
Let fond recollection thy misery destroy.
And themes full of rapture are whisper'd to thee,
With thoughts of the future, with feeling for me, Shall the smile of delight, in thy dimples erst playing,
Ilumine thy features when memory brings Those hours of heaven, at midnight when straying
Mid the beams of the moon, and the music of springs. And oh! when the lapse of this pilgrimage closes,
And death's chilly dew o'er my features appear; Wilt thou hang o'er the pillow where sickness reposes,
And give me thy tribute of pity-a tear;
And far from its presence I own its controul,
Thou day-star of nature, thou hope of my soul,
THE ANTIDOTE FOR SORROW. COME, tell me thy sorrow, young stranger,
Why springs the sad tear to thine eye? Why from thy companions a ranger,
Dost thou steal forth unnotic'd to sigh? Why, Aying from pleasure and gladness,
Dost ihou wander thus lonely to mourn! Come, tell me, oh stranger, the sadness
With which thy young bosom is toro ?
Thus early, thy life's rising day?
That promis'd to brighten thy way?
And does thy proud heart overflow?
Thus early acquainted with woe?
Are love's fury visions o'ertbrown?
To mourn o'er her falsehood alone?
They're ihe theme of the mistrel's sad song;
That blows in the sun's gleaming ray; While the brigbt smiles of Fortune embow'r it,
Its blossoms spring thick in our way. 'Tis a lovely exotic, just filling
The vase of the heart for a time,
And it pines for a tenderer clime.
Has only been placed to thy share :
A solace to soften thy care..
The happiest mortal thou'll see :
That Nature has shed upon thee!