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thought the longest courtship and devotion nobly recompensed by the final acceptance of the fair.
The romance and exaggeration characteristic of these modes of thinking have gradually worn away in modern times; but much of what was most yaluable in thein has remained. Love has in later
ages never been divested of the tenderness and consideration, which were thus rendered some of its most estimable features. A certain desire in each party to exalt the other, and regard it as worthy of admiration, became inextricably interwoven with the simple passion. A sense of the honour that was borne by the one to the other, had the happiest effect in qualifying the familiarity and unreserve in the communion of feelings and sentiments, without which the attachment of the sexes cannot subsist. It is something like what the mystic divines describe of the beatific vision, where entire wonder and adoration are not judged to be incompatible with the most ardent affection, and all meaner and selfish regards are annihilated.
From what has been thus drawn together and recapitulated it seems clearly to follow, as was stated in the beginning, that love cannot exist in its purest form and with a genuine ardour, where the parties are, and are felt by each other to be, on an equality ; but that in all cases it is requisite there should be a mutual deference and submission, agreeably to the apostolic precept, “ Likewise all of you be subject one to the other." There must be
room for the imagination to exercise its powers ; we must conceive and apprehend a thousand things which we do not actually witness; each party must feel that it stands in need of the other, and without the other cannot be complete; each party must be alike conscious of the power of receiving and conferring benefit; and there must be the anticipation of a distant future, that may every day enhance the good to be imparted and enjoyed, and cause the individuals thus united perpetually to become more sensible of the fortunate event which gave them to each other, and has thus entailed upon each a thousand advantages in which they could otherwise never have shared.
OF FRANKNESS AND RESERVE.
ANIMALS are divided into the solitary and the gregarious: the former being only occasionally associated with its mate, and perhaps engaged in the care of its offspring; the latter spending their lives in herds and communities. Man is of this last class or division.
Where the animals of any particular species live much in society, it seems requisite that in some degree they should be able to understand each other's purposes, and to act with a certain portion of concert.
All other animals are exceedingly limited in their powers of communication. But speech renders that being whom we justly entitle the lord of the creation, capable of a boundless interchange of ideas and intentions. Not only can we communicate to each other substantively our elections and preferences : we can also exhort and persuade, and employ reasons and arguments to convince our fellows, that the choice we have made is also worthy of their adoption. We can express our thoughts, and the various lights and shades, the blendings, of our thoughts. Language is an instrument capable of
being perpetually advanced in copiousness, perspicuity and power.
No principle of morality can be more just, than that which teaches us to regard every faculty we possess as a power intrusted to us for the benefit of others as well as of ourselves, and which therefore we are bound to employ in the way which shall best conduce to the general advantage.
“Speech was given us, that by it we might express our thoughts a ;” in other words, our impressions, ideas and conceptions. We then therefore best fulfil the scope of our nature, when we sincerely and unreservedly communicate to each other our feelings and apprehensions. Speech should be to man in the nature of a fair complexion, the transparent medium through which the workings of the mind should be made legible.
I think I have somewhere read of Socrates, that certain of his friends expostulated with him, that the windows of his house were so constructed that every one who went by could discover all that passed within. “ And wherefore not?” said the sage. "I do nothing that I would wish to have concealed from any human eye. If I knew that all the world observed every thing I did, I should feel no inducement to change my conduct in the minutest particular.” It is not however practicable that frankness
should be carried to the extent, above mentioned. It has been calculated that the human mind is ca. pable of being impressed with three hundred and twenty sensations in a second of time b. At all events we well know that, even “while I am speaking, a variety of sensations are experienced by me, without so much as interrupting, that is, without materially diverting, the train of my ideas. My eye successively remarks a thousand objects that present themselves, and my mind wanders to the different parts of my body, without occasioning the minutest obstacle to my discourse, or my being in any degree distracted by the multiplicity of these objects b.” It is therefore beyond the reach of the faculty of speech, for me to communicate all the sensations I experience; and I am of necessity reduced to a selection.
Nor is this the whole. We do not communicate all that we feel, and all that we think; for this would be impertinent. We owe a certain deference and consideration to our fellow-men; we owe it in reality to ourselves. We do not communicate indiscriminately all that passes within us. The time would fail us ; and “the world would not contain the books that might be written.” We do not speak merely for the sake of speaking; otherwise the communication of man with his fellow would be but one eternal babble. Speech is to be employed for some useful purpose ; nor ought we to give
• See above, p. 134.