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happy. She caught the illusion in all its force; her cheek glowed; her eye brightened.
"I dare say she's pretty," said Sophy.
"Pretty!" echoed I, "she is beautiful!" I went through all the reasoning by which I had logically proved the fact to my own satisfaction. I dwelt upon the evidences of her taste, her sensibility to the beauties of nature; her soft meditative habit, that delighted in solitude; "oh," said I, clasping my hands, to have such a companion to wander through these scenes; to sit with her by this murmuring stream; to wreathe garlands round her brows; to hear the music of her voice mingling with the whisperings of these groves; to--"
"Delightful! delightful!" cried Sophy; "what a sweet creature she must be! She is just the friend I want. How I shall dote upon her! Oh, my dear brother! you must not keep her all to yourself. You must let me have some
share of her!"
I caught her to my bosom: "You shall-you shall!" cried my dear Sophy; we will all live for each other!"
The conversation with Sophy heightened the illusions of my mind; and the manner in which she had treated my daydream, identified it with facts and persons, and gave it still more the stamp of reality. I walked about as one in a trance, heedless of the world around, and wrapped in an elysium of the fancy.
In this mood I met one morning with Glencoe. He accosted me with his usual smile, and was proceeding with some general observations, but paused and fixed on me an inquiring eye.
"What is the matter with you?" said he;" tated; has anything in particular happened?"
'you seem agi
Nothing," said I, hesitating; at least nothing worth communicating to you."
Nay, my dear young friend," said he, "whatever is of sufficient importance to agitate you, is worthy of being communicated to me.'
"Well; but my thoughts are running on what you would think a frivolous subject."
"No subject is frivolous, that has the power to awaken strong feelings."
"What think you," said I, hesitating,
"what think you
Glencoe almost started at the question. "Do you call that
"Believe me, there is none
If you talk, in
a frivolous subject?" replied he. fraught with such deep, such vital interest. deed, of the capricious inclination awakened by the mere charm of perishable beauty, I grant it to be idle in the extreme; but that love which springs from the concordant sympathies of virtuous hearts: that love which is awakened by the perception of moral excellence, and fed by meditation on intellectual as well as personal beauty; that is a passion which refines and ennobles, the human heart. Oh, where is there a sight more nearly approaching to the intercourse of angels, than that of two young beings, free from the sins and follies of the world, mingling pure thoughts, and looks, and feelings, and becoming as it were soul of one soul, and heart of one heart! How exquisite the silent converse that they hold; the soft devotion of the eye, that needs no words to make it eloquent! Yes, my friend, if there be anything in this weary world worthy of heaven, it is the pure bliss of such mutual affection!"
The words of my worthy tutor overcame all farther reserve. "Mr. Glencoe," cried I, blushing still deeper, "I am in love !"
"And is that what you are ashamed to tell me? Oh never seek to conceal from your friend so important a secret. your passion be unworthy, it is for the steady hand of friendship to pluck it forth; if honourable, none but an enemy I would seek to stifle it. On nothing does the character and happiness so much depend, as on the first affection of the heart. Were you caught by some fleeting and superficial charm-a bright eye, a blooming cheek, a soft voice, or a voluptuous form—I would warn you to beware; I would tell you that beauty is but a passing gleam of the morning, a perishable flower; that accident may becloud and blight it, and that at best it must soon pass away. But were you in love with such a one as I could describe; young in years, but still younger in feelings; lovely in person, but as a type of the mind's beauty; soft in voice, in token of gentleness of spirit; blooming in countenance, like the rosy tints of morning kindling with the promise of a genial day; an eye beaming with the benignity of a happy heart; a cheerful temper, alive to all kind impulses, and frankly diffusing its own felicity; a selfpoised mind, that needs not lean on others for support; an elegant taste, that can embellish solitude, and furnish out its own enjoyments
My dear Sir," cried I, for I could contain myself no longer, "you have described the very person!"
"Why then, my dear young friend," said he, affectionately pressing my hand, "love on!"
For the remainder of the day, I was in some such state of dreamy beatitude as a Turk is said to enjoy when under the influence of opium. It must be already manifest, how prone I was to bewilder myself with picturings of the fancy, so as to confound them with existing realities. In the present instance, Sophy and Glencoe had contributed to promote the transient delusion. Sophy, dear girl, had as usual joined with me in my castle-building, and indulged in the same train of imaginings, while Glencoe, duped by my enthusiasm, firmly believed that I spoke of a being I had seen and known. By their sympathy with my feelings, they in a manner became associated with the Unknown in my mind, and thus linked her with the circle of my intimacy.
In the evening, our family party was assembled in the hall, to enjoy the refreshing breeze. Sophy was playing some favourite Scotch airs on the piano, while Glencoe, seated apart, with his forehead resting on his hand, was buried in one of those pensive reveries that made him so interesting to me.
"What a fortunate being I am !" thought I, "blessed with such a sister and such a friend! I have only to find out this amiable Unknown, to wed her, and be happy! What a paradise will be my home, graced with a partner of such exquisite refinement! It will be a perfect fairy bower, buried among sweets and roses. Sophy shall live with us, and be the companion of all our enjoyments. Glencoe, too, shall no more be the solitary being that he now appears. He shall have a home with us. He shall have his study, where, when he pleases, he may shut himself up from the world, and bury himself in his own reflections. His retreat shall be sacred; no one shall intrude there; no one but myself, who will visit him now and then, in his seclusion, where we will devise grand schemes together for the improvement of mankind. How delightfully our days will pass, in a round of rational pleasures and elegant employments! Sometimes we will have music; sometimes we will read; sometimes we will wander through the flower-garden, when I will smile with complacency on every flower my wife has planted; while, in the long winter evenings, the ladies will sit at their work, as we discuss the abstruse doctrines of metaphysics.'
From this delectable reverie, I was startled by my father's slapping me on the shoulder: "What possesses the lad?" cried he;" here have I been speaking to you half a dozen times, without receiving an answer."
"Pardon me, Sir," replied I; "I was so completely lost in thought, that I did not hear you."
"Lost in thought' And pray what were you thinking of? Some of your philosophy, I suppose."
Upon my word," said my sister Charlotte, with an arch laugh, "I suspect Malcolm's in love again."
"And if I were in love, Charlotte," said I, somewhat nettled, and recollecting Glencoe's enthusiastic eulogy of the passion, "if I were in love, is that a matter of jest and laughter? Is the tenderest and most fervid affection that can animate the human breast, to be made a matter of cold-hearted ridicule ?"
My sister coloured. "Certainly not, brother!-nor did I mean to make it so, or to say anything that should wound your feelings. Had I really suspected you had formed some genuine attachment, it would have been sacred in my eyes; but-but," said she, smiling, as if at some whimsical recollection, "I thought that you-you might be indulging in another little freak of the imagination."
"I'll wager any money," cried my father, "he has fallen in love again with some old lady at a window!"
"Oh no!" cried my dear sister Sophy, with the most gracious warmth ; "she is young and beautiful."
"From what I understand,' ," said Glencoe, rousing himself, "she must be lovely in mind as in person."
I found my friends were getting me into a fine scrape. I began to perspire at every pore, and felt my ears tingle.
Well, but," cried my father, "who is she?-what is she? Let us hear something about her."
This was no time to explain so delicate a matter. I caught up my hat, and vanished out of the house.
The moment I was in the open air, and alone, my heart upbraided me. Was this respectful treatment to my father-to such a father, too-who had always regarded me as the pride of his age-the staff of his hopes? It is true, he was apt, sometimes, to laugh at my enthusiastic flights, and did not treat my philosophy with due respect; but when had he ever thwarted a wish of my heart? Was I then to act with reserve toward him, in a matter which might affect the whole current of my future life? "I have done wrong," thought I; "but it is not too late to remedy it. I will hasten back, and open my whole heart to my father!"
I returned accordingly, and was just on the point of entering the house, with my heart full of filial piety, and a contrite speech upon my lips, when I heard a burst of obstreperous APRIL, 1840.
laughter from my father, and a loud titter from my two elder sisters.
"A footstep! shouted he, as soon as he could recover himself; "in love with a footstep! Why, this beats the old lady at the window !" And then there was another appalling burst of laughter. Had it been a clap of thunder, it could hardly have astounded me more completely. Sophy, in the simplicity of her heart, had told all, and had set my father's risible propensities in full action.
Never was poor mortal so thoroughly crest-fallen as myself. The whole delusion was at an end. I drew off silently from the house, shrinking smaller and smaller at every fresh peal of laughter; and, wandering about until the family had retired, stole quietly to my bed. Scarce any sleep, however, visited my eyes that night! I lay overwhelmed with mortification, and meditating how I might meet the family in the morning. The idea of ridicule was always intolerable to me; but to endure it on a subject by which my feelings had been so much excited, seemed worse than death. I almost determined, at one time, to get up, saddle my horse, and ride off, I knew not whither.
At length, I came to a resolution. Before going down to breakfast, I sent for Sophy, and employed her as ambassador to treat formally in the matter. I insisted that the subject should be buried in oblivion; otherwise, I would not show my face at table. It was readily agreed to; for not one of the family would have given me pain for the world. They faithfully kept their promise. Not a word was said of the matter; but there were wry faces, and suppressed titters, that went to my soul; and whenever my father looked me in the face, it was with such a tragi-comical leer-such an attempt to pull down a serious brow upon a whimsical mouth-that I had a thousand times rather he had laughed outright.
For a day or two after this mortifying occurrence, I kept as much as possible out of the way of the family, and wandered about the fields and woods by himself. I was sadly out of tune my feelings were all jarred and unstrung. The birds sang from every grove, but I took no pleasure in their melody; and the flowers of the field bloomed unheeded around To be crossed in love, is bad enough; but then one can fly to poetry for relief; and turn one's woe to account in soulsubduing stanzas. But to have one's whole passion, object and all, annihilated, dispelled, proved to be such stuff as dreams are made of-or, worse than all, to be turned into a