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Such was my friend. Alas! that he is not-that I have but the poor satisfaction of poring over these few, brief-sketched passages of his history.
HIS FIRST LOVE.
I found him one evening sad and solitary, seated by an open window with a book in his hand, and gazing out into the moonlight. I addressed him, but he answered me not. I took his hand and pressed it-he turned to me, and to my surprise, his eyes were filled with tears. I did not offer him my pity—his feelings were too holy. I let him
'My friend,' said he, after a pause, 'you are welcome.'
I ventured to ask if any thing had disturbed him.
'There are moments,' replied he, 'in the life of every man, when, whether he will or no, the simplest circumstance, such as a note of music, a word, or a moonlight evening like this, will by the subtle law of association call up a train of dead memories, and pour them in a flood tide on the heart; and as these are pleasant or melancholy, will his feelings take their coloring. Here is a little book of Sir Humphry Davy's, and it has set me weeping; for as I have followed him through one and another of his foolish though beautiful theories, it has called up passages of my life I would fain forget. They are sweet though
'Pleasant are the memories of days in the shades of Morven'—
and I know not but I thank the philosopher though he makes me womanish.'
My companion's history was unknown to me— -I had once or twice wished to ask him-here was a chance. I delicately hinted as much.
'You ask to your hurt I fear, my young friend,' said he. 'Little in my life can interest another. It has seen little action. Feelingstrong, continuous, deep feeling with small variation, is all it boasts; and pleasant as it is to me, it may little please you.'
I was importunate.
I had a lovely cousin,' began he, 'a very lovely creature, and one for whom I felt all that ardor of attachment, for the description and stories of which, poets and novelists have been so much laughed at. I shall not describe her to you. The graces of her mind only shall I acquaint you with, and through them you must see her countenance. Her parents were dead; and, taken into our house as one of the family, our love went far back beyond our memories, even into childhood, where if we love, it is by some subtle affinity which unconsciously draws kindred spirits together-since at that age we seldom think to dwell upon individual excellences of character. Our love as we knew not when it began, so we knew not its force; yet it was pure, deep, spiritual, and dreaming—that passion which
instead of being modified, modifies-instead of becoming assimilated, assimilates-belonging not to the other power, but making those powers its own. Hence our characters were alike. This unity softened down every unhappy prepossession; and the result was, that our loves were like two streams, which though they gush not from the same source, soon after mingle and go quietly on together.
'From what I have said, you will readily perceive we were dreamers. My cousin was a dreamer-you would know it from the deep, full, swimming eye, without any body's telling it you; and we were wont to go of a summer's evening to the church yard, and seated on her mother's grave, drink in from the silence, and darkness, and solitude of the scene, that witchery and madness which dreamers so much love. From such habits it will easily be seen, that our characters must soon be sobered over with the sad shapings of melancholy. Such habits cultivate this mood; and persisted in, the sensibilities if naturally exquisite, become so much the more so that they soon unfit us for every thing else, and win us from the laughter-making and foolish.
We were seated one evening as I have mentioned, and our thoughts very naturally turned upon spirits, their intercourse, and the laws which govern them, and the conversation took such a tone as fastened it forever in my memory.
'I sometimes think,' said she, clinging tenderly to me, and clasping my hand firmly in both of hers that when we are free from this world, and disenthralled, are ushered into a new existence, we shall lose our identity, and have to find out new sympathies and sources of enjoyment; and the thought saddens me.'
Why saddens you?'
'O! I would not forget this world. I would not forget its beauties-its rocks, woodlands, wilds,
'Its human and its natural beauties all.'
I would not forget them. They must be a source of felicity everever pleasant to be remembered-ever spots to which memory shall turn her saddened eye, when the heart is sick with its melancholies.' 'Fanny, think you the blessed weep?'
O! I know not- but I could not bear to forget this beautiful world, and those I love in it.'
Think you' said I that he who made the spirit and knows its capacities, will not find for it something more substantial than earth proffers us? You know the aged tell us, there's no bliss here; and we see the young, and gay, and beautiful, fall around us like leaves in Autumn-time. What matters it then if we take other minds, as distinct as our own bodies?'
Would you not know me
Arthur! Arthur!-you pain me. hereafter ?'
'Doubt it not-we shall know each other.'
'I would think so.'
'From God's benevolence we cannot prove it; for as benevolence leads to giving the highest good, it may lead him to give us faculties above those we now possess, and felicities in comparison with which all that we have here shall instantly be forgotten. But it is seen from our natures. Our faculties, in their aspirations for something higher, by those very aspirations evidence faculties, which earth puts not in requisition. Few are the thinking minds who have not sometimes in the calm of the evening, as they have sent their gaze away into the heavens, and watched the stars come out to join the mighty sisterhood of planets and rolling worlds, felt a thirst and a lifting up within them as the pulsations of immortality. This is immortality. The world (not to speak poetically,) is forgotten. I myself have been so far enrapt in this mystery, that I have as completely lost my mortal consciousness as if I had never possessed any; at the same time I have been partly conscious of the same powers as those I use when admiring things around me. I was translated to another sphere-worlds of light were rolling around me I myself was a source of light and magnificence, rolling on forever
'Still quiring to the young eyed Cherubim !'
A state of purity was there. I admired it—but it was the same as my love of virtue here, though incomparably higher; and I was conscious of the same though more elevated communion, as the music of the spheres
'Harping along their viewless boundaries,'
came floating about me. And these things prove that the same faculties go with us from earth, though their reachings and exercises may be as much nobler, as time is less than eternity.'
'My sweet cousin was re-assured-and we soon betook us home. 'This evening,' continued he, 'its stillness, its soft moonlight, and this foolish little treasure of a book in my hand, have recalled that evening, and that conversation-they have set me weeping. 'Tis seldom I speak of the past, but your importunity stands apology.'
I quickly and firmly assured him, that so far from seeking apology, my interest was unaccountable; and I begged the sequel in relation to his cousin.
'Ask it not-ask it not'-said he, with deep solemnity.
He spake no farther.
Such was a single evening's intercourse with this mysterious being. More I learned from him-which in good time the reader shall have from me. Till then, adieu.
"I love thee, Fanny Willoughby,
And O! you may depend on't,
"I love thy form so tall and straight,
To me it always seems,
As if it were the counterfeit
Of some I've seen in dreams,It makes me feel as if I had
An angel by my side,
And then I think I am so bad,
"I love thy clear and hazel eye— They say the blue is fairer, And I confess that formerly
I thought the blue the rarer,— But when I saw thine eye so clear, Though perfectly at rest,
I did kneel down, and I did swear
"I love thy hand so pale and soft,
The which, in days lang syne, Ye innocent as trusting, oft
Would softly clasp in mine;
"I love the sounds that from thy lip Gush holily and free,
As rills that from their caverns slip,
The melody for aye doth steal
THE first time I left Droneville, was for the purpose of joining the Junior Class in Yale College. Having received letters of introduction to Dr., I was ushered by his misjudged kindness, with all my awkwardness upon me, into the very center of fashionable life. Fashionable life! what a variety of blunders, of ludicrous mistakes, of embarrassing scenes, rise up at the very phrase, mingled with the uproarious laughter of young men, and the suppressed titter of young ladies, the mere memory of which is sufficient to drive distracted a sensitive man. To my miserable, rustic education, I am indebted for a great share of my calamities. Before relating my experience in the world of fashion, I will attempt to convey to my readers an idea of some of the peculiarities of Droneville people.
In one of the western counties of Massachusetts, is situated the village of Droneville-the Rip Van Winkle of the state-the very focus of stupidity. Droneville people are a century behind the rest of the world. One would imagine that old Time had pitched them