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favorable sentiments : sometimes she would attempt to allure us by smiles; and, at intervals, would bridle back, in order to inspire us with respect as well as tenderness.
5. This ceremony lasted for some time, and had so much employed our eyes, that we had forgot all this while that the goddess was silent. We soon, however, began to perceive the defect. “What!” said we among each other, “ are we to have nothing but languishing airs, soft looks, and inclinations of the head ? will the goddess only deign to satisfy our eyes ?” Upon • this, one of the company stepped up to present her with some fruits he had gathered by the way. She received the present, most sweetly smiling, and with one of the whitest hands in the world, but still not a word escaped her lips.
6. I now found that my companions grew weary of their homage; they went off one by one, and, resolving not to be left behind, I offered to go in my turn; when, just at the door of the temple, I was called back by a female, whose name was Pride, and who seemed displeased at the behavior of the company.
7. “Where are you hastening ?” said she to me with an angry air; “the goddess of Beauty is here." "I have been to visit her, madam,” replied I,“ and find her more beautiful even than report had made her.” “And why, then, will you leave her ?” added the female. “I have seen her long enough," returned I; “I have got all her features by heart. Her eyes are still the same Her nose is a very fine one, but it is such a nose now as it was half an hour ago : could she throw a little more mind into her face, perhaps I should be for wishing to have a little more of her company."
8. “What signifies,” replied the female, in an animated tone, “whether she has a mind or not; has she any occasion for a mind, a) formed as she is by nature ? If she had a common face, indeed, there might be some reason for thinking to improve it; but, when features are already perfect, every alteration would but impair them. A fine face is already at the point of perfection, and a fine lady should endeavor to keep it so: the impression it would receive from thought, would but disturb its
whole economy.” To this speech I made no reply, but made the best of my way to the Valley of the Graces. Here I found all those who before had been my companions in the Region of Beauty, now upon the same errand.
9. As we entered the valley, the prospect insensibly seemed to improve; we found everything so natural, so domestic and pleasing, that our minds, which before were congealed in admi. ration, now relaxed into gayety and good humor. We had de signed to pay our respects to the presiding goddess, but she was nowhere to be found. One of our companions asserted, that her temple lay to the right; another, to the left; a third insisted that it was straight before us; and a fourth that we had left it behind. In short, we found everything familiar and charming, but could not determine where to seek for the Grace in person.
10. In this agreeable incertitude we passed several hours, and, though very desirous of finding the goddess, by no means impatient of the delay. Every part of the valley presented some minute beauty, which, without offering itself, at once stole upon the soul and captivated us with the charms of our retreat. Still, however, we continued to search, and might still have continued, had we not been interrupted by a voice which, though we could not see from whence it came, addressed us in this manner.
11. “ If you would find the goddess of Grace, seek her not under one form, for she assumes a thousand. Ever changing under the eye of inspection, her variety, rather than her figure, is pleasing. In contemplating her beauty, the 'eye glides over every perfection with giddy delight, and, capable of fixing nowhere, is charmed with the whole. She is now Contemplation with solemn look, again Compassion with humid eyes; she no sparkles with Joy, soon every feature speaks Distress: her looks at times, invite our approach, at others, repress our presumption the goddess can not be properly called beautiful under any one of these forms, but, by combining them all, she becomes irresistibly pleasing.”
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, one of the most eminent poets of Amer. ioa, was born in Portland, Maine, Feb. 27th, 1807. He is still living. For a sketch of him, see Exercise XXIII.
1 TAL'MUD is a Hebrew word meaning doctrine. It is the name applied to a work containing a vast number of traditions respecting the usages and laws of the Jewish people. The law, among that people, was divided into the written and the unwritten. The written law embraced the five books of Moses; the unwritten was handed down orally : the oral being, in fact, explanatory of the written. But, in time, the oral came, also, to be put in writing, and formed the text of the Talmud. This was first done, it is believed, about the year 200. There are two separate commentaries on this text, which are distinguished respectively, as the Babylonian and the Jerusalem.
? LE'QEND or LEG'END (in Latin legendum) is, literally, a thing to be read, that is, worth reading. The primary application of the term, however, was to tales of a fictitious character, founded on ecclesiastical tradition.
3 RAB'BIN or RAB'Bi is, among the Hebrews, a title equivalent to our word Doctor, Master, or Teacher.
* MEDI Æ'VAL is compounded of two Latin words, (MEDIUS, middle, and Ævum, age,) and signifies pertaining to the Middle Ages.
That, crowded with angels unnumbered,
Alone in the desert at night?
The Angels of Wind and of Fire
With the song's irresistible stress ;
By music they throb to express.
But serene in the rapturous throng,
With eyes unimpassioned and slow,
To sounds that ascend from below ;
1. v. From the spirits on earth that adore, From the souls that entreat and implore
In the fervor and passion of prayer; From the hearts that are broken with losses, And weary with dragging the crosses
Too heavy for mortals to bear.
And he gathers the prayers as he stands, And they change into flowers in his hands,
Into garlands of purple and red; And beneath the great arch of the portal, Through the streets of the City Immortal
Is wafted the fragrance they shed 3 *
Of the ancient Rabbinical lore;
But haunts me and holds me the moro.
Joan GREENLEAF WAITTIER, author of the following beautiful lines, is an erinont American poet. He was born near Haverhill, in Massachusetts, in the year 1808.
A DREAM OF SUMMER.
JOHN G. WHITTIER
The south-west breezes play;
Seems warm as summer's day.