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full blown, and its vices and imperfections undeveloped. They are the offspring of heaven, and resemble their parent.--How intensely characteristic of the benignant Jesus was his exclamation, “ Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven;" and can we conceive a happier heaven than the mind of a child, into whose paradise regret for the past, and dread for the future—those demons by which manhood is haunted-have not yet intruded ; where every thing is an exquisite enjoyment of presentness, and the rolling panorama of the world is beheld with all the keen relish that faculties, in their highest state of susceptibility for delightful impressions, can derive from the raciness of perpetual novelty. Christianity has adopted one cordial and endearing emblem, which gracefully succeeds to the winged Aurelia of the ancients ; I mean the cherubs' heads, engraved upon our tonıbs. I love to see them fluttering about, as if they were appointed to keep up the communication, and were ready to convey intelligence from one world to the other. As to the monumental scull, it is an offensive hieroglyphic of man; and the sculptured bones are but an unseemly type of the cross. Away with them!
They who are happy enough to be parents, may find rejuveniscence without Medea's cauldron, or Saint Leon's forbidden compact, or the pregnant elixir of the alchemists. There is a blossoming of spring in the autumn of their life, a genuine second childhood, not feeble and fatuous, but vigorous and buoyant, when all the green 'associations of youth break out in full
bloom from sympathy with their offspring. Then is it that we realize the delightful anticipation of the song,
And when with envy Time transported
Shall think to rob us of our joys,
While I go wooing in my Boys.
Children afford an excuse for business, as well as a plea for pleasure. When old Chinnery, of Fenchurchstreet, had realized a hundred thousand pounds, he was advised to retire from business, that he might enjoy himself—and be miserable. 6 I must take care of my children," was his reply; so he continued to do the only thing for which he was fitted, and, after many more laborious and prosperous seasons, died covered with years and plums. At Vauxhall, last summer, I met my grave and substantial neighbour, Frampton, who, with an air of some confusion at being detected in an enjoyment, assured me he had not been there before for many years, and only came then to give his children a treat. Mine, I am sure, give me a treat, when they enable me to shake my sides at Grimaldi's jokes, and laugh the wrinkles out of my heart. Cares come with them, too, it must be admitted; but it is better to have something to fear than nothing to hope. A father has no tædium vitæ ; and he loves his children the better, when he considers them as the depositaries and concentrations of past anxieties. They exhilarate his life, smooth his pillow of death, and give even a domestic attraction to the grave, wherein he joins those that have gone before
him, and waits for those that are to follow. In fact, he hardly dies ;—the living transcripts of his face and figure are still moving upon the earth ; his name survives, embodied in another self; his blood is still flowing through human veins, and may continue its crimson current till the great wheel shall stand still. What posthumous memorial so vital as this?
But children are often wayward and mischievous, and it is not less painful than necessary to correct them. I cannot deny it; for unfortunately the proof is now before me; and all this presents a painful picture to a father. But is it nothing to anticipate the hour of reconciliation, when, with sparkling eyes, my children shall leap to my bosom? Is it nothing to know from experience that the tide of affection will gush more abundantly from this temporary interruption, and that I shall again be able to exclaim with old Dornton in the play---“ Who would not be a father?” Is it nothing that but I have described this happy moment till I can wait for its arrival no longer. God bless ye, my darlings; come to my arms at once !
While I have been wiping my children's eyes and my own, one of those involuntary thoughts which shoot across the brain like meteors led me to ask, what might be the future fate and fortune of those whom I was embracing. Affecting speculation!: Is it possible that these vivacious beings, bounding about in an intoxication of delight from the mere luxury of existence, can become old, and querulous, and paralytic, and crawl along upon crutches ? Stale
morality, to rake in the grave for dusty mementos of our evanescency: to hold up a dead man's scull before our eyes, as if we drank our wine out of it, and wished to hob-a-nob; to beat the devil's tattoo upon our memories with a skeleton's drumsticks ! wish to stamp this moral upon our hearts, let us compare man with himself; let us contemplate the death of the living,—of those who have survived themselves, and become their own tombs. Never did I feel so acutely the vanity of life, as when, in a palsied and superannuated old woman, I was told I beheld the celebrated beauty upon whom Lord Chesterfield had written the well-known song
Fair Kitty, beautiful and young,
But there is one pang, and an agonizing one it is, from which bachelors are happily exempt. Heaven sometimes reclaims the most beautiful of our angels for itself. When our children have just fastened themselves to our hearts by a thousand ties, Death, then, indeed, “a foul ugly phantom,” will stretch forth his bony hand to wrench them from us, and almost tear up our hearts by the roots in the struggle ! Paternity is as garrulous as old age. God help the reader, when both are combined! Under such circumstances, it is hardly fair to visit him with the fond babblings of a mother, and yet I cannot refrain from concluding with the following maternal effusion :
ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT.
'Tis hard, dear babe, to think that for ever we must part,
still bright, Fix'd open without winking, when thy spirit took its flight; Then what must we have suffer'd, who so watch'd them when
awake, And nightly on their sleep stole a silent kiss to take ? In every thing there lingers some thought of thee behind, I feel thy little fingers still round my own entwined; Not a night but in my dreams I can hear thy little cries; I start awake-and think—and the tears suffuse my eyes. Thy trinkets, toys, and dresses, we are forced to hide them all; They waken new distresses by the scenes that they recall; And every lovely child whom we happen to accost Brings thrilling recollections of the beauty we have lost.-But if such sights of sorrow can our sympathies excite, From others we may borrow consolation and delight; And when we mourn the joys of which our bosoms are bereft, Let us think with grateful hearts of the many that are left.