« AnteriorContinuar »
Madelaine turn'd to the couch of her child
To utter her humble prayer, But she shriek'd the lov'd name in accents wild, For no rosy lips on her presence smild
No infant was pillow'd there!
Trembling she mov'd from a niche in the wall
The crib, half thinking that he
With a gush of childish glee.
But luckless the search, though each curtain's fold
Was scann'd ere she pass’d it by; And not a nook she deem'd his form could hold, (For she knew his spirit was brave and bold,)
Was suffer'd to 'scape her eye.
As the hours sped fast away,
For what would he think and say?
Stood smiling beside his door-
And welcomings o'er and o'er.
14. He entered, and there in her chamber, pale,
And drooping beneath his eye His young wife Jay, like a floweret frail, That had sunk 'neath a rough and boisterous gale
To wither, and then to die!
15. He press’d to his bosom her trembling form,
While she told with many tears, or the morning's search, how she'd knelt in prayer And miss'd the sweet object of all her care,
The fond, cherish'd hope of years.
16. “Despond not,” he whisper'd, with tender tone
“ The wild-bird forsakes its nest To return again-thou art not alone, And thy dove when weary of wandering grown
Will nestle within thy breast.
17. We'll seek him together,” he said, and smild,
So leaving their joyless cot, They strollid far and near for the truant child By hill-side and stream through wood and through wild,
They wander'd but found him not.
18. At length the day melted into the night
The shadows stretch'd deep alongSweet Luna arose with her chasten'd light, And gilded the blossoms with lustre bright,
While the Bulbul* tuned her song.
As she homeward turn'd at night,
And shone in the clear moonlight.
And she shriek'd aloud with joy,
Asleep lay her truant boy.
Down his fair and dimpled face,
To revel on every grace.
22. By his side, on the turf, desac'd and torn
The shoe's pretty fellow lay,
But the “bonny blue ribbon” meant to adorn
And heedlessly flung away.
And through the half open door,
And then could return no more.
All day ’mong the flowers he laughed and sung,
Like a glad and fairy child,
Her mantle o'er all the wild.
And then on the soft, velvet grass he laid
Nature's green and tender breast;
As he softly sunk to rest.
They bore him, still hush'd in his slumbers bright
To his cottage home again,
And yesterday's grief and pain.
He greeted "papa" with a merry shout,
And lisp'd what he'd strangely dream'd,
That visions so real seem'd.
NOTWITHSTANDING all that has been urged in favor of early marriages, there is room to doubt their expediency, so far at least as the happiness of those immediately interested is concerned. Under given circumstances it would seem desirable that persons who are to pass their lives together should be united as early as possible, in order that they may be assimilated to each other before permanent habits are formed, the conflict of which may be productive of mutual discomfort. It must however on the other hand be borne in mind, that where persons are brought together before the judgment is matured and while passion is in its greatest strength the result, in the event of a want of congeniality, will in all probability be reciprocal and deep rooted dislike. Those who argue in behalf of early matrimonial connections, in sustaining their side of the question, lay great stress on what they call love, the capacity for which, they say, is diminished in proportion to the advance of age. These persons would have us believe that the pure and warm affection which springs up between two persons of mature years and is based upon a just appreciation of each other's good qualities, is not sufficient to ensure connubial happiness, but that a something else to which they give the appellation of love is indispensable to the mutual toleration and blindness to each other's faults, which can alone ensure permanent affection. If indeed Providence intended that human happiness should depend on so frail and vacillating a basis as the incompetency to form just opinions produced by the excitement of the imagination, rather than the deliberate exercise of man's reflecting faculties, there might be some plausibility in such an idea, but to believe such to be the case appears to be contrary to the dictates of sound philosophy. It is rational to suppose that in marriage, as in the other concerns of lite, the moral and intellectual powers were intended to be brought into action, and that however the sexual feelings implanted in our bosoms by an allwise Creator may be useful in cementing the union between man and wife, their operation should be subservient to higher and more exalted impuls
To come at a just estimate of this important question it may be proper to look to the actual state of circumstances in early life and enquire whether they be such as to ensure a more correct judgment than at a period when experience shall have furnished its invaluable lessons.
In the case of an early marriage two young people, who have no knowledge whatever of the perplexities incident to a participation in the affairs of life, see and become fond of each other. The preference mutually excited may arise from personal beauty, or some peculiar intellectual gifts, which happen to chime in with the mutual tastes of the parties. The young lady for instance may have exquisitely formed features, she may be graceful in her movements, amiable in her deportment, contented in her disposition and joyous in her temperament. On the other hand the gentleman may be handsome, graceful and brave, generous, witty and intelligent. Two such persons meet in the walks of social intercourse and become enamoured of each other; an understanding takes place and they become man and wife, to remain united until death shall separate them. It will be recollected that all the good qualities above named are manifested under circumstances which are not in the slightest degree calculated to test their extent or durability, and must be taken with reference to the opportunity which has been afforded for their exhibition. Under the parental roof and residing with affectionate parents constantly on the look out to anticipate and gratify every wish, however idle, the fair one is all smiles and affability, and studies only to please. Nor is the gentleman in a position less favorable, it being only necessary for him to form a plan of amusement in order to have it carried into execution and his every ex
pression being sedulously treasured up as a subject for admiration and encomium. So soon as the newly married couple enter upon the matrimonial state a new condition of things presents itself. Cares never before dreamed of, intrude themselves and the features of the wife, so placid and undisturbed in the maiden, become overclouded and gloomy. The household is to be taken care of and, instead of practising upon her favorite instrument and then taking her morning walk or drive, the lady finds herself called on to attend to the vexatious demands of servants and to see that the household economy is conducted as it should be. Sickness with its attendant train of evils enters the door and langour and dejection hang upon cheeks that lately were glowing in all the radiance of health and beauty. It may be that the husband's house is not so well filled as papa's, and that wants previously satisfied in anticipation must now remain ungratified, the consequence of which is petulence and fault-finding, where it had been supposed the ruder passions had no existence. A ride is proposed but business prevents and, to his surprise, the young husband finds that his angel can frown and look sulky; or perhaps the gentleman has invited friends to dine, and, instead of meeting with a smile on entering his door, he is told that it is unreasonable to suppose that the family can be put into confusion merely to gratify his whims. Nor is this all. Sometimes a change of fortune takes place, and economy and privation must be the orders of the day. He who, whilst his means permitted, was ever ready to gratify every caprice of his wife, however frivolous, is unceremoniously reminded of the luxury in which he found her in the house of her parents, and learns to his surprise that the voice once studiously attuned to softest cadences, can now break forth in the grating accents of reproach and vituperation. Now what becomes of the love which had arrayed every thing in couleur de rose? it has taken wings and in its stead an abiding feeling of loathing and resentful disgust has taken possession of his soul. His fireside, once the scene of content and pleasure, is now hateful to him—he seeks the tavern or the billiard-room, in search of a respite from his misery or, too frequently, finds solace for his cares in the maddening influences of the intoxicating cup. Here is a picture of the probable results of an early marriage contracted under the exciting operation of what is called love, nor is it overwrought, as the experience of hundreds and thousands will attest. In the case above described the parties have acted, in the first instance, from the purest and best motives, without the least intention of deceiving or the slightest expectation of being deceived. There has been no hypocrisy whatever, and the manifestations of good qualities have been honest and true, so far as the condition of those concerned has permitted. To blame under such circumstances would be unjust and yet we find that, without any fault on their part, two persons have been made miserable for life. Where then are we to look for the cause of the evil? Simply in the fact that youthful impetuosity has been suffered to bear the sway and hurry the parties into a relation for which they were not fitted by education nor experience. They have intended to do right but their intentions have been frustrated by their own incapacity to judge correctly of each other.
It has been often stated that early marriages are proper because they tend to prevent the formation of habits that strike at the root of the social system and upturn the foundation of correct morals. Is such the case; or