« AnkstesnisTęsti »
"to the grave mourning." Time will foften the poignancy of regret; a Benjamin may arise to divert affection from the grave of Jofeph, and the tears of anguifh may be converted to thofe of joy. This fuppofition, however, premiles that the grief did not originate in the depravity of the fufferer. Intervening years may render vice callous or penitent, but the impenetrability of one ftate, and the apprehensiveness of the other, are alike irreconcileable with the idea of happinefs. It has been long acknowledged, that though the lofs of a beloved friend feems at first the most infupportable of all calamities, even affectionaté minds fooner acquiefce in fuch deprivations, than they do in many other kinds of diftrefs. This may fometimes be accounted for upon religious principles; but even when it does not own fuch exalted motives, it feems
feems fevere to afcribe it to levity of difpofition. Exifting in the midst of a dying world, we fhould rather employ. our faculties in extracting improvement from scenes of mortality, than wafte them in unavailing regret. The bond of friendship is not, indeed, diffolved by death; yet it does not impofe incef fant woe on the furvivor, who must soon journey through the fame dark valley which the lamented object has just explored.
Srengthened by fuch confiderations, fill farther enforced by the precepts and example of her father, Mifs Evans's grief gradually fubfided into the tranquil cheerfulness which naturally belonged to her character. Her affection for her mother fhewed itfelf in a tender attachment to her memory, and to every subject connected with it; in a fteady imitation of her virtues, and a faithful observance
fervance of her precepts. The high heroic tone of her mind would have been wounded by a fuppofition, that love was more invulnerable than filial grief; and the certainly fo far fubdued her early preference as to render it very little trouble fome either to herself or her friends. It did not incapacitate her for any duties, nor did it abforb any of her agreeable properties. She vifited Monteith in a few months after her mother's death, and delighted all who faw her with her good fenfe and agreeable vivacity. She even met Mr. Powerscourt without betraying her fecret emotion to the most fcrutinizing eye. She received him without either discovering strong transport or adopting an artificial referve: and fhe bade him adieu with a voice fo little tremulous, that even lady Monteith could fcarcely detect her latent emotion,
It may be for the advantage of all Jove-fick young ladies, who fit under woodbine bowers or fhady beeches, or who walk by moonlight to hear nightingales and waterfalls, to learn by what means Mifs Evans was enabled to make fo refpectable a defence against the purblind archer. In the first place, fhe was conftantly employed; in the fecond, The never indulged in the dangerous pleasure of dwelling on the name and merits of her beloved, either in her converfation or in her letters, nor did the ever allow herfelf to complain of her hard lot. To prevent fuch repining, the often vifited the abodes of real mifery, and her attention was directed to that course of study which is the reverfe of fentimental refinement.
Mr. Powerfcourt's fhort refidence at Monteith did not indicate a revival of that frong attachment to his lovely
coufin which had given him fo much unhappiness. He had found abfence a grand fpecific. Change of fcene, and interefting objects of purfuit, had counteracted the effect of love upon a mind, which, though naturally calm and contemplative, was remarkably fufceptible of deep impreffions, and addicted to a penfive caft of thought. He had derived ftill farther advantages from his travels. His capacious understanding was eminently difpofed to receive all the improvement which an extenfive view of men and things could afford. Habits of fociety wore off his natural referve; and, as his youthful awkwardnefs was owing to uncommon diffidence, the fame circumftances which inspired a modeft confcioufnefs in his own powers, gave grace to his perfon and elegance to his addrefs. Thus improved, Miss Evans might have found her deter