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After an absence of eight years, he returns to her neighbourhood, and circumstances throw them frequently in contact. No. thing can be more exquisitely painted than her feelings on such occasions. First, dread of the meeting,—then, as that is removed by custom, renewed regret for the happiness she has thrown away, and the constantly recurring contrast, though known only to herself, between the distance of their intercourse and her involuntary sympathy with all his feelings, and instant comprehension of all bis thoughts, of the meaning of every glance of his eye, and curl of his lip, and intonation of his voice. In him her mild good sense and elegance gradually re-awake long-forgotten attachment: but with it return the usual accompaniments of undeclared love, distrust of her sentiments towards him, and suspicions of their being favourable to another. In this state of regretful jealousy he overhears, while writing a letter, a conversation she is holding with his friend Captain Harville, respecting another naval friend, Captain Benwick, who had been engaged to the sister of the former, and very speedily after her death had formed a fresh engagement: we cannot refrain from inserting an extract from this conversation, which is exquisitely beautiful.
““ Your feelings may be the strongest,” replied Anne, “but the same spirit of analogy will authorise me to assert that ours are the most tender. Man is more robust than woman, but he is not longer-lived; which exactly explains my view of the nature of their attachments. Nay, it would be too hard upon you, if it were otherwise. You have difficulties, and privations, and dangers enough to struggle with. You are always labouring and tuiling, exposed to every risk and hardship. Your home, country, friends, all quitted. Neither time, nor health, nor life, to be called your own. It would be too hard indeed” (with a faltering voice)“ if woman's feelings were to be added to all this."
““ We shall never agree upon this question"—Captain Harville was beginning to say, when a slight noise called their attention to Captain Wentworth's hitherto perfectly quiet division of the room. It was nothing more than that his pen had fallen down, but Anne was startled at finding him nearer than she had supposed, and half inclined to suspect that the pen had only fallen, because he had been occupied by them, striving to catch sounds, which yet she did not think he could have caught.
““ Have you finished your letter?” said Captain Harville. “ Not quite, a few lines more. I shall have done in five minutes."
« “ There is no hurry on my side. I am only ready whenever you are.-I am in very good anchorage here," (smiling at Anne) “ well sup plied, and want for nothing.—No hurry for a signal at all. - Well, Miss Elliot,” (lowering his voice) “ as I was saying, we shall never agree ! suppose upon this point. No man and woman would, probably. But let ine observe that all histories are against you, all stories,
If I had such a memory as Benwick, I could bring you billy
1, 2, ba'!!
Erugte seeing them arrive at last, as if Heaven had given them wings, by many ENEE bis existence! I speak, you know, only of such men as have hearts !" out this is you equal to every important exertion, and to every domestic forbear
quotations in a moment on my side the argument, and I do not think I
erer opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon er fiets! woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickle
ness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.”
" Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples though dir in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own Uge min story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree: the pen
has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove any thing."
• « But how shall we prove any thing?"
a point. It is a difference of opinion which does not admit of
upon that bias build every circumstance in favour of it which has im, ante occurred within our own circle; many of which circumstances (perhaps state din those very cases which strike us the most) may be precisely such as cana corect not be brought forward without betraying a confidence, or in some re
spect saying what should not be said."
"" Ah !" cried Captain Harville, in a tone of strong feeling, “if I could but make you comprehend what a man suffers when he takes a last look at his wife and children, and watches the boat that he has sent them off in, as long as it is in sight, and then turns away and says, God knows whether we ever meet again!' And then, if I could convey to you the glow of his soul when he does see them again ; when, coming back after a twelvemonth's absence perhaps, and obliged to put into ano
ther port, he calculates how soon it will be possible to get them there, their os pretending to deceive himself, and saying, They cannot be here till such a day,' but all the while hoping for them twelve hours sooner, and
sooner still! If I could explain to you all this, and all that a man can bear and do, and glories to do for the sake of these treasures of pressing his own with emotion.
""Oh!" cried Anne eagerly, “I hope I do justice to all that is felt by you, and by those who resemble you. God forbid that I should undervalue the warm and faithful feelings of any of my fellow-creatures. I should deserve utter contempt if I dared to suppose that true attachment and constancy were known only by woman. No, I believe
you hoog capable of every thing great and good in your married lives. I believe
ance, so long as--if I may be allowed the expression, so long as you
She could not immediately have uttered another sentence; her
ing to it on paper, under the appearance of finishing his letter : he puts the paper into her hand, and hurries away.
"“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am balf agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his lore has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan.—Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes ?-1 had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others. — Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in
*F. W." We ventured, in a former article, to remonstrate against the de thronement of the once powerful God of Love, in his own most especial domain, the novel; and to suggest that, in shunning the ordinary fault of recommending by examples a romantic and uncalculating extravagance of passion, Miss Austin had rather fallen into the opposite extreme of exclusively patronizing what are called prudent matches, and too much disparaging sentimental enthusiasm. We urged, that, mischievous as is the extreme on this side, it is not the one into which the young folks of the present day are the most likely to run: the prevailing fault is not now, whatever it may have been, to sacritice all for love:
• Venit enim magnum donandi parca juventus,
Nec tantum Veneris quantum studiosa culinæ.' We may now, without retracting our opinion, bestow unqualified approbation; for the distresses of the present heroine all arise from her prudent refusal to listen to the suggestions of her heart. The catastrophe however is happy, and we are left in doubt whether it would have been better for her or not, to accept the first proposal; and this we conceive is precisely the proper medium; for, though we would not have prudential calculations the sole principle to be regarded in marriage, we are far from advocating their exclusion. To disregard the advice of sober-minded friends on an important point of conduct, is an imprudence we would by no means recommend; indeed, it is a species of selfishness, if, in listening only to the dictates of passion, a man sacrifices to its gratification the happiness of those most dear to him
as well as his own; though it is not now-a-days the most prevalent form of selfishness. But it is no condemnation of a sentiment to say, that it becomes blameable when it interferes with duty, and is uncontrouled by conscience: the desire of riches, power, or distinction,--the taste for ease and comfort, are to be condemned when they transgress these bounds; and love, if it keep within them, even though it be somewhat tinged with enthusiasm, and a little at variance with what the worldly call prudence, i.e. regard for pecuniary advantage, may afford a better moral discipline to the mind than most other passions. It will not at least be denied, that it has often proved a powerful stimulus to exertion where others have failed, and has called forth talents unknown before even to the possessor. What, though the pursuit may be fruitless, and the hopes visionary? The result may be a real and substantial benefit, though of another kind; the vineyard may have been cultivated by digging in it for the treasure which is never to be found. What, though the perfections with which imagination has decorated the beloved object, may, in fact, exist but in a slender degree? still they are believed in and admired as real ; if not, the love is such as does not merit the name;
and it is proverbially true that men become assimilated to the character (i. e. what they think the character) of the being they fervently adore: thus, as in the noblest exhibitions of the stage, though that which is contemplated be but a fiction, it may be realized in the mind of the beholder; and, though grasping at a cloud, he may become worthy of possessing a real goddess. Many a generous sentiment, and many a virtuous resolution, have been called forth and matured by admiration of one, who may herself perhaps have been incapable of either. It matters not what the object is that a man aspires to be worthy of, and proposes as a model for imitation, if he does but believe it to be excellent. Moreover, all doubts of success (and they are seldom, if ever, entirely wanting) must either produce or exercise humility; and the endeavour to study another's interests and inclinations, and prefer them to one's own, may promote a habit of general benevolence which may outlast the present occasion. Every thing, in short, which tends to abstract a man in any degree, or in any way, from self,- from self-admiration and self-interest, has, so far at least, a beneficial influence in forming the character.
On the whole, Miss Austin's works may safely be recommended, not only as among the most unexceptionable of their class, but as combining, in an eminent degree, instruction with amusement, though without the direct effort at the former, of which we have complained, as sometimes defeating its object. For those who cannot, or will not, learn any thing from produc
tions of this kind, she has provided entertainment which entitles her to thanks; for mere innocent amusement is in itself a good, when it interferes with no greater ; especially as it may occupy the place of some other that may not be innocent. The Eastern monarch who proclaimed a reward to him who should discover a new pleasure, would have deserved well of mankind had he stipulated that it should be blameless. Those, again, who delight in the study of human nature, may improve in the knowledge of it, and in the profitable application of that knowledge, by the perusal of such fictions as those before us.
Art. VI.- Aristarchus Anti-Blomfieldianus ; or, a Reply to the
Notice of the New Greek Thesaurus, inserted in the 44th Number of the Quarterly Review. By E. H. Barker, O.T.N. Part
the First. London. 1820. WE E mentioned upon a recent occasion, that of the nume
rous replies to our critiques, written by angry and disappointed authors, it is our general practice to notice those only which produce something new upon the subject of our discussion, or which seem to make a plausible defence. Upon neither of these grounds, however, has the work now before us the least claim upon our attention. It is indebted for this distinction to an occurrence of a whimsical nature.
Our readers are aware of an established practice among the proprietors of periodical works, of sewing up with the covers of their Numbers, the literary advertisements, not only of their own stock, but of those of other publishers; this method of advertising being found by experience the most effectual which the sagacity of the trade has yet devised. Among those in the habit of availing themselves of the powerful engine of publicity which our wrapper affords, is Mr. A. J. Valpy, the printer and editor of the New Greek Thesaurus. This gentleman, feeling severely mor, tified at the review of that work, in our XLIV th Number, and imagining that it would affect his pecuniary interests, wrote some pages of bitter complaint against us. At first, however, he despaired of being able to give sufficient circulation to his djatribe for, says he, we are not ignorant of the nature of the contest, or of the disparity of the odds which we have to encounter, while answering an article in the Quarterly Review, the extent of whose circulation defies the possibility of publishing every place to which the accusation is wafted. He had not
, therefore, while writing this sentence, conceived the idea of the singular plan which he subsequently adopted—namely, that of connecting his · Reply' with the Advertisements sent for insertion
our defence in