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a woman herself—a woman who has been sonal information, by the unanimous opinion admired, and then neglected.

of society, that the more entirely she lays We have here spoken only of women aside such peculiarities of character, the whose personal charms recommend them to more she will be respected and valued. Nor general admiration, because it is of these is this all. She has perhaps a stronger alone that the poet delights to sing; yet corrective within her own household. Her such is the influence of personal admiration husband begins to see with the eyes of the in checking the growth of moral and intel- world. His vision no longer dazzled by her lectual beauty, and engendering selfishness beauty, or his judgment cheated by her and vanity, that we are inclined to believe caresses, he involuntarily, and often without the deep pathos of the feminine heart is to sufficient delicacy, points out faults which be found in the greatest perfection concealed he neither saw, nor believed her capable of behind the countenance that has seldom at- possessing before. “Why did I marry ?" tracted the public gaze. It is in such hearts, is the question which every woman, not whose best offerings are rarely estimated previously disciplined, asks of herself under according to their real value, that disinter- such circumstances, “ why did I marry, if ested affection, in all its natural warmth, not to be loved and cherished as I was in lives and burns for the benefit of the suffer- my father's house ?” Such are her words, ing or the beloved; that enthusiasm and for she has not yet learned to understand zeal, tempered down by humility, are ever her own heart; but she means in fact, “ why ready for the performance of the arduous did I marry, if not to be flattered and adduties of life; and that ambition, if it exists mired as in the days of courtship, when the at all, is directed to the attainment and dif- competition for my favour excited unremitfusion of more lasting happiness than mere ting assiduity in all who sought to win it, beauty can afford.

and who, because they knew my vanity and In the pacity of a wife we next observe weakness, sought to win it by these means the character of woman, and it is here, if alone ?" The answer is an obvious oneever, that she learns the truth--learns what because it is not good for us to go deluded is in her own heart, and what are her duties to our graves, and therefore merciful means to herself and others. Not that she learns have been designed, as various as approall this through the gentle instrumentality priate to compel us to open our reluctant of affection, but by the moral process of ex eyes upon the truth; and woman as a wife, perience, which if less congenial to her taste, does open her eyes at last, from the dream is more forcible in its convictions, and more in which her senses have been lulled, while lasting in its effects. In assuming this new with the tide of conviction, as it rushes in title, woman is generally removed to a new, upon her newly-awakened mind, come serious and often to a distant sphere, where she has thoughts, and earnest calculations, and to take her stand in society upon common deeper anxieties; with higher hopes, and ground. None within the circle to which nobler aims, and better regulated affections she is at once admitted, know precisely to counterbalance them. what she has been, and therefore every eye

As a mother we next behold woman in is open to see what she is. All the little her holiest character-as the nurse of innocaprices, and peculiarities, nurtured up cence—as the cherisher of the first principles with her bodily growth in the bosom of her of mind—as the guardian of an immortal cwn family, not only forgiven there, but in being who will write upon the records of dulged from the fond consideration that "it eternity how faithfully she has fulfilled her was always her way," or, " that she was trust. And let it be observed that, in asalways thus," now stand forth for the full suming this new and important office, she discussion, and impartial inspection of the does not necessarily lose any of the charms many, who, seeing no just reason why such which have beautified her character before. should have been her way, and no plausible She can still be tender, lovely, delicate, repretext for her being always thus, soon con- fined, and cheerful, as when a girl ; devoted trive means to convince her, if not by per-| to the happiness of those around her, affec

tionate, judicious, dignisied, and intellectual, the perverse ? Who would be found to fulas when a wife only; while this new love, fil the hard duties of serving the ungrateful, deep as the very wells of life, mingles with ministering to the dissatisfied, and watching the current of her thoughts and feelings, over the hopeless ? No. There is no ingiving warinth and intensity to all, without stance in which the providential care of our impairing the foroe or the purity of any. heavenly Father is more beautifully exhiYet while her attributes remain the same, bited than in that of a mother's love. Windher being is absorbed in the existence of her ing its silken cords alike around every nachild. Now more than ever she forgets tural object, whether worthy or unworthy, herself, deeming nothing impossible which it creates a bond which unkindness cannot has reference to her own devotedness, and break. It pursues the wanderer without its good-computing neither time, nor space, weariness, and supports the feeble without nor capability in the single consideration of fainting. Neither appalled by danger, nor its happiness-regarding neither labour, hindered by difficulty, it can labour without watching, nor weariness, as worthy of a reward, and persevere without hope. “Many thought in comparison with its lightest waters cannot quench” it; and when the slumber, or its minutest pain.

glory has vanished from the brow of the If the love of a mother be considered as beloved one, when summer friends have an instinct which pervades all animated na- turned away, and guilt, and misery, and ture, it is not the less beautiful when exhi- disgrace have usurped their place, it steals bited in the human character, for being dif- into the soul of the outcast like the sunbeams fused throughout creation ; because it proves within the cell of the prisoner, lighting the that the Author of our being, knew that the darker dungeon of the polluted heart, bringdistinctive attributes of humanity would be ing along with it fond recollections of past insufficient to support the mother through her happiness, and wooing back to fresh partianxieties, vexations and cares. He knew cipation in the light and the gladness that that reason would be making distinctions still remain for the broken and contrite between the worthy and the unworthy, and spirit. prematurely consigning the supposed repro If the situation of a wise brings woman to bate to ruin ; that fancy would make selec- a right understanding of her own character, tions, and dote upon one while it neglected that of a mother leads to a strict knowledge another; that caprice would destroy the of her own principles. Scarcely is any one bond of domestic union; and that intellec so Jepraved as to teach her child what she tual pursuits would often take precedence conscientiously believes to be wrong. And of domestic duties. And therefore he pour- yet teach it she must, for its “clear pure ed into woman's heart the same instinct eyes” are fixed upon hers to learn their which impels the timid bird to risk the last meaning, and its infant accents are inquirextremity of danger for her helpless young. ing out the first principles of good and evil. Nor let any one think contemptuously of How, with such a picture before her, would this peculiar capability of loving, because any woman dare to teach what she did not under the extinct it is shared with the brute. implicitly, as well as rationally, and from It is not a sufficient recommendation to our mature examination believe to be true. In respect that it comes immediately from the a few days-hours-nay, moments, that hand of our Creator—that we have no child

may

be a cherub in the courts of Heapower to control or subdue it—that it is ven. What if a stain should have been “Strong as death”-and lastly, that it im- upon its wings, and that stain the impress bues the mind of the mother with equal ten- of a mother's hand! or if its earthly life derness for her infirm, or wayward, or un- should be prolonged, it is the foundation of lovely child, as for him who gives early the important future that the mother lays. promise of personal as well as mental Other governors in after years may take beauty? But for this wonderful provision upon themselves the tuition of her child, in buman nature, what would become of and lead him through the paths of academic the cripple, the diseased, the petulant or lore, but the early bias--the bent of the

moral character-the first principles of spi- ' must find as he gains experience, a perfect ritual life, will be here, and hers the lasting , accordance between the principles of virtue glory or the lasting shame.

and the instruction he first heard from huis There is no scene throughout the whole mother's lips, as well as the rules by which range of our observation, more strikingly her own conduct is regulated. It is this reillustrative of intellectual, moral, and even spect mingled with natural afection, that physical beauty than that presented by a constitutes the strongest and most durable domestic circle, where a mother holds her bond which is woven in with the life-strings proper place, as the source of' tenderness, of the heart; that draws back the wanderer the centre of affection, the bond of social to his hoine; and is the lası, the very lash, union, the founder of each salutary plan, which the reprobate casts ofi. the umpire in all contention, and the general In turning from the contemplation of a fountain of cheerfulness, hope, and consola- mother in the midst of her family, to that or tion. It is to clear up the unst suspicion a mere old woman, we make a melancholy that such a mother steps forward; to ward descent from important usefulness to neg. off the unmerited blow; to defend the i lected imbecility. Perhaps we have been wounded spirit from the injury to which it dwelling too much upon what ought to be, would sullenly submit; to encourage the but the bare mention of an old woman brings hopeless, when thrown back in the competi- us down at once to what is. To inquire tion of talent; to point out to those who why it should be thus, belongs more to the have been defeated, other aims in which writer on morals than on poetry; yet so it is they may yet succeed; to stand between —that woman who has been cherished in the timid and the danger they dread; and, her infancy and flattered in her youth, who on behalf of each, and all, to make their has been exalted to the most honourable peace with offended authority, promising, station which her sex can fill, and who has hoping, and believing, that they will never spent the meridian of her life in toils and willingly commit the same fault again. anxieties for the good of others, becomes in

Even amongst her boys, those wayward old age, a mere proverb, and a by-word-a libertines of nature's commonwealth, the warning to the young and the gay of what mother may, if she acts judiciously, be both they must expect-a similitude for all that is valuable and dear; for wild and impetuous teeble and contemptible-an evidence of the as they are when they first burst forth from destructive power of time-a living emblem the restraints of childhood, and rush on re of decay. gardless of every impediment and whole It is true the mother is a mother still, and some check, as if to attain in the shortest greatly is it to be feared, that where she space of time, the greatest possible distance sinks into a state of total neglect, it is from from dependence and puerility, they are apt the absence of all feeling of respect in the to meet with crosses and disappointments minds of her children; nor are uiere wantwhich plunge them suddenly back into the ing instances to prove this fact-instances in weakness they have been struggling to over- which the want of youthful beauty has been come, or rather to conceal; and it is then more than supplied by the loveliness of a that a mother's love supplies the balm which mind at peace with all the world, and with their wounded feelings want, and provided its God; where the weakness of old age has they can mingle respect with their affection been dignified by the services of a well-spent they are not ashamed to acknowldege their life: and where the wants and wishes of Jcpendence upon it still.

second childhood have been soothed by afIt may here be observed how much de- fection, whose vital principle is gratitude, pends upon the word respect. When the boy and whose foundation is esteem. But we respects his mother, she is associated with speak of the world, and the things of the his highest aspirations, and therefore he has world as we find them, and we find old wopride as well as pleasure in her love. But men so frequently neglected and despised, he will not respect her merely because she that it becomes a duty, as well as a pleahas nursed him when an infant. No. He sure, to show, that though berest of every

To have a tankless child."

other charm, they may still be poetical-po- whose higher intellectual attainments she etical in their recollections, beyond what hu- has made every sacrifice, and exerted every man nature can be in any other state or faculty. And what if she be unlearned in stage of its existence.

the literature of modern times, she underIt is an unkind propensity that many stands deeply and feelingly the springs of writers have, to make old women poetical affection, and tenderness and sorrow. She through the instrumentality of their passions, | knows from what source flow the bitterest exaggerating them into witches and mon- | tears, and sters of the most repulsive description, and

“How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is that not so much “ to point a moral,” as “to adorn a tale;" but in such instances the writer is indebted to their recollections for She sees the young glad creatures of all the interest which his unnatural exhibi- another generation sporting around her, and tions excite-to flashes of former tenderness her thoughts go back to the playmates of shooting through the gloom of despair-o her childhood-some reduced to the lowest bright and glowing associations following in state of helplessness or suffering-some the wake of madness-and to once familiar dead and some forgotten. She hears the images of love and beauty, re-animated by a reluctant answer when she asks a kindness strange paradox, at the touch of the wand of one of the merry group, and she thinks of death, and bending in all their early love of the time when kindness was more freely liness over the brink of the grave.

granted her, though far less needed than Infinite indeed beyond the possibility of now. She starts at the loud laugh, but cancalculation, must be the recollections and not understand the jest, and no one explains associations of her, whose long life, from its it to her listening ear. She loses the thread earliest to its latest period, has been a life of of earnest conversation, and no one restores feeling-whose experience has been that of the clue. She sits within the social circle, impressions, rather than events--and whose but forms no link in the chain of social union. sun goes down amidst the varied and innu- | Her thoughts and feelings cannot harmomerable tints which these impressions have nize with those of her juvenile companions, given to its atmosphere. Endued with an and she feels in all its bitterness, that least inexhaustible power of multiplying relative tolerable portion of human experience-what ideas, how melancholy must be the situation it is to be desolate in the midst of society- il of her who was once beloved and cherished, surrounded by kindred and friends, and yet now despised and forsaken-who in her turn alone. loved and cherished others, and is now neg In looking at the situation of woman lected. If she be a mother-one of those merely as regards this life, we are struck fond mothers who expect that mere indul- with the system of unfair dealing by which gence is to win the lasting regard of their her pliable, weak and dependent nature is children, what sad thoughts must crowd subjected to an infinite variety of suffering, upon her at every fresh instance of unkind- and we are ready to exclaim, that of all ness, and every additional proof that she has earthly creatures she is the most pitiable. fallen away from what she was, both in her And so unquestionably she is, wlien unenown and others' estimation. Over the brow lightened by those higher views which lead that now frowns upon her, she perhaps has her hopes away from the disappointments watched with unutterable tenderness through of the present world, to the anticipa ed the long night when every eye but hers' fruition promised to the faithful in the worri. was sleeping. The lips that now speak to to come. But the whole life of woman, her coldly, or answer her with silence when when studied with reference to eternity, presłe speaks, she has bathed with the welcome sents a view of the great plan of moral disdraught when they were parched and burn- cipline mercifully designed to assist her ing with contagious fever. The scorn with right conduct through the trials and temptawhich her humble pretensions are looked | tions which surround her path. In childdown upon, arises in the hearts of those for hood she is necessarily instructed in what

belongs to social and domestic duty, and here she learns the difficult but important

THE POETRY OF THE BIBLE. task of submitting, and of making her own gratification give place to that of cthers. In In tracing the connexion of poetry with youth she is plunged into a sphere of greater subjects most frequently and naturally pretemptations, and of more intense enjoyments, sented to our contemplation, we observe where her experience, embracing the widest how it may be associated with our pursuits, extremes of pain and pleasure, teaches her so as.to give interest to what is familiar, to all the different means to be made use of in refine what is material, and to heighten avoiding or palliating the one, and promot- what is sublime. We now open the Bible, ing the other. As a wife and a mother she and find that poetry as a principle of intelhas an opportunity of acting upon the know- lectual enjoyment derived from association, ledge thus acquired, and if her practice does is also diffused through every page of the honour to her theory, it is here that she ob- sacred volume, and so diffused, that the tains an importance, and derives a satisfac-simplest child, as well as the profoundest tion, which might be dangerous even to a sage, may feel its presence. This in fact, disciplined mind, did not age steal on and is the great merit of poetry, (a merit which diffuse his sombre colouring over the plea- | in no other volume but the Bible, can be sant pictures to which her affections had found in perfection;) that it addresses itself given too warm a glow, and which her hap- so immediately to the principles of feeling piness had persuaded her to be satisfied with inherent in our nature, as to be intelligible contemplating But this cold, blank me to those who have made but little progress dium intervening between life and eternity in the paths of learning, at the same time -between beauty and ashes-between love that it presents a source of the highest and death, comes to warn her that all she gratification to the scholar and the philosohas been desiring, is but as the scattering pher. Let us refer as an example, to the of the harvest to be reaped in heaven; that first chapter of Genesis : all she has been trusting in, is but typical of that which endures for ever; and that all

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the she has been enjoying, is but a foretaste of And the earth was without form and void ; and dark. eternal felicity.

ness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of

God moved upon the face of the waters. Let then the aged woman be no longer

And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. an object of contempt. She is helpless as a child; but as a child she may be learning A child but just grown familiar with the the last awful lesson from her Heavenly words contained in these verses, not only Father. Her feeble step is trembling on the understands their meaning here, but feels brink of the grave; but ler hopes may be something of their sublimity-something of firmly planted on the better shore which the power and the majesty of the God who lies beyond. Her eye is dim with suffering could create this wonderful world, whose and tears; but her spiritual vision may be Spirit moved upon the face of the waters, contemplating the gradual unfolding of the and who said, Let there be lighl: and there gates of eternal rest. Beauty has faded was light! While learned men of all ages from her form; but angels in the world of have agreed, that no possible combination light may be weaving a wreath of glory for of words, could express more clearly and her brow. Her lip is silent; but it may be powerfully than these, the potency of the only waiting to pour forth celestial strains first operations of almighty power of which of gratitude and praise. Lowly, and faller, mankind have any record. and sad, she sits amongst the living; but We have more than once observed that exalted, purisied, and happy, she may arise poetry must have some reference, either from the dead. Then turn if thou wilt from uniformly or partially, to our own circumthe aged woman in her loneliness, but re stances, situation, or experience, as well as member she is not forsaken of her God! to the more remote and varied conceptions

of the imagination; and in the Scriptures,

earth.

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