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WITHOUT THEE I AM ALL UNBLEST.
money ; some because their houses are pesAfar from thee! 'Tis solitude,
tered with company; some because they will Though smiling crowds around me be,
live like other people; and some because The kind, the beautiful, the good
they are sick of themselves, we are not so For I can only think of thee;
much inclined to wonder that marriage is Of thee, the kindest, loveliest, best,
sometimes unhappy, as that it appears so My earliest and my only one ;
little loaded with calamity; and cannot but Without thee, I am all unblest,
conclude, that society has something in itself And wholly blest with thee alone.
eminently agreeable to human nature, when
we find its pleasures so great, that even the Afar from thee! The words of praise
ill choice of a companion can hardly overMy listless ear unheeded greet;
balance them. Those, therefore, of the above What sweetest seem'd in better days,
description, that should rail against matriWithout thee seem'd no longer sweet;
mony, should be informed, that they are The dearest joy fame can bestow
neither to wonder, or repine, that a contract
begun on such principles bas ended in disIs in thy moisten'd eye to see ; And in thy cheeks' unusual glow,
Dr. Johnson. Thou deem'st me not unworthy thee.
THE BETROTHAL AND MARRIAGE OF Afar from thee! The night is come,
ISAAC AND REBEKAH.
And he said, O LORD God of my master And my heart's home is love with thee.
Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed I kneel before the throne of prayer,
this day, and shew kindness unto my master And then I know that thou art nigh;
Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well For God, who seeth everywhere,
of water ; and the daughters of the men of Bends on us both His watchful eye.
the city come out to draw water: and let it
come to pass, that the damsel to whom I Together, in His loved embrace,
shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, No distance can our hearts divide;
that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, Forgotten quite the 'mediate space,
and I will give thy camels drink also ; let the
same be she that thou hast appointed for I kneel thy kneeling form beside ; My tranquil frame then sinks to sleep,
thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know But soars the spirit far and free ;
that thou hast shewed kindness unto my Oh welcome be night's slumbers deep !
master. For then, dear love! I am with thee.
And it came to pass, before he had done Anon.
speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the
wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her VARIOUS MOTIVES FOR MARRIAGE.
pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel
was very fair to look upon, and she went When we see the avaricious and crafty down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and taking companions to their homes without came up. And the servant ran to meet her, any inquiry but after farms and money; or and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little the giddy and thoughtless uniting themselves' water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, for life to those whom they have only seen my lord : and she hasted, and let down her by the light of tapers; when parents make pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. articles for children without inquiring after And when she had done giving him drink, their consent ; when some marry for heirs she said, I will draw water for thy camels to disappoint their brothers; and others also, until they have done drinking. And she throw themselves into the arms of those hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the whom they do not love, because they trough, and ran again unto the well to draw have found themselves rejected where they water, and drew for all his camels. And the were more solicitous to please ; when some man wondering at her held his peace, to wit marry because their servants cheat them ; whether the LORD had made his journey some because they squander their own ! prosperous or not. And it came to pass, as
the camels had done drinking, that the man ! take a wife for my son of my kindred ; and of took a goiden earring of half a shekel weight, my father's house: then shalt thou be clear and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels from this my oath, when thou comest to my weight of gold; and said, Whose daughter ! kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room shalt be clear from my oath. And I'c in thy father's house for us to lodge in? And this day unto the well, and said, O LORD she said unto him, I am the daughter of God of my master Abraham, if now thou do Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare prosper my way which I go: behold, I stand unto Nahor. She said moreover unto him, by the well of water; and it shall come to We have both straw and provender enough, pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to and room to lodge in. And the man bowed draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I down his head, and worshipped the LORD. pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of drink; and she say to me, Both drink thou, my master Abraham, who hath not lest desti and I will also draw for thy camels : let the tute my master of his mercy and his truth: I same be the woman whom the LORD hath being in the way, the LORD led me to the appointed out for my master's son. And house of my master's brethren. And the before I had done speaking in mine heart, damsel ran, and told them of her mother's behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher house these things.
on her shoulder; and she went down unto And Rebekah had a brother, and his name the well, and drew water: and I said unto was Laban : and Laban ran out unto the her, Let me drink, I pray thee. And she man, unto the well. And it came to pass, made haste, and let down her pitcher from when he saw the earring, and bracelets upon her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will his sister's hands, and when he heard the give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus she made the camels drink also. And I spake the man unto me; that he came unto asked her, and said, Whose daughter art the man; and, behold, he stood by the thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethcamels at the well. And he said, Come in, uel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore stand him: and I put the earring upon her face, est thou without ? for I have prepared the and the bracelets upon her hands. And I house, and rooin for the camels.
bowed down my head, and worshipped the And the man came into the house: and he LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my ungirded his camels, and gave straw and master Abraham, which had led me in the provender for the camels, and water to wash right way to take my master's brother's his feet, and the men's feet that were with daughter unto his son. And now if ye will him. And there was set meat before him to deal kindly and truly with my master, tell eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the told mine errand. And he said, Speak on. | right hand, or to the left. Then Laban and And he said, I am Abraham's servant. And Bethuel answered and said, The thing prothe LORD hath blessed my master greatly ; ceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak and he is become great: and he hath given unto thee bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, before thee, take her, and go, and let her be and menservants, and maidservants, and thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath camels, and asses. And Sarah my master's spoken. And it came to pass, that, when wife bare a son to my master when she was Abraham's servant heard their words, he old: and unto him hath he given all that he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the hath. And my master made me swear, say earth. And the servant brought forth jewels ing, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose and gave them to Rebekah : he gave also to land I dwell : but thou shalt go unto my her brother and to her mother precious father's house, and to my kindred, and take things. And they did eat and drink, he and a wife unto my son. And I said unto my the men that were with him, and tarried all master, Peradventure the woman will not night; and they rose up in the morning, and follow me. And he said unto me, The LORD, i he said, Send me away unto my master. before whom I walk, will send his angel with And her brother and her mother said, Let thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten ; after that she shall go. And he said | And other cares will claim thy thoughts, and unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD other hearts thy love, hath prospered my way ; send me away that And gayer friends may be around, and bluer I may go to my master. And they said, We
skies above; will call the damsel, and enquire at her Yet thou, when I behold thee next, may'st mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said wear upon thy brow, unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And Perchance, a mother's look of care for that she said, I will go. And they sent away which decks it now. Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. And
And when I think how often I have seen they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her,
thee, with thy mild Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of
| And lovely look, and step of air, and bearing
And lovely look andist thousands of millions, and let thy seed
like a child, possess the gate of those which hate them.
Oh ! how mournfully, how mournfully the And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and
thought comes o'er my brain, they rode upon the camels, and followed the
When I think thou ne'er mayst be that free man : and the servant took Rebekah, and
and girlish thing again. went his way. And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi ; for he dwelt in the south country. And Isaac went out to
I would that as my heart dictates, just such meditate in the field at the eventide ; and he
might be my lay, lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the
And my voice should be a voice of mirth, a
music like the May ; camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she
But it may not be! within my breast all lighted off the camel. For she had said unto
frozen are the springs, the servant, What man is this that walketh The murmur dies upon my lip—the mus in the field to meet us? And the servant had
the strings. said, It is my master : therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. And the servant But a voice is floating round me, and it telis told Isaac all things that he had done. And me in my rest, Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's That sunshine may illume thy path, that joy tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his shall be thy guest, wife ; and he loved her : and Isaac was That thy life shall be a summer's day, whose comforted after his mother's death.
evening shall go down Gen. xxiv. 12-67. Like the evening in the Eastern clime, that
never knows a frown.
thee for a bride,
bridegroom by thy side; And I think I hear thy father's sigh, thy
mother's calmer tone, As they give thee to another's arms—their
beautiful, their own.
When thy foot is at the altar, when the ring
hath press'd thy hand, When those thou lovest, and those that love
thee, weeping round thee stand, Oh ! may the verse that friendship weaves,
like a spirit of the air, Be o'er thee at that moment- for a blessing and a prayer !
G. M. Fitzgerald.
I never saw a bridal but my eyelid hath been
wet, And it always seem'd to me as though a
joyous crowd were met To see the saddest sight of all, a gay and
girlish thing, Lay aside her maiden gladness—for a name
--and for a ring.
MAN'S COMPANION AND EQUAL. If God had designed woman as man's master, He would have taken her from his head ; if as his slave, He would have taken her from his feet ; but as He designed her for his companion and equal, He took her from his side.
BORN TO BLESS ME WITH THY LOVE.
Hence, every secret fear !
Which gives me all that's dear.
(She owes no charms to them), Yet virtue in her bosom dwells
There glows the brightest gem.
Fair peace in smiles array'd,
Adorn the lovely maid.
My dear, my joy, my life-
In that dear name of wife.
With modest virtue join'd,
Bespeak a spotless mind.
On these bright charms of thine :
That makes thee ever mine! Canning.
She never found fault with you-never implied Your wrong by her right : and yet men at
her side Grew nobler, girls purer, as through the
whole town The children were gladder that pull’d at her gown :
My Kate. None knelt at her feet as adorers in thrall : They knelt more to God than they used, that
was all. If you praised her as charming, some ask'd
what you meant : But the charın of her presence was felt where she went :
My Kate. Mrs. Browning.
THE JOY OF FORGIVING. Come, let us now resolve at last,
To live and love in quiet : We'll tie the knot so very fast,
That time shall ne'er untie it. The truest joys they seldom prove
Who free from quarrels live;
Each other to forgive.
No pleasure nor no rest :
Alas ! I loved you best.
How blest will be our fate.
Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham.
THE CHARM OF HER PRESENCE. She was not as pretty as women I know : And yet all your best, made of sunshine and
snow, Drop to shade, melt to nought, in the long
trodden ways-While she is remember'd on warm and cold days :
My Kate. Her air had a meaning, her movement a grace; You turn'd from the fairest to gaze in her face ; And when you had once seen her forehead
and mouth, You saw as distinctly her soul and her truth.
My Kate. Such a blue inner light from her eyelids out
broke, You look'á at her silence and fancied she
spoke; When she did, so peculiarand soft was the tone, Though the loudest spoke also, you heard her alone :
My Kate. I doubt if she said to you much that could act As a thought or suggestion : she did not
attract, In the sense of the brilliant and wise, I infer : 'Twas her thinking of others made you think of her :
FOR LIFE AND FOR ETERNITY. Not for the summer hour alone,
When skies resplendent shine, And youth and pleasure fill the throne,
Our hearts and hands we join; But for those stern and wintry days
Of peril, pain, and fear, When Heaven's wise discipline makes
This earthly journey drear. Not for this span of life alone,
Which as a blast doth fly, And, like the transient flowers of grass,
Just blossom, droop, and die;
This vow of love we take :
L. H. Sigourney.
DR. JOHNSON'S VIEWS ON MARRIAGE.
The infelicities of marriage are not to be urged against its institution, as the miseries of life would prove equally that life cannot be the gift of Heaven.
Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.
Marriage is not commonly unhappy, but as life is unhappy, and most of those who complain of connubial miseries have as much satisfaction as their natures would have admitted, or their conduct procured, in any other condition.
Those who marry late in life will find it dangerous to suspend their fate upon each other, at a time when opinions are fixed, and habits are established; when friendships have been contracted on both sides ; when life has been planned into method, and the mind has long enjoyed the contemplation of its own prospects. They will probably escape the encroachment of their children ; but, in diminution of this advantage, they will be likely to leave them, ignorant and helpless, to a guardian's mercy ; or if that should not happen, they must, at least, go out of the world before they see those whom they love best, either wise or great. From their children, if they have less to fear, they have also less to hope; and they lose, without equivalent, the joys of early love, and the convenience of uniting with manners pliant, and minds susceptible of new impressions.
A poet may praise many whom he would be afraid to marry, and, perhaps, marry one whom he would have been ashamed to praise. Many qualities contribute to domestic happiness, upon which poetry has no colours to bestow, and many airs and sallies may delight imagination which he who flatters them never can approve. There are charms made only for distant admiration-no spectacle is nobler than a blaze.
A certain dissimilitude of habitudes and sentiments, as leaves each some peculiar advantages, and affords that concordia discors, that suitable disagreement, is always necessary to happy marriages. Such reasonings, terminate generally in the same conclusion. Such thoughts, like rivulets issuing from distant springs, are each impregnated in its course with various mixtures, and tinged by infusions unknown to the other, yet at last easily unite into one stream, and purify themselves by the gentle effervescence of contrary qualities.
THE GIFT ALL-DIVINE. O marriage ! powerful charm, gift all-divine, Sent from the skies, o'er life's drear waste to
shine; What splendours from thy bright tiara spring, What graces round thy chasten'd footsteps
cling! Vengeance will surely crush the idiot land, That drags the sceptre from thy hallow'd
hand, That dares to trample on thy holy rites, And nuptial perfidy, unawed, invites. The weeping world to thee its solace owes, From thee derives its truest, best repose. Not the cold compact subtle interest twines, Not that which pale submission trembling
signs, Is marriage ! no ! 'tis when its polish'd chain Binds those who in each other's bosom reign; 'Tis when two minds form one ecstatic whole, One sweetly blended with, one sense, one
soul! This was the gift the exiled seraph curst, When from hell's blazing continent he burst; Eden's full charms he saw, without a groan, Though Nature there had fix'd her gorgeous
throne ; Its rich ananas, and its aloes high, Whose forms pyramidal approach'd the sky; Its towering palms with luscious clusters
crown'd; Its shrubs, whose perfumes fill'd the region
round ; Its streams pellucid, and its bowers of shade ; Its flowers, that knew to bloom, but not to
fade; Its orb, that gave the new-created day; Night's lunar bow, that soothed with tender
ray ; Its fields of wavy gold, its slopes of green, By the fell fiend without a pang were seen. 'Twas then fierce rancour seized the demon's
breast, When, in the married pair, he felt mankind were blest !
A PHILOSOPHICAL DISCIPLINE. Married life appears to me a sort of philosophical discipline, training persons to honourable duties, worthy of the good and wise. Few unmarried people are affected as they ought to be towards the public good, and perceive what are really the most important objects in life. Melancthon