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such unhappy fate. But in her utmost sorrow, and under her deepest injuries, how seldom does misanthropy corrode the generous heart of woman! It is a most dangerous spirit, gradually destroying all that is soft and lovely in the character and ossifying all within.
There is a forgiving spirit inseparable from the very nature of woman, which prevents misanthropy from ever taking such deadly root in her breast, even should it enter there, as it will in the tougher nature of man. Let her be undone, betrayed, forsaken under the most aggravating circumstances, trampled on, insulted - let her be reduced by her destroyer to abject want, her beauty faded, her youth prematurely blighted, and her hopes of happiness here and hereafter annihilated ;- let all this be, and, if possible, more than all this, yet will one kind word, one soft tone, one glance as of old, from the author of all her woes, efface the memory of her wrongs in a moment; her enduring affection will rekindle, and her lips will utter no reproach. And if he who deserted her in her extremity, and turned a deaf ear to the cry of her agony-if he should be overtaken by retributive justice, . if sickness, want, or sorrow should enter his dwelling, she will be found, like his guardianangel, tending him with unwearied, unchanging love, and depriving herself of the commonest necessaries, if, by so doing, she can procure him ease. And should she close his eyes
- should she witness his last agony, her mourning will not be clamorous, but deep, deep!
Major Bently's country seat was situate in one of the most uninteresting parts of one of the most uninteresting counties in England, and the society of the neighbourhood was equally devoid of interest. The few families within the Bentlys' reach were cold, formal, or proud ; and as the Major was not rich enough to vie with them, and could not entertain exactly in the same style of magnificence with themselves, and, moreover, as he had no great connexions to throw a lustre on his name, he and his
wife were just tolerated by the stately families where they visited.
To Jessy all this was detestable, and her proud, reserved manner towards her haughty neighbours, by no means tended to increase her popularity. She wrote thus to a friend, describing her first morning visit in the country :-“We drove, by invitation, twenty miles to call on Mrs. Dennis Granby, at Granbyhouse. It is an old English place, and the arrangement of the rooms gives a most formal, unenjoyable appearance to the interior. Nothing can be more fascinating than that delightful mélange of work, music, books, drawings, and various petits objets which one sees in a comfortable unformal family. Mrs. Granby Dennis is detestable, so rude, and cold, and hard in her manner, and the younger part of the family seemed to think our visit a most tiresome interruption, as when we were about to take our departure their spirits rose twenty per cent. The daughter is pretty, though somewhat of a giantess, but her conversation is not amiable, and totally devoid of heart. It is disgusting to hear the expressions-good match -getting off-remaining on hand-passée-bore - proceeding from lips of eighteen. The brother is a mere coxcomb, who looks as though he had been, till lately, addicted to an immoderate use of the backboard. There was a young girl staying in the house, a sweet, interesting creature, who spoke kindly to me, and I quite loved her for it. Why was I gifted, or rather I should say, punished with so acute a sensibility, since it is wounded every hour—with such warm, gushing feelings, since no earthly being cares for me, save my husband, and even he !-No one else would regret me, or soothe my griefs, and share my joys, whilst I remain on this earth ?
“ All the dinner parties here are the very essence of stupidity, and Madame de Staël's description of the passionnée Corinne's feelings at similar assemblages, forcibly recurs to me. The guests are generally numerous, and sometimes there is a sprinkling of intellect amongst them, yet the tout ensemble is intolerably heavy. I do not wish for a gay society; but kind-heartedness and cheerful hospitality are necessary in the country, and exist in many neighbourhoods in England."
And again, in writing of her nearest neighbours, the clergyman and his wife, and their habitation, she thus describes them :-" Their house is a melancholy abode, being a dingy red brick house, with a brick wall in front, on which by way of recreation and variety you may repose your eye, if it so please you. There is a pa.ch of gravel in front, calling itself a garden, with a miserable laurel struggling for existence. I could not live in such a habitation. If I must live in a cottage, let it be white-washed, and covered with creepers, and jessamine and honey. suckle; then it must either be surrounded by woods, or commanding a beautiful view. It is curious to see the change that taste can effect, even with the scantiest and most unpromising materials, so as to convert the dreariest-lo room into an elegant and almost cheerful apart.