« AnteriorContinuar »
SKETCHES OF MARRIED LIFE.
ward, “it is publicly and solemnly consecrating ourselves to each other, and asking the blessing and the assistance of God in the performance of the new duties upon which we enter, the new happiness which we anticipate. Shall we not be married in church?”
Amy said this had always been her favorite wish; and, although it was not customary in their church, the clergyman readily acquiesced.
As soon as the day was fixed, Amy wrote to invite her friend Fanny and her husband to be present at their wedding, and join them upon an excursion of a few days in the country, which Mr. Weston, who was in an unusually genial state of mind, had himself proposed. Fanny replied
Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be with you at this time; but my husband cannot leave his father, who is very infirm, and I cannot well come without him. I console myself for this privation by thinking how many tears I am saved from shedding, by remaining at home. No one has time to shed tears in New York, although I occasionally indulge myself in this luxury when no one sees me.
I have always thought a wedding a most melancholy occasion.
At births, and at deaths, there is every thing to hope for the individual; they are both beginnings of new life; but at weddings it is not so. All that is unlimited, all that is romantic, all that is poetical and hopeful in the connection between lovers, is in the first mutual confession, the first sweet promise of devoted love. That is the true bridal of hearts, that is their real festal day; but the stiff, formal, precise, parading wedding-dayhow it comes with its cold prosaic solemnity, and dissolves all the delicious enchantments in which the heart has revelled with an overflowing fulness ! Ah! if we could but stop these beautiful hours, and live them over and over again in one eternal round! but, alas ! how swiftly did mine fly away!
“ Like to the summer's rain,
Ne'er to be found again.”
Don't blame me, Amy; it is not 1 that am to blame; it is the nature of things. Who finds fault with the rose, or the rainbow, or the butterfly, or the dew-drop, that they are as transient as they are beautiful! The world loves to appear happy; but there is a great deal of pretence, and pride, and self-glorification, in all this. Every one around me supposes that I am very happy, and that is one reason that my society is so much courted; they hope to catch a little of the joy which they think is in my heart. Like me, they have it not within, and hope to find it somewhere out of themselves. Each one keeps his own secret. They know not, these craving souls, to what bankrupt hearts they go asking for help, nor upon what fictitious foundations the drafts are made that they receive so eagerly, and that pass so readily with a world in which almost every individual has agreed to cheat and to be cheated.
It does seem unkind, I know, to croak like a bird of evil omen at the idea of your weddingday, my dear Amy; but you have always begged me to speak the truth, to say all that is in my heart to you. You have always said that you preferred to know the worst; and I find, when I am speaking or writing to you, that all the reserves, all the disguises, which come upon me at other times, and in the presence of others, fall off, and I breathe out every feeling, and open every thought, as if to a disembodied spirit that I know is all tenderness and forgiveness. If there lives a being on this earth whose happiness is founded upon realities, whose heart is so fixed upon heavenly things, that nothing can shake it,
it is you ; but the test, the touchstone, will soon be applied, and it will do you no harm to be warned beforehand.
You may suppose from this that I have a fit of the blues, or that my husband is not kind to me, or that I find I was mistaken in his character. No such thing. I am often very gay; I am more in society than ever. When
husband and I are together, we are very polite to each other ; he never finds fault with me now, and he is just what he always was — you know him, dear Amy; but there is no reasoning about these things. We cannot be reasoned into happiness or any other feeling. It is one of the falsehoods of the good, as they are called, that they pretend that we are accountable for our feelings. They say we ought to be happy. What an absurdity! How hopeful a subject for such preachers was the man who said he had been trying all his life to be spontaneous !
The idea of trying to be spontaneous, brings to my mind our friend Mrs. Loveall. She and Mr. Loveall have been here with two of the Miss Lovealls. How she did my dear me, when I called upon her! and how she did show off the young ladies to Mr. Somers, who was there ! Three hundred thousand dollars, writes poetry, and belongs to one of our first families, she told me after he left us. Query. What were they, these first families, originally ? Cobblers or tinkers? She, however, dwelt only upon his poetical talents and intellectual charms. By the by, dear there's a pattern couple for you! They are as civil as two pickpockets to each other. It is always “ Just as you please, my dear; ladies should govern in all things ;” and on her part, “I am ready, Mr. Lovell, to do as you shall decide is best ;” and to the young ladies it is, “ Don't forget the injunctions of your papa; his will should be consulted in every thing, my dear.” I heard her once deliver a homily upon the duties of wives. I had some suspicion it was meant for me; so I remarked that I thought the idea of a woman obeying her husband was now among the acknowledged barbarisms of older times; it was altogether obsolete among well-bred people. “I," she replied, “ am old-fashioned enough to think that the poet had the true notion of the dignity of woman when he said, she