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She stood, she says, with her hands clasped, and her head run out, (you know how tall she is,) looking intently in my face during the whole ceremony, the big tears running fast down her cheeks all the time, and she apparently unconscious of it, till at last she began to sob aloud, when, as I mentioned to you, I heard her. Dear soul! If souls shaped bodies, with all her oddities, what a beautiful form would be hers.
I enjoyed the journey, but I was very glad to return home to the actual duties of life. The true value of the ideal is to prepare for the real. If we ascend the mount, in search of inspiration, it must be for the sake of bringing it down with us, to guide and govern us as we pass through the wilderness to the holy land. My father has consented to live with us.
He seems very happy, and I hope we shall make his old age comfortable. We have been at home about three weeks. The mornings my husband gives to business, the afternoons and evenings to reading and social enjoyment.
Now, dear Fanny, I have a confession to make. I showed your last letter to Edward. We have set out upon the principle to hide nothing, positively nothing, from each other; to have no separate interests, no separate pleasures, no separate duties, any farther than is absolutely necessary. I know that I cannot help him transact his business at the counting-room, neither can he assist me in my household affairs; but whenever, and in whatever way, we can be mutually interested and occupied, we shall act together. Now, it is but fair that you should know this, dear Fanny, as it may influence you in your correspondence with me; but I trust and hope it will not prevent your writing to me with the same confidence as ever. We do not agree
that the first assurance of mutual love is the happiest moment, or that all that is poetical and unlimited in love is before marriage. We have, to be sure, been married only six weeks; but we prefer the constant intimacy, the hourly devotion, the entire freedom, the perfect confidence, the serene assurance of reality, which belong to married life, to the feverish delight, the anxious fears, the thrilling pleasures, the fluctuating hopes, the romantic dreams, of the most happy courtship. If marriage is what it ought to be, it is the exchange of ideal for real bliss ; of uncertain hopes for the most joyful possession ; of earthly tumult for heavenly peace. This is our present belief. We do not expect unmingled happiness. We know that we are both very imperfect beings; but we are sure, that if we are only true to each other and to ourselves, we can still love one another, in spite of our defects.
This perfect oneness of mind does not imply the loss of individuality. The inost perfect harmony is the result not of the repetition of the same notes, but only requires that the different parts should perfectly accord. I have, my dear Fanny, much more to say upon this subject, but I fear that my letter is already of an unreasonable length. If my views change, I promise to tell you so.
6 Can fancy paint more finished happiness?
The most strenuous advocate for the exclusive importance of a woman's being an adept at all those employments which belong particularly to her department in the conduct of a family, would have been satisfied with Amy's skill in housekeeping. Every one, who entered her father's house, could not but notice the beautiful order that prevailed. There was nothing of what is so emphatically and well called fussing, upon extraordinary occasions. While her father was rich, and the same when he was comparatively poor, she adhered to a mode of living which she thought was properly conformed to his means. Upon the subject of entertaining company, it was her principle to provide more amply, not differently, for guests. While they were rich, this was comparatively an easy thing, and gave her the full enjoyinent of society; but when their means became limited, it required some effort of principle, to resist the temptation of adopting a style, when company came, which they could not usually afford. Her father was always urging her to this sort of display; but Amy was faithful to her principle of making no false pretences.
“I wish,” she would say to her father, “to be truly hospitable, and yet to enjoy our visitors. Now, if we expend money in entertaining them, which we cannot afford, I cannot take pleasure in seeing them; for I should feel as if we were doing wrong. Let us appear to the world as we really are; our welcome to our friends will be as sincere as ever.”
« The world will soon forget us, if we do not conform to its customs,” said her father.
“But there is a dignity and truth in living according to our means, that even the world will acknowledge and respect, father; and our real friends will surely not forsake us."
They thus had an opportunity of finding out who visited them for the sake of the style in which they lived, and who out of real regard. Mr. Weston was surprised to see that some of those, whom he considered his fastest friends, fell away with his fine houses and elegant carriage and horses; and he was still more astonished to see that some, whom he had looked down upon