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CHAPTER VIII.

" And forward, though I canna see,

BURNS.

I guess an fear.”

Thus did Amy pass the first year of her lover's absence, exacting from the hours, as they passed, a tribute of happy recollections. She performed all her duties to her father with such cheerful exactness, that he could find no fault with her. She did not neglect any of the just claims of society. She read, she studied, she thought, more than she ever had before. All her faculties seemed to be ripening under the influence of the pure and elevated love which had awakened her soul to its highest freedom. In her visits to the poor, while entering into their trials and feelings, she acquired a deeper and juster knowledge of human nature, and therefore a truer reverence for it. To Fanny, she was as she ever had been faithful friend - always speaking the truth in love to her - ever guarding her against those faults which she feared, if indulged in, would eventually prove fatal to her peace.

a SKETCHES OF MARRIED LIFE.

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There was another source of anxiety in Amy's heart, with regard to Fanny and her husband. She feared they wanted the habit, founded on principle, of an entire and unreserved expression of all their feelings, whatever they might be, to each other; they had not a determined purpose, that their thoughts, their every action and desire, their most trifling joys and sorrows their whole souls, should stand all undisguised before the other, in the simplicity of truth. Amy also apprehended that they neither of them possessed that faith in the reality of their spiritual nature, which can alone secure the happiness of married life from that slow and gradual but certain decay, brought on by the little collisions, the every-day trials of temper, the personal dislikes, which sometimes spring up when the charm which belongs to a less intimate and more imaginative connection is dissolved. Without an implicit reliance on that spiritual foundation of all true love, how could they possess an abiding faith in the immortality of their union, dependent only on their remaining worthy of each other's affection by a continual growth in excellence ?

When Fanny became a mother, Amy said to her one day, as she was caressing her infant, “What a new and precious bond of union this dear baby must be, Fanny, between you and

your husband!

Here your hearts will always meet, I am sure; and it will make you both love Him who gave it, better and more truly than ever."

"I pray that you may not be disappointed in your faith in us, Amy,” replied Fanny; and the tears flowed fast down her cheeks, as she spoke.

Amy's heart was troubled.

After rather a long and oppressive silence, Fanny resumed the conversation.

“Do you know, Amy, that we shall soon leave Boston ?” and her tears began again to flow.

“Dear Fanny, no! I thought you loved Boston too well to think it possible that you should live elsewhere.”

“ And so I do, Amy," answered Fanny, with vehemence. “I love the very clumsy, old, broken paving-stones of Boston better than all the splendors of any other city in the world. I love its crooked lanes — its ugly churches - its narrow sidewalks. I love all the stiff, prudish people of Boston - their odd, narrow,

aristocratic notions their solemn self-conceit. All its follies are dear to me.”

“ You have given a queer set of reasons for loving Boston, Fanny."

“ This is the best proof that I am a true lover. Any person of common sense and good taste must love Boston for what all acknowledge to be excellent in it. But as for its intellectual and moral tastes, and all its nameless attractions - there is no merit in loving these. But I love it for its very faults, especially now that I am going to leave it. This puts me in mind of poor aunt Hetty, who was very tiresome to me while she was alive, trotting about, finding fault with everv thing and every body, especially with me, whom she probably thought the chief of sinners. Then I saw all her defects, personal and mentai; bui when the dear old soul came to die, when she so meekly resigned herself to the will of God, and so humbly confessed all her sins, (which, after all, were so few) - when she even put her hand on my head, and prayed so fervently for a blessing upon me, which, I am sure, I did not deserve, and when I heard her calm and Christian farewell, and knew that it was her last-0, then how my heart prayed that she might live, and that I might be blessed, for many years, with her faithful love -- her kind, because just reproofs ! Even her homely face became beautiful to me; the great wart on the tip of her nose lost its deformity; and I have, ever since, felt rather a peculiar regard for such

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excrescences upon that respectable, yet so often comical and much-abused, feature of the human face.”

Fanny burst into a sort of hysterical laugh, at her own strange fancies.

Why,” said Amy, who could not resist joining in Fanny's tearful laugh, “why do you leave Boston, if you feel so badly about it? and where are you going ?"

“My husband's father," replied Fanny,“ has lately had a stroke of the palsy. He is very infirm, and has sent on an urgent request to his son, that he would come and live with him for the remainder of his days. He lives in a house sufficiently large to accommodate us all, and there we are going as soon as we can make the necessary arrangements.

Now tell me if you don't pity me, Amy."

“I cannot think any one is a fit subject for compassion," said Amy, “who can call such a sweet baby as you have in your lap her own; to say nothing of all your other blessings, Fanny.”

Yes, I know all that can be said of that sort of thing, Amy. Mrs. Lovell has been here, talking good to me, and giving me a vast deal of information with regard to the extraordinary character of my husband, and telling me that I

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