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The very first
Of human life must spring from woman's breast,
HE must be singularly unfortunate in his society who does not know living instances of women whose love bears an analogy, at least, to that of which we have been speaking. His sphere is, indeed, confined, to say no worse of it, if he knows no woman who could, were it her duty, die with a husband for a child -no wife who has found the devoted, specious lover change into the unworthy, brutal husband, and yet has endured her lot with unrepining patience, and met the world with smiles of seeming cheerfulness, and
theless, depart quietly to his long home, because his last steps thither are supported by a beloved and affectionate child? Does he not know some sister, whose mild influence has controlled the follies, and whose tenderness, though at the risk of personal blame, has shielded the faults of a brother? Or has he never seen an instance of female friendship? His lip may curl at the idea, but there is such a thing as female friendship; not often, I grant, between young ladies, but between the young and the old; the matron who has safely trodden the ways of life, and the young blooming girl, who has just entered upon them. It is a beautiful, aye, and it is a frequent sight to behold the calm gravity of age tempering the enthusiasm of youth; and the bright influence of youth shedding, as it were, a sunset radiance over the sombre sky of age. But to come rather closer to the feelings of our sceptic-to touch upon his personal experience-if he ever lay upon a bed of sickness, what eyes became dim with weeping-what cheeks pale with watching, over him ?-What hand administered the medicine and smoothed
Learn'd the art To bleed in secret, yet conceal the smartand, higher and harder task, denied her self the privilege of friendship, and never told her grief; no intellectual and accomplished mother, who has surrendered early affluence, and accustomed comforts, the pleasures of society, the indulgence of refined taste, and become a menial as well as mother to her children, and entered into all the harassing details of minute daily economy, not with mere dogged submission, but with active, cheerful interest! Does he not know the pillow? Whose form glided round some daughter who has secluded herself the bed with the quiet care of a mortal, from youthful companions and youthful and yet ministering spirit? Whose tear pleasures, that she may employ her soothed his dejection? Whose smile health and spirits, her days and nights, calmed his temper? Whose patience in soothing a parent to whom the bore his many infirmities? Unless he grasshopper is become a burden," and live in a desert island, he will replyexistence a pain; but who can, never-Woman's! Woman's!
But to know, to the full extent of such knowledge, how noble, how sacred a thing is woman's love, it must be contemplated when strengthened by the bonds of duty, when called forth by the ties of nature. Some may think it needless to lay such strong and repeated stress upon this condition: but for my own part, I do not believe that in the hearts of true women- -(and such alone are worthy of mention)-love, the passion of love, has before marriage by any means the power generally supposed. I verily think that many a most exemplary wife has been, as the mistress,
"Uncertain, coy, and hard to please." No true woman will either do or suffer for the fondest and most faithful lover, a thousandth part of what she will do and suffer for a husband who is only moderately kind. No-love must, with a woman, become a duty, a habit, a part of existence, a condition of life, before we can know how completely it unites and exemplifies the natures of the lion and the dove, the courage which no danger can dismay, with the constancy no suffering can diminish.
It has been much the fashion, of late, to write and talk about woman's mind, and to make comparative estimates of the power of female and masculine intellect. Some, with pleasant malice, have made the scale preponderate on the gentleman's side; others, with pleasant gallantry, have made it preponderate on that of the lady. Women of genius never argue for the recognized equality of female intellect; and men of genius never argue for its recognized inferiority; but, as in political subjects, those dispute loudest who have the least at stake. "Master and mistress-minds" move in their separate spheres, like the rulers of distinct and distant kingdoms, seldom wishing, and scarcely ever tempted, to disturb each other's sovereignty. It is among those who reside in the nooks and corners of Parnassus, that disputes and litigation arise. We can only fancy such small occupiers of intellectual territory as Hayley and Miss Seward, extremely agitated about the
mutual recognition of rights, and claims, and divisions. We can only fancy Shakspeare and Madame de Staël, regarding them with contempt and indifference. But by all means let the dispute go forwards, and if women are stimulated to give proof by their exertions, that there is such a thing as female genius, and men are stimulated to give proof by their surpassing productions, that there is no genius in the world but what is masculine, the public will be gainers any way. We shall have more clever people to write; more clever books to read. Without hazarding an opinion on the subject, for the very sufficient reason of not understanding its merits, I return to the theme with which I begun, and with which I would close-" Woman's love."
Let man take his claimed supremacy, and take it as his hereditary, his inalienable right. Let him have for his dower, sovereignty in science, in philosophy, in learning, in arts, and in arms; let him wear, unenvied, the ermine, the lawn, and the helmet, and wield, unrivalled, the sword, the pen, and the pencil. Let him be supreme in the cabinet, the camp, and the study; and to women will still remain a goodly heritage," of which neither force nor rivalry can deprive her. The heart is her domain; and there she is a queen. To acquire over the unruly wills and tempers of men, an influence which no man, however great, however gifted, can acquire: to manifest a faith which never fails, a patience that never wears out, a devotedness which can sacrifice, and a courage which can suffer: to perform the same unvarying round of duties without weariness, and endure the same unvarying round of vexations without murmuring; to requite neglect with kindness, and injustice with fidelity; to be true when all are false, and firm when all is hopeless; to watch over the few dear objects of regard with an eye that never sleeps, and a care that cannot change; to think, to act, to suffer, to sacrifice, to live, to die for them, their happiness and safety-these are woman's true triumphs; this,-this is WOMAN'S LOVE!
osity. "The men have concealed whiskey there."
THE POOR SCHOLAR.
"Oh! bad cess to the dhrop-sure they don't want it, when they get their glass at the heel of the evenin' without so much as axing for it; we'll tell, if ye won't tell ov us to the masther and misthressthough we couldn't help it, for it's God's will. Sure the boys there never raised their voice in a song, nor even the kink of a laugh ever passed their lips, just out of regard to the quietness-the craythur! and sure the dhrop of new milk, and it's
It was towards the middle of September, or, as they, in Ireland, usually style the period, "the latter end of harvest," several years ago, that we were sedulously gathering a nosegay of blue corn-flowers and scarlet poppies, in the field of a dear relative, whose labourers were busily employed in reaping. A group of Irish harvesters are generally noisy, full of jest, and song and laughter; but we observed that although not more diligent than usual, these were unusually silent-just to look at a grain of tea, is all we give on a two-pronged fork or the ould shovel. And the weather's mighty fine, as it always does be when the likes of them's in throuble; sure, the dew falls light, on the spring chicken!" We pressed still more strongly for an explanation. "Well, it was the loneliest place in the parish," answered Anty, a blue eyed girl of sixteen, the very picture of good nature and mischief, though her features were tutored into an expression of sobriety and even sympathy.-" And what else could I do, barrin I was a baste ?" she continued. "And see even that poor dumb dog looks like a Christian at the tree-Nep, asy now, and don't frighten-”
yet the day was fine, the food abundant, and no "sickness" afflicted the neighbonrhood. Our ramble was accompanied by a fine Newfoundland dog Neptune, a fellow worthy of his name. After walking along at our accustomed pace, (for he disdained idle gambols), Nep came to a dead stand. There was a remarkable old tree in the hedge, so old that it was hollow almost to the top, where a few green boughs and leaves sprouted forth, as remembrancers of past days; the open part of the trunk was on the other side, so that a stranger standing where we stood could have no idea how much it was decayed;-at this old tree Nep made a point, as if setting a bird; he would neither advance nor retreat; but stood with fixed eyes and erect ears in a watchful position. It occurred to us that the reapers had whiskey or some smuggled goods concealed there, and we resolved to fathom the mystery; in accordance with this resolution, we commenced first descent into what is called the 'gripe' of the ditch, and then seizing upon the bough of a sturdy little hawthorn, were about ascending, when two rosy-cheeked harvest-girls interposed,
“Ah, thin, don't, iv you plase-(bad luck to you, Nep, for a tale-tellin ould baste of a dog!-couldn't ye let the young lady have her walk?)—don't, if you plase, Miss, machree, go up there. Faix, it's the truth we're tellin' ye, 'tisn't safe. Oh, ye may laugh, but by all the blessed books that ever war shut or opened, it's true; 'tis not safe, and maybe it's yer death ye'd get if ye go."
This, of course, only whetted our curi
"What, Anty ?"
"Whisht! an I'll tell, but you musn't let on,* for maybe I'd lose the work.It's-only a little boy we hid in the tree !" "A boy!"
Ay, faix! he was a boy, the craythur; but he's an atomy now, wid whatever it is a-maasles, or small-pox, or feaver, myself doesn't know-but it's bad enough. He's a poor scholar! the jewel, thravellin to make a man of himself, which, if the Lord doesn't raise him out of the sickness, he'll never be; thravellin the world and ould Ireland for larnin, and was struck as he came here; and he thinking he'd have six months, or maybe a year, with Mr. Devereux, who has grate Haythen as well as Christian knowledge; and sure no one would let him into their place for dread of the sickness that brought lamentation into all our houses last year; and I found him," continued the girl, bursting into tears; "I found him shivering under *Pretend to know. + Taken ill.
an old elder bush, that's unlucky in itself, | to send along the road with him. Sure it must be a black bitther heart entirely that would not warm to a boy that quit the home where his heart grew in the love and strength of his mother's eyes, to wander for larning."
and pantin' the little breath in his body out; and I'd ha' thought there would ha' been little use in all I could do: only what should I see whin I took my eyes off him, but a cow licking herself the wrong way, and that gave me heart, and I spoke to him, and all he axed for was a drink of wather, and that I'd take him to his mother, the poor lamb! and she hundreds of miles away, at the back of Good-speed, maybe; and sure that kilt me entirely, for I thought of my own mother that the Lord took from me before I had sense to ax her blessin. And ye'd think the life would lave the craythur every minute so, first of all, myself and this little girl made a fine asy bed for him inside the ould tree, dry and comfortable, with the new straw, and then we stole granny's plaikeen* out of the bit of a box, and a blanket, and laid him a top of it; and when we settled him snug, we axed my uncle if we might do it, and he said he'd murder us if we had any call to him; and we said we wouldn't, becase we had done it already; but, in the end, my uncle himself was as willing to do a hand's turn to the poor scholar as if he was a soggarth, which he will be, plase God; only the sickness is heavy on him still, and the people so mortial affeard of it."
"The poor boy," added the other girl, "had bitter usage where he was before, from a cowld-hearted nagur of a schoolmaster, who loved money better than larning which proved he had no call to it, at all, at all. We heard the rights of it, from one that knew-may the Lord break hard fortune before every poor honest woman's child!-and took his bit of goold from him, and gave him nothing but dirty English for it, and he wanting Latin and the Humanities - what he hadn't himself, only coming over the people with blarney and big words-the Omadawn!-to think of his taking in a poor soft boy like that, who was away from his mother, trusting only to the Lord, and the charity of poor Christians, that often had nothing but their prayers
In a little time we discovered that the poor scholar, who rejoiced in the thoroughly Irish name of Patrick O'Brien, had been most tenderly cared for, not only by those kind-hearted girls, but by each of the harvesters: two young men in particular took it turn about to sit up with the lone child the greater part of the night, listening to the feeble ravings he uttered about his mother and his home, and moistening his lips with milk and water-the fatigue of the day's labour under a scorching sun, with no more strengthening food than potatoes and milk, did not prevent their performing this deed of love and charity. When we discovered him, the fever-to use Anty's words-had turned on him for good, and he was perfectly rational, though feeble almost beyond belief, and only opening his lips to invoke blessings upon his preservers. We found that he had suffered from measles, rendered much worse than they generally are by fatigue, want, and ill-usage. A few evenings after, when the golden grain was gathered into shocks, and the field clear of its labourers, we set forth, accompanied by Patrick's first benefactress, to pay him a visit. The weather was clear and balmy, and so still that we could hear the grass-hopper rustle in the tufts of grass that grew by the path. The corn-creak ran poking and creaking across the stubble, and, one by one, before the sun had set,
"The wee stars were dreaming their path through the sky."
It was a silent but not a solitary evening, for every blade of grass was instinct with life, peopled by insect wonders, teeming with existence--creating and fostering thought. Even Anty felt the subduing influence of the scene, and walked without uttering a word. As we drew near the old tree, we heard a faint, low, feeble voice-the voice of a young boy singing, or rather murmuring, snatches of one of Soggarth, young priest. I those beautiful Latin hymns which form
A square of flannel or shawl. A figure of speech.
a part of the Roman Catholic service. We knew that it proceeded from poor Patrick; and Anty crossed herself devoutly more than once while we listened. He ceased; and then, by a circuitous path, we got to the hollow side of the tree.
The poor lad was worn down by sick-régime, and a most kind-hearted man. ness, and his eyes, naturally large, seemed Although no Dominie ever entertained a of enormous size, looking out as they did more exalted opinion of his own learning, from amid his long tangled hair. His or held ignoraamuses (as he pronounced head was pillowed on his books; and it the word) in greater contempt than Mr. would seem as though the "plaikeens" of Devereux, still, when he found a pupil to half the old women in the parish had been his mind, who would work hard and gathered together to do him service. His constantly, he treated him with such conquivering lips only opened to express sideration, that the youth was seldom gratitude, and his thin hands were clasped permitted to speak, except in the dead in silent prayer when we left him. His languages. He wore a rough scratch tale had nothing remarkable in it-it was wig, originally of a light drab colour; but one among many. He was the only and not only did he, like Miss Edgeson of a widow, who having wed too worth's old steward in "Castle Rackrent," early, was reduced from comfort to the dust his own or a favoured visitor's seat depths of privation; her young husband therewith, but he used no other pen-wiper, closed his sorrows in an early grave, and and the hair bore testimony of having she devoted her energies to the task of made acquaintance with both red and providing for her two children; the girl black ink. He prided himself not only was blind from her birth, and the boy, on his Latin and mathematical attainwhose feelings and manners would have ments, but on his "manners;" and even led to the belief so prevalent in Ireland of deigned to instruct his pupils in the mysthe invariable refinement of "dacent teries of a bow, and the necessity for blood," resolved to seek by the way-sides holding the head in a perfectly erect posiand hedges the information he had no tion. Sometimes he would condescend to means of obtaining in statelier semi- bestow a word of advice to one of the naries. Those who know how strongly gentler sex, such as, "Jinny, that's a good the ties of kindred are intertwined girl; I knew yer mother before you were round an Irish heart-only those can born, and a fine, straight, upright Girtha understand how more than hard it is she was-straight in mind an' body; be for the parent to part with the child. a good girl, Jinny, and hould up yer head, Notwithstanding, Patrick was blessed and never sit back on your chair-only so and sent forth by his mother-an-like a poplar, and keep yer heels togeIshmael, without the protecting care of ther and yer toes out-that's rale mana Hagar-amid the wilderness of the ners, Jinny" Often did he exclaim to world. More than once, he returned to Patrick, Lave off discoorsing in the weep upon her bosom, and to repeat the vulgar tongue, I tell you, and will you assurance, that when they met again he take up your Cornalius Napos, to say would be a credit to his name. He had, nothing of Virgil, if you plase, Masther as Anty said, suffered wrong from an igno- Pathrick, and never heed helping Mickeyrant schoolmaster, who plundered him of the-goose, with his numbers. Hasn't he the small collection the priest of his parish Gough and Voster, or part of them any had made for his benefit, and then ill-used way? for the pig ate simple addition and him. compound fractions out of both the one and the other. And, Ned Lacey, I saw you copying I know what, upon your thumb-nail off Pathrick's slate. I'll thumb-nail ye, you mane puppy! to be
His illness we have told of; his recovery was hailed with hearty joy by "the neighbours," who began to consider him as a property of their own-a crea
ture they had all some interest in. He was duly received at the school, the master of which deserved the reputation he had achieved-for, despite his oddity, and a strong brogue of the true Munster character, he was a good classic of the old