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night, quite accidentally, and to-morrow, you commence a courtship, the purpose of which is to nullify the robbery perpetrated by her roguish eyes on your affections, by taking hers in exchange. Day after day, and year after year, you toil and dally on, now cheered by a rosy smile that falls on your heart as sweetly as the dew of Hermon, and now saddened by a frown black as Erebus. Thus alternating, like a pendulum, between sunshine and shadow, you keep time as regularly as a town-clock, until your hair is streaked with gray, the twilight of old age. In May, twenty years after date, you promise to pay to the blushing damsel, girt with satin and rainbowed with ribbons, at your side, at the altar, on demand, any amount of love and attentions that her happiness may require. Would you not take the blessed smile that breaks upon her lips, when she promises to 'love, honor and obey' you, as an ample recompense for all the fears and troubles you have suffered through the long campaign, the stout probation of twenty years of courtship? Twenty years are rather too long for the impatience of a warm-blooded lover; but better thus, than an extemporaneous wedding, after three days of eager wooing. Six calendar months may be well employed in courtship, and this is short enough; for who that plucks a blushing flower roughly from its parent stem, or enters the land of promise with a stranger, can properly appreciate the bloom of the one, or the delights of the other? Anticipation of pleasure is sweet, but never more so, than when love's honey mingles with it.
A man should not be too cowardly nor too slow in his courtships. The Bonapartean system of warfare may be used advantageously. Concentrate the forces of your charms on the enemy's weakest points, and depend upon it, her human nature can not resist you long. The ladies make use of the Parthian tactics. As the foe approaches, they fall back, meanwhile keeping up a brisk fire with the missiles which they, the world over, use so skilfully. Glances brilliant as flashing steel smiles that are daggers to man's affections – blushes, that glow like the evening's purple on the far-off cloud — thoughts and words that mean more than they express all fall on the attacking party with an influence fatal to bachelorism.
The fashionable system may be illustrated as follows. A gentleman, whiskered, and scowling, and looking as fierce as belligerent Mars, encounters a lady whose smile is perfectly bewitching. This is a lure, and a signal of warfare. Mars approaches Venus, and she, reflecting a portion of his own fiëry redness, blushes, and effects a transit to some other place in illimitable space. He pursues her with the most indefatigable vigor. Scenes of dramatic interest soon transpire. They meet most fortuitously on all occasions ; at parties they glance with savage fierceness at each other; he strives to persuade her that he is earnest and sincere, while she hops from him like a crippled sparrow, at times turning round and smiling, after the manner of the immortals, upon him. They strive to avoid each other; but the fates have decreed their union, and accidents bring them together. The gentleman bristles up and declares himself, and the lady puts her hand in her pocket, and signifies to him that she has better use for it. He snatches courage from despair, and re-commences his suit, with an ardor all-defying. She flies away on easy wing awhile, until, satisfied or fatigued with her long-sustained flight,
she comes fluttering to earth at last. The game is his. They wed. Their romance is a tale of the past. Their poetry is gone. They are soon numbered among the prose articles in the great periodical of human existence !
Go on lovers, and know the bliss of courtship! If your love is mutual, your pleasure will be elysian. Your barques are floating on the surface of a sunny sea, fragrant winds fill your sails, and breathe in music over the flashing waters. Far before, your cynosure, the star of hope, is gleaming forth its twinkling radiance. Let discretion be your helmsman, and after a blissful voyage, you shall enter the haven of love, on the shore of that rosy sea. What though the undulating wave may conjure up dark fears before you ? It will but break the tedium of the passage : and when your dangers are over, your joys will be more brilliant in proportion to the depth of the shadows in the back-ground of the past.
'Tis sunset on Brientz's lake
The last rays brightly glowing On Alpine height and hamlet low
And the breeze is genıly blowing.
Down by the very water's edge
Is seen the peasant's dwelling;
To the sound of the water's swelling.
A boat!- the rippling waters bear
Not a few at this sweet time;
The oars are nearer heard to chime.
And who is plying them? A maid,
With a quick and graceful stroke;
And many a heart has it broke.
And who is with her in the boat?
A passenger — a student — bound, With eager haste and a longing heart,
To unseen and romantic ground.
And ever as they nearer come,
The maiden's voice is heard,
Like the warbling of a bird.
The songs of her mountain-land she sings,
With a melody all untaught;
And her own blue waters caught.
And her heart was as light as the song
She pour'd in his raptur'd ear, And the boatmen who pass'd would rest their oars,
Her gushing notes to hear.
The shore is gain'd, and the song is hushid,
But the passenger lingers still ;
That can bode thee nought but ill.
For what hath a student to do with love,
And why will he think of thee,
He is wandering far and free?
But, maiden,' said he, and he looked in her eyes,
(His own had a radiant light,) "Thy voice is untaught, and here is gold
To teach it a bolder flight.
Seek from the skill'd thy voice to tune
By the rules of a studied art,
Thy power to melt the heart.'
His silver flute is hid in his breast,
His careless 'Farewell !' is utter'd;
That her quiet bosom is flutter'd.
She follows the youth with a thoughtful eye,
And sighs from the depths of her heart, As he turns in the path – he is gone from her sight
She must bend to her task, and depart.
And now two years have come and gone :
To lovely Interlachen's shore
An eye we have seen before.
That lovely shore it knows again,
And the Alps in the distance seen ;
And kissing their islets green.
'It is the same enchanting spot;
But a charm is gone - there is something yet Which the heart demands: the singing girls
Where are they, with their hair of jet ?'
There are maidens here, and bright ones too,
On our fair and sunny waters;
Of the fairest of our daughters :'
'Or only in plaintive sadness heard,
As she sits at the sunset hour,
In the shade of her lonely bower."
A Aush comes over the stranger's brow,
As he lists to the maiden's fate;
And a conscience awaken's too late.
The sunset has faded in twilight away,
But the rowers are gliding about,
From cottage and hill-side ring out.
It was during a summer vacation, that a mother and her two sons were seen taking an afternoon walk, on the shaded side of one of our most fashionable promenades. She looked proud and happy, for her boys, after a year's separation from their home, had returned
grown, and much improved, both in person and in manners. Though naturally different in their minds and dispositions, yet they were both at that period of existence when plastic emotions are indurating into principles, and when the impress of character is about becoming fixed for life.
It was enough to make a mother's heart throb with joy and pride to look on two such sons. They were springing into manhood in vigor and beauty, and the growing strength of their intellectual energies gave a token of future eminence and success, in any path of life to which their footsteps might be directed. The mind of Edward Vernon was thoughtful and deliberative. He was a student both of men and of books; and with him, opinions and actions were always tested by their results and their motives. The steady intellectual
gaze of his dark gray eye showed that he could look beyond the surface of things, and that he never would be in danger of mistaking mere glitter for gold. His younger brother, Charles, was acute and ready-witted, and the knowledge he possessed seemed more the result of intuition than of reflection or acquirement. His quick and elastic step, and his flashing, restless eye, evinced a mind always on the qui vive, and an active spirit
, that would make the best of every situation in which he might be placed. He was easily deceived by sophistry, or specious appearances, and his promptness of action as effectually precluded reflection, as his natural disposition was averse to it. Yet in him quickness of observation seemed to supply the want of cool judgment, or prudent foresight; and with the generality of persons he was considered as superior in intellect to his elder brother.
Mrs. Vernon's maternal feelings were gratified by the fine forms and manly appearance of her two noble boys, but of their minds and dawning characters she knew but little. They were comparatively strangers to her, having spent but a few weeks in each year with her, since they were old enough to be sent from home. Charles was her favorite, for she thought he possessed more spirit and activity than Edward. It was for him that she pictured the future with glowing scenes of magnificence and grandeur. It was he who was to be the princely merchant, whose returning ships were to be heavily freighted with the manufactures and productions of Europe and Asia; or the rich southern planter, living in regal dignity among his slaves, with an annual income far exceeding the accumulated gains of a life-time