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LTHOUGH the ties that once
bound us together are severed, although you are in
one country and I am in another, and, for the present, a far distant one, I cannot but believe that you will recall with pleasure the happy evenings we have spent, even as I now picture to myself the dear domestic circles in which I have passed hours not to be forgotten, though scenes and circumstances have varied with each passing day. Still, while I write to you, at a moment when all
around me offers a striking contrast to all that surrounds you, I can picture to myself the charming boudoir, or the elegant drawing room; the delightful sofa on which I have been installed, and the fair countenances that have looked up to mine from the footstool beneath it.
Will you too, when you read these pages, recall the memory of an absent friend, and think that one to whom you have been too partial listeners, again repeats the narratives you delighted to hear?
You will recognize my sentiments in this little book; in the history I relate you will see a portraiture of all that is generally admired in feminine qualifications, all that is generally detrimental to female character, and all that is usually fatal to woman's peace and happiness.
The true character and position of woman, from the moment of her exile from Eden, is to be found briefly but uniformly described in the sacred Scriptures. Her position is one of retirement and meekness; her true and natural source of happiness is found in forming that of others. Ambition is the deadliest, the strongest foe that can enter a female heart.
Vanity, a less frightful, because a more common and natural failing, I had almost said attribute, of female character, is scarcely less dangerous to the safety, peace, and happiness of women. Vanity also hardens the heart, and renders it capable of even feeling pleasure in the sufferings of others. Vanity, too, can blind the eyes, and cause us to be led pleasantly on until we awake as from a dream to find ourselves in darkness and sorrow.
In the character, history, and fate of poor Anne Boleyn you will, I think, find verified all that I have said. None of you may ever be exposed to the dangers and temptations that so early beset the fair “ Star of the Court;" but all of you,
I hope, will experience that woman's true happiness consists in shining, like the soft planet of night, in a borrowed radiancy, meekly reflecting the rays she receives from a higher source, and content to be seen and admired by the few who love to watch and bless her.
It is probable, except so far as the sentiments and manner of relating the history are concerned, you may not find much that is new in my little work. Such a work, as far as relates to facts, must of course always be a compilation; I have collected these facts chiefly from the three following sources,
Cavendish's “ Life of Cardinal Wolsey," Miss Benger's “ Memoirs of Anne Boleyn," and Miss Strickland's “ Lives of the Queens of England.”
You will recognize the writer in the things written, and recall past hours spent with your sincere and affectionate friend,