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Yet for all this, I do not quite agree with the Genoese artist. Were I to paint Cupid, I think I would give one of his wings of soft downy and wavy plumes, tinged with every prismatic tint of the rain. bow; and the other dark, gloomy, and nodding like the feathers of a hearse. Thus like the statue of the cross-roads in the old tale, it would entirely depend on the side of which you approached him whether he should be, to your apprehension, the god of lively hues, however evanescent, and gladdening smiles and joys, or the divinity of sadness and despair. Assuredly, if you took time to ascertain the whole figure round and round, you might find that the light and the dark, the flutter and the droop, the soaring and the fatal fall, were equally the attributes of his pinions and himself.
Truly did the Scottish lyrist sing
“O! wily, waly, but love is bonny
A little while when it is new;
And fades away like the morning dew!" Take the dear fledgling from his soft nest all freshly feathered, pure and bright, and lovely, and smiling. Fondle him and cherish him among new-born delights, that promise to be endless, untiring, as if perfect felicity could ever pall ? Alas! another winged creature passes by ; and his pinions are by far the strongest and the longest of the two. His name is Time, and as he flies he casts a blight upon the gay and rapturous fondling of your breast. With regret you see him get sickly and ruffled ; with sorrow you perceive him moult and pine ; with anguish you watch him alter and decay ; with horror you discover that even hope is fled, and that he dies.
And so much for such bird's.nesting, except a quaint and ancient illustration from our friend, old Heale, in his * Apologie for Women.” “ The doves, he well remarks, are observed to be most exquisite in their love, and at the_fatal departure of one, the other pines to death with sorrowe. The nightingall makes pleasant melodie in his love's welfare, but in her distress he mourns in sadder tones. The swanne is of a nature suitable to his feather, white and faire, black swans were unknown to England in 1606, and all his feare is to keep his mate from feare. Go therefore, into the fieldes, and the doves will read thee a lesson of love ; returne into the woodes, and the nightingall will sing the madrigals of love ; walk by the river, and the swannes will school thee the art of love ; every where such loving couples in brutish beastes will shame the disagreeing matches in reasonable creatures."
Better indeed, than enter into such “ disagreeing matches” it were never to match or mate at all : better repose in wise philosophy, and follow the example of a Newton.
Sir Isaac, we are told, was once persuaded by his friends to entertain some thoughts of marriage, and a suitable young lady was selected by them, and recommended to him—not to his choice. Though considerably engaged with celestial bodies at the time, he liked the terrestrial luminary very well; but in the honest way of courtship, informed the girl that he had many odd habits, and among the rest was very fond of smoking. Complaisant and good-natured, as most young ladies are under similar circumstances, the fair one promised to be indulgent ; and so pleased was Sir Isaac with her
kind-heartedness, that he resorted to his favourite pipe immediately. Enjoying it, whiff after whiff, he entered into conversation with his sweet partner ; held her hand in his at first with befitting gravity, but by and by, squeezing it occasionally as a lover ought. At length however, he sunk into one of his abstracted reveries, and whether he was thinking of an apple and the fall, of squaring the circle, or of what else, never has been determined, but his pipe becoming dull, in the absence of its mind, he unwittingly raised the yielding damsel's hand towards it, and used her little finger as a tobacco-stopper. Her scream aroused him, and looking innocently in her face, the philosopher exclaimed, “ Ah, my dear madam, I beg your pardon! I see it won't do! I see, I see, that I am doomed to remain an old bachelor.”
And this is the comedy of love ; better, perhaps, than the melo-drama, serious opera, or tragedy.
Love, like the sky so blue and pure,
At first all bright appears ;,
Must fall in rain and tears.
And in verity, real physical tears have been the fruit of indulgences in that passion or desire, and induced by causes more curious and fantas. tic than those imagined by the poet.
In 1347, and that is long ago, the good Jane, Queen of the Two Si. cilies, and Countess of Provence, made a law for the regulation of intrigues, amours, &c. &c. of an unlicensed description. Whipping was the regular punishment for any infraction of this law, and it seems very hard upon a race who have always been persecuted, it was specially ordained if any Jew went near any place where any such practices might be carried on, he, the said Israelite, was to be summarily arrested, and as summarily, as far as the commencement of the process was concerned, whipped through the town. In fact, a wealthy Jew, named Doupedo, broke the statute in 1408, and was publicly scourged through the streets of Avignon. Here were genuine tears, and history informs us it was pitiful to see them trickle down Doupedo's beard. But Jane's enactments were of a severe description ; and thence she was en. titled “the good !" If an abbess permitted any visitor even to call upon her on a Good-Friday, Saturday, or Easter-Sunday, she was to be whipped ; and if any lady robbed another she was to be whipped (honourably!) by the serjeant of the state :—if she stole anything a second time, for such offence the whipping was to be administered by the common executioner! These are matters of the olden time, but they may be pondered upon with benefit even in our days by Jews prone to iniquity, and ladies given to fall in love with unappropriated trifles belonging to others, such as scarfs, shawls, boas, muffs, jewels, or other little articles of finery or luxury, which we so frequently hear of losing their owners at theatres, and crowded resorts of rank and fashion.
If ladies in such places would attend more to their property, and less to their flatterers, it is likely that fewer things would be missing ; but after all, coqueting is as familiar to country innocence as to town temptation. A very natural reproach for such doing is contained in the following provincial lines by a simple, disappointed, and indignant Simon. VOL. II.
Joan swore she loved me, and would give
The whole wide world for me ;---
A penny-piece for she.
Silly, sooth; but quite as good as the most admired of the ancient mythologies, which men of all ages have agreed to eulogise in unmea. sured panegyrics. The fools say that love was blind: how he must have blinked and winked when he heard them! Blind! Surely he has the most acute of vision.
It may escape the learned clerks,
When kind love is in the ee.
How soon does love penetrate the buddings of love, the disguises, the changes ? The first faint scintillation of the ethereal spark that is so speedily to be the sun of our existence. The first dull fleecy cloud that creeps over his dazzling disc. The gradual upheaving of the accumulating darkness that buries all his splendour in gloom. The vain attempt to supply his place by a false meteor, that blinds the eye, and warms not the heart, nor illumines the soul. In these the in. tuitive sense of love is omniscient; and where he is deceit cannot de. ceive.
"The course of true love ever did run smooth.”
It is the all in all,“ the be all, and the end all here." No adverse fate, no storm, no danger, not death itself, can alter its destiny. It is high above fate ; it is deeper than the storm can reach; it is safe from danger; it is beyond the victory of the grave. Those who taste love only as it ripples with them on the surface of the current of life, must be wrecked and cast away in their shallow boat should tempests arise, and perils assail them. But the love which is the only love, and grasps our being, is not upon the upper waters. These
be vexed, and their wayfarers tossed; but the element of those is the ocean's bed, where the lightning-flash and the thunder-roar cannot pierce, where all is changeless and absorbing, and the turmoil and vicissitude of the superficial world can never be known. The sleep and repose of the Atlantic depths are not more undisturbed by the winds that howl among their tidal wave, or the steamer that fumes and fusses, with its emmet freight of common hopes and fears, through the skim of an isolated and transitory voyage. Hear how the young and gifted of the angel sex would sing the earliest song of love.
Oh, doubt me not; my heart is thine
As tenderly as heart can be ;
Is that which vibrates but for thee.
No other hand has ever stray'd
The music of its chords among;
For him who waked its earliest song.
Believe me that the slightest flowers
Are those which take the deepest root:
That ripen summer's golden fruit!
Proof how devotedly I'm thine ;
To chain a heart so light as mine?
The very sweetest of living minstrels could not tune a more natural or constant lay to love. But suppose it were not to be so perpetual as its promise. Suppose the spring flowers and hours, and the summer roots and fruits to be withered by autumn, and killed by winter. Why, then, sing
Think, oh think, on all that's past, love;
Can remembrance tell thee all ?
Its blossom was to fall.
Think of all which thought endears,
And give, at least, atoning tears.
Some caprice had changed thy heart;
Hint a tendency to part.
Woman, worthless luxury,
Why was bliss annex'd to thee? Resentment is ill bestowed upon a dream. The passion of love ought never to be supplanted by the passion of hate, nor even of anger. A Quaker-like sorrow and regret would better correspond with the memory of the past happiness when that happiness is over. Upon such occasion the amiable muse of Bernard Barton might thus reflect her tender glance on loveless life.
This life is wearing fast away:
Melting away, like joy in dreams. As every contribution to a magazine ought to have a moral, I am ready to point that which particularly pertains to my present lucubra
tion ; and it is simply this—“The readers who did not understand what Love was before they began to peruse this paper, will not understand it a bit the better now they have finished it.” Should they feel themselves any wiser I shall be extremely gratified, but not the less surprized, as it was by no means my intention that they should be so. Îndeed I shall fancy that it is quite impossible for me to pen any thing without conferring a benefit on mankind; and in this happy persuasion I shall here end my desultory and miscellaneous chapter on Love.
P. S.-No, I will not end yet. Perhaps the whole mystery may be explained by turning into rhyme a story of the effects produced in con. sequence of the God of Love having been couched by Mr. Ware, or Mr. Alexander. Let us try.
Have any of you heard of the curious operation
Perform'd on Master Cupid but a little while ago; Who, the poor little fellow! had been in tribulation,
Stone blind since quite a child he was, as most of you may know.
Until the skilful Oculist removed the slough away;
And work ten times the devilries he did before that day.
And clapt on the Equator, and fastened by the line,
As has spun out from the cataract of blinking eyes divine,
Prayed to cast an eye of pity on the poor, poor Blind;
See the wrong and mischief I may do mong human kind.''
Presumed on my infirmity to act just as he chose;
And lay his flowers, all wither'd, on my altar to repose.
Of lips blest in self kisses, or any such stuff;
And that kisses will come if the purse be full enough.
And friendships and affections are laid upon the shelf; But money gathers force the more it into fatness grows,
And there is no end to fondness when that fondness is of Self! Some matches were by chance, and some, they say, in Heaven made,
And strange the contradictions thence that plagued the married hearth, Such squabbling, such quarrelling, not each to each a given aid
They might be fit for heaven, but they were not fit for Earth.
The accomplish'd and the lovely, the innocent and fair;
But be auction'd and disposed of just like other sorts of ware.
A sickly sprig of family, whose expectancies are great, A yellow nabob, a vulgar millionarian,
Are prizes for the lucky ones to captivate and mate.