During a month after Easter, I was, so to speak, in a state of mental somnambulism, seeing the visible things of this mortal life through an enchanted medium, in which old, prosaic, bustling New York, with its dry drudgeries and uninteresting details, became suddenly vivified and glorified; just as when some rosy sunset floods with light the matter-of-fact architecture of Printing-House Square, and etherealizes every line, and guides every detail, and heightens every bit of color, till it all seems picturesque and beautiful.

I did not know what was the matter with me, but I felt somehow as if I had taken the elixir of life and was breathing the air of an immortal youth. Whenever I sat down to write I found my inspiration. I no longer felt myself alone in my thoughts and speculations; I wrote to another mind, a mind that I felt would recognize mine; and then I carried what I had written, and read it to Ida Van Arsdel for her criticisms. Ida was a capital critic, and had graciously expressed her willingness and desire to aid me in this way, to any extent. But was it Ida who was my inspiration?

Sitting by, bent over her embroidery, or coming in accidentally and sitting down to listen, was Eva; full of thought, full of inquiry; sometimes gay and airy, sometimes captious and controversial—always suggestive and inspiring. From these readings grew talks protracted and confidential, on all manner of subjects; and each talk was the happy parent of more talks, till it seemed that there was growing up an endless series of occasions for our having long and exciting interviews; for, what was said yesterday, in the reflections and fancies of the night following, immediately blossomed out into queries and consequences and inferences on both sides, which it was immediately and pressingly necessary that we should meet to compare and adjust. Now, when two people are in this state of mind, it is surprising what a number of providential incidents are always bringing them together. It was perfectly astonishing to us both to find how many purely accidental interviews we had. If I went out for a walk, I was sure, first or last, to meet her. To be sure I took to walking very much in streets and squares where I had observed she might be expected to appear—but that did not make the matter seem to me the less unpremeditated.

I had been in the habit of taking a daily constitutional stroll in Central Park, and the Van Arsdels were in the habit of driving there, at orthodox fashionable hours. In time, it seemed to happen that this afternoon stroll of mine always brought forth the happy fruit of a pleasant interview.

There was no labyrinth or bower or summer-house, no dingle or bosky dell, so retired that I did not find it occasionally haunted by the presence of this dryad.

True she was not there alone; sometimes with Ida, sometimes with Alice, or with a lively bevy of friends—but it made no difference with whom, so long as she was there.

The many sins of omission and commission of which the City Fathers of New York are accused, are, I think, wonderfully redeemed and covered by the beauties of the provision for humanity which they have made in Central Park. Having seen every park in the world, I am not ashamed to glorify our own, as providing as much beauty and cheap pleasure as can anywhere be found under the sun.

Especially ought all lovers par excellence to crown the projectors and executors of this Park with unfading wreaths of olive and myrtle. It is so evidently adapted to all the purposes of falling in love and keeping in love that the only wonder is that any one can remain a bachelor in presence of such advantages and privileges! There is all the peacefulness, all the seclusion, all the innocent wildness of a country Arcadia, given for the price of a five cents' ride in the cars to any citizen who chooses to be made moral and innocent.

The Central Park is an immortal poem, forever addressing itself to the eye and ear in the whirl and bubble of that hot and bewildered city. It is a Wordsworth immortalized and made permanent, preaching to the citizens.

"One impulse from a vernal mood

May teach you more of man—

Of moral evil, and of good—

Than all the sages can."

Certainly during this one season of my life I did full justice to the beauties of Central Park. There was not a nook or corner where wild flowers unfolded, where white-stemmed birches leaned over still waters, or ivies clambered over grottoed rocks, which I did not explore; and when in the winding walks of "the Ramble" I caught distant sight of a white drapery, or heard through budding thickets the silvery sounds of laughing and talking, I knew I was coming on one of those pleasant surprises for which the Park grounds are so nicely arranged.

Sometimes Eva would come with a carriage full of children, and with the gay little fairies would pass a sunny afternoon, swinging them, watching them riding in the little goat-carriages, or otherwise presiding over their gaieties. We had, under these circumstances, all the advantage of a tête-à-tête without any of the responsibility of seeking or prolonging it. In fact, the presence of others was a salvo to my conscience, and to public appearance, for, looking on Eva as engaged to another, I was very careful not to go over a certain line of appearances in my relations to her. My reason told me that I was upon dangerous ground for my own peace, but I quieted reason as young men in my circumstances generally do, by the best of arguments.

I said to myself that, "No matter if she were engaged, why shouldn't I worship at her shrine, and cherish her unage as Dante did that of Beatrice, and Tasso that of Eleanora d'Este?" and so on.

"To be sure," I reflected, "this thing can never come to anything; of course she never can be anything to you more than a star in the heavens. But," I said in reply, "she is mine to worship and adore with the worship that we give to all beautiful things. She is mine as are fair flowers, and the blue skies, and the bright sunshine, which cheer and inspire."

I was conscious that I had in my own most sacred receptacle at home, a little fairy glove that she had dropped, to which I had no claim; but I said to myself, "When a leaf falls from the rose, who shall say that I shall not gather it up?" So, too, I had one of those wonderful, useless little bits of fairy gossamer, which Eve's daughters call a pocket-handkerchief. I had yet so little sense of sin that I stole that too, kept the precious theft folded in my prayer-book, and thought she would never know it. I began to understand the efficacy that is ascribed to holy relics, for it seemed to me that if ever any deadly trouble or trial should come upon me, I would lay these little things upon my heart, and they would comfort me.

And yet, all this while, I solemnly told myself I was not in love,—oh, no, not in the least. This was friendship—the very condensed, distilled essence of friendship, that and nothing more. To be sure it was friendship set to a heroic key—friendship of a rare quality. I longed to do something for her, and often thought how glad I would be to give my life for her. Having a very active imagination, sometimes as I lay awake at night I perpetrated all sorts of confusions in the city of New York, for the sole purpose of giving myself an opportunity to do something for her. I set fire to the Van Arsdel mansion several times, in different ways, and, rushing in, bore her through the flames. I inaugurated a horrible plot against the life of her father, and rushing in at the critical moment, delivered the old gentleman that I might revel in her delight. I became suddenly a millionaire by the death of a supposititious uncle in the East Indies, and immediately proceeded to lay all my treasures at her feet.

As for Mr. Wat Sydney, it is incredible the resignation with which I saw him ship-wrecked, upset in stages, crushed in railroad accidents, while I appeared on the scene as the consoling friend; not that I had, of course, any purpose of causing such catastrophes, but there was a degree of resignation attending the view of them that was soothing.

I had in my heart a perfect certainty that Sydney was unworthy of her, but of course racks and thumbscrews should not draw from me the slightest intimation of the kind, in her presence.

So matters went on for some weeks. But sometimes it happens when a young fellow has long wandered in a beautiful dream of this kind, a sudden and harsh light of reality and of common-sense, every-day life, is thrown upon him in an unforeseen moment; and this moment at last arrived for me.

One evening, when I dropped in for a call at the Van Arsdel mansion, the young ladies were all out at a concert, but Mrs. Van Arsdel was at home, and for some reason, unusually bland and motherly.

"My dear Mr. Henderson," she said, "it is rather hard on you to be obliged to accept an old woman like me, as a substitute for youth and beauty; but really, I am not sorry, on the whole, that the girls are out, for I would like a little chance of having a free, confidential talk with you. Your relations with us have been so intimate and kindly, I feel, you know, quite as if you were one of us."

I replied, of course, that 'I was extremely flattered and gratified by her kindness,' and assured her with effusion, and if I mistake not, with tears in my eyes, that 'she had made me forget that I was a stranger in New York, and that I should always cherish the most undying recollection of the kindness that I had received in her family, and of the pleasant hours I had spent there.'

"Ah, yes, indeed!" she said, "Mr. Henderson, it is pleasant to me to think that you feel so. I like to give young men a home feeling. But after all," she continued, "one feels a little pensive once in a while, in thinking that one cannot always keep the home-circle unbroken. Indeed, I never could see how some mothers could seem to rejoice as they do in the engagement of their daughters. There is Mrs. Elmore, now, her feelings are perfectly inexplicable to me."

I assured her that I was quite of her way of thinking, and agreed with her perfectly.

"Now," she said, "as the time comes on, when I begin to think of parting with Eva, though to the very best man in the world, do you know, Mr. Henderson, it really makes me feel sad?"

I began at this moment to find the drift of the conversation becoming very embarrassing and disagreeable to me, but I mustered my energies to keep up my share in it with a becoming degree of interest.

"I am to understand, then," said I, forcing a smile, "that Miss Eva's engagement with Mr. Sydney is a settled fact?"

"Well, virtually so," she replied. "Eva is averse to the publicity of public announcements; but—you know how it is, Mr. Henderson, there are relations which amount to the same thing as an engagement." Here Mrs. Van Arsdel leaned back on the sofa and drew a letter from her pocket, while the words of my part of the conversation did not seem to be forthcoming. I sat in embarrassed silence.

"The fact is, Mr. Henderson," she said, settling the diamonds and emeralds on her white, shapely fingers, "I have received a letter to-day from Mr. Sidney,—he is a noble fellow," she added, with empressment.

I secretly wished the noble fellow at Kamtschatka, but I said, in sympathetic tones, "Ah, indeed?" as if waiting for the farther communication, which I perceived she was determined to bestow on me.

"Yes," she said, "he is coming to New York in a short time, and then, I suppose, there is no doubt that all will be finally arranged. I confess to you I have the weakness to feel a little depressed about it. Did you ever read Jean Ingelow's Songs of Seven, Mr. Henderson? I think she touches so beautifully on the trials of mothers in giving up their daughters?"

I said, "I only trust that Mr. Sydney is in some degree worthy of Miss Van Arsdel; though," I added with warmth, "no man can be wholly so."

"Eva is a good girl," said Mrs. Van Arsdel, "and I must confess that the parting from her will be the greatest trial of my life. But I thought I would let you know how matters stood, because of the very great confidence which we feel in you."

I found presence of mind to acknowledge politely my sense of the honor conferred. Mrs. Van Arsdel continued playing prettily with her rings.

"One thing more perhaps I ought to say, Mr. Henderson, while your intimacy in our family is and has been quite what I desire, yet you know people are so absurd, and will say such absurd things, that it might not be out of the way to suggest a little caution; you know one wouldn't want to give rise to any reports that might be unpleasant—anything, you know, that might reach Mr. Sydney's ear—you understand me."

"My dear Mrs. Van Arsdel, is it possible that anything has been said?"

"Now, now, don't agitate yourself, Mr. Henderson; I know what you are going to say—no, nothing of the kind. But you know that we elderly people, who know the world and just what stupid and unreasonable things people are always saying, sometimes have to give you young folks just the slightest little caution. Your conduct in this family has been all that is honorable, and gentlemanly, and unexceptionable, Mr. Henderson, and such as would lead us to repose the most perfect confidence in you. In fact, I beg you to consider this communication with regard to Eva's connection with Mr. Sydney, as quite in confidence."

"I certainly shall do so," said I, rising to take my leave, with much the same sort of eagerness with which one rises from a dentist's chair, after having his nerves picked at. As at this moment the voices of the returning party broke up our interview, I immediately arose, and excusing myself with the plea of an article to finish, left the house and walked home in a state of mind as disagreeable as my worst enemy could have wished. Like all delicate advisers who are extremely fearful of hurting your feelings, Mrs. Van Arsdel had told me nothing definite, and yet had said enough to make me supremely uncomfortable. What did she mean, and how much did she mean? Had there been reports? Was this to be received as an intimation from Eva herself? Had she discovered the state of my feelings, and was she, through her mother, warning me of my danger?

All my little romance seemed disenchanted. These illusions of love are like the legends of hidden treasures guarded by watchful spirits which disappear from you if you speak a word; or like an enchanting dream, which vanishes if you start and open your eyes. I tossed to and fro restlessly all night, and resolved to do precisely the most irrational thing that I could have done, under the circumstances, and that was to give up going to the Van Arsdel house, and to see Eva no more.

The next morning, however, showed me that I could not make so striking a change in my habits without subjecting myself to Jim Fellows' remarks and inquiry. I resolved on a course of gradual emancipation and detachment.

[Eva Van Arsdel to Isabel Convers.]

My Dearest Belle:—Since I wrote to you last there have been the strangest changes. I scarcely know what to think. You remember I told you all about Easter Eve, and a certain person's appearance, and about the stolen glove and all that. Your theory of accounting for all this was precisely mine; in fact I could think of no other. And, Belle, if I could only see you I could tell you of a thousand little things that make me certain that he cares for me more than in the way of mere friendship. I thought I could not be mistaken in that. There has been scarcely a day since our acquaintance began when I have not in some way seen him or heard from him; you know all those early services, when he was as constant as the morning, and always walked home with me; then, he and Jim Fellows always spend at least one evening in a week at our house, and there are no end of accidental meetings. For example, when we take our afternoon drives at Central Park we are sure to see them sitting on the benches watching us go by, and it came to be quite a regular thing when we stopped the carriage at the terrace and got out to walk to find them there, and then Alice would go off with Jim Fellows, and Mr. H. and I would stroll up and down among the lilac hedges and in all those lovely little nooks and dells that are so charming. I'm quite sure I never explored the treasures of the Park as I have this Spring. We have rambled everywhere—up hill and down dale—it certainly is the loveliest and most complete imitation of wild nature that ever art perfected. One could fancy one's self deep in the country in some parts of it; far from all the rush and whirl and frivolity of this great, hot, dizzy New York. You may imagine that with all this we have had opportunity to become very intimate. He has told me all about himself, all the history of his life, all about his mother, and his home; it seems hardly possible that one friend could speak more unreservedly to another, and I, dear Belle, have found myself speaking with equal frankness to him. We know each other so perfectly that there has for a long time seemed to be only a thin impalpable cob-web barrier between us; but you know, Belle, that airy filmy barrier is something that one would not by a look or a word disturb. For weeks I have felt every day that surely the next time we meet all this must come to a crisis. That he would say in words what he says in looks—in involuntary actions—what in fact I am perfectly sure of. Till he speaks I must be guarded. I must hold myself back from showing him the kindly interest I really feel. For I am proud, as you know, Belle, and have always held the liberty of my heart as a sacred treasure. I have always felt a secret triumph in the consciousness that I did not care for anybody, and that my happiness was wholly in my own hands, and I mean to keep it so. Our friendship is a pleasant thing enough, but I am not going to let it become too necessary, you understand. It isn't that I care so very much, but my curiosity is really excited to know just what the real state of the case is; one wants to investigate interesting phenomena you know. When I saw that little glove movement on Easter Eve I confess I thought the game all in my own hands, and that I could quietly wait to say "checkmate" in due form and due time; but after all nothing came of it; that is, nothing decisive; and I confess I didn't know what to think. Sometimes I have fancied some obstacle or entanglement or commitment with some other woman—this Cousin Caroline perhaps—but he talks about her to me in the most open and composed manner. Sometimes I fancy he has heard the report of my engagement to Sydney. If he has, why doesn't he ask me about it? I have no objection to telling him, but I certainly shall not open the subject myself. Perhaps, as Ida thinks, he is proud and poor and not willing to be a suitor to a rich young good-for-nothing. Well, that can't be helped, he must be a suitor if he wins me, for I shan't be; he must ask me, for I certainly shan't ask him, that's settled. If he would "ask me pretty," now, who knows what nice things he might hear? I would tell him, perhaps, how much more one true noble heart is worth in my eyes than all that Wat Sydney has to give. Sometimes I am quite provoked with him that he should look so much, and yet say no more, and I feel a naughty wicked inclination to flirt with somebody else just to make him open those "grands yeux" of his a little wider and to a little better purpose. Sometimes I begin to feel a trifle vindictive and as if I should like to give him a touch of the claw. The claw, my dear, the little pearly claw that we women keep in reserve in the "patte de velours," our only and most sacred weapon of defense.

The other night, at Mrs. Cerulean's salon, she was holding forth with great effect on woman's right to court men—as natural and indefeasible—and I told her that I considered our right to be courted far more precious and inviolable. Of course it is so. The party that makes the proposals is the party that must take the risk of refusal, and who would wish to do that? It puts me out of all patience just to think of it. If there is anything that vexes me it is that a man should ever feel sure that a woman's heart is at his disposal before he has asked for it prettily and properly in all due form, and, my dear, I have the fear of this before my eyes, even in our most intimate moments. He shall not feel too sure of me.

Wednesday Evening.

My dear Belle, I can't think what in the world is up now; but something or other has happened to a certain person that has changed all our relations. For more than a week I have scarcely seen him. He called with Jim Fellows on the usual evening, but did not go into Ida's room, and hardly came near me, and seemed all in a flutter to leave all the time. He was at the great Elmore wedding, and so was I, but we scarcely spoke all the evening. I could see him following all my motions and watching me at a distance, but as sure as I came into a room he seemed in a perfect flutter to get out of it, and yet no sooner had he done so than he secured some position where he could observe me at a distance. I was provoked enough, and I thought if my lord wanted to observe, I'd give him something to see, so I flirted with Jerrold Livingstone, whom I don't care a copper about, within an inch of his life, and I made a special effort to be agreeable to all the danglers and moustaches that I usually take delight in snubbing, and I could see that he looked quite wretched, which was a comfort—but yet he wouldn't come near me till just as I was going to leave, when he came to beg I would stay longer and declared that he hadn't seen anything of me. It was a little too much! I assumed an innocent air and surveyed him "de haut en bas" and said, "Why, dear me, Mr. Henderson, possible that you've been here all this time? Where have you kept yourself?" and then I handed my bouquet to Livingstone and swept by in triumph; his last look after me as I went down stairs was tragical, you may believe. Well, I can't make him out, but I don't care. I won't care. He was free to come. He shall be free to go; but isn't it vexatious that in cases of this kind one cannot put an end to the tragedy by a simple common-sense question?

One doesn't care so very much, you know, what is the matter with these creatures, only one is curious to know what upon earth makes them act so. A man sets up a friendship with you, and then looks and acts as if he adored you, as if he worshiped the ground you tread on, and then is off at a tangent with a tragedy air, and you are not allowed to say "My dear sir, why do you behave so? why do you make such a precious goose of yourself?"

The fact is, these friendships of women with men are all fol-de-rol. The creatures always have an advantage over you. They can make every advance and come nearer and nearer and really make themselves quite agreeable, not to say necessary, and then suddenly change the whole footing and one cannot even ask why. One cannot say, as to another woman, "What is the matter? what has altered your manner?" She cannot even show that she notices the change, without loss of self-respect. A woman in friendship with a man is made heartless by this very necessity, she must always hold herself ready to change hands and make her chassé to right or left with all suitable indifference whenever her partner is ready for another move in the cotillion.

Well, so be it. I fancy I can do this as well as another. I never shall inquire into his motives. I'm sorry for him, too, for he looked quite haggard and unhappy. Well; it's his own fault; for if he would only be open with me he'd find it to his advantage—perhaps.

You are quite mistaken, dear, in what you have heard about his belonging to that radical party of strange creatures who rant and rage about progress in our times. Like all generous, magnanimous men, who are conscious of strength, he sympathizes with the weak, and is a champion of woman wherever she is wronged; and certainly in many respects, we must all admit women are wronged by the laws and customs of society. But no man could be nicer in his sense of feminine delicacy and more averse to associating with bold and unfeminine women than he. I must defend him there. I am sure that nothing could be more distasteful to him than the language and conduct of many of these dreadful female reformers of our day. If I am out of sorts with him I must at least do him this justice.

You inquire about Alice and Jim Fellows; my dear, there can be nothing there. They are perfectly well matched; a pair of flirts, and neither trusts the other an inch farther than they can see. Alice has one of those characters that lie in layers like the geologic strata that our old professor used to show us. The top layer is all show, and display and ambition; dig down below that and you find a warm volcanic soil where noble plants might cast root. But at present she is all in the upper stratum. She must have her run of flirting and fashion and adventure, and just now a splendid marriage is her ideal, but she is capable of a great deal in the depths of her nature. All I hope is she will not marry till she has got down into it, but she is starting under full sail now, coquetting to right and left, making great slaughter.

She looked magnificently at the wedding and quite outshone me. She has that superb Spanish style of beauty which promises to wear well and bloom out into more splendor as time goes on, and she has a good heart with all her nonsense.

Well, dear, what a long letter! and must I add to it the account of the wedding glories—lists of silver and gold tea sets, and sets of pearls and diamonds? My dear, only fancy Tiffany's counters transferred bodily, with cards from A., B., and C., presenting this and that; fancy also the young men of your acquaintance silly-drunk, or stupid-drunk in the latter part of the night in the supper-room; fancy, if you can, the bridegroom carried up stairs, because he couldn't go up on his own feet!—this is a wedding! Never mind! the bride had three or four sets of diamond shoe-buckles, and rubies and emeralds in the profusion of the Arabian Nights. Well, it will be long before I care for such a wedding! I am sick of splendors, sated with nick-nacks, my doll is stuffed with saw-dust, &c., &c., but I shall ever be your loving


P. S.—My Dear—A case of conscience!—Would it be a sin to flirt a little with Sydney, just enough to aggravate somebody else? Sydney's, you mind, is not a deep heart-case. He only wants me because I am hard to catch, and have been the fashion. I'll warrant him against breaking his heart for anybody. However, I don't believe I will flirt after all I'll—try some other square of the chess-board.

The confidential conversation held with me by Mrs. Van Arsdel had all the effect on my mental castle-building that a sudden blow had on Alnaschar's basket of glass ware in the Arabian tales.

Nobody is conscious how far he has been in dreamland till he is awakened. I was now fully aroused to the fact that I was in love with Eva Van Arsdel, to all intents and purposes, so much in love as made the nourishing and cherishing of an intimate friendship an impossibility, and only a specious cloak for a sort of moral dishonesty. Now I might have known this fact in the beginning, and I scolded and lectured myself for my own folly in not confessing it to myself before. I had been received by the family as a friend. I had been trusted with their chief treasure, with the understanding that it was to belong not to me but another, and there was a species of moral indelicacy to my mind in having suffered myself to become fascinated by her as I now felt that I was. But I did not feel adequate to congratulating her as the betrothed bride of another man; nay, more, when I looked back on the kind of intimate and confidential relations that had been growing up between us, I could not but feel that it was not safe for me to continue them. Two natures cannot exactly accord, cannot keep time and tune together, without being conscious of the fact and without becoming necessary to each other; and such relations in their very nature tend to grow absorbing and exclusive. It was plain to me that if Eva were to marry Wat Sydney I could not with honor and safety continue the kind of intimacy we had been so thoughtlessly and so delightfully enjoying for the past few weeks.

But how to break it off without an explanation, and how make that explanation? There is a certain responsibility resting on a man of conscience and honor, about accepting all that nearness of access, and that closeness of intimacy which the ignorant innocence of young girls often invites. From his very nature, from his education, from his position in society, a young man knows more of what the full significance and requirements of marriage are to be than a young woman can, and he must know the danger of absorbing and exclusive intimacy with other than a husband. The instincts of every man teach that marriage must be engrossing and monopolizing, that it implies a forsaking of all others, and a keeping unto one only; and how could that be when every taste and feeling, every idiosyncracy and individual peculiarity made the society of some other person more agreeable?

Without undue personal vanity, a man will surely know when there is a special congeniality of nature between himself and a certain woman, and he is bound in conscience and honor to look ahead in all his intimacies and see what must be the inevitable result of them according to the laws of the human mind. Because I had neglected this caution, because I had yielded myself blindly to the delicious enchantment of a new enthusiasm, I had now come to a place where I knew neither how to advance nor recede.

I could not drop this intimacy, so dangerous to my peace and honor, without risk of offending; to explain was, in fact, to solicit. I might confess all, cast myself at her feet—but supposing she should incline to mercy—and with a woman's uncalculating disinterestedness accept my love in place of wealth and station, what should I then do?

Had I been possessed of a fortune even half equal to Mr. Sydney's; had I, in fact, any settled and assumed position to offer, I would have avowed my love boldly and suffered her to decide. But I had no advantage to stand on. I was poor, and had nothing to give but myself; and what man is vain enough to think that he is in himself enough to make up for all that may be wanting in externals?

Besides this, Eva was the daughter of a rich family, and an offer of marriage from me must have appeared to all the world the interested proposal of a fortune-hunter. Of what avail would it be under such circumstances to plead that I loved her for herself alone? I could fancy the shout of incredulous laughter with which the suggestion would be received in the gay world.

"So very thoughtful of the fair!

It showed a true fraternal care.

Five thousand guineas in her purse—

The fellow might have fancied worse."

Now, if there was anything that my pride revolted from as an impossibility, it was coming as a poor suitor to a great rich family. Were I even sure that Eva loved me, how could I do that? Would not all the world say that to make use of my access in the family to draw her down from a splendid position in life to poverty and obscurity was on my part a dishonorable act? Could I trust myself enough to feel that it was justice to her?

The struggle that a young man has to engage in to secure a self-supporting position, is of a kind to make him keenly alive to material values. Dr. Franklin said, "If you would learn the value of money, try to borrow some." I would say rather, Try to earn some, and to live only on what you earn. My own hard experience on this subject led me to reflect very seriously on the responsibility which a man incurs in inducing a woman of refinement and culture to look to him as her provider.

In our advanced state of society there are a thousand absolute wants directly created by culture and refinement; and whatever may be said about the primary importance of personal affection and sympathy as the foundation of a happy marriage, it is undoubtedly true that a certain amount of pecuniary ease and security is necessary as a background on which to develop agreeable qualities. A man and woman much driven, care-worn, and overtaxed, often have little that is agreeable to show to each other. I queried with myself then, whether, as Eva's true friend, I should not wish that she might marry a respectable man, devoted to her, who could keep her in all that elegance and luxury she was so fitted to adorn and enjoy; and whether if I could do it, I ought to try to put myself in his place in her mind.

A man who detects himself in an unfortunate passion has always the refuge of his life-object. To the true man, the thing that he hopes to do always offers some compensation for the thing he ceases to enjoy.

It was fortunate therefore for me, that just in this crisis of my life, my friendship with Bolton opened before me the prospect of a permanent establishment in connection with the literary press of the times.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook