Obrazy na stronie

who paid such flattering homage to her beauty and her talent, fully conscious as she was of the admiration she excited, and so accustomed to it, that it seemed to have become essential to her being ?

Ample evidence of those facts is to be found in the detached thoughts of Lady Blessington, scattered through her papers or among those records of reflection to which she gave the appropriate name of “Night Thought Books.” The following extracts from them may serve to show the truth of the preceding observations.


“Men can pity the wrongs inflicted by other men on the gentler sex, but never those which they themselves inflict (on women).”

“Quelle destinèe que cette de la femme! A l'etre le plus foible le plus entouré des seductions, le plus mal elevè, pour les resister, les juges les plus severes, les peines les plus, dures la vengeance la plus inflexible. Quand le ciel chassa de son Paradis notre pere et notre mere coupables, la glaive de l'ange les frappa tous deux : pour tous deux son feu impitoyable brula devant la porte du lieu des delices, sans que la femme fut plus puni, plus malheureux que l'homme. Si elle eut les douleurs de la maternité, son compagnon d'infortune eut les sueurs du travail et les horribles angoisses qui accompagnent le spectacle des souffrances de celle qu'on aime. Il n'y eut point entre eux un inegal partage de punition, et Adam ne put pas à l'exclusion d’Eve rentrer dans ce jardin qui lui fermait la colère du ciel ! Hommes vous vous etes faits pour nous plus inflexible que Dieu, et quand nous sommes tombées par vous, a cause de vous, pour vous seules brille l’epèe qui met hors du monde, hors de l'honneur, hors de l'estime et qui nous empeche a jamais d'y rentrer.”!!! Brisset.

“The whole system of female education is to teach women

[ocr errors]

to allure and not to repel, yet how much more essential is the latter."

"England is the only country in Europe where the loss of one's virtue superinduces the loss of all. I refer to chastity. A woman known to have violated this virtue, though she possess all the other virtues, is driven with ignominy from society, into a solitude, rendered insupportable by a sense of the injustice by which she is made a victim to solitude, which often becomes the grave of the virtues she brought to


“Passion ! Possession ! Indifference! What a history is comprised in these three words ! What hopes and fears succeeded by a felicity as brief as intoxicating—followed in its turn by the old consequence of possession-indifference ! What burning tears, what bitter pangs, rending the very heartstrings--what sleepless nights and watchful days form part of this every-day story of life, whose termination leaves the actors to search again for new illusions to finish like the last !"

“A woman who exposes, even to a friend, her domestic unhappiness, has violated the sanctity of home, and the delicacy of affection, and placed an enduring obstacle to the restoration of interrupted domestic peace and happiness."

The youth of women is entitled to the affectionate interest of the aged of their own sex.”

"Women who have reached old age should look with affectionate interest on those of their own sex, who are still travelling the road scattered with flowers and thorns, over which they have already passed themselves ; as wanderers who have journeyed on through many dangers, should regard those who are still toiling over the same route.”


A beautiful woman without fixed principles, may be likened


to those fair but rootless flowers which float in streams, driven by every breeze."

" Whenever we make a false step in life, we take more pains to justify it, than would have saved us from its commission; and yet we never succeed in convincing others, nay more, ourselves, that we have acted rightly."

“The happiness of a woman is lost for ever, when her husband ceases to be its faithful guardian. To whom else can she confide the treasure of her peace, who will not betray the trust? and it is so precious, that unless carefully guarded it is soon lost.”

Love-matches are made by people who are content for a month of honey, to condemn themselves to a life of vinegar.”

"There are some chagrins of the heart which a friend ought to try to console, without betraying a knowledge of their existence : as there are physical maladies which a physician ought to seek to heal, without letting the sufferer know that he has discovered their extent."

“ In some women modesty has been known to survive chaso tity, and in others, chastity to survive modesty. The last example is the most injurious to the interests of society, because they who believe, while they preserve chastity inviulate, they may throw aside the feminine reserve and delicacy which ought to be its outward sign and token, give cause for suspicions, and offend the purity of others of their sex with whom they are brought in contact, much more than those who, failing in chastity, preserve its decency and decorum.”

“ The want of chastity is a crime against one's self, but the want of modesty is a crime against society.”

“ A chaste woman may yield to the passion of her lover, but an unchaste woman gives way to her own.

* Some of the sentiments expressed in these observations. I do not think true or just, in a moral or religious point of view.

Lines on various subjects, from the “ Night Thought Book” of Lady Blessington.



Yes, Night! I love thy silence and thy calm,
That o'er my spirits sheds a soothing balm,
Lifting my soul to brighter, purer spheres,
Far, far removed from this dark vale of tears.


“ There is a holiness, a blessed peace

In thy repose, that bids our sorrow cease;
That stills the passions in the hallowed breast,
And lulls the tortured feelings into rest.”

“ Flowers are the bright remembrances of youth ;

They waft back, with their bland and odorous breath,
The joyous hours that only young life knows,
Ere we have learned that this fair earth hides graves.
They bring the cheek that's mouldering in the dust
Again before us, tinged with health's own rose~
They bring the voices we shall hear no more,
Whose tones were sweetest music to our ears;
They bring the hopes that faded one by one,
'Till nought was left to light our path but faith,
That we, too, like the flowers, should spring to life,

But not, like them, again e'er fade or die.” Lines of Lady Blessington unfinished : written on the back of a letter of Lord Durham, very much injured and defaced, dated July 28, 1837. “ At midnight's silent hour, when hushed in sleep,

They who have laboured or have sorrowed lie,
Learning from slumber how 'tis sweet to die-
I love my vigils of the heart to keep;

[ocr errors]

For then fond Memory unlocks her store,
Which in the garish, noisy
Then comes reflection musing on the lore
And precepts of pure mild philosophy.
Sweet voices-silent now


charmed ear, sweet smiles are seen,
Tho' they who wore them long now dwell on high;
Where I shall meet them but with chastened mien,
To tell how dull was life where they were not,
And that they never, never were forgot.”

Unfinished lines in pencil, with numerous corrections and alterations, in the hand-writing of Lady Blessington, apparently of a recent date.

“ And years, long weary years, have rolled away,

Since youth with all its sunny smiles has fled,
And hope within this saddened breast is dead,
To gloomy doubts and dark despair a prey,
Turning from pleasure's flow'ry path astray,
To haunts where melancholy thoughts are bred,
And meditation broods with inward dread,
Amidst the shades of pensive twilight gray.
Yet has this heart not ceased to thrill with pain,
Tho' joy can make its pulses beat no more;
Its wish to reach indifference is vain,
And will be, till life's fitful fever's o'er,
And it has reached the dim and silent shore,
Where sorrow it shall never know again.
Like to a stream whose current's frozen o'er,
Yet still flows on beneath its icy


On the same sheet of paper as that on which the preceding lines are written, there are the following fragments of verse, evidently composed in the same thoughtful mood as the previous lines of a retrospective character.

“ But tho' the lily root in earth,

Lies an unsightly thing,

« PoprzedniaDalej »