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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.
WRONGS AND WOES OF WOMEN. "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
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.”
BEAUTY WITHOUT THE SECURITY OF FIXED PRINCIPLE.
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 chas 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 inviolate, 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,
In thy repose, that bids our sorrow cease;
They waft back, with their bland and odorous breath,
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,
For then fond Memory unlocks her store,
charmed ear, sweet smiles are seen,
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,
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,