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AND this, said he, putting the remains of a crust into his wallet-and this should have been thy por-' tion, said he, hadst thou been alive to have shared it with me. I thought, by the accent, it had been an apostrophe to his child; but it was to his ass, and to the very ass we had seen dead in the road, which had occasioned La Fleur's misadventure. The man seemed to lament it much ; and it instantly brought
mind Sancho's lamentations for his; but he did it with more touches of nature.
The mourner was sitting upon a stone bench at the door, with the ass's pannier and its bridle on one side, which he took up from time to time-then laid them down-looked at them, and shook his head. He then took his crust of bread out of his wallet again, as if to eat it; held it some time in his hand then Jaid it upon the bit of his ass's bridle-looking wistfully at the little arrangement he had made--and then gave a sigh.
The simplicity of his grief drew numbers about him, and La Fleur among the rest, while the horses were getting ready : as I continued sitting in the post-chaise, I could see and hear over their heads. o
He said he had come last from Spain, where he had been from the farthest borders of Franconia ; and had got so far on his return home, when the ass died. Every one seemed desirous to know what business could have taken so old and poor a man so far a journey from his own home.
It had pleased Heaven, he said, to bless him with three sons, the finest lads in all Germany; but hav. ing in one week lost two of them by the small-pox, and the youngest falling ill of the same distemper, he was afraid of being bereft of them all, and made a vow, if Heaven would not take him from him also, he would go in gratitude to St. Iago, in Spain.
When the mourner got thus far in his story, he stopped to pay nature her tribute-and wept bitterly.
He said, Heaven had accepted the conditions; and
that he had set out from his cottage with this poor creature, who had been a patient partner of his joura ney—that it had eaten the same bread with him all the way, and was unto him as a friend.
Every body who stood about heard the poor fellow with concern-La Fleur offered him money--The mourner said he did not want it-it was not the va. lue of the ass—but the loss of him-The ass, he said, he was assured, loved him-and upon this told them a long story of a mischance upon their passage over the Pyrenean mountains, which had separated them from each other three days; during which time the ass had sought him as much as he had sought the ass, and that neither had scarce eaten or drunk till they met.
Thou hast one comfort, friend, said I, at least, in the loss of thy poor beast; I am sure thou hast been a merciful master to him.-Alas! said the mourner, I thought so when he was alive--but now he is dead I think otherwise-I fear the weight of myself, and my afflictions together, have been too much for himthey have shortened the poor creature's days, and I fear I have them to answer for.-Shame on the world! said I to myself-Did we but love each other as this poor soul loved his ass- -'twould be something.
Let a man of even the soundest judgment be presented to two women, equally strangers to him, but the one extremely handsome, the other without any remarkable advantages of person, and he will, with out deliberation, attach himself first to the former. All men seem in this to be actuated by the same principle as Socrates, who used to say, that where he saw a beautiful person, he always expected to see it animated by a beautiful soul. The ladies, however, often fall into the fatal error of imagining that a fine person is, in our eyes, superior to every other accomplishment, and those who are so happy as to be endowed with it, rely, with vain confidence, on its irresistible power to retain hearts as well as to subdue them. Hence the lavish care bestowed on the improvement of exterior and perishable charms, and the neglect of solid and durable excellence; hence the long list of arts that administer to vanity and folly, the countless train of glittering accomplishments, and the scanty catalogue of truly valuable acquirements, which compose, for the most part, the modern system of fashionable female education. Yet so far is beauty from being in our eyes an excuse for the want of a cultivated mind, that the women who are blessed with it, have, in reality, a much harder task to perform than those of their sex who are not so distinguished. Even our self-love here takes part against them; we feel ashamed of having suffered ourselves to be caught like children, by mere outside, and perhaps even fall into the contrary extreme. Could " the statue that enchants the world,”-the Venus de Medicis, at the prayer of some new Pygmalion, become suddenly animated, how disappointed would he be, if she were not endowed with a soul, answerable to the inestimable perfection of her heavenly form ? Thus it is with a fine woman, whose only accomplishment is external excellence.
She may dazzle for a time; but when a man has once thought, “ What a pity that such a masterpiece should be but a walking statue,” her empire is at an end. On the other hand, when a woman, the plainness of whose features prevented our noticing her at first, is found, upon nearer acquaintance, to be possessed of the more solid and valuable perfections of the mind, the pleasure we feel in being so agreeably undeceived, makes her appear to still greater advantage; and as the mind of man, when left to itself, is naturally an enemy to all injustice, we, even unknown to ourselves, strive to repair the wrong we have involuntarily done her, by a double portion of attention and regard.
If these observations be founded in truth, it will appear that, though a woman with a cultivated mind may justly hope to please, without even any superior advantages of person, the loveliest creature that ever came from the hand of her creator can hope only for a transitory empire, unless she unite with her beauty the more durable charm of intellectual excellence.
Anastasius and Euphrosyné.
Alas! I addressed one who, wholly bewildered by her own feelings, heeded not, perhaps heard not, my words. Euphrosyné, fixing upon me an eye at once vacant and supplicating, continued to preserve an unbroken, and, as I thought, stubborn silence, until at last I deemed it necessary to use terms more decisive and peremptory. Taking two or three hasty strides across the room, as if still to increase the ferment of my already heated blood : « Euphrosyné," cried I, “ it is impossible you can still stay with me. I myself am a wanderer on the face of the globe, to-day here, to-morrow perhaps flying to the earth's farthest extremity. Your remaining under my une certain roof can only end in total ruin to us both. I must insist upon your quitting my abode, ere your own be no longer accessible to your tardy repentance.” “Ah! no!" said Euphrosyné, convulsively clasping my knees : “ be not so barbarous! Shut not your door against her, against whom you have barred every once friendly door. Do not deny her whom you have dishonoured the only asylum she has left. If I cannot be your wife, let me be your slave, your drudge. No service, however mean, shall I recoil from, when you command. At least, before you, I shall not have to blush. In your eyes, I shall not be what I must seem in those of others : I shall not from you incur the contempt which I must expect from my former companions; and my diligence to execute the lowest offices you may require, will earn for me, not wholly as a bare alms at your hands, that support which, however scanty, I can elsewhere only receive as an unmerited indulgence. Since I did a few days please your eye, I may still please it a few days longer ;-perhaps a few days longer, therefore, I may still hope to live ; and when that last blessing, your love, is gone by,—when my cheek, faded with grief, has lost the last attraction that could arrest your favour, then speak, then tell me so, that, burthening you no longer, I may retire--and die!"
The scenes of the book from which this extract is taken are eastern : consequently, Let me be your slave, has a reference to eastern manners; and might remind us of the difference between the state of the women of Britain and that of the women of the east. Euphrosyné's address may, perhaps, be considered as an excellent example of earnest entreaty,-entreaty bordering on despair and anguish. It is, therefore, very evident how these words should be read, particularly in reference to gestures and tone of voice. Very emphatic words her, whom, every once friendly door, only asylum, wife, slave, drudge, which consequently require a corresponding emphatic tone of voice.
A poor Monk, of the order of St. Francis, came into the room to beg something for his convent. The moment I cast my eyes upon him, I was determined not to give him a single sous; and accordingly I put my purse into my pocket--buttoned it up-set myself a little more upon my centre, and advanced up gravely to him. There was something, I fear, forbidding in my look: I have his figure this moment before my eyes, and think there was that in it which deserved better.
The monk, as I judged from the break in his tonsure-a few scattered white hairs upon his temples, being all that remained of it-might be about seventy - but from his eyes, and that sort of fire which
was in them, which seemed more tempered by courtesy