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The Rector of the Parish-His Manner of teaching-Of living
Richard's Correspondence The Letters received --Love that survives Marriage—That dies in consequence—That is permitted to die for Want of Care-Henry and Emma, a DialogueComplaints on either Side And Replies—Mutual Accusation -Defence of acknowledged Error-Means of restoring Happiness-The one to be adopted.
THE NATURAL DEATH OF LOVE.
RICHARD one month had with his Brother been,
And had his guests, his friends, his favourites seen;
Had heard the Rector, who with decent force,
But not of action, aided his discourse :
“ A moral teacher!" some, contemptuous, cried ;
He smiled, but nothing of the fact denied,
Nor, save by his fair life, to charge so strong replied.
Still, though he bade them not on aught rely
That was their own, but all their worth deny,
They call’d his pure advice his cold morality;
And though he felt that earnestness and zeal,
That made some portion of his hearers feel,
Nay, though he loved the minds of men to lead
To the great points that form the Christian's creed,
Still he offended, for he would discuss
Points that to him seem'd requisite for us;
And urge his flock to virtue, though he knew
very heathen taught the virtues too:
Nor was this moral minister afraid
To ask of inspiration's self the aid
Of truths by him so sturdily maintain'd,
That some confusion in the parish reign’d;
“ Heathens,” they said, “ can tell us right from wrong,
“ But to a Christian higher points belong."
Yet Jacques proceeded, void of fear and shame,
In his old method, and obtain'd the name
Of Moral Preacher—yet they all agreed,
Whatever error had defiled his creed,
His life was pure, and him they could commend,
Not as their guide, indeed, but as their friend :
Truth, justice, pity, and a love of peace,
Were his—but there must approbation cease;
He either did not, or he would not see,
That if he meant a favourite priest to be
He must not show, but learn of them, the way
To truth-he must not dictate, but obey:
They wish'd him not to bring them further light,
But to convince them that they now were right,
And to assert that justice will condemn
All who presumed to disagree with them:
In this he fail'd; and his the greater blame,
For he persisted, void of fear or shame.
Him Richard heard, and by his friendly aid
Were pleasant views observed and visits paid;
He to peculiar people found his way,
And had his question answer'd, “Who are they?"
Twice in the week came letters, and delight
Beam'd in the eye of Richard at the sight;
Letters of love, all full and running o'er,
The paper fillid till it could hold no more;
Cross'd with discolour'd ink, the doublings full,
No fear that love should find abundance dull;
Love reads unsated all that love inspires,
When most indulged, indulgence still requires ;
Looks what the corners, what the crossings tell,
And lifts each folding for a fond farewell.
George saw and smiled- “ To lovers we allow “ All this o'erflowing, but a husband thou ! “ A father too; can time create no change? “ Married, and still so foolish ?-very strange! " What of this wife or mistress is the art?"“ The simple truth, my Brother, to impart, “ Her heart, whene'er she writes, feels writing to a
“ Fortune, dear Richard, is thy friend—a wife “ Like thine must soften every care of life, “ And all its woes—I know a pair, whose lives “ Run in the common track of men and wives; “ And half their worth, at least, this pair would give “ Could they like thee and thy Matilda live.
“ They were, as .lovers, of the fondest kind,
“ With no defects in manner or in mind;
“ In habit, temper, prudence, they were those
“ Whom, as examples, I could once propose;
“ Now this, when married, you no longer trace,
“ But discontent and sorrow in the place :
“ Their pictures, taken as the pair I saw
“ In a late contest, I have tried to draw;
“ 'Tis but a sketch, and at my idle time
“I put my couple in the garb of rhyme :
“ Thou art a critic of the milder sort,
“ And thou wilt judge with favour my report.
“Let me premise, twelve months have flown away, “ Swiftly or sadly, since the happy day.
• Let us suppose the couple left to spend
• Some hours without engagement or a friend ;