farther east, nearer london, we should find things very different. there would be the civilization that two centuries must have wrought upon our english cousins as they had upon us. there would be mighty cities, cultivated fields, happy people. there we would be welcomed as long-lost brothers. there would we find a great nation anxious to learn of the world beyond their side of thirty, as i had been anxious to learn of that which lay beyond our side of the dead line.
i turned back toward the boat.
and lo! the loved one was not there - was dead.
then would he watch no more; no more the sea
with myriad vessels, sail by sail, perplex
his eyes and mock his longing. weary head,
take now thy rest; eyes, close; for no more me
shall hopes untried elate, or ruined vex.
fairness is not one of the qualities of the true critic. it is not even a condition of criticism. each form of art with which we come in contact dominates us for the moment to the exclusion of every other form. we must surrender ourselves absolutely to the work in question, whatever it may be, if we wish to gain its secret. for the time, we must think of nothing else, can think of nothing else, indeed.
"'ah! how darkly sadness entered my heart yesterday when i found that i must give up the joy of seeing you. one single thought held me back from the arms of death!--it was thy will! to stay away was to do thy will, to obey an order from thee. oh! charles, i was so pretty; i looked a lovelier woman for you than that beautiful german princess whom you gave me for an example, whom i have studied at the opera. and yet--you might have thought that i had overstepped the limits of my nature. you have left me no confidence in myself; perhaps i am plain after all. oh! i loathe myself, i dream of my radiant charles edward, and my brain turns. i shall go mad, i know i shall. do not laugh, do not talk to me of the fickleness of women. if we are inconstant, you are strangely capricious. you take away the hours of love that made a poor creature's happiness for ten whole days; the hours on which she drew to be charming and kind to all that came to see her! after all, you were the source of my kindness to him; you do not know what pain you give him. i wonder what i must do to keep you, or simply to keep the right to be yours sometimes. . . . when i think that you never would come here to me! . . . with what delicious emotion i would wait upon you!--there are other women more favored than i. there are women to whom you say, 'i love you.' to me you have never said more than 'you are a good girl.' certain speeches of yours, though you do not know it, gnaw at my heart. clever men sometimes ask me what i am thinking. . . . i am thinking of my self-abasement--the prostration of the poorest outcast in the presence of the saviour."
but this cannot always continue. a new era is moving gently onward, old things are rapidly passing away; old superstitions, old prejudices, and old notions are now bidding farewell to their old associates and companions, and giving way to one whose wings are plumed with the light of heaven and tinged by the dews of the morning. there is a remnant of blessedness that clings to her in spite of all evil influence, there is enough of the divine master left to accomplish the noblest work ever achieved under the canopy of the vaulted skies; and that time is fast approaching, when the picture of the true woman will shine from its frame of glory, to captivate, to win back, to restore, and to call into being once more, the object of her mission.