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Unknown, though Fame goes with me. I must leave
“What a heart-wail is this—proving the emptiness of fame to a woman's craving heart! I do not believe that any happy woman ever writes. It is either the disappointed young woman, or the unhappy, perhaps deserted wife, who flies to science and literature as a nepenthe. Those who fail to find congeniality in their domestic associations will seek for sympathy abroad. Those who miss the heart homage of the one, seek the lip homage of the many. But to a crushed heart, the cup of the world's applause must seem to contain the waters of Marah, and the fruits of public appreciation turn to Sodom apples on the lips."
We will leave this literary pair of lovers to discuss such topics as they please.
"Yet it shall be; thou shalt lower to his level, day by day,
What is fine within thee growing coarse to sympathize with clay.
As the husband is, the wife is; thou art mated with a clown,
And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down.’
"As true as bitter."
"You agree with the poet-laureate, then, Mr. Hampton?"
"I do. I have seen really refined women marry inferior men, and have marked their downward career, until I saw them become as coarse as the clowns they had wedded. It is a most miserable position for a superior woman to find herself mated with a man who cannot appreciate the glowing fancies which flood her own brain, and invest the meanest thing with a sort of poetic beauty to be derided for some quaint, sweet conceit - to blush for shame when her 'lord and master' gives vent to his commonplace thoughts, clothing them in a coarse fustian covering. I had a friend -- a noble woman thank God, she is dead now; and her sorrows and persecutions are over. She was 'mated with a clown,' and has herself told me that she was painfully conscious of her superiority to the man she had married and had promised to look up to and respect; that she had tried to unlearn all she had ever known; that she read no books-ceased to cultivate her intellect, and to quench the thirst of her grasping mind at the stream of knowledge, lest the disparity between them should grow so great as to become intolerable. There were 'tears in her voice,' as she said it, and she was an old woman then, older in suffering than in years. She was endeavoring to dissuade her young and
gifted daughter from a romantic love-match. The girl had lost her heart, or fancied she had, which is almost as unfortunate, to an uneducated fellow with a handsome face, and the mother shuddered as she saw in prospective the humiliation which must inevitably ensue when the intellect of her daughter should be fully developed, and she with this clog attached to her, drawing her down — ”
"Did they marry?" asked Irene, abruptly, not heeding the unfinished
With a bright look and a joyous laugh that made him positively handsome, Hampton replied:
"I am rejoiced to say, no. The lady is one of our most distinguished Southern writers — is married to a man of great cultivation; and the hero of her 'young love-dream,' about which I have seen her laugh until the tears stood in her eyes, is keeping a livery stable.'
"How is it, Mr. Hampton, that men of intellect so often marry women who have nothing to recommend them but personal charms? women without cultivation, without natural talent, without nobility of character. It has often been a source of wonder to me; and yet it occurs so frequently. The most sensible man I ever knew, a man too, of refined æsthetic tastes, a scholar in the best and truest sense of the word, has a wife whose soul never soared above jellies and preserves. I don't think she ever read a book in her life-beg her pardon! I have heard her discoursing gravely about the Arabian Nights, whose falsehoods she declared disgusted her. She is a famous housekeeper; keeps her rooms, her children, and herself as tidy as possible. But, good heavens, Mr. Hampton! how must that man feel when, in reading, he forgets how empty and shallow her brain, and repeats aloud to her some exquisitely beautiful passage, only to meet a look of wonder, or an unmeaning "That is pretty'? The strangest thing of all to me is that he seems contented with his lot."
"Some men, Miss Stanley, are such devoted worshippers of self, that they can endure no rivalry; they desire that their wives should look up to them in blind adoration, and rely on their judgment with unquestioning faith. They do not like for a woman to have opinions of her own, lest she should forget the divine fiat against which no true woman rebels: 'Wives, obey your husbands.' They feel important and consequential, because by one person, at least, they are regarded as 'monsters of intellect.' It is sublime selfishness, extravagant love of I, which influences such men to marry shallow-brained women. Perhaps your 'sensible man,' with all his intellectuality and refinement, has enough of the animal in his nature to appreciate a good dinner more than a polished sentence, and prefers a feast of the good things of earth to the 'feast of reason and the flow of soul.' Marriage exists not for him in a beautiful ideal state, but he looks on it as a prosaic reality-three meals a day shirt-buttons in order children neatly dressed — and a house well kept and carefully dusted."
"But one can hire a housekeeper," remonstrated Irene, with an indignant flush of the cheek.
"So one can, Miss Stanley; and if one wants a doll with a pretty face to look at in hours of weariness, there are plenty of wax ones exhibited in show-cases and shop-windows, which may be purchased for a trifle. As for me, I would not select a wife for her ornamental or useful qualities, giving the latter a poetical meaning. I should seek for a companion and friend one who would share in my higher, holier thoughts ennoble my aspirations -call forth the better part of my nature-incite me to lofty, noble deeds refine me by her gentleness — soften down the rough edges of selfishness in my nature-soothe my hours of despondency-inspire me with new hope when I felt crushed to the earth, if I ever could feel so with the love of such a woman check me in sin encourage me in honorable ambition be, in short, my better self.”
It was interesting to watch the changes which passed over Irene's expressive countenance during this somewhat lengthy speech. At one moment her face kindled, at the next her eyes softened, and wore a subdued, tender expression. Finally she raised her downcast eyes, opened them full into Hampton's, met his earnest look, and, coloring slightly, said, with some agitation of tone:
"But you have not fully answered my question.”
"The problem is hard to solve. Euclid never contained a more complicated one; yet it may be solved in several different ways. I have seen some men so self-worshipping that their contemptible pride made them fear rivalry. Some are so practical that they only desire housekeepers; some fear intellectual women because- although the ancient scandal has often been refuted - they have adopted the mistaken notion that a woman who is brilliant in society, who has won prizes in the literary tournament, and is accustomed to the adulation of the public, must, of necessity, be a disagreeable home-companion — neglecting all the household duties, ignoring her responsibilities as wife and mother, for the sake of achieving fame, and growing despondent and irritated in the absence of that excitement and praise which is to some what his pill is to the opium-eater, an absolute necessity, without which the victim regards life as a burden too heavy to bear. Then there are sentimental youth who dream of
'An airy, fairy Lilian,'
and think that the woman destined to be a wife was only created to look charmingly, dress becomingly, nestle closely to one's heart, put a pair of white arms about one's neck, and go through life billing and cooing, turtledove fashion. I, myself, used to fancy that I would be perfectly happy in a little love of a cottage, (like the one described in Moore's sarcastic poem, which Poverty entered one fine morning, putting the little god who had inhabited it before to inglorious flight,) with a little love of a wife who would
wear white frocks and rose-buds in her hair, who would sing to me and kiss me, who would never puzzle her brains about abstruse questions, or, indeed, care for anything but to love me.”
What cured you?"
"David Copperfield cured me, or, rather, that silly but loving little childwife of his. How wise of Dickens to remove her to a better world in her youth, and restore to the disappointed man the dream of happiness that haunted his boyhood, by giving him that love which alone could satisfy an exacting soul like his. Fancy such a woman growing to mature womanhood—to old age-bah!—and with such a husband! As it is, we can sympathize with, weep for, almost love the poor little butterfly, with its coaxing, winning little ways. Its very foolishness is attractive because of youth, beauty, and an affectionate, clinging heart. But imagine her an old woman!”
MARIA JOURDAN WESTMORELAND.
ARIA ELIZABETH JOURDAN is of mingled French and English blood, her father being of French extraction, while her mother boasts a long line of English ancestry, whose generations extend far, far back to the "mother country." Col. Warren Jourdan, the father of our subject, was a Georgian; and never was man more devoted and jealous of the rights of his State than he. For twentyone years uninterruptedly he was in her councils and battled heroically in her cause. He was also the intimate friend and ready champion of George M. Troup. In 1835, he espoused the eldest daughter of Col. Reuben Thornton, also well and favorably known in Georgia, a Virginia gentleman of the old régime, who removed to this State when it was in a very unsettled condition, and purchased large landed estates on the Oconee River, in Greene County. Here Col. Thornton resided for many years, but the climate proving so miasmatic and baneful, and having time and again been bereaved by the loss of his children, he determined to seek a more healthful locality for his beloved ones. The beautiful petite village of Gainesville, Hall County, nestled away in the mountains of Northern Georgia, with its salubrious climate, its bracing atmosphere, and sparkling, delightful waters, all conspired to invite the stricken invalids to its enchanting region. Thitherward the family came, and there Col. Thornton purchased a summer-seat. Years after, at this very spot, while in quest of health, Col. Warren Jourdan met and wooed and won Mary Johnson, the eldest daughter of Reuben Thornton and Maria Winston. This union was auspicious in the extreme. Col. Jourdan possessed wealth; he was cultured and refined; a courtier in manners, an Adonis in appearance, chivalric, generous, and hospitable, he certainly was richly entitled to the enviable reputation which he enjoyed of being one of the most irresistible men of his day. His wife also was quite cultivated and attractive, a fine musician, and an excellent artist. Added to these lighter accomplishments, Mrs. Jourdan possessed remarkable courage and an indomitable will, which, in after-years of vicissitude and change, caused her to successfully surmount grievous obstacles, and to heroically com