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an interchange of kindnesses and confidences. His was a less worthy, a less holy path. He was guided by the one all-powerful sense.
God has filled the world with instruments of music. In the air, every wind has its song, and, although we hear it not, the stillest eve of summer is as full of music as the most mirthful of our mornings, and there is as sweet a ballad in the voice that folds the leaves of the rose, as in the echoes that fall from the merriest gale. But in all earth's sounds or in man's miserable mimicries of them, there is one instrument more touching, more beautiful, more glorious than all--the Voice of Woman.
The eye is filled with the roundness of the form, with the Aush or paling of the color, with the eloquence of the step; the heart is touched with the kindling of the glance, or the curling of the lip, or the pressure of the hand, but it is the voice unlocks the soul of man. It is the voice which leads him like a child, and rouses him into passion, or subdues him to love, or sinks him to despair.
O ye! to whom God hath given this marvellous power, think to what end ye use it. Let it accompany the harp of the Hebrew, and it immortalizes devotion. Let it rise with the pibroch of the Gael-it sanctifies war with the spirit of liberty. Let us remember that it fell over the spirit of Milton and cheered the fireside of Flaxman, and that it always will make a home for the heart of genius which the whole world shall thank ye for. In the streets it shall teach men, and mould them into brotherhood, making their offices of kindness, acts of necessity-not deeds of heroism. In the midst of sorrow and privation, when hope itself is dead within your breast, this glorious gift shall recall memories, and awaken feelings which shall make you look forward with hope to a holier future.
But it is a sad stern truth— and the lives of the great dead too faithfully declare it,—that this gift is almost ever accompanied with evils and errors and temptations we only dare mourn over. If we thought these words of ours could be wrested from their purpose and turned into a reproach against the art we worship, they had never been written. In sorrow, not in rebuke, do we turn to the possessors of this glorious gift. Ye minstrels of the people—ye dwellers in palaces-ye idolized of every land—ye worshipped of the earth! What names have ye left behind ? Where hath been your track?. Like the conquerors of the world, who have turned men into brutes, and kingdoms into deserts, your path has been over the desolated passions and wrecked hopes of humanity.
Owen Clare's is a brief story. He listened to the voice of a woman, from whose lips fell music, that a loftier mind than his might well have given all for. All? he had only love to give
- love in its fullest and amplest sense-love, which remembers, hopes, and trusts. They were both young ; too young to marry ; not only in the worldly sense of the word—there are passions to be purified, evils to be suffered, 'ere even those who love most, should marry. Marriage is for men and women. And that mind is not matured for the self-government and mutual reliance which marriage demands, that has not passed through the ordeal of sorrow and suffering.
But they married : and Owen Clare and his wife looked for a career of happiness. She was a child in all, save in her voice. And, as in so many other instances, this had been cultivated to the neglect of every other faculty.
Music is seldom a hallower of home. It is for the sunshine of life, for the gayer hours; the world must be by. Nor was it just, that such a voice as Marian Clare's, should have no listeners. Alas! that it is so : that so wondrous a power should gather a crowd around it, where, perhaps, within the magiccharmed circle, not a single heart thoroughly feels the beauty of the spell.
We said, the tale was a brief one. It was indeed brief. 'Ere many summers had gone over their heads, and in an hour when all seemed sunny and secure, they awoke from their dream to find themselves torn asunder-every hope crushed—every confidence gone_home, with all its associations and endearments destroyed—and for ever.
This chapter is written in another volume.- We dare not trust ourselves with that reserved for so fearful a page.
CHAPTER THE LAST,
Owen Clare never saw that face again. The voice which had been his guide, his solace, his inspiration, lived but in echo. He never met her more. But the spirit of the voice remainedt.
He was never alone. In his dreariest hours, when in his one-room, he trimmed his solitary light, or crouched by his unshared fireside, there it whispered in his ear. By bis bed-in his
prayers, when her name as ever rose upon his lips, the voice in all its sweetness rushed by. In his dreams, every song she ! had ever sung was sung over and over again. In his waking hours in the crowded streets, at a moment when his hand was grasped by
the stranger, or the unwitting laugh came to his lips, the voice was at his side and the tune of some old ballad chased the blood from his cheek. In the broad cathedral, where a thousand voices mingled, there was always one distinct and clear above all . In the gay concert room, no matter whose the
song, who the singer, the tones of the unforgotten echoed in every note.
This mysterious presence was real as of old. It left nothing for yearning or regret, and its very presence spiritualized his existence. Passion had died and a new life had opened to him. If, now, he could have recalled the past with all its joys, its earthliness would have appalled him. He would not have dared touch the hand which had so often swept the instrument with a feeling in which love for him had swayed every finger.
The voice had become as much a hope as a memory. He separated it from all associations of earth.
Life had lost all its old charms for him. Home, was gone for ever. No more could he hope for the waking consciousness of companionship, the shared meal, the linked ramble, the divided anxiety, the trusting and guidance in the struggle, the pride of her sympathy, the dear guerdon of her tears, her child-like exultation at the slight success.
Without the presence of this voice, which seemed a winged spirit of good to draw him from levity and crime, the last years of Owen's life had perhaps been given to despair, perchance to infamy; for he was a being of much passion, and nothing but this chain, stronger than law, and far more potent than custom would have kept him from the hollow follies or the vile pollutions of the world.
But a better and more merciful fate was reserved to him. We never heard of the manner of his death : but he lived not long after her voice had gone forth into the earth. The bearer of his name had passed the ordeal of the world—whose admiration and contempt are alike valuable: and she was now the caressed of the multitude, her joyous smiles waited for, and every favor woman has to give made matter of barter and sale, as if any price could be put upon the smiles of the beloved, or that the worshipper could give less than his whole heart to the being who consecrates his life with life's holiest feeling.
He died-alone. There were friends around, it is truefriends who cared for him, who had never given him a harsh word or a cold look. But she was absent.—and as the last sleep fell upon his soul, the indistinct murmur of her first fond song fell
“ WOMEN ARE ALL F00 L S.”
Kind reader! for the custom is of late
The gentlemen walked in at last—and were