1 Chapter-First It was one of those delicious days in spring which make us feel existence to be a blessing. The warmth--the mildness the stillness of the air, softens--soothes & saddens the soul. The same atmosphere which expands the blossom, expands the hart; the same instinct which plumes the pinions of the bird & leads it to longer & higher flights, develops thought, & carries it into futurity & elevates it to the source of Being. The renovation of nature after the topor of winter, is an assurance of immortality after the slumber of the grave.--On such a day as this, there is so sweet an accordance & harmony between our eternal sensations & internal sentiments that our whole being is attuned to melody. Yes--to live, is to enjoy- and at such moments we neither live, or enjoy alone.
The general influence which pervades one [?], pervades our bosom, & while we feel,--we participate in the benevolence of the one for the love which lifts us to him, unites us to our fellow men. On such a day as this the heart is more than full, & this superabundance of life we feel [deletion] overflows the boundaries of the present moment & carrying our affections back to the years that one past & to those that are to come, or seeks the surcharged soul with a vague & delerious revery.
Leaning against an open casement, long had Julia Clifton sat, lost, absorbed, in the depth of her own thoughts, in the fullness of her own sensations. She inhaled the soft air, she listened to the sweet sounds & gazed on the beauties of rising nature, & she felt the influence of the awakened spirit of vitality that breathed around her.
Julia was one of those, who endowed by nature with those quick perceptions of the beautiful & sublime, desired in the various forms & shows of nature, its charms, not observed by common minds; & to this quickness of perceptions, was added a kind of sensibility which made her susceptible, of a pleasure nay, even of a rapture, of which few are able to conceive.
to her--& to enthusiasts like her, creation reveals secrets, hidden from vulgar souls--it has a language which they cannot
(2) comprend--a voice which they cannot hear.
Even the waving of a branch--the humming of an inset the fall of a raindrop, have a meaning & a charm for the fond enthusaist of nature.
The dewy freshness of morning, the lengthning shadows of evening the brightness of the sunny landscape--the gloom of the deep forest the sighing of the breeze or the roaring of the tempest, all--all had charms for Julia. Often when some one has seen her gazing on the setting sun--or the moon sailing amidst silver clouds, or watching the gathering storm & listening in wrapt attention to the dashing torrent or roaring winds, they have exclaimed "Silly & romantic creature, surely she is half deranged," Julia instead of resenting their ridicule, woud pity their insensibility & wonder how creatures not blind & deaf, could witness such scenes, or listen to such sounds without emotion. In her disposition she had a treasure, which sordid wealth could not bestow, & while she gazed with rapture on the hills--the plains--the forest that spread around She was richer in her perceptions of their beauty, than their owners were in the possession of the soil.
On this delightful day--her soul exulted in these enviable stores of wealth. Sometimes her eyes wandered over the distant hills--half hid in mist sometimes rested on the tender verdure of the lawn, the bursting buds of the shrubbery, or the [?] of the willow when drooping branches waved in the vernal breeze, until her bosom swelled with desires, that it seemed to her all the joy of earth could not satisfy & instinctively she would turn her ardent gaze to heaven & wish that her bursting sighs could waft her soul to those happier regions. For hours would she fix her eyes on the white & fleecy clouds which were floating over the blue expanse; watch their varying forms & pursue them in their airy course.
(3) The moon had passed, & the evning still found Julia lost in pleasing revery, & tender recollection- "Days of my youth!" she exclaimed--'Ye are gone! Your [?] visions, your ardent hopes, all, all have gone, & proved as fleeting & unsubstantial as those light clouds which float over yonder sky.--Ye, painted & beautiful vapours! resplendant with the noon day sun, your varying & evanescent forms, your soft & glowing clours, are but the embodied breathe of nature; extractions from the earthy, too etheral for those lower regions. Disengaged from grosser matter, ye asend to heaven take the sighings of the heart,--the breathings of a sould dissatisfied with the low born pleasures, & as piring after immortality. For what but vapours pointed by a brilliant Fancy; what but every varying forms, are the fond hopes--the glowing pleasures of human life!
The morning & the noon are past, the day is closing--the clouds follow the setting sun, & settle round the horizon. Down shall his fiery orb sink from sight, but his lingering rays will still paint the cloudes & diffuse over the landscape a rich & mellow light.
Ye, days of my life! your bright mornin ghas gone, your meridian shall soon be past & when its evening comes, will yet some pleasures, hopes & affections cluster round its close, like these light clouds round the closing day?
Shall the lingering affections of life, paint its last scenes & warm its last hours, with such a warm glow as the departed sun leaves behind?
Or like the black thunder storm which so often terminates the brightest days of summer, shall the evening of my life be darkened by disappointment & sorrow? Yes surely this will be so. For, not more certaintly do those clouds beautiful as they are, carry within their bosoms the elements of storms, than, are hidden within your dearest joys, the principles of affection.
My life has indeed been like a summer's day, glowing with the