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MY DEAREST BROTHER,
I often lament that we are separated so far from each other, that we cannot, as in our younger days, take sweet counsel together. I shall never forget what I felt when I saw the ship sail away, which was to convey you from us for so long a time: I sat down upon the beach, and I thought my heart would break, as its every power hung brooding on the one thought — that you were gone - gone for many, many years, gone in your youth, not to return again till we were both-Oh! I will not go on in this melancholy strain : you know by the feelings of your own true affection for me, that I can never for a day forget you, or my other dear brother. I think you will smile to re
ceive a letter in print from a certain younger brother - a letter of introduction to this little book, which I have sent out with it. I believe, my dear John, that you are partly accountable for my troubling the public with these strange stories : at least, I certainly gained my love of the marvellous from the wonderful stories you were wont to charm me withal, on your return from school. 6 Thanks to the human heart by which we live; in
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears."* .. I have now before me many of the scenes of our childhood in all their vivid colouring: I can see, as in those sweet early days, the beautiful and slender boy whom I looked up to as my elder brother. I can see again your blue eyes, your pure complexion, the silken rings of bright hair which hung in such
rich profusion about your head and neck, the jacket and trowsers of dark purple silk, which you used to wear, and I used to covet. I can almost feel myself again shrugging up my shoulders to keep up the little nankeen frock which would slip down so uneasily. I can see the broad-chested little urchin standing like the portraits of bluff King Harry, and the round rosy face, the straight dark hair, which I remember to have surveyed with much wonderment before my mother's tall dressing-glass. Where could you learn those marvellous adventures which you loved to recount in some lonely corner of our delightful garden? Where could you gain those fancies which you made me implicitly believe? such as the possibility of finding' valuable old china by digging for it, as we did, when you looked upon every little fragment of porcelain which
we turned up by chance, as a presage of some valuable discovery? or again, when you led me to expect that we might break into the vast waters which are under the earth with, our little spades? I have also many dear, yet dim recollections, which I scarcely wish to draw forth from the mist-like veil which has gathered over them; you are amid them, my own brother, , ?
« The thought of our past years in me doth breed ::
Perpetual benedictions :"*
But you must let me give you some account of this little volume. The Human Heart is an ambitious title, is it not? Oh, I know it well enough ! ** , “ 'Tis called a book, though but a single page.”+..
Indeed it is but as a single page of that same wondrous book, the human heart. I have wished to illustrate some of the