"M having still some remains of a military disposition, and this to be a more favourable opportunity than any he should ever meet with again, readily embraced the offer, and sacrificed the soft delights of love, which at that time he enjoyed without control, to an eager, laborious, and dangerous curiosity.
We have been like children who have quarrelled over our game of play, till now, at the close of our little day of pleasure, we are fain to meet each other in tears, and acknowledge that we have looked for delights where no delights were to be found. Kate, who is here, talks to me of passionate love. There is no such passion left to me; nor, as I think, to you either.
Ferrero has aptly likened it to Paris not so much the Paris of to-day as the Paris of forty years ago, when the Second Empire flourished in all its splendor as the home of joy and strange delights. Over the country of which Alexandria was the capital Cleopatra came to reign at seventeen.
Then I weep without the power to help myself." She rings the changes upon this inexhaustible theme. A responsive word delights her; a brief silence terrifies her; a slight coldness plunges her into despair. "I have an imagination so lively that uncertainty makes me die," she writes. If a shadow of grief touches her idol, her sympathies are overflowing.
She would be able to do fancy-work, too, and read as much as she liked, and would not have to get up till she had had her breakfast and the fire was lighted, and need not trouble about lessons at all a stiff neck was a very small drawback to the delights of such a change. Next day another girl's neck was stiff. Miss Smallwood searched for a draught, but did not succeed in finding one.
So, then, these words seem to me to carry two thoughts: the first, what God delights to find in a man; and the second, what God delights to give to the man in whom He finds it.
And, as always happens with a first-rate man, what struck him even more than the teaching was the teacher. So that this memory of 1840 is still dear and precious to him, and for this double service, which is not of the kind one forgets, the student of those days delights in expressing to the professor of 1840 his sincere and filial gratitude."
This was a realisation of those delights of life of which she had read in the thrice-thumbed old novels which she had gotten from the little circulating library at Bungay. But what was to come next? She had not dared to ask him to marry her, had not dared to say those very words; and he had not dared to ask her to be his mistress.
Little by little the first raptures subside and they can peacefully enjoy the delights of their new condition. Happy lovers, worthy husband and wife! To do honour to their virtues, to paint their felicity, would require the history of their lives. How often does my heart throb with rapture when I behold in them the crown of my life's work!
Yes, dear Laura, it was you who first taught me the delights and joys of love; it was you who first kindled that flame of desire that has caused me to experience twelve years of delirious bliss; it was to your gentle teaching, sweet friend, that I owe my initiation in all the mysteries of the Court of Venus; it was your soft hand that pointed out to me that path of pleasure and all the delight shown on the wayside.