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I touched upon the string on which hung all her sorrows: she looked with wistful disorder for some time in my face, and then, without saying anything, took her pipe, and played her service to the Virgin. The string I had touched ceased to vibrate; in a moment or two Maria returned to herself, let her pipe fall, and rose up.
And where are you going, Maria? said I. She said, to Moulines. Let us go, said I, together. Maria put her arm within mine, and, lengthening the string to let the dog follow, in that order we entered Moulines.
THOUGH I hate salutations and greetings in the market-place, yet, when we got into the middle of this, I stopped to take my last look and last farewell of Maria.
Maria, though not tall, was nevertheless of the first order of fine forms: affliction had touched
her looks with something that was scarce earthly; still she was feminine; and so much was there about her of all that the heart wishes or the eye looks for in woman, that could the traces be
ever worn out of her brain, and those of Eliza out of mine, she should not only eat of my bread and drink of my own cup, but Maria should lie in my bosom, and be unto me as a daughter.
Adieu, poor luckless maiden! Imbibe the oil and wine which the compassion of a stranger, as he journeyeth on his way, now pours into thy wounds; the Being who has twice bruised thee can only bind them up forever.
THERE was nothing from which I had painted out for myself so joyous a riot of the affections, as in this journey in the vintage, through this part of France; but pressing through this gate of sorrow to it, my sufferings have totally unfitted me. In every scene of festivity I saw Maria in the background of the piece, sitting pensive under her poplar; and I had got almost to Lyons before I was able to cast a shade across her.
Dear Sensibility! source inexhausted of all that's precious in our joys, or costly in our sorrows! thou chainest thy martyr down upon his bed of straw, and 'tis thou who liftest him up to heaven! Eternal fountain of our feeling! 'tis here I trace
thee, and this is thy "divinity which stirs within me;" not that, in some sad and sickening moments, "my soul shrinks back upon herself, and startles at destruction !"—mere pomp of words!—but that I feel some generous joys and generous cares beyond myself; all comes from thee, great-great Sensorium of the world! which vibrates if a hair of our heads but falls upon the ground in the remotest desert of thy creation. Touched with thee, Eugenius draws my curtain when I languish, hears my tale of symptoms, and blames the weather for the disorder of his nerves. Thou givest a portion of it sometimes to the roughest peasant who traverses the bleakest mountains. He finds the lacerated lamb of another's flock; this moment I behold him leaning with his head against his crook, with piteous inclination looking down upon it! Oh! had I gone one moment sooner! it bleeds to death-his gentle heart bleeds with it!
Peace to thee, generous swain! I see thou walkest off with anguish, but thy joys shall balance it; for happy is thy cottage, and happy is the sharer of it, and happy are the lambs which sport about you.