Page images
PDF
EPUB

procal confidence was unbounded...... I did not consider Psyche as a beautiful girl, whose charms could allay the thirsting fever of my soul;.....but as an intellectual being, whose celestial attributes were superior to every selfish gratification. To her......I was an Orpheus.....She eagerly attended to my instructions in philosophy......and fancied.....while I spoke......she listened to divinity. Yet love......such is its peculiar nature, however we may refine it........ still looks forwards to the end for which it has been designed. We retarded its progress. Friendship, however, soon became too cool a sentiment to express our ardor......We fancied that brotherly and sisterly love would extend our

gretted that heaven had not formed us I 4 *

in the same mould....... but determined to supply the defect by our own free choice. . In this new character we were the delight of each other......We indulged in all those innocent endearments the nature of our connection warranted, without infringing the laws of virtue, which we had sworn to preserve inviolate. This commerce of the hearts we enthusiastically pursued, till we began to imagine we obeyed the voice of instinct in following the illusion......We even began to see a resemblance of feature in each other.....In short.... we had wound up our thoughts to such a pitch, that Dame Nature was then beginning....... rather imperiously.....to assert her dues;....and nothing is more certain, than, that we should have loved like other people, had not the Priestess interrupted our progress, just as we were verging towards the experiment. Many weeks had passed without her bestowing the least notice on me;...... and you will readily believe I did not throw away a single thought on her, while I was so much more pleasingly engaged.....I was, at last, disagreeably surprized with an order to attend her.

I obeyed.....and soon found that the Paphian Queen had not suffered her to be so much at ease during this absence, as might have been wished for both our sakes.

Most probably she had....like Phoedra in Euripides.....summoned all the pride of the woman......... and the dignity of the Priestess....... to repel the invading passion which harassed her repose...... but finding Fate more obstinate than Reason.....she had recourse.....like that unhappy Princess......to delusive arguments to pacify conscience, and inspire the heroic determination of yielding to destiny.

She resolved to see me;....and satisfied that no indirect overtures would awaken my raptures.....she bade adieu to reserve...and, in so many plain words, told me she loved, and expected to have her passion returned.

This confession was accompanied by the most alluring gestures........ her voluptuous attitude removed all difficulty........ and invited the most exalted joys.

I cannot........ €VCIl Il OW.......... avoid blushing at the recollection of this shameful moment....... Love was profaned......human nature degraded !

It was not possible for the Priestess to be more mortified at this scene than I was........ I endeavoured to spare her confusion, and soften the harsh negative I gave her unbridled wishes;...... but the mildness of my accents were little calculated to appease her chagrin .........her anger raged like a merciless

[ocr errors]

tempest.....Her tears were oceasionally interrupted by the most pathetic exclamations......I was so weak as to be affected by her undissembled sorrows, and weep over her distress; till, finding every effort useless.....I did, what

I ought to have done at first.....I fled. At night...as usual...I met my beloved Psyche, to whom Iimparted all that happened....... she feelingly joined her regrets to mine.......and we pitied that boisterous passion which had so little resemblance with the peaceful serenity of ours. . - we now began to apprehend that this fury would..... sooner or later,..... burst out again.....and fall on both our devoted heads.

To evade discovery we consented... though painfully.....to interrupt the pure delightswepartook in each other, by discontinuing our nightly visits for a time.

« PreviousContinue »