Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter II >> Page 12

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Page 12

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 12 SOUTHWARD HO
not easy to analyze. We owe to this secret prompter some of the
best benefits which the world enjoys; and the temporary sufferings
of the affections�the wounds of separation are not wholly
without their compensation, even while the wounds are green.
A similitude has somewhere been traced between the effects
of parting and of death. The former has been called a death
in miniature. It certainly very often provokes as fond an exhi-
bition of grief and privation. But these declare as much for
life as for mortality. There is another side to the picture. The
parting of friends is so far grateful, as it gives us the renewed
evidences of a warm, outgushing, and acutely-sensitive humanity.
We are consoled, through the sorrow, by the love. We see the
grief, but it does not give us pain, as we find its origin in the
most precious developments of the human nature. We weep,
but we feel ; and there is hope for the heart so long as it can
feel. There are regrets but 0 ! how sweet are the sympa-
thies which harbor in those regrets ! The emotions, the pas-
sions, �the more precious interior sentiments, need occasion-
ally some pressure, some privation, some pang, in order that
they may be made to show themselves�in order that we may
be assured of our possessions still ; �and how warmly do they
crowd and gather above us in the moment when we separate
from our associates ! Into what unexpected activity and utter-
ance do they start and spring, even in the case of those whose
ordinary looks are cold, who, like certain herbs of the forest,
need to be bruised heavily before they will give out the aromatic
sweetness which harbors in their bosoms !
And these are the best proofs of life�not death. Humanity
never possesses more keen and precious vitality than while it
suffers. It is not, as in the hour of decay and decline when
the blood is chilled by apathy�when the tongue is stilled by
palsy�when the exhausted nature gladly foregoes the strug-
gle, and craves escape from the wearying conflict for existence
anxious now for the quiet waters only�imploring peace, and
dulled and indifferent in respect to all mortal associations. The
thoughts of the mind, the yearnings of the heart, are all of a
different nature, at the separation of friends and kindred. They
do not part without a hope. The pain of parting is not without
a pleasure. There are sweet sorrows, as well as sad, and this