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Leaves In The Life Of An Idler
by [?]

“It is not good for man to live alone;” and you dream of another to share the rapture your wild fancy has created.

Your Haidee is pure. Her form has rather the statuesque roundness of Psyche than the luxurious excess of Venus. Timid, yet not tremulous, graceful even to delicacy, coquettish in outline, her beauty is formed for smiles. She is a still-eyed Xenobi, but knows nothing of Passion with disheveled locks, divine frenzy, and fiery grasp. She is your friend and comforter; and you are the strong rock her helplessness clings to. Your uncouth manner softens as you behold her troubled look. You become kind and considerate. You watch with pity the pinched faces of anxiety that pass before you. You cheer the little beggar, and give him of your abundance. Unhappy wanderer! he has started early on his wretched pilgrimage for bread. “Your heart, enlarged by its new sympathy with one, grows bountiful to all.” The fragrant smoke curls in heavier clouds, and is wafted imperceptibly into the darkness. Ah, Arthur Granger! Arthur Granger! you are dreaming impossibilities, as the man athirst dreams of flowing waters.

“Love has lost its wings of heavenly azure with which it soared light as a lark into the empyrean, and now grovels on the earth, weighed down by the burden of red gold.”

How well I recollect that warm, balmy March morning! My mother had sent me to Paris about six months before, to read law with an old relative. Of course I was delighted; but that day I felt tired of the dull routine of my life, and longed for the green fields, waving trees, and wild mountain-torrents of my home. I was walking slowly down the street, thinking gloomily of the labors of another day, and she was standing near a school-house door, intently occupied in giving some directions to an old soldier. In my whole life I do not think I ever saw a more beautiful creature. The airiness of the lithe little figure, the playfulness in the nod of the graceful head, the look of joyous innocence on that perfect face, flitted through my mind like a bright ray of sunshine during the entire day. Every morning, for years after, I met that child; and every morning her beaming smile cheered my young life like a glimpse of heaven. I never spoke to her; it was a long time before she even knew of my existence; but by-and-by I noticed a quizzical expression come over the old man’s face, and I saw her features warm with a faint flush of recognition. How many dreams I based on that slight fabric! Of course I discovered her name; and of course I learned that her father was very rich; but what was that to me? With what pride did I gaze at his name in huge gilt letters on a great warehouse near us, and what wonderful little gothic cottages did I build on the strength of the “and Son” that would shortly be added to it! The long nights with my cousin became less wearisome. I could hear the dull creaking of the letter-press, and see him sit poring over his writing, quite patiently. When the organ-grinder stopped on the corner and played “Make me no gaudy chaplet,” I did not long to rush into the streets, for I had her to think about. When the clock struck eleven, and my cousin, with his peculiar “phew!” commenced another letter, I looked on quite calmly, and began the construction of another cottage. Of course there were rainy days, and Thursdays that were ages to me; and there were Christmas holidays, and long, hot vacations, that she did not come; but September brought back the radiant face, and I worshiped on.

Gradually I noticed a change in her dress. She wore little lace collars, and bright ribbons I had not seen before; and sometimes she carried a little bouquet of violets, with a white rosebud in the center. As she grew older, I had many rivals. Gallant youths, brave in broadcloth and beavers, followed by dozens the Picciola I had watched so tenderly. How proudly I passed them by! and how I sneered at the thought of their understanding her!