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This essay appeared in the April 1794 edition of the Massachusetts Magazine
under the name "Constantia." It examines the serenity of deep and "equal" friendship.
The Repository. No. XIX.
HOW is the hour marked down to wisdom, which is passed in listening to a sentimental friend. -- What a pleasing sensation to feel the heart beat in unison, and every thought rise congenial with the instructions of sapience. To be at length admitted to the equality of conversation, and to be assured that the f[o]llies of youthful fancy will be condescendingly corrected by the experience of riper years, which is indeed an attainment which can hardly be too highly estimated. -- How privileged are those young persons who are indulged with a preceptor, with a preceptress, whose meliorated wisdom can point out to them the way of peace.
A recent walk with one of the first of my female friends, has invigorated the sense of gratitude in my bosom, and given me to feel the full value of her connexion. Arm in arm we ascended the acclivity of the hill -- the boundless ocean was outspread before us, the craggy rocks, and the steep surrounding eminences, conspired to heighten the rude grandeur of the scene, while the fertile vallies, rich with verdure, completed the pleasing view. The conversation of my revered monitress, ever replete with information, seemed now unusually dignified; never may my soul relinquish the instruction of her remarks. Throwing her expressive eye around, sweetly she chanted -- "Hence busy world with all thy cares," &c. Her voice always harmonious, was peculiarly enchanting at this time. The sweet songster of the wood joined the melody of their little throats; savonian breezes lent their genial aid. The sun was hasting below our horizon; the pleasing calm of grateful serenity took possession of our spirits; by the elevating glow of rational devotion, every thought became gradually assimilated, and sublimed, and an emanation of divine philanthropy pervaded our bosoms.
2007 © Bonnie Hurd Smith
Independent scholar and author Bonnie Hurd Smith is the president and CEO of History Smiths
a marketing company that works with businesses to incorporate history
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