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WAY OF PEACE,
BY ELIZA PAGET,
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
This is the way-walk ye in it.
Printed and published by
HENRY MOZLEY AND SON;
c. N. WRIGHT, NOTTINGHAM.
THE WAY OF PEACE.
The world can never give
The bliss for which we sigh.
“I wish I could prevail upon you to let me read that letter,” said Leslie, as Mrs. Westbury closed one which she had just received from her sister.
“ You shall do so, if you wish it,” returned she, “ for as Emily is so soon to visit us, it will introduce her to you. I must request you, however, not to allude to it when she is arrived, as I am sure she would feel hurt if she thought her letters ever met any eye but mine.”
Leslie bowed acquiescence, and Mrs. Westbury put the large and closely written sheet into his hand. The letter commenced with the information that Mr. Landor had at length consented to her spending the summer and autumn at Elmwood, and that she might therefore be expected to arrive some time during the next week. It then continued:
“ You will be surprised when I tell you that I am very unhappy. Yes, my dear sister, though I possess every apparent requisite for complete felicity, I am very, very unhappy. It is impossible for any one to treat me with more kindness and affection than my dear father does; he seems continually watching for an opportunity of gratifying me; I am surrounded with interesting books of every description; I have a large circle of acquaintance, all of whom appear to wish for my society; there is scarcely any pleasure of which I cannot partake; and yet, with all this, I feel such a dissatisfaction, such a longing after a more perfect happiness, that at times I am really miserable.
“ You know I left school soon after you were married. I was then very sanguine in my expectations of the happiness I should enjoy at home; I am very fond of reading, and for some time my favourite resort was to my father's ample library, but in a few weeks I found that books could not impart the peace and serenity of mind which I expected, and which I so earnestly desired to possess. When I closed the most interesting work, I always felt a dissatisfaction with myself, and all around me, 'which no kindness from my father, no attentions from my friends, could dissipate, so that I found the happiness I anticipated from books, and from the society of those who were dear to me, alike insufficient.
66 After this I tried whether gaiety and pleasure
were happiness; I attended the theatre, the assembly-room, and the card party, but to' no purpose,
-nay, I think I was even more unhappy than before; for what is more irksome than to be compelled to wear a face of smiles and joy, when an aching heart is concealed beneath it? amidst all this pleasure I did not find the object of my search, but I was deeply convinced that happiness is not the usual companion of gaiety, and that the paths of dissipation can never, never lead to peace. I still felt that something was wanting: after the novelty of these amusements was worn off, I was again convinced that as yet I had not discovered
the way of peace,' and again I became discontented and melancholy.
66 About this time, the curate of the church we attend was taken ill, and a stranger from the country supplied his place for a few weeks. I was much pleased with the new minister; his style of preaching was so animated, his language so beautiful, and his action and delivery so graceful, that I always paid particular attention to his sermons. One morning he preached from the text, • Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace,' and in this sermon he told us that to be good is to be happy,' and that those who live agreeably to the rules of religion, who do their duty as far as the infirmities of human nature will permit, and who are kind and benevolent to their fellow-creatures, cannot be otherwise ; for though