scenes of deeper emotion, than observation has revealed to every human being, whose perceptions have been habitually alive to the claims of weak and suffering humanity; nor has fiction ever portrayed such profound wretchedness as we may daily find amongst the poor and the depraved; and not wretchedness alone, for what language of mimic feeling has ever been found to equal the touching pathos of the poor and simple-hearted? Nay, so far does imagination fall short of reality, that the highest encomium we can pass upon a writer of fiction, is, that his expressions are "true to nature."
This is what we may find every day in actual life, if we will but look for it—intensity of feeling under all its different forms; the mother's tender love; the father's high ambition; hope in its early bud, its first blight, and its final extinction; the joy of youth; the helplessness of old age; patience under suffering; disinterested zeal; strong faith, and calm resignation. And shall we say that we feel no interest in realities of which the novel and the drama are but feeble imitations? It is true that heroes and heroines do not strike upon their hearts, or fall prostrate, or tear their hair before us, every day; but I repeat again, that the touching pathos of true feeling, which all may become acquainted with, if they will employ their powers of observation upon human life as it exists around us, has nothing to equal it in poetry or fiction. If, then, we would turn our attention to human life as it is, and employ our powers of observation upon common things, we should find a never-failing source of interest, not only in the sympathies of our common nature, but in all which displays the wisdom and goodness of the Creator; for this ought ever to be our highest and ultimate aim in the exercise of every faculty we possess, to perceive the impress of the finger