My letters! all dead paper, mute and white!And yet they seem alive and quiveringAgainst my tremulous hands which loose the stringAnd let them drop down on my knee to-night.This said, -- he wished to have me in his sightOnce, as a friend: this fixed a day in springTo come and touch my hand ... a simple thing,Yet I wept for it! -- this, ... the paper's light ...Said, Dear I love thee; and I sank and quailedAs if God's future thundered on my past.This said, I am thine -- and so its ink has paledWith lying at my heart that beat too fast.And this ... O Love, thy words have ill availedIf, what this said, I dared repeat at last!
Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted: and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none. Beatrice: A dear happiness to women: they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me. -Much Ado About Nothing
The fact is unalterable, that a fellow-mortal with whose nature you are acquainted solely through the brief entrances and exits of a few imaginative weeks called courtship, may, when seen in the continuity of married companionship, be disclosed as something better or worse than what you have preconceived, but will certainly not appear altogether the same.
Wooing, wedding, and repenting is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is hot and hasty like a Scotch jig--and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerly modest, as a measure, full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.