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[52] her blooming youth; but let her hair really grow gray for a day, and see how she likes it! Yet hence with the cruel suggestion! Why should we know how she likes it? Her turn will come soon enough. Be the trustee for youth while you can, my fair one, and you too, jubilant and tumultuous boys. Gray hairs may bring you something that is worth all youth's spring-tide. That something is what it is now the fashion to call “altruism” the power of being happy in another's happiness, the last and most blessed of all Heaven's gifts to man. You have a thousand advantages over your venerable relative who stands, an unobserved wall-flower, behind you; but he has one vast advantage that you cannot share: he can partake in imagination of every thrill of your happiness, for he has had it all; but you cannot comprehend an atom of his, for you have not come to it. As he watches his daughter or his favorite niece with divided emotions in the ballroom — enraged, as Howells says, when she has not a partner, and jealous when she has — he still has a pleasure that he would not, on the whole, exchange for yours. Your enjoyments are more ardent, it may be, but his have wider range, for they represent the whole genial sympathy of matured existence.

And beyond all this-and still more utterly beyond the comprehension of the young — is that

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