himself bore marked traces of the very epidemic he banished, and his Little Nells and Little Pauls were the last survival of the sentimental period; but nevertheless, it was he, more than any one else, who exorcised it; and whatever its merits, he rendered the world a service in that act of grace.
Yet no one can really regret, I should say, to have been born during that earlier period; it suffused life with a certain charm; and though it may sometimes have prematurely exhausted the heart, it oftener kept it young.
For as we grow older we revert to the associations of our youth; what prevailed then seems always desirable; if our youth was a period of compression, our age is doubly such, but if that early period had emotional freedom and epanchement
, our old age will have the same.
Those who were in the current of the transcendental movement that swept through Europe
half a century ago, will probably always have a touch of sentimentalism in their sympathies, a little exuberance somewhere, even when the outside is hard or constrained; and even those who belong to a later