A short period of exquisite felicity followed, and but a short one.
Anne could do no more; but her heart prophesied some mischance to damp the perfection of her felicity.
Her spring of felicity was in the glow of her spirits, as her friend Anne’s was in the warmth of her heart.
Anne wondered whether it ever occurred to him now, to question the justness of his own previous opinion as to the universal felicity and advantage of firmness of character; and whether it might not strike him that, like all other qualities of the mind, it should have its proportions and limits.
He was steady, observant, moderate, candid; never run away with by spirits or by selfishness, which fancied itself strong feeling; and yet, with a sensibility to what was amiable and lovely, and a value for all the felicities of domestic life, which characters of fancied enthusiasm and violent agitation seldom really possess.
An interval of meditation, serious and grateful, was the best corrective of everything dangerous in such high-wrought felicity; and she went to her room, and grew steadfast and fearless in the thankfulness of her enjoyment.
Elizabeth arm in arm with Miss Carteret, and looking on the broad back of the dowager Viscountess Dalrymple before her, had nothing to wish for which did not seem within her reach; and Anne—but it would be an insult to the nature of Anne’s felicity, to draw any comparison between it and her sister’s; the origin of one all selfish vanity, of the other all generous attachment.
The disproportion in their fortune was nothing; it did not give her a moment’s regret; but to have no family to receive and estimate him properly, nothing of respectability, of harmony, of good will to offer in return for all the worth and all the prompt welcome which met her in his brothers and sisters, was a source of as lively pain as her mind could well be sensible of under circumstances of otherwise strong felicity.
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A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.
There is a time when a man distinguishes the idea of felicity from the idea of wealth; it is the beginning of wisdom.