Under the Young Girl's blighting
reign--or rather under the rule of those false Ministers of the Censure who have appointed themselves to the custody of her welfare--love
Married with the sanction of the Family and the blessing of the Church--who could suppose that the time was coming, nevertheless, when the blighting
question would fall on them, in the spring-time of their love: Are you Man and Wife?
A hundred times in every week, some new most paltry exhibition of that narrow-minded and injurious Party Spirit, which is the Simoom of America, sickening and blighting
everything of wholesome life within its reach, was forced upon my notice; but I never turned my back upon it with feelings of such deep disgust and measureless contempt, as when I crossed the threshold of this madhouse.
At no Mother's knee but hers had he ever dwelt in his youth on hopeful promises, on playful fancies, on the harvests of tenderness and humility that lie hidden in the early-fostered seeds of the imagination; on the oaks of retreat from blighting
winds, that have the germs of their strong roots in nursery acorns.
But the fact was so, for at the next bend in the lane Maggie actually saw the little semicircular black tent with the blue smoke rising before it, which was to be her refuge from all the blighting
obloquy that had pursued her in civilized life.
A long suburb of red brick houses--some with patches of garden-ground, where coal-dust and factory smoke darkened the shrinking leaves, and coarse rank flowers, and where the struggling vegetation sickened and sank under the hot breath of kiln and furnace, making them by its presence seem yet more blighting
and unwholesome than in the town itself--a long, flat, straggling suburb passed, they came, by slow degrees, upon a cheerless region, where not a blade of grass was seen to grow, where not a bud put forth its promise in the spring, where nothing green could live but on the surface of the stagnant pools, which here and there lay idly sweltering by the black road-side.