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MARRIAGE, which is the epic of a woman's life, is apt to be considered the mere episode of a man's. It is often entered upon without any serious reflection upon the duties it imposes, or the responsibilities it involves. Not unfrequently it happens that a man marries without any regular plan of life, by which the happiness that legitimately follows from so interesting and endearing a connexion shall be secured and continued during its term. The duties and attentions of the husband are thus left to chance or mere impulse, and misunderstanding, jealousy, and estrangement ensue, where there was no want of affection or of general good intention. The circumstance that the connexion is for life cures many of the less important evils resulting from this carelessness and want
of reflection. But it were much better to prevent than to remedy any evil in which the affections are concerned. It were far better to begin well, than take lessons of reform in the school of that hard teacher, Experience. A word of counsel to the young husband, from a friend, if attended to, may save many words of remonstrance from the wife. Half the unhappiness of married people arises from inattention to trifles in the beginning ; from a want of due consideration of each other's feelings ; and from not taking care to render those · kind offices habitual which are mutually agreeable.
The beginnings of family discord are generally slight; some little habit which occasions uneasiness, a habit perhaps easily corrected in the outset, but which, neglected, leads to the most unpleasant results.
A word of counsel given at the right season might save 'many a family from unhappiness, simply by directing attention
to the proper duties of the married ; and pointing out the course of conduct which is calculated to ensure permanent domestic felicity.
Such a word of advice, so far as the lady is concerned, we endeavoured to furnish in the Young Wife's Book. To that work the present volume is intended as a companion. It comprises a summary of the principal duties imposed on the gentleman by the sacred engagements of matrimony; and many counsels, from many able pens, concerning the general deportment which is best calculated to ensure the continued affection and respect of the wife, and render a man's HOME a haven of rest and refreshment from the weary cares and troubles of this world, and a habitation of those virtues and graces which fit their possessors for the final home of the righteous.