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acting for himself, he will obtain also, by degrees, the coincidence of those in whose company he is to transact the business of life. If the manners of such a man are free from arrogance, and he can qualify his firmness with a moderate degree of insinuation ; and if his measures have partly lost the appearance of being the dictates of his will, under the wider and softer sanction of some experience that they are reasonable ; both competition and fear will be laid to sleep, and his will may acquire an unresisted ascendency over many who will be pleased to fall into the mechanism of a system, which they find makes them more successful and happy than they could have been amidst the anxiety of adjusting plans and expedients of their own, and the consequences of often adjusting them' ill. I have known several parents, both fathers and mothers, whose management of their families has answered this description; and has displayed a striking example of the facile complacency with which a number of persons, of different ages and dispositions, will yield to the decisions of a firm mind, acting on an equitable and enlightened system.
The last resource of this character is hard, inflexible pertinacity, on which it may be allowed to rest its strength, after finding it can be effectual in none of its milder forms. I remember admiring an instance of this kind, in a firm, sagacious and very estimable old man, whom I well knew, and who is now dead.
Being on a jury, in a trial of life and death, he was completely satisfied of the innocence of the prisoner; the other eleven were of the opposite opinion. But he was resolved the man should not be condemned; and, as the first effort for preventing it, very properly made application to the minds of his associates, spending several hours in labouring to convince the:n. But he found he made no impression, while he was exhausting the strength which was to be reserved for another mode of operation. He then calmly told them, it should now be a trial who could endure confinement and famine the long. est, and that they might be quite assured he would sooner die than release them at the expense of the prisoner's life. In this situation they spent about twenty-four hours, when, at length, all acceded to his verdict of acquittal.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE. The pleasantest part of a man's life is generally that which passes in courtship, provided his passion be sincere, and the party beloved kind with discretion. Love, desire, hope, all the pleasing emotions of the soul rise in the pursuit.
It is easier for an artful man who is not in love, to persuade his mistress he has a passion for her, and to succeed in his pursuits, than for one who loves with the greatest violence. True love has ten thousand griefs, impatiences, and resentments, that render a man unamiable in the eyes of the person whose affection he solicits; besides that, it sinks his figure, gives him fears, apprehensions, and poorness of spirit, and often makes him appear ridiculous where he has a mind to recommend himself.
Those marriages generally abound most with love and constancy, that are preceded by long courtship. The passion should strike root, and gather strength before marriage be grafted on it. A long course of hopes and expectations fixes the idea in our minds, and habituates us to a fondness of the person beloved.
There is nothing of so great importance to us as the good qualities of one to whom we join ourselves for life; they do not only make our present state agreeable, but often determine our happiness to all eternity. Where the choice is left to friends, the chief point under consideration is an estate; where the parties choose for themselves, their thoughts turn most upon the person. They have both their reasons. The first would procure many conveniences and pleasures of life to the party whose interests they espouse; and at the same time may hope that the wealth of their friends will turn to their own credit and advantage. The others are preparing for themselves a perpetual feast. A good person does not only raise but continue love, anů breeds a secret pleasure and complacency in the beholder, when the first heats of desire are extinguished. It puts the wife or husband in countenance, both among friends and strangers, and generally fills the family with a healthy and beautiful race of children.
I should prefer a woman that is agreeable in my own eye, and not deformed in that of the world, to a celebrated beauty. If you marry one remarkably beautiful, you must have a violent passion for her, or you have not the proper taste for her charms; and if you have such à passion for her, it is odds but it would be imbittered with fears and jealousies.
Good nature and evenness of temper will give you an easy companion for life; virtue and good sense an agreeable friend ; love and constancy, a good wife or husband. Where we meet one person with all these accomplishments, we find a hundred without any one of them. The world, notwithstanding, is more intent on trains and equipages, and all the showy parts of life: we love rather to dazzle the multitude than consult our proper interests; and as I have elsewhere observed, it is one of the most unaccountable passions of human nature, that we are at greater pains to appear easy and happy to others than really to make ourselves so. Of all disparities, that in humour makes the most unhappy marriages, yet scarce enters into onr thoughts at the contracting of them. Several that are in this respect unequally yoked, and uneasy for life with a person of a particular character, might have been pleased and happy with a person of a contrary one, notwithstanding they are both perhaps equally virtuous and laudable in their kind."
Before marriage we cannot be too inquisitive and discerning in the faults of the person beloved, nor after it too dim-sighted and superficial. However perfect and accomplished the person appears to you at a distance, you will find .many blemishes and imperfections in her hù. mour, upon a more intimate acquaintance, which you never discovered or perhaps suspected. Here, therefore, discretion and good-nature are to show their strength; the first will hinder your thoughts from dwelling on what is disagreeable, the other will raise in you all the tenderness of compassion and humanity, and by degrees soften those very imperfections into beauties.
Marriage enlarges the scene of our happiness and miseries. A marriage of love is pleasant; a marriage of interest easy; and a marriage where both meet, happy. A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of friendship, all the enjoyments of sense and reason; and, indeed, all the sweets of life. Nothing is a greater mark of a degenerate and vicious age, than the common ridicale which passes on this state of life. It is, indeed, only happy in those who can look down with scorn' and neglect on the impieties of the times, and tread the paths of life together in a constant uniform course of virtue.