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sure of countenance, and spoke as follows: " It is an aggravation of affliction in a married life, that there is a sort of guilt in communicating it :-for which reason it is, that a lady of your and my acquaintance, instead of speaking to you herself, desired me, the next time I saw you, as you are a professed friend to our sex, to turn your thoughts upon the reciprocal complaisance which is the duty of a married state.
"My friend was neither in birth, fortune, nor education below the gentleman whom she married. Her person, her age, and her character, are also such as he can make no exception to. But so it is, that from the moment the marriage ceremony was over, the obsequiousness of a lover was turned into the haughtiness of a master. All the kind endeavours which she uses to please him, are at best but so many instances of her duty. This insolence takes away that secret satisfaction, which does not only excite to virtue, but also rewards it. It abates the fire of a free and generous love, and imbitters all the pleasures of a social life.". The young lady spoke all this with such an air of resentment, as discovered how nearly she was concerned in the distress.
When I observed she had done speaking, “ Madam," said I, “ the affliction you mention is the greatest that can happen in human life, and I know but one consolation in it, if that be a consolation, that the calamity is a pretty general one. There is nothing so common as for men to enter into marriage, without so much as expecting to be happy in it. They seem to propose to themselves a few holydays in the beginning of it; after which they are to return at best to the usual course of their life; and, for aught they know, to constant misery and uneasiness. From this false sense of the state they are going into, proceed the immediate coldness and indifference, or hatred and aversion, which attend ordinary marriages, or rather bargains to cohabit.” Our conversation was here interrupted by company which came in upon us.
The humour of affecting a superior carriage, generally rises from a false notion of the weakness of a female understanding in general, or an overweening opinion that we have of our own; for when it proceeds from a natural rog. gedness and brutality of temper, it is altogether incorrigible, and not to be, amended by admonition. Sir Francis Bacon, as I remember, lays it down as a maxim, that no marriage can be happy in which the wife has no opinion of her husband's wisdom; but, without offence to so great an authority, I may venture to say, that a sullen wise man is as bad as a good-natured fool. Knowledge, softened with complacency and good-breeding, will make a man equally beloved and respected ; but when joined with a severe, distant, and unsociable temper, it creates rather fear than love. I, who am a bachelor, have no other notions of conjugal tenderness but what I learn from books; and shall therefore produce three letters of Pliny, who was not only one of the greatest, but the most learned man in the whole Roman empire. At the same time, I am very much ashamed, that on such occasions I am obliged to have recourse to heathen authors; and shall appeal to my readers, if they would not think it a mark of a narrow education in a man of quality, to write such passionate letters to any woman but a mistress. They were all three written at a time when she was at a distance from him. The first of them puts me in mind of a married friend of mine, who said, “Sickness itself is pleasant to a man that is attended in it by one whom he dearly loves.”
*PLINY TO CALPHURNIA. "I never was so much offended at business, as when it hindered me from going with you into the country, or following you thither; for I more particularly wish to be with you at present, that I might be sensible of the progress you make in the recovery of your strength and health ; as also of the entertainment and diversions you can meet with in your retirement. Believe me, it is an anxious state of mind to live in ignorance of what happens to those whom we passionately love. I am not only in pain for your absence, but also for your indisposition. I am afraid of every thing, fancy every thing, and, as it is the nature of man in fear, I fancy those things most, which I am most afraid of. Let me, therefore, earnestly desire you to favour me, under these my apprehensions, with
one letter every day, or, if possible, with two; for I shall be a little at ease while I am reading your letters, and grow anxious again as soon as I have read them.”
Second letter. “ You tell me, that you are very much afflicted at my absence, and that you have no satisfaction in any thing but my writings, which you often lay by you- upon my pillow. You oblige me very much in wishing to see me, and making me your comforter in my absence. In return, I must let you know, I am no less pleased with the letters which you writ to me, and read them over a thousand times with new pleasure. If your letters are capable of giving me so much pleasure, what would your conversation do? Let me beg of you to write to me often; though at the same time, I must confess, your letters give me anguish whilst they give me pleasure.”
Third letter. "It is impossible to conceive how much I languish for you in your absence; the tender love I bear you is the chief cause of this my uneasiness; which is still the more unsupportable, because absence is wholly a new thing to us. I lie awake most part of the night in thinking of you, and several times of the day go as naturally to your apartment as if you were there to receive me; but when I miss you, I come away dejected, out of humour, and
like a man that had suffered a repulse. There is but one part of the day in which I am relieved from this anxiety, and that is when I am engaged in public affairs.
“ You may guess at the uneasy condition of one who has no rest but in business, no consolation but in trouble.".
I shall conclude this paper with a beautiful passage out of Milton, and leave it as a lecture to those of my own sex, who have a mind to make their conversation agreeable as well as instructive, to the fair partners who are fallen into their care. Eve having observed that Adam was entering into some deep disquisitions with the angel, who was sent to visit him, is described as retiring from their com. pany, with a design of learning what should pass there from her husband :
"So spoke our sire, and by his countenance seem'd Entering on studious thoughts abstruse, which Eve Perceiving where she sat retired in sight, With lowliness majestic, froin her seat Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers. Yet went she not, as not with such discourse Delighted, or not capable her ear Of what was high. Such pleasures she reserved, Aram relating, she sole auditress; Her husband the relater she preferr'd Before the angel, and of him to ask Chose rather. He, she knew would intermix Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute With conjugal caresses; from bis lip Not words alone pleased her. O! when meet now Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'd?"