« السابقةمتابعة »
MATRIMONIAL QUARRELS. It is very commonly observed, that the most smart pangs which we meet with, are in the beginning of wedlock, which proceed from ignorance of each other's humour, and want of prudence to make allowances for a change from the most careful respect to the most unbounded familiarity. Hence it arises, that trifles are commonly occasions of the greatest anxiety; for contradiction being a thing wholly unusual between a new-married couple, the smallest instance of it is taken for the highest injury; and it very seldom happens, that the man is slow enough in assuming the character of a husband, or the woman quick enough in condescending to that of a wife. It immediately follows, that they think they have all the time of their courtship been talking in masks to each other, and therefore begin to act like disappointed people. Philander finds Delia ill-natured and impertinent, and Delia, Philander surly and inconstant.
I have known a fond couple quarrel in the very honey-moon about cutting up a tart: nay, I could name two, who, after having had seven children, fell out and parted beds upon the boiling of a leg of mutton. My very next neighbours have not spoke to one another these three days, because they differed in their opinions, whether the clock should stand by the window, or over the chimney. It may seem strange to you, who are not a married man, when I tell you how the least trifle can strike a woman dumb for a week together. But, if you ever enter into this state, you will find that the soft sex as often express their anger by an obstinate silence, as by an ungovernable clamour.
Those indeed who begin this course of life without jars at their setting out, arrive within few months at a pitch of benevolence and affection, of which the most perfect friendship is but a faint resemblance. As in the unfortunate marriage, the most minute and indifferent things are objects of the sharpest resentment; so in a happy one, they are occasions of the most exquisite satisfaction. For, what does not oblige in one we love ? - What does not offend in one we dislike? For these reasons I take it for a rule, that in marriage the chief business is to acquire a prepossession in favour of each other. They should consider one another's words and actions with a secret indulgence. There should be always an inward fondness pleading for each other, such as may add new beauties to every thing that is excellent, give charms to what is indifferent, and cover every thing that is defective. For want of this kind propensity and bias of mind, the married pair often take things ill of each other, which no one else would take notice of in either of them. "
But the most unhappy circumstance of all is, where each party is always laying up fuel for dissension, and gathering together a magazine of provocations, to exasperate each other with when they are out of humour. These people, In common discourse, make no scruple to let those who are by know they are quarrelling with one another; and think they are discreet enough, if they conceal from the company the matters which they are hinting at.
A MINISTER'S ADVICE TO A NEWLY
MARRIED PAIR. IMPORTANT NATURE OF THE MARRIAGE UNION.
As the minister of a benevolent religion, it is not enough for me to have joined your hands together at the altar. It becomes me to follow you from thence with my earnest prayers, that you may long enjoy together every comfort implied in the solemn benediction lately pronounced over you. Let me now add a few useful considerations, with respect to the relation into which you have entered.
It is an important relation; the most so of any you are capable of forming in this life. It is not your own happiness only, but that of others also, that may be affected by an improper behaviour in this connexion. It is a union constituted with a view, not merely to the reciprocal benefit of the two persons who agree to form it, but likewise to the manners and happiness of society at large.
Smaller communities are the nurseries of larger ones. At a certain time of life, a transplantation is made; and the larger field of society takes its character from those qualities which were brought into it from the little enclosures of family life; you are therefore not to consider yourselves merely as two friends who have agreed to share each other's trials or enjoyments ; but as the founders of a little community of rational and iinmortal creatures, who may hereafter found other small communities, and from whom in process of time a multitude may spring. To this multitude stationed here and there according to the allotments of divine Providence, you may give a cast of character, the influence of which may be matter of pleasure or of pain both to themselves and those with whom they are connected, long after you have ceased to act in the present scene. And does it not deserve, even on this happy occasion, at least one moment's reflection, that though you may never move far from the spot on which these observations are addressed to you; yea, and ere long be forgotten even in this little circle; yet that the effect of what you may be doing here, the good or evil influence of your conduct on this circumscribed spot, may take such a range, as to be felt where the name of even your country is scarcely known ?
But even this, though a large view of the possible extent of your influence, is comparatively but a confined one. It may be felt to eternity. The members of your family are immortals. Such also will be their successors. They will not only have a place in society, but an account to render to God. Before him they
must appear, at the great audit of the world, to receive according to the things done in the body, whether they be good or bad ;* and to you they may be in some measure indebted, for the terror or the transport they may feel at that solemnity.
From these considerations, see the importance of your new connexion, and accept of that advice, which your minister feels it his duty to address to you. He means not to throw a gloom over that joyful scene which now surrounds you. Long may it continue such ! and he will partake of those felicities, of which you are the principal receivers, by the pleasure with which he will contemplate them. He is conscious of the best intentions, in suggesting ideas which may infuse into your minds a salutary seriousness. He believes that you will
be gainers by listening to those who admonish, . as well as to those who congratulate you on this occasion.'
If, however, you are not at present disposed to contemplate your new situation in that very solemn light in which it has been represented ;some good advice may be grounded on such a view of it, as is more congenial to the present state of your feelings towards each other.
I will therefore consider you as fellow travel. lers on the road of life;--not brought together by accident, or as those who have consented to keep together on the journey merely from a