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gratitude takes the place of love, and the desire of pleasing degenerates by degrees into the fear of offending.
The settlements caused no delay: for we did not trust our affairs to the negotiation of wretches who would have paid their court by multiplying stipulations. Tranquilla scorned to detain any part of her fortune from him into whose hands she delivered up her person; and Hymenæus thought no act of baseness more criminal than his who enslaves his wife by her, own generosity, who, by marrying without a jointure, condemns her to all the dangers of accident and caprice, and at last boasts his liberality, by granting what only the indiscretion of her kindness enabled him to withhold. He therefore received on the common terms, the portion which any other woman might have brought him, and reserved all the exuberance of acknowledgment for those excellences which he has yet been able to discover only in Tranquilla.
We did not pass the weeks of courtship like those who consider themselves as taking the last draught of pleasure, and resolve not to quit the bowl without a surfeit, or who know themselves about to set happiness to hazard, and endeavour to lose their sense of danger in the ebriety of perpetual amusement, and whirl round the gulf before they sink. Hymenæus often repeated a medical axiom, that the succours of sickness ought not to be wasted in health. We I now that however our eyes may yet sparkle,
and our hearts bound at the presence of each other, the time of listlessness and satiety, of peevishness and discontent, must come at last, in which we shall be driven for relief to shows and recreations ; that the uniformity of life must be sometimes diversified, and the vacui. ties of conversation sometimes supplied. We rejoice in the reflection that we have stores of novelty yet unexhausted, which may be opened when repletion shall call for change, and gratifications yet untasted, by which life, when it shall become vapid or bitter, may be restored to its former sweetness and sprightliness, and again irritate the appetite,and again sparkle in the cup.
Our time will probably be less tasteless than that of those whom the authority and avarice of parents unite almost without their consent in their early years, before they have accumulated any fund of reflection, or collected materials for mutual entertainment. Such we have often seen rising in the morning to cards, and retiring in the afternoon to doze, whose happiness was celebrated by their neighbours, because they happened to grow rich by parsi. mony, and to be kept quiet by insensibility, and agreed to eat and to sleep together.
We have both mingled with the world, and are therefore no strangers to the faults and virtues, the designs and competitions, the hopes and fears of our contemporaries. We have both amused our leisure with books, and can therefore recount the events of former times, or cite the dictates of ancient wisdom. Every occurrence furnishes us with some hint which one or the other can improve, and if it should happen that memory or imagination fail us, we can retire to no idle or unimproving solitude.
Though our characters, beheld at a distance, exhibit this general resemblance, yet a nearer inspection discovers such a dissimilitude of our habitudes and sentiments, as leaves each some peculiar advantages and affords that concordia discors, that suitable disagreement which is always necessary to intellectual harmony. There may be a total diversity of ideas which admits no participation of the same delight, and there may likewise be such a conformity of notions as leaves neither any thing to add to the decisions of the other. With such contrariety there can be no peace, with such similarity there can be no pleasure. Our reasonings, though often formed upon different views, terminate generally in the same conclusion. Our thoughts, like rivulets issuing from distant springs, are each impregnated in its course with various mixtures, and tinged by infusions unknown to the other, yet, at last, easily unite into one stream, and purify themselves by the gentle effervescence of contrary qualities. -;
These benefits we receive in a greater degree as we converse without reserve, because we have nothing to conceal. We have no debts to be paid by imperceptible deductions from avowed expenses, no habits to be indulged by the private subserviency of a favoured servant, no private interviews with needy relations, no
intelligence with spies placed upon each other. We considered marriage as the most solemn league of perpetual friendship, a state from which artifice and concealment are to be banished for ever, and in which every act of dissimulation is a breach of faith.
The impetuous vivacity of youth, and that ardour of desire, which the first sight of pleasure naturally produces, have long ceased to hurry us into irregularity and vehemence; and experience has shown us that few gratifications are too valuable to be sacrificed to complaisance. We have thought it convenient to rest from the fatigue of pleasure, and now only continue that course of life into which we had before entered, confirmed in our choice by mutual approbation, supported in our resolution by mutual encouragement, and assisted in our efforts by mutual exhortation. Such, Mr. Rambler, is our prospect of life, a prospect which, as it is beheld with more attention, seems to open more extensive happiness, and spreads, by degrees, into the boundless regions of eternity. But if all our prudence has been vain, and we are doomed to give one instance more of the uncertainty of human discernment, we shall comfort ourselves amidst our disappointments, that we were not betrayed by such delusions as caution could not escape, since we sought happiness only in the arms of virtue. We are, sir, your humble servants,
ON THE GENERAL DUTIES OF A HUSBAND.
In a recent publication of the late Mr. Cobbett, there is some excellent advice to a husband. It is marked with the writer's usual egotism and abruptness of expression, but there are parts of the address which it would be inexcusable to omit in a work like the present. I have therefore extracted and inserted them, premising that they must be taken as the sentiments of Cobbett, and must of course be received for what they are worth. Most of them are full of truth and practical philosophy.
DEMEANOUR TOWARDS TRE WIFE. The next thing to be attended to is, your demeanour towards a young wife. As to oldish ones, or widows, time and other things have, in most cases, blunted their feelings, and rendered harsh or stern demeanour in the husband a matter not of heart-breaking consequence. But with a young and inexperienced one, the case is very different; and you should bear in mind, that the first frown that she receives from you is a dagger to her heart. Nature has so ordered it, that men shall become less ardent in their passion after the wedding day; and that women shall not. Their ardour increases rather than the contrary; and they are surprisingly quick-sighted and inquisitive on this score. When the child comes, it divides this ardour with the father; but until then you have it all; and if you have a mind to be happy,