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that the law enables, and justly enables, the slandered party to proceed; which would be monstrously unjust, if the law were not founded on the right which the busband has to control, if necessary, the tongue of the wife, to compel her to keep it within the limits prescribed by the law. A charming, a most enchanting life, indeed, would be that of a hushand, if he were bound to cohabit with and to maintain one, for all the debts and all the slanders of whom he was answerable, and over whose conduct he possessed no compulsory control. .
Of the remedies in the case of really bud wives, squanderers, drunkards, adulteresses, I shall speak further on; it being the habit of us all to put off to the last possible moment the performance of disagreeable duties. But, far short of these vices there are several faults in a wife that may, if not cured in time, lead to great unhappiness, great injury to the interests as well as character of her husband and children; and which faults it is, therefore, the husband's duty to correct. A wife may be chaste, sober in the full sense of the word, industrious, cleanly, frugal, and may be devoted to her husband and her children to a degree so enchanting as to make them all love her beyond the power of words to express. And yet she may, partly under the influence of her natural disposition, and partly encouraged by the great and constant homage paid to her virtues, and presuming, too, on the pain with
which she knows her will would be thwarted; she may, with all her virtues, be thus led to a bold interference in the affairs of her husband, may attempt to dictate to him in matters quite out of her own sphere; and, in the pursuit of the gratification of her love of power and command, may wholly overlook the acts of folly or injustice which she would induce her husband to commit, and overlook, too, the contemptible thing that she is making the man whom it is her duty to honour and obey, and the abasement of whom cannot take place without some portion of degradation falling upon herself. At the time when “ The Book" came out, relative to the late ill treated queen Caroline, I was talking upon the subject, one day, with a par. son, who had not read the Book, but who, as was the fashion with all those who were looking up to the government, condemned the queen unheard. «Now," said I, “be not so shamefully unjust; but get the book, read it, and then give your judgment.”_" Indeed," said his wife, who was sitting by, “but he SHA'N'T," pronouncing the words sha'n't with an emphasis and a voice tremendously masculine. “O !" said I, “if he sha’N'T, that is another matter ; but, if he sha'n't read, if he sha'n't hear the evidence, he sha'n't be looked upon, by me, as a just judge; and I sha'n't regard him, in future, as having any opinion of his own in any thing." All which the husband, the poor henpecked thing, heard without a word escaping his lips.
A husband thus under command is the most contemptible of God's creatures. Nobody can place reliance on him for any thing; whether in the capacity of employer or employed, you are never sure of him. No bargain is firm, no engagement sacred, with such a man. Feeble as a reed before the boisterous she-commander, he is bold in injustice towards those whom it pleases her caprice to mark out for vengeance. In the eyes of neighbours, for friends such a man cannot have, in the eyes of servants, in the eyes of even the beggars at his door, such a man is a mean and despicable creature, though he may roll in wealth and possess great talents into the bargain. Such a man has, in fact, no property; he has nothing that he can rightly call his own ; he is a beggarly dependant under his own roof. How many men, how many families, have I known brought to utter ruin only by the husband suffering himself to be subdued, to be cowed down, to be held in fear, of even a virtuous wife! What, then, must be the lot of him who submits to a commander who, at the same time, sets all virtue at defiance !..
Women are a sisterhood. They make common cause in behalf of the sex ; and, indeed, this is natural enaugh, when we consider the vast power that the law gives us over them. The law is for us, and they combine, wherever they can, to mitigate its effects. This is perfectly natural, and, to a certain extent, laudable, evincing fellow feeling and
public spirit: but when carried to the length of is he sha'n't," it is despotism on the one side and slavery on the other. Watch, therefore, the incipient steps of encroachment; and they come on so slowly, so softly, that you must be sharp-sighted if you perceive them : but the moment you do perceive them your love will blind for too long a time--but the moment you do perceive them, put at once an effectual stop to their progress. Never mind the pain that it may give you: a day of pain at this time will spare you years of pain in time to come. Many a man has been miserable, and made his wife miserable too, for a score or two of years, only for want of resolution to bear one day of pain; and it is a great deal to bear; it is a great deal to do to thwart the desire of one whom you so dearly love, and whose virtues daily render her more and more dear to you. But (and this is one of the most admirable of the mother's traits) as she herself will, while the tears stream from her eyes, force the pauseous medicine down the throat of her child, whose every cry is á dagger to her heart; as she herself has the courage to do this for the sake of her child, why should you flinch from the performance of a stil more important and more sacred duty towards herself, as well as towards you and your children ?
Am I recommending tyranny? Am I recommending disregard of the wife's opinions and wishes ? Am I recommending a reserve towards her that would seem to say that she was not trustworthy, or not a party interested in her husband's affairs ? By no means : on the contrary, though I would keep any thing disagreeable from her, I should not enjoy the prospect of good without making her a participator. But reason says, and God has said, that it is the duty of wives to be obedient to their husbands; and the very nature of things prescribes that, there must be a head of every house, and an undivided authority. And then it is so clearly just that the authority should rest with him, on whose head rests the whole responsibility, that a woman, when patiently reasoned with on the subject, must be a virago in her very nature not to submit with docility to the terms of her marriage
There are, in almost every considerable neighbourhood, a little squadron of she-commanders, generally the youngish wives of old or weak-minded men, and generally without children. These are the tutoresses of the young wives of the vicinage; they, in virtue of their experience, not only school the wives, but scold the husbands; they teach the former how to encroach, and the latter how to yield : so that if you suffer this to go quietly on, you are soon under the care of a comité as completely as if you were insane. You want no comité : reason, law, religion, the marriage vow; all these have made you head, have given you full power to rule your family, and if you give up your right, you deserve the