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brutes of this description; but, far short of this degree of brutality, a great deal of fault may be committed. When men are ill, they feel every neglect with double anguish, and, what then must be in such cases the feelings of women, whose ordinary feelings are so much more acute than those of men ; what must be their feelings in case of neglect in illness, and especially if the neglect come from the husband! Your own heart will, I hope, tell you what those feelings must be, and will spare me the vain attempt to describe them; and, if it do thus instruct you, you will want no arguments from me to induce you, at such a season, to prove the sincerity of your' affection by every kind word and kind act that your mind can suggest. This is the time to try you; and be assured, that the impression left on her mind now will be the true and lasting impression; and, if it be good, will be a beiter preservative against her being jealous, than ten thousand of your professions ten thousand times repeated. In such a case, you ought to spare no expense that you can possibly afford; you ought to neglect nothing that your means will enable you to do; for, what is the use of money if it be not to be expended in this case? But, more than all the rest, is your own personal attention. This is the valuable thing; this is the great balm to the sufferer, and it is efficacious in proportion as it is proved to be sincere. Leave nothing to other hands that you can do yourself; the mind has a great deal to do in all the
ailments of the body, and, bear in mind, that, whatever be the event, you haye a more than ample reward. I cannot press this point too strongly upon you; the bed of sickness presents no charms, no allurements, and women know this well; they watch, in such a case, your every word and every look: and now it is that their confidence is secured, or their suspicions excited, for life.
In conclusion of these remarks, as to jealousy in a wife, I cannot help expressing my abhorrence of those husbands who treat it as a matter for ridicule. To be sure, infidelity in a man is less heinous than infidelity in the wife ;* but still, is the marriage vow nothing? Is a promise solemnly made before God, and in the face of the world, nothing? Is a violation of a contract, and that too, with a feebler party, nothing of which a man'ought to be ashamed ? But, besides all these, there is the cruelty. First, you win, by great pains, perhaps, a woman's affections; then, in order to get possession of her person, you marry her; then, after enjoyment, you break your vow, you bring upon her the mixed pity and jeers of the world, and thus you leave her to weep out her life. Murder is more horrible than this, to be sure, and the criminal law, which punishes divers other crimes, does not reach this; but,
* This idea of Mr. Cobbett, that infidelity in men is less criminal than in women, is hardly consistent with the word of God.
in the eye of reason and of a moral justice, it is surpassed by very few of those crimes. Passion may be pleaded, and so it may for almost every other crime of which man can be guilty. It is not a crime against nature; nor are any of those which men commit in consequence of their necessities. The temptation is great ; and is not the temptation great when men thieve or rob? In short, there is no excuse for an act so unjust and so cruel, and the world is just as to this matter; for, I have always observed, that, however men are disposed to laugh at these breaches of vows in men, the act seldom fails to produce injury to the whole character; it leaves, after all the joking, a stain, and, amongst those who depend on character for a livelihood, it often produces ruin. At the very least, it makes an unhappy and wrangling family ; it makes children despise or hate their fathers, and it affords an example at the thought of the ultimale consequences of which a father ought to shudder. In such a case, children will take part, and they ought to take part, with the mother; she is the injured party; the shame brought upon her attaches, in part, to them; they feel the injustice done them; and, if such a man, when the gray hairs, and tottering knees, and piping voice come, look around him in vain for a prop, let him, at last, be just, and acknow. ledge that he has now the due reward of his own wanton cruelty to one whom he had solemnly sworn to love and to cherish to the last hour of his or her life.
COMPARISON OF MARRIED AND SINGLE LIFE.
It does very well, in bantering songs, to say that the bachelor's life is “devoid of care." My observation tells me the contrary, and reason concurs, in this regard, with experience. The bachelor has no one on whom he can in all cases rely. When he quits , his home, he carries with him cares that are unknown to the married man. If, indeed, like the common soldier, he have merely a lodging place, and a bundle of clothes, given in charge to some one, he may be at his ease; but if he possess any thing of a home, he is never sure of its safety; and this uncertainty is a great enemy to cheerfulness. And as to efficiency in life, how is the bachelor to equal the married man? In the cases of farmers and tradesmen, the latter have so clearly the advantage over the former, that one need hardly insist upon the point; but it is, and must be, the same in all the situations of life. To provide for a wife and children is the greatest of all possible spurs to exertion. Many a man, naturally prone to idleness, has become active and industrious when he saw children growing up about him; many a dull sluggard has become, if not a bright man, at least a bustling man, when roused to exertion by his love. Dryden's account of the change wrought in Cymon, is only a strong case of the kind. And, indeed, if a man will not exert himself for the sake of a wife and children, he can have
no exertion in him; or he must be deaf to alı the dictates of nature.
Perhaps the world never exhibited a more striking proof of the truth of this doctrine than that which is exhibited in me; and I am sure that every one will say, without any hesitation, that a fourth part of the labours I have performed never would have been performed, if I had not been a married man. In the first place, they could not; for I should, all the early part of my life, have been rambling and roving about as most bachelors are. I should have had no home that I cared a straw about, and should have wasted the far greater part of my time. The great affair of home being settled, having the home secured, I had leisure to employ my mind on things which it delighted in. I got rid at once of all cares, all anxieties, and had only to provide for the very moderate wants of that home. But the children began to come. They sharpened my industry: they spurred me on. To be sure, I had other and strong motives : I wrote for fame, and was urged forward by ill treatment, and by the desire to triumph over my enemies; but, after all, a very large part of my nearly a hundred volumes may be fairly ascribed to the wife and children.
I might have done something, but, perhaps, not a thousandth part of what I have done; not even a thousandth part : for the chances are, that I, being fond of a military life, should have ended my days ten or twenty years ago,