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in consequence of wounds, or fatigue, or, more likely, in consequence of the persecutions of some haughty and insolent fool, whom nature had formed to black my shoes, and whom a system of corruption had made my commander. Love came, and rescued me from this state of horrible slavery ; placed the whole of my time at my own disposal ; made me as free as air; removed every restraint upon the operations of my mind, naturally disposed to communicate its thoughts to others; and gave me, for my leisure hours, a companion, who, though deprived of all opportunity of acquiring what is called learning, had so much good sense, so much useful knowledge, was so innocent, so just in all her ways, so pure in thought, word, and deed, so disinterested, so generous, so devoted to me and her children, so free from all disguise, and, withal, so beautiful and so talkative, and in a voice so sweet, so cheering, that I must, seeing the health and the capacity which it had pleased God to give me, have been a criminal, if I had done much less than that which I have done; and I have always said, that if my country feel any gratitude for my labours, that gratitude is due to her full as much as to me.
“ Care !” What care have I known? I have been buffeted about by this powerful and vindictive government; I have repeatedly had the fruit of my labour snatched away from me by it; but I had a partner that never frowned, that was never melancholy, that never was subdued
in spirit, that never abated a smile on these occasions, that fortified me, and sustained me by her courageous example, and that was just ans busy and as zealous in taking care of the remnant as she had been in taking care of the whole: just as cheerful, and just as full of caresses, when brought down to a mean hired lodging, as when the mistress of a fine country house, with all its accompaniments; and, whether from her words or her looks, no one could gather that she regretted the change. What so cares" have I had, then? What have I had worthy of the name of " cares ?".
And, how is it now? How is it when the sixty-fourth year has come? And how should I have been without this wife and these children? I might have amassed a tolerable heap of money ; but what would that have done for me? I might have bought me plenty of professions of attachment; plenty of persons impatient for my exit from the world; but not one single grain of sorrow, for any anguish that might have attended my approaching end. To me, no being in this world appears so wretched as an Old Bachelor. Those circumstances, those changes in his person and in his mind, which, in the husband, increase rather than diminish the attentions to him, produce all the want of feeling attendant on disgust; and he beholds, in the conduct of the mercenary crew that generally surround him, little besides an eager desire to profit from that event, the approach of which nature makes a subject of sorrow with him.
DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY. BEFORE I quit this part of my work, I cannot refrain from offering my opinion with regard to what is due from husband to wife, when the disposal of his property comes to be thonght of. When marriage is an affair settled by deeds, contracts, and lawyers, the husband, being bound beforehand, has really no will to make. But where he has a will to make, and a faithful wife to leave behind him, it is his first duty to provide for her future well-being, to the utmost of his power. If she brought him no money, she brought him her person ; and by delivering that up to him, she established a claim to his careful protection of her to the end of her life. Some men think, or act as if they thought, that, if a wife bring no money, and if the husband gain money by his business or profession, that money is his, and not hers, because she has not been doing any of those things for which the money has been received. But is this way of thinking just ? By the marriage vow, the husband endows the wife with all his worldly goods; and not a bit too much is this, when she is giving him the command and possession of her person. But does she not help to acquire the money? Speaking, for instance, of the farmer or the merchant, the wife does not, indeed, go to plough, or to look after the ploughing and sowing; she does not purchase or sell the stock; she does not go to the fair or the market ; but she enables him to do all these without injury to his affairs at home; she is the guardian of his property; she preserves what would otherwise be lost to him. The barn and the granary, though they create nothing, have, in the bringing of food to our mouths, as much merit as the fields themselves. The wife does not, indeed, assist in the merchant's counting house ; she does not go upon the exchange; she does not even know what he is doing ; but she keeps his house in order ; she rears up his children; she provides a scene of suitable resort for his friends; she ensures him a constant retreat from the fatigues of his affairs; she makes his home pleasant, and she is the guardian of his income.
In both these cases, the wife helps to gain the money; and in cases where there is no gain, where the income is by descent, or is fixed, she helps to prevent it from being squandered away. It is, therefore, as much hers as it is the husband's; and though the law gives him, in many cases, the power of keeping her share from her, no just man will ever avail himself of that power. With regard to the tying up of widows from marrying again, I will relate what took place in a case of this kind, in America. A mercbant, who had, during his married state, risen from poverty to very great riches, and who had, nevertheless, died at about forty years of age, left the whole of his property to his wife for her life, and at her disposal at her death, provided that she did not marry. The consequence was, that she took a husband without marrying, and at her death (she having no children) gave the whole of the property to the second husband! So much for posthumous jealousy!
Where there are children, indeed, it is the duty of the husband to provide, in certain cases, against step-fathers, who are very prone not to be the most just and affeetionate parents. It is an unhappy circumstance, when a dying father is compelled to have fears of this sort. There is seldom an apology to be offered for a mother that will hazard the happiness of her children by a second marriage. The law allows it, to be sure ; but there is, as Prior says, "something beyond the letter of the law." I know what ticklish ground I am treading on here; but, though it is as lawful for a woman to take a second husband as for a man to take a second wife, the cases are different, and widely different, in the eye of morality and of reason; for, as adultery in the wife is a greater offence than adultery in the husband; as it is more gross, as it includes prostitution; so a second marriage in the woman is more gross than in the man, argues great deficiency in that delicacy, that innate modesty, which, after all, is the great charm, the charm of charms, in the female sex. I do not like to hear a man talk of his first wife, especially in the presence of his second ; but to hear a woman thus talk of her first husband, has never, however beautiful