« PreviousContinue »
BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH.
SPERATE MISERI; CAVETE FELICES.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY DAVIS AND FORce, (frank-
VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.
The description of the family of Wakefield; in which a kindred likeness prevails, as well of minds as of persons.
I WAS ever of opinion that the honest man who married, and brought up a large family, did more service than he that continued single, and only talked of population. From this motive I had scarce orders a year, before I began to think seriously of matrimony, 'chose my wife as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well. To do her justice, she was a good-natured notable woman; and, as for breeding, there were few country ladies who at that time could shew more. She could read any English book without much spelling, and for pickling, preserving, and cookery, none could excel her. She prided herself much also upon being an excellent contriver in housekeeping; yet I could never find that we grew richer with all her contrivances.
However, we loved each other tenderly, and our fondness increased with age. There was in fact nothing that could make us angry with the world or each other. We had an elegant house, situated in a fine country, and a good neighborhood. The year was spent in moral or rural amusements; in visiting our rich neighbors, or relieving such as were poor. We had no revolutions to fear, nor fa tigues to undergo; all our adventures were by the fire-side, and all our migrations from the blue bed to the brown.
As we lived near the road, we often had the traveller or stranger come to taste our gooseberry wine, for which we had great reputation; and I profess, with the veracity of an historian, I never knew one of them find fault with it. Our cousins, too, even to the fortieth remove, all remembered their affinity, without any help from the Herald's office, and came very frequently to see us. Some of them did us no great honor by these claims of kindred; for, literally speaking, we had the blind, the maimed, and the halt, amongst the number. However, my wife always insisted,