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thought he would easily be weaned from his love of show and expense, by a more settled way of life. But his desire to live splendidly got the better of his passion : he would not throw himself away upon one who had but three thou. sand pounds for her portion ; so determined to return im. mediately to London, and obliterate his fondness by the diversions of the town.
Theana came up about the same time, to spend the winter with her aunt. She was the only daughter of a gentleman of fortune, by whose death she was lately come into the possession of above fifteen thousand pounds. She was de. termined never to marry a man, who could not support her in the magnificence that such a fortune might expect; and for that reason only had refused Euphorbus, a young gen. tleman bred up to a profession, in which his natural abilities, joined to a steady application, promised him the greatest
They had long been acquainted, and so perfectly agreeable to each other, that Euphorbus had just reason to hope that he should prevail over her desire of grandeur, which was her only foible. But that passion was predomi. nant: she was afraid it should be said she had acted im. prudently, and that she should not be able to withstand the reflections of the world, for having only one footman behind a chariot and pair, when she might have had half a dozen powdered valets attending her coach and six.
Upon her coming to London, Eugenio made his addresses to her among the rest ; and as his fortune enabled him to make a suitable settlement, preliminaries were soon agreed
Before they had been ten times together, the lawyers were bribed not to be dilatory. Several thousands were expended in plate and jewels. The gay and lively gilded car proclaimed them the happiest couple of the season. But they soon found that happiness did not consist in show. Little contrarieties of temper were the causes of continual differences; which, in less than two years, arose to such a height, that they were, in a manner, parted. To avoid the uneasiness of home, Eugenio publicly indulged himself in his amours; and Theana was only more private. His money was thrown away at hazard ; hers as religiously devoted to quadrille. He was regardless of the education of his sons, because he was not sure they were his own; she instructed her daughters in nothing but cards and
But it is time to make some inquiry after the other two. The next winter after her disappointment, Sophronia came to London with her female friend. Euphorbus accidentally fell into her company. Frequent meetings created an acquaintance, that acquaintance increased gradually into a mutual esteem ; which, as it was not founded on interest, but a thorough knowledge of each other, they had good reason to believe would continue. With this prospect they married. The smallness of their fortune was compensated by tenderness and economy. The desire for providing for his children made him double his application to his profession ; and she was in the mean time as agreeably entertained in taking care of their education. He was daily adding to their fortune, she to their virtue. In the decline of life they retired to a country-house and estate, which his profession and her economy had enabled them to buy of Eugenio, whose extravagance and ill management had obliged him to sell part of his estate, as soon as a booby son was old enough to be bribed to cut off the entail: there, in the words of Agamemnon,
They know a passion still more deeply charming
Thus are Euphorbus and Sophronia, by a marriage founded on good sense, possessed of happiness, riches, and reputation, which Eugenio and Theana have lost by the contrary means.
THE CAUSES OF DISAGREEMENT IN MARRIAGE.
"Ηπες μέγιστη γιγνεται σωτηρια
This is the chief felicity of life,
Many writers seem to have admitted, as an incontested principle, that “marriage is generally unhappy :” but I know not whether it becomes a man who professes to think for himself, and forms his opinions from his own observations, to follow the crowd implicitly, and receive maxims without recalling them to new examination, especially when they comprise so great a complication, and include such variety of circumstances. As I have an equal right with others to give my opinion of the objects about me, and a better title to determine concerning that state which I have tried, than many who talk of it without experience, I am unwilling to be restrained by mere authority from advancing what, I believe, an accurate view of the world will confirm, that marriage is not commonly unhappy, otherwise than as life is unhappy; and that most of those who complain of connubial miseries, have as much satisfaction as their nature would have admitted, or their conduct procured, in any other condition.
It is, indeed, common to hear both sexes repine at their condition, relate the happiness of their earlier years, blame
the folly and rashness of their own choice, and warn those whom they see coming into the world against the same precipitance and infatuation. But it is to be remembered, that the days which they so much wish to call back, are the days not only of celibacy, but of youth, the days of novelty and improvement, of ardour and of hope, of health and vigour of body, of gayety and lightness of heart. It is not easy to unite life with any circumstances in which youth will not be delightful; and I am afraid that, whether mar. ried or unmarried, we shall find the vesture of terrestrial existence more heavy and cumbrous, the longer it is worn,
That both censure themselves for the indiscretion of their choice, is not a sufficient proof that they have chosen ill, since we see the same discontent at every other part of life, which we cannot change. Converse with almost any man, grown old in a profession, and you will find him regretting that he did not enter into some way of life, to which he too late finds his genius better adapted, or in which he discovers that wealth and honour are more easily attained. The merchant, says Horace, envies the soldier, and the soldier recounts the felicity of the merchant; the lawyer, when his clients harass him, calls out for the quiet of the countryman; and the countryman, when business calls him to town, exclaims that there is no happiness but in public life. Every man recounts the miseries of his own station, and always thinks those of any other less, because he has not felt them. Thus the married praise the ease and freedom of a single life, and the single fly to marriage from the weariness of solitude. From all our observations we may collect with certainty, that misery is the lot of man, but cannot discover in what particular state it will find most alleviations ; or whether all external appendages are not, as we use them well or ill, the causes either of pain or pleasure.
Whoever feels great pain naturally hopes for ease from change of posture ; he changes it, and finds himself equally tormented ; and of the same kind are the expedients by
which we endeavour to obviate or elude those uneasinesses to which mortality will always be subject. It is, however, not likely that the marriage state is eminently miserable, since we see such numbers, whom the death of their partners has set free from it, entering it again.
Wives and husbands are; indeed, too frequently complaining of each other; and there would be reason for imagining that in numerous instances there was perverse. ness or oppression beyond human sufferance, did we not know how readily some minds burst out into reproaches and lamentations, and how naturally every animal revenges his pain upon those who happen to be near, without any nice examination of its cause. We are always willing to fancy ourselves within a little of happiness, and when, with repeated efforts, we cannot reach it, persuade ourselves that it is intercepted by an ill-paired mate, since, if we could find any other obstacle, it would be our own fault that it was not removed.
Anatomists have often remarked, that though our diseases are sufficiently numerous and severe, yet when we inquire into the structure of the body, the tenderness of some parts, the minuteness of others, and the immense multiplicity of animal motions that must concur to the healthful and vigorous exercise of all our powers, there appears reason 10 wonder rather that we are preserved so long, than that we perish so soon, and that our frame subsists for a single day or hour without disorder, rather than that it should be broken or obstructed by violence of accidents, or length of time.
The same reflection rises in my mind, when I observe the manner in which marriage is sometimes contracted. When I see the avaricious and crafty taking companions to their tables and their beds, without any inquiry but after farms and money ; or the giddy and thoughtless uniting for life to those whom they have only seen by the light of tapers at a ball; when parents make contracts for their