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any illiberal pleasantries from the company to enhance the difficulties of her situation. When she considers, that the happiness or misery of her life materially depends upon the choice which she has then made, she has cause enough for terror; and when she considers the privilege which is shortly to be claimed by the object of that choice ; when she considers, that the delicate reserve in which she has all her life been brought up, is in an instant to be sacrificed to him ; I say, when all these things are considered, nothing can be more insolent, or indeed more cruel, than to aggra. vate her distress by the practice of any improper joculari. ties.
“ People, I am sensible, are strangely attached to old customs ; but every custom should be abolished, which is in the least repugnant to reason and civility.; on which account I flatter myself the reader will give a proper at. tention to this subject, and correct the error of which I have here been speaking, as far as he is able in the circuit of his acquaintance.
ON THE IMPORTANCE AND EXCELLENCE OF MAINTAINING AN
INVIOLABLE AFFECTION IN THE MARRIED LIFE.
Domus et placens uxor.
Thy house and pleasing wife.
It is much to be regretted, that so few married persons have their mutual attachment strengthened, by the lapse of time and the intercourse of years. Such instances, however, would not be rare, if those who sustain this intimate relation aimed, through life, to please, and to cherish and display the gentle virtues which adorn humanity. Beauty, youth, or riches, unaccompanied with these virtues, have not the power of preventing these indecent sallies of the mind, which, at certain unguarded seasons, too successfully display them. selves, to the extinction of the finer feelings of love and friendship.
The husband and the wife must endeavour to appear mutually amiable, with the same sedulity which they manifest to gain the esteem of others. Their situation requires mu. tual condescensions, and a temper which shall rise superior to every passion or sentiment hostile to conjugal union. They should esteem themselves as friends embarked, in one common indissoluble interest, on a sea liable to tempests; through which, however, their fragile bark, by mutual unremitted attentions, may be safely conducted to the port of peace. Such voyages will assiduously divide and mitigate the labours and fatigues to which adverse storms expose them, and enjoy, with innocent hilarity, and glowing grati. tude to heaven, the gentler breezes and enlivening prospects of their passage.
We venerate, we readily applaud, the hallowed affection of such mortals. We prize their company and converse. Every benevolent bosom shares their bliss by sympathy. The language of such congenial souls is more gladening than the softest strains of music, to those who have learnt to “rejoice with them that rejoice.” For readers of this generous class I have provided a rich sentimental feast, in an epistolary address, written by the celebrated author of Fitzosborne's Letters, and directed to his Cleora, on the sixth anniversary of their nuptials.
“ Though it was not possible for me to celebrate with you, as usual, that happy anniversary which we have so many reasons to commemorate, yet I could not suffer so joy. ful a festival to pass by me without a thousand tender reflections. I took pleasure in tracing back that stream to its rise, which has coloured all my succeeding days with happiness; as my Cleora, perhaps, was at that very instant running over in her own mind those many moments of calm satisfaction, which she has derived from the same source.
“My heart was so entirely possessed with the sentiments which this occasion suggested, that I found myself raised into a sort of poetical enthusiasm ; and I could not forbear expressing in verse, what I have often said in prose of the dear author of my most valuable enjoyments. I had a view, in the composition, to the harpsicord. It was in your favourite grove, which we have so often traversed together, that I indulged myself in the following rhapsody:
ODE TO MUSIC.
« Thrice has the circling earth, swift-pacing, run,
* All heaven, and every friendly power Approved the vow, and blessed the hour.
“ What though in silence sacred Hymen trod,
“ Blest with sense, with temper blest,
Every home-felt bliss is mine,
“ Sinks my soul with gloomy pain ?
- Oft as clouds my paths o'erspread,
“Chief among ten thousand she,
" Whilst such are the sentiments which I entertain of my
can I find myself obliged to be thus distant from her, without the highest regret? The truth, believe me, is, though both the company and the scene wherein I am engaged are extremely agreeable, yet I find a vacancy in my happiness, which none but you can fill up. Surely those who have re. commended these little separations as necessary to revive the languor of the married state, have ill understood its most refined gratifications: there is no satiety in the mutual exchange of tender offices.
“ There seems to have been a time, when a happiness of this kind was considered as the highest glory, as well as the supreme bliss of human life. I remember, when I was in Italy, to have seen several conjugal inscriptions upon the sepulchral monuments of ancient Rome, which, instead of running out into a pompous panegyric upon the virtues of the deceased, mentioned singly, as the most significant of enconiums, how many years the parties had lived together in full and uninterrupted harmony. The Romans, indeed, in this, as in many other instances, afford the most remarkable exam. ples; and it is an observation of one of their writers, that notwithstanding divorces might very easily be obtained among them, their republic had subsisted many centuries before there was a single instance of that privilege ever having been exerted. “ Thus you see, my Cleora, however unfashionable I
may appear in the present generation, I might have been kept in countenance in a former, and by those, too, who had as much true gallantry and good sense as one usually meets with in this. But affections which are founded in truth and nature stand not in need of precedent to support them; and I esteem it my honour no less than my happiness, that I am, &c.”
To this epistle of the amiable Melmoth, I shall subjoin a short account, taken from the Scots Magazine of 1768, of an attachment uncommonly tender, between the Bishop of Lucon in France, who flourished about the middle of the present century, and a Madame de Rouvraie.
Though the laws of the Romish church forbad their marriage, yet the history of their affection may be viewed as congenial with the leading sentiments of this number; and as presenting a bright.pattern of pure constant love, to persons who find no impediment to tne most intimate relation.
“ The bishopric of Lucon is near Rochfort, and one of those, which, being distant from the metropolis, may be call.