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and a venerable widow, which broke off a match on the very day in which it had been determined. It is contained in a letter of Dr. Goldsmith's Chinese Philosopher.
" At dinner (the season of the nuptials between his son and the niece of his friend) every thing seemed to run on with good humour, harmony, and satisfaction. My friend sat next his mistress, helped her plate, chimed her glass, and jogging her knees and elbow, he whispered something arch in her ear, on which she patted his cheek ; never was antiquated passion so harmless and amusing as between this reverend couple.
“ The second course was now called for; and among a variety of other dishes, a fine turkey was placed before the widow. My friend begged his mistress to help him to a part of the turkey. The widow, pleased with an opportu. nity of showing her skill in carving, (an art upon which it seems she piqued herself,) began to cut it up by first taking off the leg. Madam,' cries my friend, if I might be permitted to advise, I would begin by cutting off the wing, and then the leg will come off more easily.' "Sir,' replies the widow, .give me leave to understand cutting up a fowl ; I always begin with the leg.' Yes, madam,' replies the lover ; but if the wing be the most convenient manner, I would begin with the wing.' "Sir,' interrupts the lady, • when you have fowls of your own, begin with the wing, if you please; but give me leave to take off the leg; I hope I am not to be taught at this time of day.' "Madam,' in. terrupts he, we are never too old to be instructed.' Old, sir!' interrupts the other, who is old, sir ? When I die of age, I know of some that will quake for fear ; if the leg does not come off, take the turkey to yourself.' •Madam,' replied my friend, • I do not care a farthing whether the leg or the wing comes off; if you are for the leg first, why, you shall have the argument, even though it be as I say.' •As
for the matter of that;' cries the widow, • I do not care a fig whether you are for the leg off or on; and, friend, for the future, keep your distance.' •0,' replied the other, that is easily done, it is only removing to the other end of the table; and so, madam, your most obedient humble servant.'
THE NECESSITY OF PAYING A REGARD TO TRIFLES, IN ORDER
TO PROCURE HAPPINESS IN THE MARRIAGE STATE.
It is very commonly observed, that the most smart pangs which we meet with are in the beginning of wedlock, which proceed from ignorance of each other's humour, and a want of prudence to make allowances for a change from the most careful respect to the most unbounded familiarity. Hence it arises that trifles are commonly occasions of the greatest anxiety ; for contradiction being a thing wholly unusual between a new married couple, the smallest instance of it is taken for the highest injury; and it very seldom happens that a man is slow enough in assuming the character of a husband, or she woman quick enough in condescending to that of a wife. It immediately follows, that they think they have all the time of their courtship been talking in masks to each other, and therefore begin to act like disappointed people. PHILANDER finds Delia ill natured and impertinent; and Delia, PHILANDER surly and inconstant.
I have known a fond couple quarrel in the very honeymoon, about cutting up a tart; nay, I could name two, who, after having had several children, fell out and parted beds upon the boiling a leg of mutton.' My very next neighbours have not spoken to one another these three days, because they differed in their opinions, whether the clock should stand by the window or over the chimney.
Those indeed who begin this course of life without jars at their setting out, arrive within a few months at a pitch of benevolence and affection, of which the most perfect friend ship is but a faint resemblance. As in the unfortunate mar. riage, the most minute and indifferent things are objects of the sharpest resentment ; so in a happy one, they are occasions of the most exquisite satisfaction. For what does not oblige in one we love; what does not offend in those we dis. like? For these reasons I take it for a rule, that in mar. riage, the chief business is to acquire a prepossession in favour of each other. They should consider one another's words and actions with a secret indulgence; there should be always an inward fondness pleading for each other, such as may add new beauties to every thing that is excellent, give charms to what is indifferent, and cover every thing that is defective. For .want of this kind propensity, and bias of mind, the married pair often take things ill of each other, which no one else would notice in either of them.
At the same time, that I may do justice to this excellent institution, I must own there are unspeakable pleasures which are as little considered in the computation of the ad. vantages of marriage, as others are in the usual survey that is made of its misfortunes.
LOVEMORE and his wife live together in the happy pos. session of each other's hearts, and by that mean have no indifferent moments, but their whole life is one continued scene of delight. Their passion for each other communi. cates a certain satisfaction, like that which they themselves are in, to all that approach them. When she enters the place where he is, you see a pleasure which he cannot conceal, nor he nor any one else describe. In so consummate an affection, the very presence of the person beloved, bas the effect of the most agreeable .conversation.—Whether they have matter to talk of or not, they enjoy the pleasures of society, and at the same time the freedom of solitude