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centres in wedlock, must raise us in happiness above the rest of our species. It is here that the noblest passions of which the human soul is susceptible join together, virtuous love and friendship ; the one supplying it with a constant rapture, and the other regulating it by the rules of reason. I would not be understood to be speaking here of those unnatural and disproportionable matches that are daily made upon worldly views, where interest or lust are the only motives ; I mean that such only enjoy the blessing, who are conducted by HYMEN through his own realms of innocence and sincerity.
A gentleman, who is very happy in a beautiful friend, and is a kind of enthusiast for the married state, told me the following story of an Italian pair, who were famous for their unalterable constancy and affection. There lived at Genoa a young nobleman named MARÝNI, who had a large estate in the island of Corsica, whither he went every five or six years to regulate his affairs. At the age of five and twenty he was married to a hand.1 1.d.
selavu wu a vtautui jauy, we uaugnter or a Venetian senator, named MONIMIA, who had refused the greatest matches in Italy, to prefer the fortunate Marini. As their marriage was founded upon a mutual esteem, their passion increased instead of diminishing by enjoyment, till they became an example of conjugal duty to all who knew them. They had lived many years in this uninterrupted state of felicity, when Marini was obliged to make a voyage to Corsica, which was then disturbed by a rebellious insurrection, in order to secure his patrimony, by encouraging his dependents to stand firm in the defence of their country. But the greatest affliction, and which absorbed all the rest, was his being necessitated to part for a while from Monimia, who, being then in a feeble state of health, was unable to go with him as usual. When the fatal time of separation was come, they embraced with the utmost grief, and the warmest prayers to Heaven for one another's safety. As soon as this afflicting scene was over, Marini embarked, and,
having a fair wind, arrived safe at Bastia in a few hours. The success of the rebels being stopped, and the affairs of the island a little settled again, our lover began to prepare for his return to Genoa ; but as he was walking one day by the harbour where the ships of burthen lay, he heard two sailors, who were just arrived, talking of the death of a Genoese nobleman's wife, then absent from the republic. This casual circumstance greatly alarmed him, and excited his curiosity to listen farther to their conversation, when, after a little pause, he heard one of them mention the name of his dear Monimia. At these words his surprise and affliction were so great, that he had not power to follow the mariners to satisfy his doubt, but instantly swooned away, and when he recovered, found himself surrounded by his own servants, lamenting over him. At the same time that this happened to Marini, something of the same nature equally distressed Monimia ; for an imperfect account came to Genoa by the captain of a Venetian vessel, that a gentleman named Marini had been surprised near Bastia by a remaining party of rebels, and that he and all his attendants were killed by them. These two accounts involved our unfortunate pair in the greatest distress; they immediately took shipping in order to be convinced of what they so much dreaded to know; the one for Corsica, the other for Genoa. They had both sailed, when a violent storm arose, which drove their vessels upon a little island in the Medi. terranean. Marini's ship landed first, where, while the rest of the crew were refreshing themselves, the inconsolable widower, as he thought himself, wandered with one servant only into a little wood, that was near the sea shore, to give a loose to his immoderate grief. Soon after the Genoese ship landed too, and the same motive led Monimia with one of her maids to the wood where her husband was, lamenting his unfortunate condition. They had not long been there, before they heard each other's complaint, and drew nearer, mutually, to see if there was any wretch living equally miserable with themselves. But how great was the astonishment of both, 'when they met in a little path and saw each other! The immoderate joy was such, and the transition from one extreme to the other so instantaneous, that all the power they had was to fall into each other's arms, where they expired in a few minutes after. Their bodies were conveyed to Italy, and were interred with all the solemnity and magnificence due to their quality and eminent virtues,
THE TEMPLE OF HYMEN ; A VISION.
A few days ago I had an account of the marriage of a friend. When occurrences of this nature make an impres. sion upon the mind; it is insensibly betrayed into little animad. versions upon them. This was my case in an extraordi. nary manner : for having mused some time on this incident, I fell into an easy slumber, when fancy reassumed the subject, and sallied out in the following excursion.
Methought I was in an instant placed on the boundaries of a spacious plain ; in the centre of which was presented to the eye a large temple consecrated to Hymn, the god of marriage. At a small distance from me l observed a giddy crowd of both sexes, who were making towards the building, in order to celebrate the ceremony of the god. There was shuffled in among them a demon, whose form was so peculiar, and whose sway with the multitude so universal, that I shall give my reader a particular description of him. It seems the name of this fury was Lust; in the upper part of his body he carried the likeness of a human figure, from the middle downwards he bore the resemblance of a goat; his eyes were turgid, sparkling and inflamed, his complex. ion was very irregular, attended with the most sudden tran. sitions from a sanguine red to a livid paleness, and a tremor frequently seized every member. Close followed him Dis. taste, with a sickly countenance and supercilious eye; and Remorse with his hat flapped over his face, and a worm gnawing his vitals. I was much shocked at these mon. strous appearances, and the more so, to observe how readily my fellow creatures gave in to the impious suggestions of the demon. But my surprise was somewhat abated on a nearer approach ; for I took notice that his breath was of such a malignant nature, that all those who rashly advanced within its influence, were presently intoxicated and deprived of their reason.
I was in such a consternation at this discovery, that I hesitated for a while, whether I should enter into conversa. tion with the blithe adventurers before mentioned. In the midst of my suspense there came toward us a grave old gentleman, of a steady and composed aspect, whose name was Deliberation. He was one of the principal agents belonging to the temple, and so high in the god's esteem, that Hymen was very rarely known to give his benediction at the conclusion of the ceremony to any couple, who were not ushered into his presence by this venerable officer. Upon his joining the company (to the majority of which I found he was a perfect stranger) there was expressed a universal uneasiness and discontent; and many of them industriously avoided all conversation with him,
But it was very remarkable that all those who thus imprudently turned their backs on this valuable monitor, in their return from the temple, were seized by one or both of the melancholy attendants of the fury.
At my entrance into the building, I observed the deity marching at a small distance towards it. The first in the procession was Love, in the form of a Cupid, who was continually practising a thousand little arts and graces, to draw upon him the smiles of the god; and by the tender regards which Hymen cast upon the child, I found he was a very great favourite.
The god followed next, holding in his hand a flaming torch, which shone the brighter the longer it burned ; he approached us, supported by Virtue, a lady of the most engaging form that I ever beheld. She was clothed in a white resulgent garment, and her head was encircled with glory.
The next attendant was Beauty, arrayed in the most gorgeous apparel, and full of herself, even to distraction..