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Constancy, when it grows in the mind upon considerations of this nature, becomes a moral virtue, and a kind of good nature that is not subject to any change of health, age, for. ture, or any of those accidents which are apt to unsettle the best dispositions, that are founded rather in constitution than in reason. Where such a constancy as this is wanting, the most inflamed passion may fall away into coldness and indifference, and the most melting tenderness degenerate into hatred and aversion.
In order to acquire the right of demanding love, endeavour to deserve it: after a union of twenty years, be as attentive to please, and as careful to avoid offence, as if you were now endeavouring to inspire that passion : for there is as great an advantage in keeping a heart, as in first conquering it. I dare answer for the happiness of that union, where love, honour, and a mutual condescension perpetually reign; but the tie will be greatly weakened by the want of any of these three requisites; and if the first be wanting, it will be totally destroyed.
Agathocles and Calista are completely happy, because they are both the friends of virtue. They love each other on this account; their love therefore will last as long as their virtue, and the continuance of that is secured by their union ; for nothing can secure our perseverance in the paths of wisdom so effectually, as having a beloved and loving example before us. Their felicity can never be disturbed but by those disasters and misfortunes, from which their mutual tenderness cannot shelter them. But supposing that these should fall to their share, they would then only partake of the common lot of mankind. Those who have never tasted the delights of love are equally exposed to disappointment, and the lover is at least a gainer with re. spect to those pleasures, which are of great account in the estimation of the value of life. Add to this, that love tends to diminish the sense of their misfortunes ; it has the pecuJiar virtue of rendering the sufferings of two well-paired
hearts less acute, and their delights more exquisite. It would seem as if by communicating their distresses, each felt but half their weight, whilst, on the contrary, their satisfactions are increased by participation. As a squadron of horse is conquered with more difficulty in proportion to its closeness, so the happy pair resist the attacks of trouble and adversity with so much more strength, as they are more firmly united.
ON THE BRUTALITY OF HUSBANDS.
As women owe a duty, so do men;
Wilkins's Miseries of Enforced Marriage.
How monstrous is the brutal figure some husbands make, who, when lovers, were the poorest and most abject of slaves ! When they should be defenders, they are tyrants : and when it is reasonable for them to be provoked, they are stupid!y submissive. How contemptible is their unmanly weakness! a morose and restless pecvishness makes up
the behaviour they expect to charm by. They contract a surly, sour habit, from the disappointments they meet with in life; and instead of softening the edge of affliction towards the
who is bound to share their sufferings, they double them on their head, from whom, in honour and conscience they ought to ward off sorrow by a noble sweetness and endearing tenderness in their whole behaviour.
Particular circumstances and cast of temper must teach a man the probability of mighty uneasinesses in the marriage state; (for
some there are, unquestionably, whose very dispositions are strangely averse to conjugal friendship:) but no one, I believe, is by his own natural complexion prompted to tease and torment another, for no reason but being nearly allied to him ; and can there be any thing more base, or serve to sink a man so much below his own distinguishing characteristic reason, than returning evil for good in so open a manner, as that of treating a helpless creature with unkindness, who has so good an opinion of him as to believe what he said relating to one of the greatest concerns of life, by delivering her happiness in this world to his care and protection ? Must not that man be abandoned even to all manner of humanity, who can deceive a woman with appearances of affection and kindness, for no other end but to torment her with more ease and authority ? Is any thing more unlike a gentleman, than when his honour is engaged for the performing his promises, because nothing but that can oblige him to it, to become afterwards false to his word, and be alone the occasion of miseries to one whose happiness he but lately pretended was dearer to him than his own? Ought such a one to be trusted in his common affairs, or treated but as one whose honesty consisted only in his incapacity of being otherwise ?
There is one cause of this usage no less absurd than common, which takes place among the more unthinking men, and that is the desire to appear to their friends free and at liberty, without those trammels which they have so much ridiculed. To avoid this, they fly into the other extreme, and grow tyrants that they may seem masters. Because an uncontrollable command of their actions is a certain sign of entire dominion, they won't so much as re. cede from the government even in one muscle of their faces. A kind look, they believe, would be fawning, and a civil answer yielding the superiority. To this we must attribute an austerity they betray in every action : what but this can put a man out of humour in his wife's company, though he is so distinguishedly pleasant every where else? The bitterness of his replies, and the severity of his frowns to the tenderest of wives, clearly demonstrate, that an ill-grounded fear of being thought too submissive, is at the bottom of this (as I am willing to call it) affected moroseness : but if it be such, put on only to convince his acquaintance of his entire dominion, let him take care of the consequence, which will be certain and worse than the present evil; his seeming indifference will by degrees grow into real contempt, and if it doth not wholly alienate the affections of his wife for ever from him, make both him and her more miserable than if it really did so.
However inconsistent it may appear, to be thought a well bred person has no small share in this clownish behaviour: but if this sort of husbands would be convinced, that to be civil at least is not beneath the character of a gentleman; nor that even tender affection towards one who would make it reciprocal, betrays any softness of effeminacy that the most masculine disposition need be ashamed of; would they be satisfied of the generosity of voluntary civility, and the greatness of soul that is conspicious in benevolence without immediate obligations; the married condition would be a far more easy and comfortable one than it generally is. The husband would be no where so well satisfied as in his own house, nor the wife so pleasant as in the company of her husband. A desire of being agreeable in the lover, would be increased in the husband; and the mistress would be more amiable by becoming the wife. In short, men in general would be much better than they are, did they not so frequently exercise the worst turns of their temper where they ought to exert the best.
It is wonderful to observe how easily men get into a habit of being least agreeable where they are most obliged to be
Some men are so unmerciful as to move jealousy in their wives, and not care whether they are so or not; they are ever out of humour in their company, but the pleasantest men in the world every where else; the greatest slovens at home, but the most exactly dress. ed in all other places. I would recommend to such men a more regular behaviour than to give the most ex. quisite torments to those who love them; nay, whose tor. ment would be abated if they did not love them.
Amabilis is one who practises all the parts of a fine gen. tleman in the duty of a husband : when he was a bachelor