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persons of different ranks. There is no instance in which the sphere of business and conversation is not more exten. sive to the husband than the wife ; and therefore if a man is married to one of taste superior to his own, he may
draw gradually nearer to her, though she descend very little. I think I can recollect more instances than one of a man in business married at first to his equal, and on a second mar. riage, to one of higher breeding, when not only the house and family, but the man himself was speedily in a very different style. I can also recollect instances in which married persons rose together to an opulent estate from almost no. thing, and the man improved considerably in politeness, or fitness for public life, but the woman not at all. The old gossips and the old conversation continued to the very last. It is not even without example, that a plain woman, raised by the success of her husband, becomes impatient of the society forced upon her, takes refuge in the kitchen, and spends most of her agreeable hours with her servants, from whom, indeed, she differs nothing but in name. A certain person in a trading city in Great Britain, from being merely a mechanic, turned dealer, and in a course of years acquired an immense fortune. He had a strong desire that his family should make a figure, and spared no expense in purchasing velvets, silks, laces, &c.; but at last he found that it was lost labour, and said very truly, that all the money in Great Britain would not make his wife and his daughters ladies.
2. When a woman marries below her rank, I think it is, generally speaking, upon better motives than when a man marries below his, and therefore no wonder that it should be attended with greater comfort. I find it asserted in several papers of the Spectator, and I think it must be admit. ted by every impartial observer, that women are not half so much governed, in their love attachments, by beauty, or outward form, as men. A• man of a very mean figure, if he has any talents, joined to a tolerable power of speech, will often make himself acceptable to a very lovely woman. It is also generally thought that a woman rates a man pretty much according to the esteem he is held in by his own sex ; if this be the case, it is to be presumed that when a man succeeds in his addresses to a lady of higher breeding than his own, he is not altogether void of merit, and therefore will not in the issue disgrace her choice. This will be con. firmed by reflecting that many such marriages must be with persons of the learned professions—it is past a doubt that literature refines as well as enlarges the mind, and generally renders a man capable of appearing with tolerable dignity, whatever have been the place or circumstances of his birth. It is easy to see that the reverse of all this must happen upon the other supposition : when a man marries below his rank, the very best motive to which it can be attributed, is an admiration of her beauty. Good sense, and other more valuable qualities, are not easily seen under the disguise of low breeding, and when they are seen, have seldom justice done them. Now as beauty is much more fading than life, and fades sooner in a husband's eye than any other, in a little time nothing will remain but what tends to create uneasiness and disgust.
3. The possession of the graces, or taste and elegance of manners, is a much more important part of a female than a male character. Nature has given a much greater de. gree of beauty and sweetness to the outward form of wo. men than of men, and has by that means pointed out wherein their several excellencies should consist. From this, in conjunction with the former observation, it is manifest, that the man who finds in his wife a remarkable defect in point of politeness, or the art of pleasing, will be much more disappointed than the woman who finds a like defect in her husband. Many do not form any expectation of refinement in their husbands, even before marriage : a few, if I am not much mistaken, are rather pleased than otherwise, to think that any one who enters the house, perceives the difference between the elegance of the wife, and the plainness, not to say the awkwardness of the husband. I have observed this, even down to the lowest rank. A tradesman's for country farmer's wife will sometimes abuse and scold her husband for want of order or cleanliness, and there is no mark of inward malice or ill-humour in that scolding, be. cause she is sensible it is her proper province to be accurate in that matter. I think also, that the husband in such cases is often gratified instead of being offended, because it pleases him to think that he has a wife that does just as she ought to do.
But take .the thing the other way, and there is no rank of life, from the prince to the peasant, in which the husband can take pleasure in a wife more awkward or more slovenly than himself.
To sum up the whole, if some conformity or similarity of manners is of the utmost consequence to matrimonial comfort-if taste and elegance are of more consequence to the wife than the husband, according to their station : and, if it is more difficult for her to acquire it after marriage, if she does not possess it before—I humbly conceive I have fully supported my proposition, that there is a much greater risk in a mau's marrying below his station, than a woman's de. scending from hers.
THE CULTIVATION OF GOOD TEMPER IN LADIES.
MY DEAR Niece, I know not whether that strange caprice, that inequality of taste and behaviour, so commonly attributed to our sex, may be properly called a fault of temper; as it seems not to be connected with or arising from our animal frame, but 10 be rather the fruit of our own self-indulgence, degenerating by degrees into such a wantonness of will as knows not how to please itself. When, instead of regulating our actions by reason and principle, we suffer ourselves to be guided by every slight and momentary impulse of inclination, we shall, doubtless, appear so variable and inconstant, that nobody can guess, by our behaviour to-day, what may be expected from us to-morrow; nor can we ourselves tell whether what we delighted in a week ago will now afford us the least degree of pleasure. It is in vain for others to attempt to please us; we cannot please ourselves, though all we could wish for waits our choice : and thus does a capricious woman become sick of herself through very selfishness : and when this is the case, it is easy to judge how sick others must be of her, and how contemptible and disgusting she must appear.
This wretched state is the usual consequence of power and flattery. May my dear child never meet with the temptation of that excessive and ill-judged indulgence from a husband, which she has happily escaped from her parents, and which seldom fails to reduce a woman to the miserable condition of a humoured child, always unhappy from having nobody's will to study but its own. The insolence of such demands for yourself, and such disre.
gard to the choice and inclinations of others, can seldom fail to make you as many enemies as there are persons obliged to bear with your humours; whilst a compliant, reasonable, and contented disposition, would render you happy in yourself, and beloved by all your companions, particularly by those who lived constantly with you; and of what consequence this is to your happiness, a moment's reflection will convince you. Family friendships are the friendships made for us, if I may so speak, by God himself. With the kindest intentions he has knit the bands of family love by indispensable duties : and wretched are they who have burst them asunder by violence and ill-will, or worn them out by constant little disobligations, and by the want of that attention to please which the presence of a stranger always inspires, but which is so often shamefully neglected towards those whom it is most our duty and interest to please. May you, my dear, be wise enough to see that every faculty of entertainment, every engaging qualification which you possess, is exerted to the best advantage for those whose love is of most importance to you: for those who live under the same roof, and with whom you are connected for life, either by the ties of blood, or by the still more sacred obligations of a voluntary engagement.
To make you the delight and darling of your family, something more is required than barely to be exempt from ill-temper and troublesome humours. The sincere and genuine smiles of complacency and love must adorn your countenance. That ready compliance, that alertness to assist and oblige, which demonstrates true affection, must animate your behaviour, and endear your most common actions. Politeness must accompany your greatest familiari. ties, and restrain you from every thing that is really offen. sive, or which can give a moment's unnecessary pain. Conversation, which is so apt to grow dull and insipid in families, nay, in some to be almost wholly laid aside, must be culti. vated with the frankness and openness of friendship, and by