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time, the shortness of his proposed stay in town, and the hurry his business would necessarily keep him in while he remained. But this declaration by no means satisfied his kinsman; he insisted on his spending a day with them so warmly, that the other was at last overcome, and the third day after was fixed on for that purpose, which Mr. Bearskin informed us would be the more agreeable to all parties, as he should then have an opportunity of introducing us to his London correspondent, a man of great fortune, who had just arrived here on a jaunt to see the country, and had promised him the favour of eating a bit of mutton with him on that day. I would have excused myself from being of the party; but not having, any more than Umphraville, a talent at refusal, was, like him, overpowered by the solicitations of his cousin.
The history of that dinner I may possibly give my readers hereafter, in a separate paper, a dinner, now a-days, being a matter of consequence, and not to be managed in an episode. The time between was devoted by Mr. Umphraville to business, in which he was pleased commonly to ask my advice, and to communicate his opinions. The last I found generally unfavourable both of men and things; my friend carries the prisca fides' too much about with him to be perfectly pleased in his dealings with people of business. When we returned home in the evening, he seemed to feel a relief in having got out of the reach of the world, and muttered expressions, not to mention the inflections of his countenance, which, if fairly set down on paper, would almost amount to calling his banker a Jew, his lawyer not a gentleman, and his agent a pettifogger. He was, however, very ready to clap up a truce with his ideas when in company with these several personages; and though he thought he saw them taking
advantages, of which I am persuaded they were perfectly innocent, he was contented to turn his face another way,
pass on. A man of Umphraville's disposition is willing to suffer all the penalties of silliness, but that of being thought silly.-I.
N° 33. TUESDAY, MAY 18, 1779.
AMONG the many advantages arising from cultivated sentiment, one of the first and most truly valuable, is that delicate complacency of mind which leads us to consult the feelings of those with whom we live, by shewing a disposition to gratify them as far as in our power, and by avoiding whatever has a contrary tendency
They must, indeed, have attended little to what passes in the world who do not know the importance of this disposition; who have not observed, that the want of it often poisons the domestic happiness of families, whose felicity every other circumstance concurs to promote.
Among the letters lately received from my correspondents, are two, which, as they afford a lively picture of the bad consequences resulting from the neglect of this complacency, I shall here lay before my readers. The first is from a lady, who writes as follows:
'SIR, My father was a merchant of some eminence, who gave me a good education, and a fortune of several thousand pounds. With these advantages, a tolerable person, and I think not an unamiable temper, I was not long arrived at womanhood before I found myself possessed of many admirers. Among others was Mr. Gold, a gentleman of a very respectable character, who had some connexions in trade with my father; to him, being a young man of good figure, and of very open and obliging man. ners, I soon gave the preference, and we were accordingly married with the universal approbation of my friends.
• We have now lived together above three years, and I have brought him two boys and a girl, all very fine children. I go little abroad, attend to nothing so much as the economy of our family, am as obliging as possible to all my husband's friends, and study in every particular to be a kind and dutiful wife.
Mr. Gold's reputation and success in business daily increase, and he is, in the main, a kind and attentive husband; yet I find him so particular in his temper, and so often out of humour about trifles, that in spite of all those comfortable circumstances, I am perfectly unhappy.
At one time he finds fault with the dishes at table ; at another, with the choice of my maid-servants; sometimes he is displeased with the trimming of my gown, sometimes with the shape of my cloak, or the figure of my head-dress; and should I chance to give an opinion on any subject which is not perfectly to his mind, he probably looks out of humour at the time, and he is sure to chide me about it when we are by ourselves.
• It is of no consequence whether I have been right or wrong in any of these particulars. If I say a word in defence of my choice or opinion, it is sure to make matters worse, and I am only called a fool for my pains; or, if I express my wonder that he should give himself uneasiness about such trifles, he answers sullenly, that, to be sure, every thing is a trifte in which I choose to disoblige him.
• It was but the other day, as we were just going out to dine at a friend's house, he told me my gown was extremely ugly. I answered, his observation surprised me, for it was garnet, and I had taken it off on hearing him say he wondered I never
lose one of that colour. Upon this he got into a passion, said it was very odd I should charge my bad taste upon him; he had never made any such observation, for the colour was his aversion. The dispute at last grew so warm, that I threw myself down on a settee, unable to continue it, while he flung out of the room, ordered away the coach from the door, and wrote an apology to his friend for our not waiting upon him.
Wedined in our different apartments: and though I believe, we were equally sorry for what had passed, and Mr. Gold, when we met at supper, asked my pardon for having contradicted me so roughly; yet we had not sat half an hour together, when he told me, that, after all, I was certainly mistaken, in saying he had recommended a garnet colour; and when I very coolly assured him I was not, he renewed the dispute with as much keenness as ever. We parted in the same bad humour we had done before dinner, and I have hardly had a pleasant look from him since.
'In a word, Mr. Gold will allow me to have no mind but his; and, unless I can see with his eyes, hear with his ears, and taste with his palate (none of which I can very easily bring myself to do, as you must know all of them are somewhat particular), I see no prospect of our situation changing for the better; and what makes our present one doubly provoking is, that, but for this unfortunate weakness,
Mr. Gold, who is, in other respects, a very worthy man, would make one of the best of husbands.
* Pray tell me, Sir, what I should do in this situation, or take your own way of letting my husband see his weakness, the reformation of which would be the greatest of all earthly blessings to
Yours, &c. SUSANNAH GOLD.'
I was thinking how I should answer this letter, or in what way I could be useful to my correspondent, when I received the following, the insertion of which is, I believe, the best reply I can make to it.
· TO THE AUTHOR OF THE MIRROR.
· I was bred a merchant; by my success in trade I am now in affluent circumstances, and I have reason to think that I am so with an unblemished character.
• Some years ago, I married the daughter of a respectable citizen, who brought a comfortable addition to my fortune; and, as she had been virtuously educated, and seemed cheerful and good-tempered, as I was myself naturally of a domestic turn, and resolved to make a good husband, I thought we bade fair for being happy in each other.
But, though I must do my spouse the justice to
that she is discreet and prudent, attentive to the affairs of her family, a careful and fond mother to her children, and, in many respects, an affectionate and dutiful wife; yet one foible in her temper destroys the effect of all these good qualities. She is so much attached to her own opinions in every trifle, so impatient of contradiction in them, and withal so ready to dispute mine, that if I disapprove of her taste or sentiments, in any one particular, or seem