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heaven, brought forth their clusters, they can endure the storms of the north, and the loud noises of a tempest, and yet never be broken: so are the early unions of an unfixed marriage; watchful and observant, jealous and busy, inquisitive and careful, and apt to take alarm at every unkind word. After the hearts of the man and the wife are endeared and hardened by a mutual confidence and experience, longer than artifice and pretence can last, there are a great many remembrances, and some things present that dash all little unkindnesses in pieces.

THEY SHOULD CAREFULLY AVOID LITTLE
VEXATIONS.

LET man and wife be careful to stifle little things, that as fast as they spring they be cut down and trod upon; for if they be suffered to grow by numbers, they make the spirit peevish, and the society troublesome, and the affections loose and easy by an habitual aversation. Some men are more vexed with a fly than with a wound; and when the gnats disturb our sleep, and the reason is disquieted, but not perfectly awakened, it is often seen that he is fuller of trouble than if, in the day-light of his reason, he were to contest with a potent enemy. In the frequent little accidents of a family, a man's reason cannot always be awake; and, when the discourses are imperfect, and a trifling trouble makes him yet more restless, he is soon betrayed to the violence of passion.

THEY SHOULD ABSTAIN FROM THOSE THINGS FROM WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY AVERSE.

LET them be sure to abstain from all those things which, by experience and observation, they find to be contrary to each other. They that govern elephants never appear before them in white.

THEY SHOULD AVOID NICE DISTINCTIONS OF
MINE AND THINE.

LET the husband and wife infinitely avoid a curious distinction of mine and thine; for this hath caused all the laws, and all the suits, and all the wars in the world. Let them who have but one person, have also but one interest. As the earth, the mother of all creatures here below, sends up all its vapours and proper emissions at the command of the sun, and yet requires them again to refresh her own needs, and they are deposited between them both in the bosom of a cloud, as a common receptacle, that they may cool his flames, and yet descend to make her fruitful : so are the proprieties of a wife to be disposed of by her lord; and yet all are for her provisions, it being a part of his need to refresh and supply hers; and it serves the interest of both while it serves the necessities of either.

These are the duties of them both, which have common regards and equal necessities and obligations; and indeed there is scarce any matter of duty but it concerns them both alike, and is

only distinguished by names, and hath its variety by circumstances and little accidents; and what in one is called love, in the other is called reverence ; and what in the wife is obedience, the same in the man is duty. He provides and she dispenses; he gives commandments and she rules by them; he rules her by authority, and she rules him by love; she ought by all means to please him, and he must by no means displease her. For as the heart is set in the midst of the body, and though it strikes to one side by the prerogative of nature, yet those throbs and constant motions are felt on the other side also, and the influence is equal to both: so it is in conjugal duties, some motions are to the one side more than to the other; but the interest is on both, and the duty is equal in the several instances.

THE DUTY AND POWER OF THE MAN.

THE next inquiry is more particular, and considers the power and duty of the man: 'Let every one of you so love his wife even as himself.' Thou art to be a father and a mother to her, and a brother; and great reason, unless the state of marriage should be no better, than the condition of an orphan. For she that is bound to leave father, and mother, and brother for thee, either is miserable like a poor fatherless child, or else ought to find all these, and more, in thee.

HIS LOVE.

THERE is nothing can please a man without love; and if a man be weary of the wise discourses of the apostles, and of the innocency of an even and private fortune, or hates peace or a fruitful year, he hath reaped thorns and thistles from the choicest flowers of paradise: for nothing can sweeten felicity itself but love. No man can tell but he that loves his children how many delicious accents make a man's heart dance in the pretty conversation of those dear pledges: their childishness, their stammering, their little angers, their innocence, their imperfections, their necessities, are so many little emanations of joy and comfort to him that delights in their persons and society;†

+ GENTLE SHEPHERD, Scene 2.
I shall ha'e delight

To hear their little plaints, and keep them right.
Can greater pleasure be

Than see sic wee tots toolying at your knee;
When a' they ettle at-their greatest wish,
Is to be made of, and obtain a kiss?

See also Burns' Cotter's Saturday Night, where the children are so beautifully described :

At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;

Th' expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher thro'

To meet their dad, wi' flichterin noise an' glee.
His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonnily,

His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile,
The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,
An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil.

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but he that loves not his wife and children feeds
a lioness at home, and broods a nest of sorrows;
and blessing itself cannot make him happy: so
that all the commandments of God enjoining a
man to love his wife, are nothing but so many
necessities and capacities of joy. She that is
loved is safe, and he that loves is joyful.

1

HE SHOULD SET A GOOD EXAMPLE TO HIS WIFE.

Ulysses was a prudent man, and a wary counsel-
lor, sober and severe; and he efformed his wife into
such imagery as he desired; and she was chaste as
the snows upon the mountains : diligent as the
fatal sisters; always busy and always faithful, she
had a lazy tongue, and a busy hand.

1

HIS CHASTITY SHOULD BE UNSPOTTED.

Above all the instances of love, let him preserve
towards her an inviolable faith and an unspotted
chastity, for this is the 'Marriage Ring :' it ties
two hearts by an eternal band; it is like the che-
rubim's flaming sword, set for the guard of para-
dise; for he that passes into that garden, now
that it is immured by Christ and the church, en-
ters into the shades of death.

Now, in this grace, it is fit that the wisdom
and severity of the man should hold forth a pure
taper, that his wife may, by seeing the beauties
and transparency of that crystal, dress her mind
and her body by the light of so pure reflections.

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