all with whom you associate; cultivate the friendship of the good : and steadfastly persist in shunning all habitual intercourse with persons of bad or of doubtful character, however complying others may be around you. To be thus complying, is to impair the salutary principle of shaming into obscurity the corrupting example of vice; it is to withdraw from virtue the collateral support, which it derives from the dread of general disgrace. Be consistent in the selection of your associates; and proportion, as nearly as circumstances may allow, your intercourse with iodividuals to their intrinsic worth. Pursue not the society of woinen of higher rank than your own; be not elated by their notice: “ let your moderation be known unto all;" not by artificial condescension, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.

In the progress of matrimonial life it is scarcely possible but that the wife and the husband will discover faults in each other, which they had not previously expected. The discovery is by no means a proof, in many cases it is not even a presumption, that deceit had originally been practised. Affection, like that Christian charity of whose nature it largely participates, in its early periods " hopeth all things, believeth all things.” Time and experience, without necessarily detracting from its warmth, superadd judgment and observation. The characters of the parties united mutually expand; and disclose those little recesses which, eren in dispositions most inclined to be open and undisguised, scarcely find opportunities of unfolding themselves antecedently to marriage. Intimate connexion and uninterrupted socieiy reveal shades of crror in opinion and in conduct, which, in the burry of spirits, and the dazzled state of mind peculiar to the season of growing attachment, escaped the vigilant eye of solicitude. Or the fact unhappily may be, that in consequence of new scenes, new circumstances, new temptations, failings which did not exist when the matrimonial state commenced, may have been contracted since. The stream may have derived a debasing tincture from the region through which it has lately flowed. But the fault, whether it did or did not exist while the parties were single, is now discerncd. What then is to be the consequence of the discovery? Is affection to be repressed, is it to be permitted to grow languid, because the object of it now appears tinctured with some few additional defects? I aliude not to those flagrant desertions of moral and religious principle, those extremes of depravity, which are not unkiiown

to the connubial state, and give a shock to the tenderest feelings of the heart. I speak of those common failings, which long and familiar intercourse gradually detects in every human character. Whether they are perceived by the husband in the wife, or by the wife in the husband, to contribute by every becoming method to their removal is an act of duty strictly incumbent on the discoverer. It is more than an act of duty; it is the first office of love. “ Thou shalt not hate thy neighbour in suffering sin upon him," is a precept, the disregard of which is the most criminal in those persons, by whom the warmest regard for the welfare of each other onght to be displayed.

To point out failings in the spirit of kindness is one of the clearest indications of friendship. It is, however, one of those delicate offices from which friendship may the most easily be deterred. If a husband find his endeavours to discharge it frequently misconceived; if he see them usually producing perturbations difficult to be allayed, and extending far and wide beyond the original subject of discussion; he may learn to ihink it wiser to let an evil exist in silence, than to attempt to obviate it at the hazard of a greater. If his conscience at any time call upon him to set before his associate in connubial life some defect, either in her general conduct, or in a particular instance, he ought unquestionably to fulfil the task with a lively conviction of his own imperfections, and of the need which he bas of indulgence and forbearance on her part. He ought to full it with a tenderness of manner flowing from the genuine warmth of affection ; with an ardent solicitude to shun, as far as may be possible the appearance of authoritative injunctions; and with prudence adapting itself to the peculiarities of the mind which he is desirous to impress. In all cases he ought to guard, with scrupulous anxiety, against exciting in the breast of his wife a suspicion that he is purposely minute in prying into her failings; and against loading her spirits with groundless apprehensions that the original glow of his attachment is impaired by those which he has noticed. But whai if in one or in more of these points he should be negligent and defective? Let not a momentary quickness of manner, let pot an inadvertent expression hastily dropping from his lips, nor even the discovery of some emotions stained with human infirmity, be noticed with resentment, or followed by retort and recrimination. Though he should evidently be liable to just censure himself, his admoniton may yet be wise; his reproof, if he be

[ocr errors]

necessitated even to reprove, may be just. Though on foriner occasions he should have been hurried into animadversion without reason, there may be reason for his animadversion now. Let himn not be thought partial and unwarrantably strict, if he should chance to observe, and to observe with some indications of disquietude, a failing,

when exeinplified by his wife, which in other women he - had scarcely regarded. Is it surprising that he should be

alive to circumstances in the conduct of the person most intimately connected with him, which affected him little or not at all in a more distant relation, in an acquaintance, in a stranger? It sometimes happens, when a married woman has not been led to attend to considerations such as those which have now been suggested, that advice, which, if given by the husband, would not have met with a favourable acceptation, is thankfully received from others. To know that this state of things is possible, should be a lesson 10 the husband against misconduct and imprudence; for to them its existence may be owing. But let it also be to the wife an admonition against captiousness and prejudice; for had she been free from them, it could not have existed.



THE lady thus address'd her spouse,
What a mere dungeon is this house!
By no means large enough; and was it,
Yet this dull roon, and ihat dark closet-
Those hangings, with their worn-out graces-
Long beards, loog noses, and pale faces-
Are such an antiquated scene,
They overwhelm me with the spleen!
Sir Humphry, shooting in the dark,
Makes answer quite beside the mark:
No doubt, my dear, I bade bien come,
Engaged myself to be at home,
And shall expect him at the door
Precisely when the clock strikes four.

You are so deat, the lady cried
(And rais'd her voice, and frown'd beside)
You are so sadly deaf, my dear,

What shall I do to make you hear?
Dismiss poor Harry! he replies;
Some people are more nice than wise
For one slight trespass all this stir
What if he did ride whip and spur,
'Twas but a mile-your favourite horse
Will never look one hair the worse.

Well, I protest 'tis past all bearing-
Child! I am rather hard of hearing-
Yes, truly—one must scream and bawl-
I tell you, you can't hear at all!
Then, with a voice exceeding low,
No matter if you hear or no.

Alas! and is domestic strife,
That sorest ill of human life,
A plague so little to be fear'd,
As to be wantonly incurr'd,
To gratify a fretful passion,
On every trivial provocation ?
The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to for bear;
And something, every day they live,
To pity, and, perhaps, forgive.
But if infirmities that fall
In common to the lot of all
A blemish or a sense impair'd-
Are crimes so litile to be spared,
Then farewell all that must create
The comfort of the wedded state;
Iostead of harmony, 'tis jar
And tumult, and intestine war.

The love that cheers life's latest stage,
Proof against sickness and old age,
Preserv'd by virtue from declension,
Becomes not weary of attention ;
But lives, when that exterior grace
Which first inspir'd the flame decays.

"Tis gentle, delicate, and kind, To faults compassionate or blind, And will with sympathy endure Those evils it would gladly cure: But angry, coarse, and harsh expression Shews love to be a mere profession ; Proves that the heart is none of bis, Or soon expels him if it is.



MRS. BARNET, wife of Mr. George Barnet, who lived at no great distance from London, had been in town to put her daughter to a boarding-school.

She had taken a post-chaise, that the chariot might remain for the use of her husband, whose constant custoin it was to drive out every day before dinner, to acquire an appetite, the only sensible reason which, in Mr. Barnet's opinion, any man in easy circumstances could have for being at the trouble of exercise.

As Mrs. Barnet returned from town, the post-chaise broke down in the middle of the road; a stage-coach came up at the instant that Mrs. Barnet and her maid had got safely out of the post-chaise; the coachman knew Mrs. Barnet, and his course being directly through a village contiguous to her husband's house, he stopped, and offered to set her down at her own door. Mrs: Barnet, perceiving that it would take a considerable time before the chaise could be mended, agreed to the coachman's proposal, and desired her maid to put a small bundle into the coach.

“ Laa, Madam,” cried the maid, as soon as she had peeped into the coach,“ here is a frightful old woman, and a beggarly-looking boy; you cannot possibly go in here."

“ As for the old woman and the boy,” said the coachman," although they are sitting within, they are no more than outside passengers; for, as ill luck would have it, I chanced to have none within ; so when the rain came on, I took piry on the boy, and desired him to take shelter in the coach, which he refused, unless the old woman was allowed to go in also: so as the boy, you see, is a very pretty boy, I could not bear that he should be exposed to the rain, and so I was obliged 10 let in both; but now, to be sure, if her ladyship insists on it, they must both go on the outside, which will be no greac hardship, for it begins to grow fair."

“ Fair or foul, they must get out directly,” said the maid; “ do you imagine that my mistress will sit with such creatures as these, more particularly in such a dirty machine.”

"Hark you, young woman,” said the coachman, “ you

« ForrigeFortsett »