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• Oh how desirable such a situation ! Yet even this state, so much envied by most, and so eagerly desired by all, would prove a tiresome solitude, without the enjoyment of that best of all good companions, a prudent wife. . The matrinjonial connection stamps a man's character, and adds to his dignity. It gives him a greater degree of respectability in society : and when he becomes the father of a family, he feels his importance increasing. Every body. considers him as a person of more consequence to the community, than he could have been, if he had remained single. The marriage ceremony exalts the bachelor into a man; and at the same time, it heightens all his pleasures, and gives a double relish to all his advan.' tages.
To enjoy a select number of well cho: sen friends, for occasional social visits is sweet. Such recreations are rational, are becoming the dignity of our spe. cies: they greatly increase our pleasures, and enlarge the stock of our knowledge. The charms of music and poetry are sweet: and, it is very gratifying to pos-sess ample conveniences for use and comfort. But all these together would be
insufficient for the true relish and enjoyment of life; without that superadded blessing, which crowns the whole, and gives a double sweetness to all the resta a prudent wife.
It seems to me to be difficult to conceive of any condition, or any situation, in which it is supposable a man might be found; but what it must be a great advantage to him to be blest with a good wife: but I can easily conceive of numerous seasons, situations, and circumstances, in which he would be miserable indeed without one. There are otfices which she, and only she can perform; there are affections which she, and only she can feel; there are difficulties which she, and only she can surmount. . However, as I am unwilling to weary you with the length of my epistles, "I will now accommodate you with a pause.
Wishing you and your beloved the enjoyment of every félicity that hearts in union can give and receive,
I remain, &c.
LETTER V. Advantages of the MarriageStatecontinued. My Dear Sir,
I think the following advice of HORACE is worthy of attention:
• Amongst all other things do not omit,
And the best way to make all stations please.' In conformity to this advice, I have been lately employed in searching through the volumes of the Spectator and the Rambler: and though I find that both Addison and Johnson were of opi. nion, that the marriage state is the most natural, and the most useful ; and that there are many advantages in it, both for individual happiness, and for the good of society: yet, the design of their papers, (which was principally to correct improprieties,) leads them to speak most frequently upon the disadvantages of marriage: or rather, upon the unhappiness experienced by the greater part of married people, through their own follies. For as Burns, the Scottish Poet says:
6. Human bodies are sic fools;
They make enow themsels to ves them."
riages are generally contracted. But - these great men were both of opinton
that marriage is the most honourable state; and, when entered into with proper views, most adapted to increase our happiness, and promote our usefulness.
And this is perfectly conformable to the opinion of ancient times :. for of old. it was considered as a great honour, as well as a great advantage, for a man to have a numerous family of children.
When the blessing of God was pronounced upon the man that walked in his ways, it was said:.. Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine by the side of thine house, and thy children like the olive branches round about thy table. Behold thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.
The promise that God made to Abra. ham was, that his seed should be numerous in the earth, and that all nations should be blessed in him, and in his seed.
· And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect, ... And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying; As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
i Neither shall thy name any more he called Abram: but thy name shall be called Abraham ; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
is And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee: and kings shall come out of thee.
And I will establish niy covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations ; for an everlasting covenant; to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.'
The same promise was renewed to Ja· cob, while he was yet a single man. ." And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed
her she butca