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as the object of joy; human nature itself is often imputed to her, as her particu. lar imperfection or defect. .
"I take it to be a rule proper to be observed in all occurrences in life, but more especially in the domestic or matrimonial part of it, to preserve always a disposition to be pleased. This cannot be supported, but by considering things in their right light, and as nature has formed them, and not as our own fancies or appetites would have them. He then who took a young lady for his wife, with no other consideration, than the expectations of dalliance, and thought of her only, as she was to administer to the gratification of desire ; as that desire flags, will, without her fault, think her charms and her merit abated: from hence must follow indifference, dislike, peevishness, and rage. But the man who brings his reason to support his passion, and beholds what he loves as liable to all the calamities of human life, both in body and mind, and even at the best, what must bring upon him new cares and new relations; such a lover, I say, will form himself accordingly, and adapt his mind to the nature of his cir. cumstances. This latter person will be prepared to be a father, a friend, an advocate, a steward for people yet unborn, and has proper affections ready for every incident in the marriage state. Such a man can hear the cries of children with pity, instead of anger; and when they run over his head, he is not disturbed at their noise, but is glad of their mirth and health. Tom Trusty has told me, that he thinks it doubles his attention to the most intricate affair he is about, to hear his children, for whom all his cares are applied, make a noise in the next room. On the other side, Will Sparkish cannot put on his perriwig, or adjust his cravat at the glass, for those noisy nurses and squalling brats; and then ends with a gallant reflection upon the comforts of matrimony, runs out of the hearing, and drives to the chocolate house.
"According as the husband is disposed in himself, every circumstance of his life is to give him torment or pleasure. When the affection is well placed, and supported by the considerations of duty, honour, and friendship, which are in the highest degree engaged in this alli. ance, there can nothing rise in the common course of life, in which a man will not find some matters of delight, unknown to a single condition.
He who sincerely loves his wife and family, and studies to improve that affection in himself, conceives pleasure from the most indifferent things; while the married man, who has not bid adieu to the fashions and false gallantries of the town, is perplexed with every thing around him. In both these cases, men cannot indeed make a sillier figure, than in repeating such pains and pleasures to the rest of the world ; but, I speak of them only as they sit upon those who are involved in them. As I visit all sorts of people, 'I cannot indeed but smile, when the good lady tells her husband, what extraordinary things the child spoke since he went out. No longer than yesterday, I was prevailed upon to go home with a fond husband, and his wife told him, that his son, of his own head, when the clock in the parlour struck two, said, Papa would come home to dinner presently. While the father has him in a rapture in his arms, and is drowning him with kisses, the wife tells me, he is but just four years old. Then they both struggle for him, and bring him to me, and repeat his observation of two o'clock.
These quotations are so very long, that I shall make no remarks thereon, but leave to you and your beloved wife, to draw your own conclusions from them. If you find any thing in what I have written, that may contribute to increase your satisfaction in the marriage state, I shall have the happi. ness to rejoice, that my labour has not been in vain.
LETTER VI. Advantages of the MarriageState continued.
November 12, 1812. My Dear Sir,
Your are aware that in every thing we undertake we are obliged to be governed in our progress, by certain cir. cumstances, which we could neither foresee nor prevent. We seldom do any thing without the conviction that it might have been executed better, under other circumstances. Something is still wanting to enable us to complete our designs, and render our performances perfect. How
ever if I begin to describe my difficul. ties, or to make excuses for my deficien. cies, I shall be in danger of filling sheet after sheet, without pursuing my subject :---I will therefore rely on your candour. You know that my object is, to please, and edify; and you may rest assured that I will do my best, in hopes of succeeding.
I must indulge the supposition that you and your beloved wife are fond of reading poetry; otherwise, I fear, you will be tired with so many long quotations in verse. But the circumstances of a new married couple, and the subject of my letters are very favourable to poetry. Love elevates the mind, and gives a sort of dignity and grandeur to the thoughts, to which the language of poetry is peculiarly suitable. Both successful and desponding lovers, are gene. rally supposed to pour out their feelings, and express their pleasures and sorrows, in the language of poetry. And as far as I can judge, (from the opportunities I have had of reading,) some of the brightest and the best thoughts upon this subject have been written in poetry.
Hail, wedded love ! by bounteous Heay'n design'd, At once the source and glory of mankind !