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"How are thy servants blest, O Lord;
How sure is their defence!
Their help, Omnipotence.
Supported by thy care,
And breathed in tainted air.
Made every region please :
And smoothed the Tyrrhene seas.
How, with affrighted eyes,
In all its horrors rise !
And fear in every heart;
O’ercame the pilot's art.
Thy mercy set me free.
My soul took hold on thee.
High on the broken wave,
Nor impotent to save.
Obedient to thy will;
At thy command was still.
Thy goodness I'll adore,
And humbly hope for more.
My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
Thy sacrifice shall be;
Shall join my soul to thee.' "
· No. 490. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22.
Domus et placens uxor.
I HAVE very long entertained an ambition to make the word wife the most agreeable and delightful name in nature. If it be not so in itself, all the wiser part of mankind from the beginning of the world to this day has consented in an error. But our unhappiness in England has been, that a few loose men of genius for pleasure have turned it all to the gratification of ungoverned desires, in despite of good sense, form, and order; when, in truth any satisfaction beyond the boundaries of reason, is but a step towards madness and folly. But is the sense of joy and accomplishment of desire no way to be indulged or attained? And have we appetites given us not to be at all gratified? Yes, certainly: marriage is an institution calculated for a constant scene of as much delight as our being is capable of. Two persons who have chosen each other out of all the species, with design to be each other's mutual comfort and entertainment, have in that action bound themselves to be good-humoured, affable, discreet, forgiving, patient, and joyful, with respect to each other's frailties and perfections, to the end of their lives. The wiser of the two (and it always happens one of them is such) will, for her or his own sake, keep things from outrage with the utmost sanctity. When this union is thus preserved (as I have often said) the most indifferent circumstance administers delight. Their condition is an endless source of new gratifications. The married man can say, if I am unacceptable to all the world beside, there is one whom I entirely love, that will receive me with joy and transport, and think herself obliged to double her kindness and caresses of me from the gloom with which she sees.me overcast. I need not dissemble the sorrow of my heart to be agreeable there, that very sorrow quickens her affection.
This passion towards each other, when once well fixed, enters into the very constitution and the kindness flows as easily, and silently as the blood in the veins. When this affection is enjoyed in the most sublime degree, unskilful eyes see nothing of it; but when it is subject to be changed, and has an allay in it that may make it end in distaste, it is apt to break into rage, or overflow into fondness before the rest of the world.
Uxander and Viramira are amorous and young, and have been married these two years; yet do they so much distinguish each other in company, that in your conversation with the dear things you are still put to a sort of cross purposes. Whenever you address yourself in ordinary discourse to Viramira, she turns her head another way, and the answer is made to the dear Uxander. If you tell a merry tale, the application is still directed to her dear; and when she should
commend you, she says to him, as if he had spoke it, That is my dear, so pretty,'—This puts me in mind of what I have somewhere read in the admired memoirs of the famous Cervantes, where, while honest Sancho Panca is putting some necessary humble question concerning Rozinante, his supper, or his lodgings, the knight of the sorrowful countenance is ever improving the harmless lowly hints of his 'squire to the poetical conceit, rapture, and flight, in contemplation of the dear Dulcinea of his affections.
On the other side Dictamnus and Maria are ever squabbling, and you may observe them all the time they are in company in a state of impatience. As Uxander and Viramira wish you all gone, that they may be at freedom for dalliance; Dictamnus and Maria wait your absence that they may speak their harsh interpretations on each other's words and actions during the time you were with them.
It is certain that the greater part of the evils attending this condition of life arises from fashion. Prejudice in this case is turned the wrong way, and instead of expecting more happiness than we shall meet with in it, we are laughed into a prepossession, that we shall be disappointed if we hope for lasting satisfactions.' • With all persons who have made good sense the rule of action, marriage is described as the state capable of the highest human felicity. Tully has epistles full of affectionate pleasure, when he writes to his wife or speaks of his children. But above all the hints of this kind I have met in writers of ancient date, I am pleased with an epigram of Martial in honour of the beauty of his
wife Cleopatra. Commentators say it was written the day after his wedding-night. When his spouse was retired to the bathing-room in the heat of the day, he, it seems, came in upon her when she was just going into the water. To her beauty and carriage on this occasion, we owe the following epigram, which I showed my friend Will Honeycomb in French, who has translated it as follows, without understanding the original. I expect it will please the English better than the Latin reader.
When my bright consort, now nor wife nor maid,
My friend would not allow that this luscious account could be given of a wife, and therefore used the word consort; which he learnedly said would serve for a mistress as well, and give a more gentlemanly turn to the epigram. But, under favour of him and all other such fine gentlemen, I can not be persuaded but that the passion a bridegroom has for a virtuous young woman, will, by little and little, grow into friendship, and then it is ascended to a higher pleasure than it was in its first feryour. 'Without this happens, he is a very unfortunate man who has entered into this state, and left the habitudes of life he might have enjoyed with a faithful friend. But when the wife proves capable of filling serious