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in the place, and the colonel may be melancholy, and being a case incident a man of disinterested gallantry. Let only to persons of this description, let us add to this, the menial offices they us not envy a happiness which is subare obliged to submit to; the fatigues ject to a reverse fo sad, they have to undergo, and the con I have thus, fir, endeavoured to. fraint they must place on their incli- place the character of the legacy-kunnations. "They must
when their ters in a more favourable view, than friend weeps, and be glad when he is that in which it has hitherto been conglad. They must never contradict, fidered. I humbly hope that what I nor oppose his opinions, unless to give have advanced will not be thrown a. him the honour of a triumph. They way, and that we shall hereafter conmust nor remind him that his under- sider them as a particular class of phifanding decays, and his memory fails; losophers, a fect distinguished from all and they must not be wanting in the others by the steady perseverance with many fubmissions, which are due from which they hunt after the object, an inferior to his superior. Last of which profiteth not ;' by their patiall
, and greatest of all trials of pati- ence under contempt, pride and caence, they must rejoice if he recovers price; by their exquisite skill in place from a dangerous illness, jump for joy ing the gentler pallions around the hed with a sinking heart, and grin those of a dying man; and by the shocking smiles which would be better supplied mortifications they are liable to from by the languid mien and the weeping the want or irregularity of a will, from eye.
the strictness of the courts of law, the Lastly, Sir, let us consider that le- claims of relations, and other acci.. gacy-hunters are not always to be clafl- dents. We shall not, I hope, confider: ed among the fortunate part of man- them as objects of envy, nor grudge kind. They are often subjected to them that portion of success which greater mortifications than I have yet sometimes falls to their share. They enumerated. The legacy may be so are a very ancient sect; the Romans doubtfully, expressed as to be disputed had their Captatores and Hæredipela, at law, and fet aside: it may fall and in this country they have flourishgreatly thort of expectation; or, the ed for many years. Another reason affairs of the teftator may be in such a why we ought to consider them in a. ftate as to produce nothing ; or, grant- favourable light, is that they labour ing that his property is immense, the under the general prejudices of manwill properly drawn up, regularly kind. They are generally accounted figned and sealed, and all plain and mean, selfish, hypocritical, and avariunequivocal
, it may happen that their cious, and it has been frequently obname is not mentioned at all. Greater served, that riches acquired in this way disappointment than this, I will un- have either been hoarded up so as to dertake to say, no men can feel ; and be useless, or they have been dissipated yet to such disappointments are ligacy, with a lavih hand upon extravagance bunters frequently exposed, and at a and wantonness; and it has been liketime too when human resolution is not wise thought that no man of an inde. able to stand it. Misfortune can never pendent fpirit and manly understandfall so heavy on us as when all hope is ing would, upon any account, submit gone, when every prospect is clouded, to the disgrace and mortifications, and we can look forward to no object which are incident' to legacy-hunters. which can recompence us. At this But whether this opinion be just, I awful crisis, when the whole stock of leave to the determination of your patience is exhausted, or useless. (for readers, and am, sir, &c. what is patience without hope?) you
A. L. will allow that the case is peculiarly
ON MATRIMONIAL DIFFERENCE S. Question all who shall hereafter come to you with matrimonial complaints, concerning their behaviour in the time of courtship, and inform them that they are neither to wonder nor repine, when a contract begun with fraud, has ended in difappointment.'
JOHNSON. To the Editor of the Universal Magazine. Sir, AS
S it is pretty generally acknow- ther preface communicate what has
ledged, that the holy state of ma- occurred 10 .me on the subject, and trimony is not always attended with the worst have to fear, is the being that full happiness, which the parties classed with those numberless fpeculawho enter into it, have taught them- tors whose object seems to be to show felves to expect, and as we find peo- the fertiliiy of their invention at the ple in general rather eagerly disposed expence of their experience. My toward it notwithstanding the many schemes, indeed, will not be found cases of disappointment among their quite so extensive as theirs, and I hope neighbours, and especially as of late I shall appear somewhat less confident fome instances of marrimonial difa- in the success of them. greements have appeared in parties I shall, therefore, principally conof high rank and distinction, it strikes fine myself to the causes of matrimonial me that the man who could invent a misery. These are generally stated to Tu.nedy for those disorders, would con- be, the parties coming together from fer a more lasting benefit on mankind improper motives, from motives of than ever was conferred upon them. interest
, or of temporary paflion, from It may at first fight, indeed, appear the compulsion of friends on whom an imposibility. The subject is of a they depend, from youth and thoughtvery complicated nature, involving lesiness, and from age and second many very important confiderations, childhood. Now, fir, it appears very and necessarily connected with many plain that all these parties cannot enstubborn prejudices. So that he who tertain that sense of the contract which attempts a reformation wil probably is entertained by persons who unite Share the fate of all other reformers, from motives of attection, and with a although he has so many more diffi- mutual desire to make each other culties to encounter, and his object is happy. Hence my first objection, and of universal concern and benefit to his indeed my principal one is aimed at fellow creatures.
the contract itself, as not being suited After thus expressing my sense of to the different parties who are to fign the arduous task, I am aware that I it. At the time the form of mari. sign the condemnation of my own pre- monial service was composed, we may fumption in attempting fo vaft an ad- suppose that there prevailed a greater dition to human happiness; but, in- degree of equality in the dispositions deed, fir, I am far from flattering of persons about to marry than we find myself that I fall be able to succeed. rov, and one form might very well I have only some few hints to throw ferve for all. But the introduction of out, rather of the negative than the genteel manners into all ranks of life, positive kind, and shall rather state and those manners grafted upon vul. what I think is not right, than pro- garity and ignorance, have occasioned pofe a complete remedy. Observa- to great a variety of tastes and dispofition will probably aflift me in the tions, that it would be really unreaformer, but I much question whether fonable not to think that the present I possess inventive powers equal to the form of service has become nearly oblatter. However, I fhail without far- folete, or only fit for the few who have
been so economical as to hand down as to love ; moft men of fathion think the virtues as well as the estates of they love their wives dearly, if they their ancestors to pofterity.
neither beat them, nor turn them out Can we, for example, expect that of doors, and that love is perfectly a man who has married a woman for consistent with frequent absence from no other object than her money, will home, occasional gallantries with other regard his promise to love her, com- ladies, and the distant respect of ocfort her, honour and keep her in ficke casional acquaintances. As to honour, ness and health,' when we know that their notions of that are very atituthe greatest favour The can do him, dinarian ; I fall not enter particunext to giving her money into his larly into them, but they are free hands, is to give him an opportunity quently cxemplified in the civil and of burying her? When we see a criminal ci uits. With regard to young woman forced into the arms of obedience, which is principally expectan old dotard, for no other purpose ed from the fair fex, I am lorry to say, than to obtain a title or a handsome that it is a word of very lax and genejointure (by the bye this word hould ral interpretation, and is clogged with be written dis cinture, as it is one of so many conditions and acis of mental the preliminaries to a final separation) reservation, as to be rarely recognized are we to expect that she will love, in the sense in which it apreais to have cherish, and obey such a husband ? I been used by the cornpi'ers of our might state many other cases for which liturgy. One lady of fashion profeffes our service is obviously ill adapted. to obey her hulbard in every thing But the other day we read in the pa- confiitent with her own in. Jination. pers of a couple married, the man That is her sense of obedience. Anowas eighty, and the woman seventy- ther thinks herself ablolved fiom all
age. I believe them as obedience, because her husband is a fully inclined to fulfil their vows as fool. A third conditions with him,
alf of our fashionable pairs, yet that if he will obey in some points, you will allow that there is scarcely she will in others. an article in the service that does not Then, fir, the great mischief is, convey a satire on such matches. that when a disagreement takes place,
You will perhaps say, that these and the contending parties chuse to things are true, and that they afford interpret the treaty in different ways, sufficient ground for making some al- there is no third party to which the teration in the service. I once thought dispute can be referred. No interTo myself, and I tried the alteration, ference is admitted, or whenever atbut it would not do. I omitted, and tempted, it is not to the advantage of I added, and tried it in all various the disputants, but always to the loss ways, but at last was obliged to be of and injury of the mediator, who of opinion that in the present state of the two friends is sure to make at least fashionable world, we want a form of one enemy. The parties, in fact, act service for the various ranks of society. precisely like two high-spirited naThe present is far too good;
pro tions. They go to war, and expend ceeds upon motives of religion, but all their force and ammunition, before that, you know, fir, is rather out of they will listen to terms of accommofalhion, and I am persuaded no per- darion, wá ch, after all, amount only son of distinction would thank you for to a truce, the parties ever after refuppofing him influenced by it in his taining a watchful jealousy, and a conduct toward his wife. The phrases digriñel con empt for each other. used in it are also too loose and gene have rea! omewhere lately, of a ral. Love, honour, and obey! There nation where : e matrimonial contract are not three words in the language, lafts only fo: hree years. They are, which admit of greater latitude. First, I temcmter, reckoned a nation of
favages, but my fashionable readers the facetious grin of the clerk, as to will I hope agree with me that in this be quite confounded, and incapable of respect they have acquired a very knowing what they are about. I proconsiderable portion of civilization, pose it likewise in respect to tender conand are very well qualified to pre- sciences, for really when a man is difserve the accustomed relations of the posed to take an oath which he has no matrimonial state. The term of three inclination to keep, I had much rather years may, indeed, be supposed rather he did it any where than at the altar. too long, but it is stiil shorter than the The glib enunciation of the customlives of most men, and comes nearer, house, or the justice room, where the than any nation has yeť attempted, to only words you hear are, “So help the per od, when according to the man- you God! twelve-pence;' would ners of people of fashion, the matri- much better suit the fa.hionable votamonial treaty virtually expires. In ries of Hymen. Great respect ought compiling, therefore, forms of service to be paid to tender consciences, and for the beau moride, the first and great that the duties of the married ftate object would be to limit the time to should be enforced by what may be the prcbable duration of the affections termed an act of uniformity, has no of the parties. In the case of an old doubt given great uneasiness to many lord mariying a young woman for a scrupulous people of rank, who may nurse, there would be no harm in ex- naturally expect that some diftinction tending it till death do us part, but thould be made between them and the in moit other cases; as that of a for- vulgar. They might even, I think, tune-hunter marrying a dowager, or (but I propose every thing with suba child, it would be sufficient if time mislicn) he allowed to marry upon were given for the regular transfer of their honour, which would be equally the land and the three per cents. binding with the form to which they This, I think, could not, in all con are now obliged to submit. If there science, be thought unreasonable. As be any objection to this, it may pro. for the couples who come together bably arise from the mistaken fenfe of they know not why, a clause might koncur, or rather the many fenfes in be introduced confining them only which it is used. Valeat quantum van durante bene placito, that is, as long lere poffit. This is an objection which as they please, which I humbly appre- it is not in my power to remove, and hend would give fatisfaction to a great I throw it out to those who can. many persons who are apt to fall in The farther neceflity for a service, Jove at first sight, to be struck with a specially adapted to modern manners, pretty face, or who marry for a tem- appears from another consideration.
In all contracts, the breach of it by I have not presumed to draw up one party either incurs a penalty, or any sketch of these new services, but amounts to a dissolution. Unfortuconfine myself, as I merely engaged, nately, the compilers of the contract to some hints upon the subject, which in question, not foreseeing that a time others may improve upon. I should, would come when it should be reckontherefore, farther suggest, that all ed genteel for one party to break the fuch marriages be removed from the contract, and yet very proper for the church, and performed in the draw- other to be bound by it, have made no ing-room, the tavern, or any other provifion for such occurrences as are fuitable place. I propose this, because now frequent enough, and notorious I have sometimes observed that per- enough. These good men had no fons who never go to church but when idea of pin-money, jointures, and fe. they are marri d, are so struck with parate establishments. They could the novel appearance of the place, the not conceive that married persons liva folemn appearance of the parson, and ing in the same kingdom, possessed of
carriages and horses, and enjoying There are many other hints I might the advantages of the finest turnpike- offer on this subject. I might suggest roads, should never meet, unless by, the propriety of permitting more wives accident, and when met part without than one, in order to prevent domestic exchanging a word, or even a look of discord; and other improvements on mutual esteem. If they had, would the system of marriage, but I have al. they have put in such words as “to ready made my lerter too long. I have and to hold, for better for worse, hope, however, that what I have for richer for poorer, in sickness and thrown out will have the due effect I in health, to love and to cherish, till proposed, as well as incline those who death do us part ? Certainly not; if have more leisure and greater abilities they had foreseen the changes and im. to give the subject an attentive conprovements introduced into the mar- fideration. Let it not be understood ried state by modern manners, they that I wilh to abolish entirely the prewould not have expected impossibilities, fent service. Far from it. It is ad nor thought of binding a man down .mirably calculated for all who are seto what he never intended to perform. rious in their purposes, who are deTheir ignorance in this respect may, firous to execute the most important however, be excused. The wifest of of duties from the most conscientious men cannot know more than the age of motives; who wish to add to the in which they live. They judged of happiness of their country by encreafEnglish manners influenced by reli- ing the aggregate of domestic regugion, not foreseeing that foreign tra- larity; who wish to be regarded ravel would foon introduce foreign man. ther as good than great, and who by ners, and that a man who has made an honourable conduct and real digthe tour of Europe, should think it his nity to an obscure station—but these duty to import the most genteel of its are not the persons of whom I spoke vices, as a recompence for his long in the preceding part of my letter. absence, and a benefaction to the
I am, fir, &c. prosperity of his country.
THOUGHTS ON VARIETY.
'HE anxiety we feel to be able to selves of many of the comforts of fo.
account for every appearance in ciety.' Society cannot be a state of men and things is so great, that we happiness without mutual concessions are often apt to find fault with certain and sacrifices, provided they are such things, not so much from being able as do not interfere with prudence and to prove that they are wrong, as from economy, or infringe on the princinot being able to account for them. ples of virtue. To be too compliant It is in our dispositions to measure the is dangerous, but never to comply is inclinations of others by our own, and a mark of selfishness, and deprives us. therefore we think it wholly unac- of all right to expect in our turn what countable that any fould prefer what we have so often denied to others. we dislike, or hold in contempt what In our intercourse, however, with is to us a source of pleasure and ad- our friends and acquaintances, we still miration. Without considering that have a hankering to make converts to if the inclinations of all mankind were our inclinations, to reduce mankind fixed on the same objects, there would to an equality of desires, or where be no enjoyment, we go on to obtrude we fail in these objects, to set down our tastes and likings upon one another, our disappointments as wholly unacencouraging an unaccommodating countable. Among other appearances and selfish spirit, and depriving our which the present season affords, no