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is placed in her bed, the bridegroom sits at the feet of it, with an aspect which intimates his thoughts were not only entertained with the joys with which he was surrounded; but also with a noble gratitude, and divine pleasure in the offering, which was then made to the gods to invoke their influence on his new condition. There appears in the face of the woman a mixture of fear, hope, and modesty; in the bridegroom a well-governed rapture. As you see in great spirits grief, which discovers itself the more by for bearing tears and complaints, you may observe also the bighest joy is too big for utterance; the tongue being of all tbe organs the least capable of expressing such a circumstance. The nuptial torch, the bower, the marriage song, are all particulars which we meet with in the allusions of the antient writers; and in every one of them something is to be observed, which denotes their industry to aggrandize and adorn this occasion above all others.
With us all order and decency in this point is perverted, by the insipid mirth of certain animals we usually call Wags. These are a species of ali men the most insupportable. One cannot without some reflection say, whether their fat mirth provokes us more to pity or to scorn: but if one considers with how great affectation they utter their frigid conceits, commiseration immediately changes itself
A Wag is the last order even of pretenders to wit and good humour. He has generally his mind prepared to receive some occasion of merriment, but is of himself too empty to draw any out of his own set of thoughts; and therefore laughs at the next thing he meets, not because it is ridiculous, but because he is under a necessity of laughing. A Wag is one that never in its life saw a beautiful object; but sees, what it does see, in the most low, and most inconsiderable light it can be placed. There is a certain ability necessary to behold what is amiable and worthy of our approbation, which little minds want, and attempt to hide by a general disregard to every thing they behold above what they are able to relish. Hence it is, that a Wag in an assembly is 'ever guessing, how well such a lady slept last night, and how much such a young fellow is pleased with himself. The Wag's gaiety consists in a certain professed ill-breeding, as if it were an excuse for committing a fault, that a man knows he does so. Though all public places are full of persons of this order; yet, because I will not allow impertinence and affectation to get the better of native innocence and simplicity of manners, I have, in spite of such little disturbers of public entertainments, persuaded my brother Tranquillus, and his wife my sister Jenny, in favour of Mr. Wilks, to be at the play to-morrow evening.
They, as they have so much good sense as to act naturally, without regard to the observation of others, will not, I hope, be discomposed, if any of the fry of Wags should take upon them to make themselves merry upon
the occasion of their coming, as they intend, in their wedding clothes. My brother is a plain, worthy, and honest man; and as it is natural for men of that turn to be mightily taken with sprightly and airy women, my sister has a vivacity which may perhaps give hopes to impertinents, but will be esteemed the effect of innocence among wise men. They design to sit with me in the box, which the house have been so complaisant as to offer me whenever I think fit to come thither in my public charaeter.
I do not in the least doubt but the true figure of conjugał affection will appear in their looks and gestures. My sister does not affect to be gorgeous in her dress; and thinks the happiness of a wife is more visible in a cheerful look than a gay apparel. It is a hard task to speak of persons so nearly related to one with decency; but I may say, all who shall be at the play will allow him to have the mien of a worthy English gentleman; her, that of a notable and deserving wife.
N° 185. THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 1710.
Notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit,
Ouid. de Pyr. & Thisb. Met. ir. 59.
From my own Apartment, June 14. As soon as I was up this morning, my man gave me the following letter; which, since it leads to a sube ject that may prove of common use to the world, I shall take notice of with as much expedition as my fair petitioner could desire.
"MR. BICKERSTAFF, « Since you have so often declared yourself a patron of the distressed, I must acquaint you, that I am daughter to a country gentleman of good-seuse, and may expect three or four thousand pounds for my
fortune. I love and am beloved by Philander, a young gentleman who has an estate of five hundred pounds per annum, and is our next neighbour in the country every summer. My father, though he has been a long time acquainted with it, constantly refuses to comply with our mutual inclinations : but what most of all torments me is, that if ever I speak in commendation of my lover, he is much louder in his praises than myself; and professes, that it is out of pure love and esteem for Philander, as well as his daughter, that he can never consent we should marry each other; when, as he terms it, we may both do so much better. It must indeed be confessed, that two gentlemen of considerable fortunes made their addresses to me last winter, and Philander, as I have since learned, was offered a young heiress with fifteen thousand pounds; but it seems we could neither of us think, that accepting those matches would be doing better than remaining constant to our first passion. Your thoughts upon the whole may, perhaps, have some weight with my father, who is
“ SYLVIA. “P.S. You are desired to be speedy, since my father daily presses me to accept of, what he calls, an advantageous offer."
There is no calamity in life that falls heavier upon human nature than a disappointment in love; especially when it happens between two persons wbose hearts are mutually engaged to each other. It is this distress which has given occasion to some of the finest tragedies that were ever written, and daily fills the world with melancholy, discontent, frenzy, sickness, despair, and death. I have often admired at the barbarity of parents, who so frequently interpose their authority in this grand article of life. I would fain ask Sylvia's father, whether he thinks he can bestow a greater favour on his daughter, than to put her in a way to live happily? Whether a man of Philauder's character, with five hundred pounds per annum, is not more likely to contribute to that end, than many a young fellow whom he may have in his thoughts with so many thousands ? Whether he can make amends to his daughter by any increase of riches, for the loss of that happiness she proposes to herself in her Philander? Or, whether a father should compound with his daughter to be miserable, though she were to get twenty thousand pounds by the bargain? I suppose he would have her reflect with esteem on his memory after his death : and does he think this a proper method to make her do so, when, as often as she thinks on the loss of her Philander, she must at the same time remember him as the cruel cause of it? Any transient ill-humour is soon forgotten; but the reflection of such a cruelty must continue to raise resentments as long as life itself; and by this one piece of barbarity, an indulgenų father Joses the merit of all his past kindnesses. It is not impossible, but she may deceive herself in the happiness which she proposes from Philander: but as in such a case she can have no one to blame but herself, she will bear the disappointment with greater patience; but if she never makes the experiment, however happy she may be with another, she will still think she might have been happier with Philander. There is a kind of sympathy in souls, that fits them for each other; and we may be assured when we see two persons engaged in the warmths of a mutual affection, that there are certain qualities in both their minds which bear a resemblance to one another. A generous and constant passion in an agreeable lover, where there is not too great a dispa