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himself in so accomplished a companion; and, assuming a serious air, told him, there was another heart to be won before he gained bers, which was that of bis father. Palamede seemed much disturbed at the overture ; and lamented to her, that his father was one of those too provideut parents, who only place their thoughts upon bringing riches into their families by marriages, and are wholly insensible of all other considerations. But the strictness of Cælia's rules of life made her insist upon this demand; and the son, at a proper hour, communi. cated to his father the circumstances of his love, and the merit of the object. The next day the father made her a visit. The beauty of her person, the fame of her virtue, and a certain irresistible charm in her whole behaviour, on so tender and delicate an occasion, wrought so much upon him, in spite of all prepossessions, that he hastened the marriage with an impatience equal to that of his son. tials were celebrated with a privacy suitable to the character and modesty of Cælia ; and from that day, until a fatal one last week, they lived together with all the joy and happiness which attend minds entirely united.
It should bave been intimated, that Palamede is a student of the Temple, and usually retired thither early in the morning; Cælia still sleeping.
It happened, a few days since, that she followed him thither to communicate to him something she had omitted, in her redundant fondness, to speak of the evening before. When she came to his apartment, the servant there told her, she was coming with a letter to her. While Cælia, in an inner room, was reading an apology from her husband. “ That he had been suddenly taken by some of his acquaintance to dine at Brentford, but that he should return in the evening," a country girl, decently clad, asked,
if those were not the chambers of Mr. Palamede ? She was answered, they were; but that he was not in town. The stranger asked, when he was expected at home? The servants replied, she would go in and ask his wife. The young woman repeated the word wife, aud fainted. This accident raised no less curiosity tban amazement in Cælia, who caused her to be removed into the inuer room. Upon proper applications to revive ber, the unhappy young creature returned to herself; and said to Cælia, with an earnest and beseeching tone, “ Are you really Mr. Palamede's wife?” Cælia replies, “ I hope I do not look as if I were any other in the condition you see me.” The stranger answered, “ No, Madam, hie is my
husband.” At the same instant, she threw a bundle of letters into Cælia's lap, which confirmed the truth of what she asserted. Their mutual inno. cence and sorrow made them look at each other as partners in distress, rather than rivals in love. The superiority of Cælia's understanding and genius gave her an authority to examine into this adventure, as if she had been offended against, and the other the delinquent. The stranger spoke in the following manner:
“ MADAM, “If it shall please you, Mr. Palamede, having an uncle of a good estate near Winchester, was bred at the school there, to gain the more his good-will by being in his sight. His uncle died, and left him the estate which my husband 'now has. When he was a mere youth, he set his affections on me;
but when he could not gain his ends, he married me; making me and my mother, who is a farmer's widow, swear we would never tell it upon any account whatsoever; for that it would not look well for him to marry such a' one as me; besides, that his father would cut him off of the estate. I was glad to have him in an honest way; and he now and then came and stayed a night and away at our house. But very lately, he came down to see us, with a fine young gentleman, his friend, who stayed behind there with us, pretending to like the place for the summer : but ever since master Palamede went, he has attempted to abuse me; and I ran hither to acquaint him with it, and avoid the wicked intentions of his false friend.”
Cælia had no more room for doubt; but left her rival in the same agonies she felt herself. Palamede returns in the evening; and finding his wife at bis chambers, learned all that had passed, and hastened to Cælia's lodgings.
It is much easier to imagine, than express, the sentiments of either the criminal, or the injured, at this encounter.
As soon as Palamede had found way for speechi, he confessed his marriage, and his placing his companion on purpose toʻvitiate his wife, that he might break through a marriage made in bis non-age, and devote his riper and knowing years to Cælia. She made him no answer; but retired to her closet. He returned to the Temple. where he soon after received from her the following letter:
SIR, “ You, who this morning were the best, are now the worst of men who breathe vital air. I am at once overwhelmed with love, hatred, rage, and disdain. Cau infamy and innocence live together? I feel the weight of the one too strong for the comfort of the other. How bitter, heaven! how bitter is my portion! How much have I to say! but the infant which I bear about me stirs with my agitation. I am, Palamede, to live in shame, and this creature be heir to it. Farewell for ever!"
N° 199. TUESDAY, JULY 18, 1710.
When we revolve in our thoughts such catastrophies as that in the history of the unhappy Cælia, there seems to be something so hazardous in the changing a single state of life into that of marriage, that, it may happen, all the precautions imaginable are not sufficient to defend a virgin from ruin by her choice. It seems a wonderful inconsistence in the distribution of public justice, that a man who robs a woman of an ear-ring or a jewel, should be punished with death; but one who, by false arts and insinuations should take from her, her very self, is only to suffer disgrace. This excellent young woman has nothing to consolate herself with, but the reflection that her sufferings are not the effect of any guilt or misconduct; and has for her protection the influence of a Power, which, amidst the unjust reproach of all mankind, can give not only patience, but pleasure, to innocence in distress.
As the person, who is the criminal against Cælia, cannot be sufficiently punished according to our present law; so are there numberless unhappy persons without remedy according to present custom. That great ill, which has prevailed among us in these latter ages, is the making even beauty and virtue the purchase of money. The generality of parents, and some of those of quality, instead of looking out for introducing health of constitution, frankuess of spirit, or dignity of countenance into their families, lay out all their thoughts upon finding out matches for their estates, and not for their
o he can
children, You shall have one form such a plot for the good of his family, that there shall not be six men in England capable of pretending to his daughter. A second shall have a son obliged, out of mere discretion, for fear of doing any thing below himself, to follow all the drabs in town. These sage parents meet; and, as there is no pass, no courtship between the young ones, it is no unpleasant observation to behold how they proceed to treaty. There is ever, in the behaviour of each, something that denotes his circumstance; and bonest Coupler, the conveyancer, says, distinguish, upon sight of the parties, before they have opened any point of their business, which of the two has the daughter to sell.” Coupler is of our club, and I have frequently heard him declaim upon this subject, and assert, “ that the marriagesettlements, which are now used, have 'grown fashionable even within his memory.”
When the theatre, in some late reigns, owed its chief support to those scenes which were written to put matrimony out of countenance, and render that state terrible, then was it that pin-money first prevailed; and all the other articles were inserted which create a diffidence, and intimate 10 the young people, that they are very soon to be in a state of war with each other; though this had seldom bappened, except the fear of it had been expressed. Coupler will tell you also, “that jointures were never frequent until the age before his own; but the women were contented with the third part of the estate the law allotted them, and scorned to engage with men whom they thought capable of abusing their children.” He has also informed me, " that those who were the oldest benchers when he came to the Temple, told him, that the first marriage settlement of considerable length was the invention