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stand by the window or over the chimney.. It may seem strange to you, who are not a married man, when I tell you how the least trifle can strike a woman dumb for a week together. But, if enter into this state, you will find that the soft sex as often express their anger by an obstinate silence, as by an ungovernable clamour.
“ Those indeed who begin this course of life without jars at their setting out, arrive within few months at a pitch of benevolence and affection, of wbich the most perfect friendship is but a faint resemblance. As in the unfortunate marriage, the most minute and indifferent things are objects of the sharpest resentment; so in an happy one, they are occasions of the most exquisite satisfaction. For what does not oblige in one we love? What does not offend in one we dislike? For these reasons I take it for a rule, that in marriage, the chief business is to acquire a prepossession in favour of each other. They should consider one another's words and actions with a secret indulgence. There should be always an inward fondness pleading for each other, such as may add new beauties to every thing that is excellent, give charms to what is indifferent, and cover every thing that is defective. For want of this kind propensity and bias of mind, the married pair often take things ill of each other, which no one else would take notice of in either of them.
“ But the most unhappy circumstance of all is; where each party is always laying up fuel for dissension, and gathering together a magazine of provocations, to exasperate each other with when they are out of humour. These people, in common discourse, make no scruple to let those who are by know, they are quarrelling with one another; and think they are discreet enough, if they conceal from the company the matters which they are hinting at. About a week ago, I was, entertained for a whole dinner with a mysterious conversation of this na. ture: out of which I could learn no more, than that the husband and wife were angry at one another. We had no sooner sat down, but says the gentleman of the house, in order to raise discourse, ' thought Margarita sung extremely well last night. Upon this, says the lady, looking as pale as ashes, • I suppose she had cherry-coloured ribbands on.' • No,' answered the husband with a fush in his face, but she had laced shoes. I look upon it, that a stander-by on such occasions has as much reason to be out of countenance as either of the combatants. To turn off my confusion and seem regardless of what had passed, I desired the servant who attended, to give me the vinegar, wbich unluckily created a new dialogue of hints; for, as far as I could gather by the subsequent discourse, they had dissented the day before about the preference of elder to wine vinegar. In the midst of their discourse, there appeared a dish of chicken and asparagus*, when the husband seemed disposed to lay aside all disputes ; and looking upon her with a great deal of good-nature, said, Pray, my dear, will you help my friend to a wing of the fowl that lies next you, for I think it looks extremely well.' The lady, instead of answering him, addressing herself to me, Pray, Sir,' said she, 'do you in Surrey reckon the white or the black-legged fowls the best? I found the husband change colour at the question; and before I could answer, asked me, Whether
, we did not call bops broom in our country? I quickly found they did not ask questions so much out of curiosity as anger: for which reason I thought fit to keep my opinion to myself, and, as
* Chickens and Sparagrass, O. F,
an honest man ought, when he sees two friends in warmth with each other, I took the first opportunity I could to leave them by themselves. ." You see, Sir, I have laid before you only small incidents, which are seemingly frivolous; but take it from a man very well experienced in this state, they are principally evils of this nature which make marriages unhappy.' At the same time, that I may do justice to this excellent institution, I must own to you there are unspeakable pleasures which are as little regarded in the computation of the advantages of marriage, as the others are in the usual survey that is made of its misfortunes.
“ Lovemore and his wife live together in the happy possession of each other's hearts, and by that means have no indifferent moments, but their whole life is one continued scene of delight. Their passion for each other communicates a certain satisfaction, like that which they themselves are in, to all that approach them. When she enters the place where he is, you see a pleasure which he cannot conceal, nor he or any one else describe. In so consummate an affection, the very presence of the person beloved has the effect of the most agreeable conversation. Whether they have matter to talk of or not, they enjoy the pleasures of society, and at the same time the freedom of solitude. Their ordinary life is to be preferred to the happiest moments of other lovers. In a word, they have each of them great merit, live in the esteem of all who know them, and seem but to comply with the opinions of their friends, in the just value they have for each other."
N" 151. TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 1710.
Ni vis boni In ipsâ inesset formâ, hæc formam extinguerent. Ter. “These things would extinguish beauty, if there were not an innate pleasure-giving energy in beauty itself.”
From my own Apartment, March 27. When artists would expose their diamonds to an advantage, they usually set them to show in little cases of black velvet. By this means the jewels appear in their true and genuine lustre, while there is Bo colour that can infect their brightness, or give a false cast to the water. When I was at the opera the other night, the assembly of ladies in mourning made me consider them in the same kind of view. A dress wherein there is so little variety shows the face in all its natural charms, and makes one differ from another only as it is more or less beautiful. Painters are ever careful of offending against a rule which is so essential in all just representations. The chief figure must have the strongest point of light, and not be injured by any gay colourings, that may draw away the attention to any less considerable part of the picture. The present fashiou obliges every body to be dressed with propriety, and makes the ladies' faces the principal objects of sight. Every beautiful person shines out in all the excellence with which nature has adorned her; gaudy ribbands and glaring colours being now out of use, the sex has no opportunity given them to disfigure themselves, which they seldom fail to do whenever it lies in their power. When a woman comes to her glass, she does not employ her time in making herself look more advantageously what she really is; but endeavours to be as much another creature as she possibly can. Whether this happens because they stay so long, and attend their work so diligently, that they forget the faces and persons which they first sat down with, or whatever it is, they seldom rise from the toilet the same women they appeared when they began to dress. What jewel can the charming Cleora place in her ears, that can please her beholders so much as her eyes? The cluster of diamonds upon the breast can add no beauty to the fair cheşt of ivory which supports it. It may indeed tempt a man to steal a woman, but never to love her. Let Thalestris change herself into a motley, party-coloured animal: the pearl necklace, the flowered stomacher, the artificial nosegay, and shaded furbelow, may be of use to attract the eye
of the beholder, and turn it from the imperfections of her features and shape. But if ladies will take my word for it (and as they dress to please men, they ought to consult our fancy rather than their own in this particular), I can assure them, there is nothing touches our imagination so much as a beautiful woman in a plain dress. There might be more agreeable ornaments found in our own manufacture, ihau any that rise out of the looms of Persia.
This, I know, is a very harsh doctrine to womankind, who are carried away with every thing that is showy, and with what delights the eye, more than any other species of living creatures whatsoever. Were the minds of the sex laid open, we should find the chief idea in one to be a tippet, in another a muff, in a third a fan, and in a fourth a fardingale, The memory of an old visiting lady is so