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occasions; and I take it to be the first maxim in a married condition, that you are to be above trifles. When two persons have so good an opinion of each other as to come together for life, they will not differ in matters of importance, because they think of each other with respect, in regard to all things of consideration that may affect them, and are prepared for mutual assistance and relief in such occurrences; but for less occasions, they have formed no resolutions, but leave their minds unprepared.’ ‘This, dear Jenny, is the reason that the quarrel between Sir Harry Willit and his lady, which began about her squirrel, is irreconcilable. Sir Harry was reading a grave author; she runs into his study, and in a playing humour, claps the squirrel upon the folio: he threw the animal in a rage upon the floor; she snatches it up again, calls Sir Harry a sour pedant, without good nature or good manners. This cast him into such a rage, that he threw down the table before him, kicked the book round the room ; then recollected himself: “Lord, madam,” said he, “why did you run into such expressions 2 I was,” said he, “in the highest delight with that author, when you clapped your squirrel upon my book”; and, smiling, added upon recollection, “I have a great respect for your favourite, and pray let us all be friends.” My lady was so far from accepting this apology, that she immediately conceived a resolution to keep him under for ever : and with a serious air replied, “There is no regard to be had to what a man says who can fall into so indecent a rage and such an abject submission in the same moment, for which I absolutely despise you.” Upon which she rushed out of the room. Sir Harry stayed some minutes behind, to think and command himself; after which he followed her into her bedchamber, where she was prostrate upon the bed, tearing her hair, and naming twenty coxcombs who would have used her otherwise. This provoked him to so high a degree that he forbore nothing but beating her; and all the servants in their family were at their several stations listening, whilst the best man and woman, the best master and mistress, defamed each other in a way that is not to be repeated even at Billingsgate. You know this ended in an immediate separation : she longs to return home, but knows not how to do it: he invites her home every day. Her husband requires no submission of her ; but she thinks her very return will argue she is to blame, which she is resolved to be for ever rather than acknowledge it. Thus, dear Jenny, my great advice to you is, be guarded against giving or receiving little provocations Great matters of offence I have no reason to fear either from you or your husband.” After this, we turned our discourse into a more gay style, and parted : but before we did so I made her resign her snuff-box for ever, and half drown herself with washing away the stench of the musty. But the wedding morning arrived, and our family being very numerous, there was no avoiding the inconvenience of making the ceremony and festival more public, than the modern way of celebrating them makes me approve of The bride next morning came out of her chamber, dressed with all the art and care that Mrs. Toilet, the tire-woman, could bestow on her. She was on her wedding-day three-and-twenty; her person is far from what we call a regular beauty; but a certain sweetness in her countenance, an ease in her shape and motion, with an unaffected modesty in her looks, had attractions beyond what symmetry and exactness can inspire, without the addition of these endowments. When her lover entered the room, her features flushed with shame and joy; and the ingenious manner, so full of passion and of awe, with which Tranquillus approached to salute her, gave me good omens of his future behaviour towards her. The wedding was wholly under my care. After the ceremony at church, I was resolved to entertain the company with a dinner suitable to the occasion, and pitched upon the Apollo at the Old-Devil at Temple Bar, as a place sacred to mirth tempered with discretion, where Ben Jonson and his sons used to make their liberal meetings. Here the chief of the Staffian race appeared ; and as soon as the company were come into that ample room, Lepidus Wagstaff began to make me compliments for choosing that place, and fell into a discourse upon the subject of pleasure and entertainment, drawn from the rules of Ben's club, which are in gold letters over the chimney. Lepidus has a way very uncommon, and speaks on subjects on which any man else would certainly offend, with great dexterity. He gave us a large account of the public meetings of all the well-turned minds who had passed through this life in ages past, and closed his pleasing narrative with a discourse on marriage, and a repetition of the following verses out of Milton – Hail, wedded love, mysterious law, true source Of human offspring, sole propriety In Paradise, of all things common else ! By thee adulterous lust was driven from men
Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure,
In these verses, all the images that can come into a young woman's head on such an occasion are raised; but that in so chaste and elegant a manner, that the bride thanked him for his agreeable talk, and we sat down to dinner. . . . [Tafler, No. 79.
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My brother Tranquillus, who is a man of business, came to me this morning into my study, and after very many civil expressions in return for what good offices I had done him, told me “he desired to carry his wife, my sister, that very morning to his own house.’ I readily told him, ‘I would wait upon him,' without asking why he was so impatient to rob us of his good company. He went out of my chamber, and I thought seemed to have a little heaviness upon him, which gave me some disquiet. Soon after, my sister came to me, with a very matron-like air, and most sedate satisfaction in her looks, which spoke her very much at ease ; but the traces of her countenance seemed to discover that she had been lately in a passion, and that air of content to flow from a certain triumph upon some advantage obtained. She no sooner sat down by me, but I perceived she was one of those ladies who begin to be managers within the time of their being brides. Without letting her speak, which I saw she had a mighty inclination to do, I said, ‘Here has been your husband, who tells me he has a mind to go home this very morning, and I have consented to it.” “It is well,” said she, “for you must know—’ "I ay. Jenny,' said I, ‘ I beg your pardon.