Imatges de pÓgina
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to despatch the necessary directions for his marriage; that while I am taken up with imaginary schemes, as he calls them, he might not burn with real desire and the torture of expectation. When I had reprimanded him for the ardour wherein he expressed himself, which I thought had not enough of that veneration with which the marriage-bed is to be ascended, I told him, “the day of his nuptials should be on the Saturday following, which was the 8th instant.' On the 7th in the evening, poor Jenny came into my chamber, and, having her heart full of the great change of life from a virgin condition to that of a wife, she long sat silent. I saw she expected me to entertain her on this important subject, which was too delicate a circumstance for herself to touch upon; whereupon I relieved her modesty in the following manner : “ Sister,' said I, you are now going from me : and be contented, that you leave the company of a talkatiye old man, for that of a sober young one: but take this along with you, that there is no mean in the state you are entering into, but you are to be exquisitely happy or miserable, and your fortune in this way of life will be wholly of your own making. In all the marriages I have ever seen, most of which have been unhappy ones, the great cause of evil has proceeded from slight occasions; and I take it to be the first maxim in a married condition, that you are of both well deserve the serious attention of all who embrace or affect the married state. At the end of this number, some alterations and corrections in the preceding number are recommended, which have been made according to the directions given for that purpose. The following notice relative to Tatler, No. 75. having been omitted in all preceding editions, is here reprinted from the folio for the first time, and the insertion of the passage is still left, as it was by the author, to the reader's discretion. In the Tatler, about the conduct of our family in their marriages, [Tatler, No. 75.] put in where you think best : “It is to be noted, that the women of our family never change their name.This amendment must be made, or we have writ nonsense,'-See Tatler, No. 77, note concerning Addison's nicety in correcting

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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 form 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 irreconcileable. 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 on 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 ? 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 staid some minutes behind to think and command himself; after which he followed her into her bed-chamber, 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 for. bore nothing but beating her; and all the servants in the family were at their several stations listening, while 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, and ļies with every woman he can get. 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-andtwenty': 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 ingenuous 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.

u A sort of snuff so called.-See Tatler, Nos. 27. 35. and 142. * I remember when this employment furnished a livelihood to a decentlooking decayed gentlewoman, very different, indeed, from the present race of hair-dressers. A.

y Jenny was twenty-three, her brother was sixty-four. A.

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 Miltona :

- Hail, wedded love! mysterious law ! true source
Of human offspring, sole propriety
In paradise, of all things common else.

By thee adult'rous lust was driven from men ? A large room at the Devil Tavern bore this name till the house was finally shut up; and the rules of Ben's club remained till that period in gold letters over the chimney.

a Paradise Lost, iv. 750,

Among the bestial herds to range: by thee,
Founded in reason, loyal, just and pure,
Relations dear, and all the charities
Of father, son, and brother, first were known.
Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets,
Whose bed is undefild and chaste pronounc’d,
Present or past, as saints or patriarchs us’d.
Here Love his golden shafts employs ; here lights
His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings:
Reigns here, and revels not in the bought smile
Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear'd,
Casual fruition ; nor in court amours,
Mix'd dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball,
Or serenade, which the starv'd lover sings

To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.' 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.

Among the rest of the company, there was got in a fellow you call a wag. This ingenious person is the usual life of all feasts and merriments, by speaking absurdities, and putting every body of breeding and modesty out of countenance. As soon as we sat down, he drank to the bride's diversion that night; and then made twenty double meanings on the word thing. We are the best-bred family, for one so numerous, in this kingdom; and indeed we should all of us have been as much out of countenance as the bride, but that we were relieved by an honest rough relation of ours at the lower end of the table, who is a lieutenant of marines. The soldier and sailor had good plain sense, and saw what was wrong as well as another; he had a way of looking at his plate, and speaking aloud in an inward manner; and whenever the Wag mentioned the word thing, or the words that

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