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ture. No, no, said they; we have a bad life enough of it here, and it has long been a good diabolical maxim, to let ill alone. Promises of as many enjoyments as possible were lavished in vain ; wine, riebes, 1 rank, beauty, influence, knowledge, and ices every day. Some started at the ices; but on reflection, they agreed with the rest. The prisoners, they said, had had experience of all these, and yet they premi! ferred the hell under the earth to their hell upon it. As a last tempta- , tion they were promised a considerable amendment of their conditioni upon returning, and at this they again hesitated, till Pluto unluckily offered to ratify ihe promise by his royal word : upon which they im mediately shook their heads, and declined pursuing the question any. further. Ook
At length, a very daring, ambitious devil, of the name of Belphegor,!. said he would go. The whole infernal public were astonished; but they agreed that if it were, possible for any devil to do such a thing, Belphegor was he. It was thought that he had a private commission from Proserpine, and that Pluto was not sorry to wink at the cause of his departure. He was a sprightly deyil, who could play on the sera. pent, and wrote verses with a great deal of fire: accomplishments, which got him occasional
al admittance to Pluto's table. He would make experiments upon the flames about him; and was suspected of holding an heretical opinion upon the possibility of getting used to . apy thing. Lidt alone
The credit of his orthodoxy was not strengthened by his actually , setting out. Pluto conferred on him the shape, in which a. deyil of his agreeable turn of mjød would have appeared had he: been a manxa It was something betwixt the jovial and melancholy, very amiable, He looked like one of the most agreeable gentlemen of the time. The public waited with some impatience for his appearance puti of Proserpine's apartments, whither he had gone to kiss hands on leaving Pandæmonium. At last, my gentleman comes forth. The spectators set up a shout, like that of a myriad of coal-heavers. Belphegor takes off his hat, with an air as if he had been used to it all his life, and it is observed universally, that if Belphegor is not happy in wedlock, there must be something worse than the devil; in it. u
veoma It was settled, in order to do every thing fairly, Ist, That if our hero Jit upon a wife more than usually wisely, she should die with reasonable celerity, and leaye him another chauce; 2dly, That he should not return
340 hell without orders, upon pain of some rare: punishment; and 3dly, That he should emerge in Eogland, as the place where mara, i riage was held in the grapest repute. Accordingly, he made his aj
appearance in the British metropolis, as a young gentleman of fortune; ayd soon found that an alliance with him would be regarded in a very estimable point of view. After admiriøg the beauty of t
which he thought nevertheless a little too cold-looking (a fancy at once odd and pardonable, in a devil), the thing that most astonished him in this exemplary and very married nation, was to find, that the sarcasm of Pluto's counsel was as commou here as elsewhere, -that nothing was of such ordinary oco
currence as the ridicule of wedlock, sometimes bitter, sometimes merry, ofter between both. A grave and seemingly approving ear was lent in public when it was praised ;-a panegyric on it in a sentimental comedy met with applause; but the applause was double, when another comedy abused it! Husbands and wives joked each other upon their bonds, with the air of people who break the force of a satirical truism by meeting it. In the shops were pictures of Before Marriage and After Marriage, the former exhibiting a lover helping his mistress over a style, the latter the same gentleman walking on, and leaving the lady to get over his day disputing whether this was a caricature; but they all agreed that the spirit of it was like enough. "Generally like,” said one, "eh, Jack?" Jack seemed to be the melancholy wag of the party, and said, that the present company always excepted, he thought, for a general resemblance, it was particularly like.
These symptoms were not at all encouraging to our hero; so that having been told to do what others did, he availed himself of the letter of his instructions somewhat beyond the spirit of their intention, and amused himself as much as possible in the character of a bachelori He dressed, dined, lounged in the coffee-houses, went to the theatres, visited in the most respectable circles, and was understood to be well acquainted with a description of ladies, whom nevertheless it was not proper to mention. It was even supposed probable that he had furnislied his quantum of maid-eervants and others to that dass?of persons and scattered a considerable portion of misery about towil, without at all diminishing his receptability among the said circles, a phenoménon; which in sog
grave and reputable a nation he would have placed to the account of an error of charity, had he not obserted, as we have just hinted, that if thie most serious ladies shewed tio icontempt for himself, they evinced d good deal for the class whom he was thought likely to have increased. He also saw, that they would expect very different conduct from him, should one of them honour him with her hand, and that if he might like the worst, and deceive the very best of the sex' now, it would go hard withi kim should Ke their désiré to evinde a grateful sense of the most admirable of wonen. paro:
Captain Lovell however (for he had purchased a company under this name) had received a due portion of mans nature withi' bis by an express from Pluto, and partly by his falling in love with a
sin matrimoriy, partly young lady of reasonable beauty and accomplishments, who appeared to him as likely as any body to render the married 'state liappy, "L a phrase indeed which was often in the mouth's of her parents. is
The Captain married, and for three or four months was the happiesti derit existing. He met with occasional instances of petulance and selfwill; but these, he thought, were pardonable in one who made Kim so happy in the main: and he was resolved not to be the first to create a rupture. If the lady could not bear him out of her sight, it only: proved the excess of her fondness, and if she began by degrees to bear it better, he was convinced that she did it solely for his comfort; by the sweetness with which she received the new dresses and tritikets he bestowed upon her to make amends.
You must know that Captain Lovell, being a devil, (as the ladies occasionally startled his ear by calling him) had acquired by dint of suffering what humanity often attains to by the same means. He hated monopoly, and loved to see fair play both in the distribution of pains and pleasures. The first thing that gave him a seriously uneasy sensation about his wife, was to see so gentle a creature capable of scolding her servants. He remonstrated, and was scolded himself. The next night he stayed out longer then usual, and was welcomed home with a long lecture which perfectly stunned him. The words he could chiefly distinguish, alłbut one, were, creatures—honest wifeis this usage ?-t'ender heart-plagues of servants-other women (with great stress on other)~my husband (with still greater stress on my) duty-decency-lawful
musual fate-defy any body--religion--and chastity. The one word in particular was virtue; which she used in common for the last mentioned quality. He afterwards found that whenever she charged him with any vice, or was guilty of any herself, she had a special taste for repeating the same synonym.
if he looked with foudress on any lady with a frank, good humoured face, his wife was sure to doubt the lady's 66 virtue," and to remind him of her own. If she exhibited any petty selfishness in eating and drinking, or laying out money, or exacting too much of others, and suspected that he observed it, she sighed at the fate which denied the least privilege or consolation to 66 virtue." If she was a little insincere with him, or pettish with others, and he reproved her for it (for he begin nów to reprove, on his own side), she delighted to tell him, with a very malignant aspect, that such petty fault would not be found with any body but a person of “ virtue." If she was in the mood to be fond with him, and he had not quite got over her last peroration, she wept and said that love was no longer considered a duty; no longer a holy tie; no longer the reward of “ virtue.” Ile was one day so provoked by her harpinig upon this favourite word, that he turned on his heel, and exclaimed, with great gusto of utterance, “ Damn virtue !" The Jady sat down, pale, smiling, and satisfied.Well!" she exclaimed;
ifThe Captain did not stay to hear the rest. He knew what that Well portended, too well.
Captain Lovell fell into conversation with his brother officers on the subject of this virtue. He had laid as much stress on it as any man, particularly as he had led a very gay life, and thought it very difficult to keep. But he now began to suspect, that the difficulty was 310 such great matter, if ladies made up for it with all these privileged vices; that if it were, it put on à very unpleasant aspect, so managed ;--and that at all events, the system deserved inquiry,
which made so many virtuous men and women disagreeable as well as respectable, so many vicious women pleasant and despised, and such ! numbers of both descriptions extremely miserable. He started the question at the mess, but the officers, though incorrigible profligates, were equally inexorable in their theories of virtue. If their wives and mistresses they said, were not faithful, they could shoot them through the hoad.“ But," said Lovell, “ suppose they become disagreeable."
Oh, damu it," said the Colonel, 56 there are plenty of agreeable
vomim, for tlmt matter;" upon which they all laughed, and toasted a farvourite demirep." But," returned Lovell, is that fair in us? Is it fair in us to make our wives disagreeable with our theories, to insista that they shall remain so for our credit forsooth, and then to leave them for these whom we teach them to despise?" -The mess all stared at him, as widely as the port in their eyes would permit.Oh, pray go hone, and instruct your's, Tom, said the Colonel: “
you are much too profligate for us.- My compliments, however. And I say? (ižallooing after him)" remember, in the event of a reformation, I'm four man."
Lovell spent home, much more susod than became a dæmon of his visacity: but his earthy nature clogged him, and he began to wish himsoll berrily rid of it. Ile sat down opposite his wife, and though he liada grudge against Dilton for what he called his trucklings, about Panda monium, could not help repeating after him,
Owliame in mei! Devil with devil damned
.**Firsi colicord trold, nien only disagree. The lady did no! at all relish this apostroplie; but she had been inexil pectedly softened by his coming home so soon) ; and asking him to read ! a little to her out of that? Có truly divine poet,” she went to the book a11 case and took down a volume of him, intending (we must own) that: he should slame himself with reading the conjugal loves of:Adam and Exe. Unluckily, she happened to hit opon one of his prose instead of poetical works; and what was more unlucky, the Captain, opening it at random, hit upon a passage in his Doctrine and Discipline of Die vore, where in spite of his divinity, he says that personal infidelity in a woman is not so good a ground for separation as sl temper and other rices of antipatby, hocause she may still remain a very pleasing and s even affectionate woman in the main, whereas the other vices totaHyis cụt up the happiness of a wedded life. After sitting dumb; with astonishment at hearing such a quotation from Milton (which the Captain maliciously shewed her, to convince lier eyes) the lady ended a long and vehement dispate by charging him with wishing to corrupt her. virtue, in order to farnish excuses for himself. There had been little"
before. There was now an uninterrupted cannonade of hard Fords. The gentleman was the most wonderful, the most amazing, the very meanest of mankind for deliberately wishing to pander to his... own dishonour :-she was astonislud at him-she was overwhelmed;!; she-in short, for the first time in her life, she wanted words." On the other hand, the bandy was the most profoking of women for eteros sally beginning the question, to indulge her own silly mistakes, cursed ill humours, spleen, vanity, envy, hatred, and malice, and all uneła-u ritableness."
The Captain not having been used to this sort of torture in the other in world, had much the worst of it. llis wife could talk, though she said nothing. She also piqued herself more than ever upon her virtue," whereas he had nothing to boast on that seore. By degrees, he, neglected his alairs, and grew melancholy and slovenly. His credi tors can:e upon him ; but the lady would not go out of the house;
because she said he did it or purpose to get rid of her. At length he sold his commission, and absconded.
Our hero looked hard at every person he met in Black, hoping that he brought him the summons to return to hell; but he was disappointed. Ile was therefore obliged to content limself with hiding from his creditors; for though he had lived so long in the interval regions, he could not bear the idea of bailiffs and lock-up houses. One day, being hot pressed with the pursuit, he made known the earthly part of his history to a countryman. The peasant, in spite of his deal wife's objections, who saw she knew but half the secret,
concealed him faithfully; and the Captaio in returii, undertook to make his fortune. The rustic laughed at this. “ Nay, nay, Muster Lorell," said lie, " there's no making a zilk purse of zow's car. I judye I beez better able to make fortunes nor you, and God he knows, I'm as poor as Job ; aniel for that matter," added be, winking towards his wife, “as patient too; eh, Captain ? Belphegor (for so we shall again call himy did not much relish this sally, for obvious reasons; not to mention that his natural pride, as a devil, began to return upon him from a comparison with mortals, llowever he adhered to his promise. lle therefore disclosed his real quality to the terrified countrymari, whom he had much ado to encourage. A good deal of ale, and some toasis given to the church (which made the man think him too good natured a devil, considering the tithes) succeeded in re-assuring him. Our hero unders - took to go to the continent, and possess a German prince, whom the
farmer was to follow and cure, The lattor gave out, that in consiquence of some experiments with dogs, he had found a marvellous remedy for disorders connected with plorensy; and as a previous step,
Belphegor pitched himself into a censorious old lady in the village, who began talking of the farmer with such extraordinary fondness, that it was thought better to send for him in his new capacity. Ile came accordingly, and wrought a cure which was reckoned the more surprising, inasmuch as the old lady, from that day forward, became extremely
charitable in her discourse. On the day of the cure, Belpheger crossed sea, and pitched himself into the German prince. Ilis Majesty was taken with a very odd fancy. lle wasa huge, fat man, very profligate; asd yet fell into long discourses on his exceeding thisness and integrity: No. thing relieved hini so much as making him presents of shoes and gloves too small for him, measuring waists to see which was the larger, and making bold to say, that, if any thing, he was somewhat too slender and ariable for a mail. Ile had already been seized with a notion, that his wife (a sort of harum-scarum, but excellent-hearted person) Was niat as genteel and virtuous as himself; and for this Belphegor hac i pique against him, both on account of the mistake, and of the man's making it so ridiculous. lle accordingly entered him in all his triumph, and rendered his behaviour so exceedingly fantastic and absurd, that his very courtiers were ready to die with laughter.
The rustic doctor, as he anticipated, was sent for. Ilis fane had spread rapidly by means of the newspapers; and his second cure, being upon a prince's understanding, of course outdid in reputation his first, His incthod clectrified the physicians. lle merely apa