Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

flicted, at this treatment; and not only at this as an acci dent, but at the sad prospect of what he was to expect from the continuance of it; and that both as it respected the conduct of herself abroad, which began to be public, and also the treatment he was to have from her at home.

However, as the best remedy for the disorder of his passions, he went immediately into his closet, and prayed earnestly to God for a patient submissive frame in himself 1o all his providences; that he might not lay any stress upon the instrument, but view the meaning and design of sovereign goodness in all those things, not forgetting, at the same time, to pray very sincerely for his wife, that God would open her eyes, convince her of her sin, and bring her bome to himself, by a true repentance and reformation.

This brought him to a perfect composure of mind; and, after some time spent thus, he went out, and took a walk in some fields behind bis house, where his wife afterwards, as is noted above, discovered him from her chamber win. dow; but, before the messenger she sent came thither, he was gone, having walked into the city; and as he went, he accidentally met with his wife's father, and, going to take a glass of wine together, the following discourse bappened between them.

Fath. Well, son, I hear you are gone to house-keeping. I give you joy of your settlement: how does all your family?

Son. We would do all much better, if we had your bles. sing, Sir, and might have some of your company.

Fath. Indeed, son, you have my blessing and good wishes very heartily. I have no other reason. Son. I thank

you

for it so far, Sir; but we are without it in a family way; which is what I long to have over. Is there no way, Sir, to obtain your pardon?

Falh. God has not obliged us to pardon offences that are never acknowledged son. Son. Sir, your daughter and I are one now; be pleased

to accept my acknowledgment for her. 1 do most freely own she has been in the wrong in every part, and I'll beg your pardon for her on my knees.

Fåth. If you will say she desires you to do so, I'll grant it at the first word, and abate you the ceremony of kneeling.

Son. I wish I could say so, Sir, honestly: but I dare not say so, unless it were true.

Fath. I know that very well, and therefore I put it upon your bare saying it.

Son. It is my great grief that it is not so much so as I would have it; but can you abate nothing, Sir.

Fath. Nay, son, I'll leave it to you ; is it meet I should come and say, daughter, I am in the wrong; 'I ought not to have reformed my family, or, if I had, I ought not to have expected you or your brother should have complied with it, and therefore you have been in the right, and I am very sorry it has gone so far, pray come and see me ?

Son. No, Sir, I never so much as thought you were in the wrong ; nor do I say but my wife ought to come and acknowledge her fault, and ask your pardon, but she has had ill advisers. If I had influence enough on her to prevail, she should neither eat nor sleep till she asked your pardon in the humblest manner possible.

Fath. For your sake, son, and to let you see how willing I am to heal a family breach, if she will send one word by you, that sbe acknowledges she has failed in her duty and desires me to be reconciled to her, I'll come to her house and see you to-morrow.

Son. It is my grief, Sir, that I cannot promise for her, that she should comply with what is so reasonable, and so kind. I acknowledge, Sir, you cannot ask less.

Fath. Nay, I do not expeci-it. I know she won't do it. Did she not refuse so much as to see me when she had no reason but to think she was opon ber death-bed ?

Son. I am sorry to own to you, Sir, that I have not in

terest enough in her to prevail for what is so just, and so much ber duty. It is my affliction, I did not think she would have stood out so long. Fath. I do not expect it of you, son.

I know ber. . wish you could prevail with her upon some other accounts. She manages herself very strangely, as ) hear.

Son, I hope time may show her the mistakes she commits. They are not of any great consequence. She will be wiser, Sir, with a little more experience.

Fath. But, in the mean time, she ruins her reputation, and may ruin your estate; for she goes so much abroad, she is very seldom at home; and, more than that, I bear she plays.

Son. I have no doubt at all of her virtue, though she may err in her prodence, sir; and that makes me say, I hope a little time will rectify it all. As to play, she does not play high.

Fath. Why, son, I heard she lost 501. at Sir Anthony's a few nights ago. I wonder you would let her I forbade her that house when she was a maid ; nay, her brother (give him his due) blamed her for going there. He is the most rakish fellow in the town; and his sisters, whom she used to visit, are no better than they should be. 1 would have you, for her sake as well as your own, to persuade her against it.

Son. Alas, Sir, she is not to be persuaded by me to things of less consequence than that!

Fath. Then you must restrain her,

Son. That is a task I am no way qualified for, any far. ther than the violence of intreaties and persuasions will have

go there;

any effect.

Fath. Why then a wife may ruin herself, and you too ; I thought you had been fitter to make a husband than that comes to; why, it is not ill using a wife, it is to love her, to restrain her from ruining her own reputation, and your estate, Do you think I would persuade you to use her ill? Though she has not behaved well to me, she is my

to a OW

..x beloved daughter : nay, I

I would not bave my scores

.. wat be required of a husband, I am ...; and as to ruining me, indeed, if my

I may be ruined; for I can never frame ve any violence or restraint with her. Beper is such she would set all the house in a expose herself to all the world. 'ray, what said she to you for losing 501. at play? vu paid it for her.

No, Sir, I would not dishonour her so much. I core it her immediately to pay for herself. She said, of meir own accord, she was in the wrong, and she would play iw more. I wish she would lose 5001. though I paid it this very night, so she might but be prevailed with to leave it off.

Fath. I hear she bebạves very ill to you at home too.

Son. No, no, Sir, I do not complain of her: she would be a very good wife to me, Sir, if I could persuade her to leave off keeping company with two or three families; and I hope in time she will be tired of them, .

Fath. I cannot but be glad that I fairly told you all I feared of her, before you had her; you have nothing to blame me for.

Son. Sir, I blame nobpdy; she is a very good wife.

Fath. Well, you are kind- to her, but I blame her ex, tremely; and it is a grief to me that any one out of my family should behave so. I am sensible how obliging you hare carried it to her, and do still, and how tenderly you use her; and I wanted an occasion to tell you, that though she has not grace to make you a suitable return for it, I shall never forget it, nor I hope forget to reward it.

Son. Sir, you lay too much stress upon what is nothing but my duty, and what she very well deserves; for to give her her due, when she is not prejudiced by her passions, which arc hasty, and wbịch hurry her too violently alter the

gaieties of the town, and the company which she is fond of, she is of the most engaging temper in the world ; 'and no man that has any sense or affection, can be unkiod to ber. I

may bave faults on my side, and I should think it hard she would not bear with them; and I see nothing in her but I can bear with, and wait patiently for the return of her temper. Nothing afflicts me so much in ber, as to see her so entirely empty of any thing that is religious, that she will hardly bear with our family orders, and the conimon worship of God: but as that must be wrought by the immediate hand of God, I hope still it will come in his due time, She wants no sense of things, nor knowledge of what is our natural duty, either to God, or one another.

Fath. Well, son, you have more hopes of her than I bave, I assure you. I cannot but say, if any thing on earth can bring her to a sense of her duty, either to God or man, it must be such a winning obliging carriage as she receives from you. If you will not work on her, she must be the most ungrateful creature on earth, considering in what circumstances you took her, and that you have had her three years without having had a penny with her.

Son. Sir, as I told you before I married her, I would never ask any thing of you on that account, till I bad, if possible, brought her and you to be reconciled; so I have been as good as my word; I am sure she has suffered no inconvenience on that account.

Fath. But I shall not be so unjust to you as to let's you suffer on that account; and, therefore, though I cannot receive her as a daughter, yet I shall always value you and treat you as a son, nay as my own son: and though for her I would not disburse a shilling, yet I am resolved, and have wanted an opportunity to tell you that I will give you, for your own sake, not for her's, as much as I would have given her if she had never disobliged me; and if you are willing to have it settled on either, or both children, I will do it when you please.

Son. It is more, Sir, than I can ask, and therefore it shall

« ElőzőTovább »