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plexed with every thing around him. In both these cases men cannot, indeed, make a şillier figure, than in repeating such pleasures and pains to the rest of the world ; but I speak of them only, as they sit upon those who are involved in them. As I visit all sorts of people, I cannot indeed but smile when the good lady tells her husband what extraordinary things the child spoke since he went out. No longer than yesterday I was prevailed with to go home with a fond husband ; and his wife told him, that his son, of his own head, when the clock in the parlour struck two, said, papa would come home to dinner presently. While the father has him in a rapture in his arms, and is drowning him with kisses, the wife tells me he is but just four years old. Then they both struggle for him, and bring him up to me, and repeat his observation of two o'clock. I was called upon, by looks upon the child, and then at me, to say something; and I told the father, that this remark of the infant of his coming home, and joining the time with it, was a certain indication that he would be a great historian and chronologer. They are neither of them fools, yet received my compliment with great acknowledgement of my prescience. I fared very well at dinner, and heard many other notable sayings of their heir, which would have given very little entertainment to one less turned to reflection than I was : but it was a pleasing speculation to remark on the happiness of a life, in which things of no moment give occasion of hope, self-satisfaction, and triumph. On the other hand, I have known an ill-natured coxcomb, who has hardly improved in any thing but bulk, for want of this disposition, silence the whole family as a set of silly women and children, for recounting things which were really above his own capacity.
When I say all this, I cannot deny but there are perverse jades that fall to men's lots, with whom it requires more than common proficiency in philosophy to be able to live. When these are joined to men of warm spirits, without temper or learning, they are frequently corrected with stripes; but one of our famous lawyers is of opinion, that this ought to be used sparingly; as I remember, those are his very words : but as it is proper to draw some spiritual use out of all afflictions, I should rather recommend to those who are visited with women of spirit, to form themselves for the world by patience at home. Socrates, who is by all accounts the undoubted head of the sect of the hen peck’d, owned and acknowledged that he owed great part of his virtue to the exercise which his useful wife constantly gave it. There are several good instructions may be drawn from his wise answers to the people of less fortitude than himself on her subject. A friend, with indignation, asked how so good a man could live with so violent a creature? He observed to him, That they who learn to keep a good seat on horseback, mount ihe least manageable they can get ; and when they have mastered them, they are sure never to be discomfited on the backs of steeds less restive. At several times, to different persons, on the same subject, he has said, My dear friend, you are beholden to Xantippe, that I bear so well your flying out in a dispute. To another, My hen clacks very much, but she brings me chickens. They that live in a trading street, are not disturbed at the passage of carts. I would have, if possible, a wise man be contented with his lot, even with a shrew ; for .though he cannot make her better, he may, you see, make himself better by her means.
But, instead of pursuing my design of displaying conjugal love in its natural beauties and attractions, I am got into tales to the disadvantage of that state of life. I must say therefore, that I am verily persuaded that whatever is delightful in human life, isto be enjoyed in greater persection in the married,
than in the single condition. He that has this passion in perfection, in occasions of joy can say, to himself, besides his own satisfaction, How happy will this make my wife and children! Upon occurrences of distress or danyer can comfort himself, But all this while my wife and children are safe. There is something in it that doubles satisfactions, because others participate them ; and dispels afflictions, because others are exempt from them. All who are married without this relish of their circumstance, are in either a tasteless indolence and negligence, which is hardly to be attained, or else live in the hourly repetition of sharp answers, eager upbraidings, and distracting reproaches. In a word, the married state, with and without the affection suitable to it, is the completest image of heaven and hell we are capable of receiving in this life.
No. CCCCLXXX. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 10.
Responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores,
Who's proof against the charms of vain delight:
THE other day looking over those old manu. scripts, of which I have formerly given some account, and which relate to the character of the mighty Pharamond of France, and the close friendship between him and his friend Eucrate ; I found among the letters which had been in the custody of the latter, an epistle from a country Gentleman to Pharamond,
wherein he excuses himself from coming to court. The gentleman, it seems, was contented with his condition, had formerly been in the king's service; but at the writing the following letter, had, from leisure and reflection, quite another sense of things than that which he had in the more active part of his life.
MONSIEUR CHEZLUT TO PHARAMOND,
6 DREAD SIR,
I'HAVE from your own hand (inclosed under the cover of Mr. Eucrate of your Majesty's bed-chamber) a letter which invites me to court. I understand this great honour to be done me out of respect and inclination to me, rather than regard to your own service : for which reasons I beg leave to lay before your Majesty my reasons for declining to depart from home : and will no doubt but, as your motive in desiring my attendance was to make me an happier man, when you think that will not be effected by my remove, you will permit me to stay where I am. Those who have an ambition to appear in courts, have either an opinion that their persons or their talents are particularly formed for the service or orna. ment of that place; or else are hurried by downright desire of gain, or what they call honour, or take upon themselves whatever the generosity of their master can give them opportunities to grasp at. But your goodness shall not be thus imposed upon me: I will therefore confess to you, that frequent solitude, and Jong conversation with such who know no arts which polish life, have made me the plainest creature in your dominions. Those less capacities of moving with a good grace, bearing a ready affability to all around me, and acting with ease before many, have quite left me. I am come to that, with regard to iny person, that I consider it only as a machine I am obliged to take care of, in order to enjoy my soul in
its faculties with alacrity ; well remembering, that this habitation of clay will in a few years be a meaner piece of earth than any utensil about my house. When this is, as it really is, the most frequent reflec. tion I have, you will easily imagine how well I should become a drawing-room : add to this, what shall a man without desires do about the generous Pharamond? Monsieur Eucrate has hinted to me, that you have thoughts of distinguishing me with titles. As for myself, in the temper of my present mind, appellations of honour would but embarrass discourse, and new behaviour towards me perplex me in every habitude of life. I am also to acknowledge to you, that my children, of whom your Majesty condescended to enquire, are all of them mean, both in their persons and genius. Tbe estate my eldest son is heir to, is more than he can enjoy with a good grace. My selflove will not carry me so far as to impose upon mankind the advancement of persons (merely for their being related to me) into high distinctions, who ought for their own sakes, as well as that of the public, to affect obscurity. I wish, my generous prince, as it is in your power to give honours and offices, it were also to give talents suitable to them: were it so, the noble Pharamond would reward the zeal of my youth with abilities to do him service in my age.
• Those who accept of favour without merit, support themselves in it at the expence of your Majesty. Give me leave to tell you, Sir, this is the reason that we in the country hear so often repeated the word prerogative. That part of your law which is reserved in yourself for the readier service and good of the public, slight men are eternally buzzing ia our ears to cover their own follies and miscarriages. It would be an addition to the high favour you have done me, if you would let Eucrate send me word how often, and in what cases you allow a constable to insist upon the prerogative. From the highest to the lowest