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transport, and think herself obliged to double her kindness and caresses of me from the gloom with which she sees me overcast. I need not dissemble the sorrow of my heart to be agreeable there, that very sorrow quickens her affection.
This passion towards each other, when once well fixed, enters into the very constitution, and the kindness flows as easily and silently as the blood in the veins. When this affection is enjoyed in the most sublime degree, unskilful eyes see nothing of it ; but when it is subject to be changed, and has an allay in it that may make it end in distaste, it is apt to break into ragc, or overflow into fondness, before the rest of the world.
Uxander and Viramira are amorous and young, have been married these two years ; yet do they so much distinguish each other in company, that in your conversation with the dear things you are still put to a sort of cross purposes. Whenever you address yourself in ordinary discourse to Viramira, she turns her head another way, and the answer is made to the dear Uxander: if you tell a merry tale, the application is still directed to her dear; and when she should commend you, she says to him, as if he has spoke it, That is, my dear, so pretty..... This puts me in mind of what I have somewhere read in the admired memoirs of the famous Cervantes, where, while honest Sancho Pança is putting some necessary humble question concerning Rozinante, his supper, or his lodging, the knight of the sorrowful countenance is ever improving the harmless lowly hints of his 'squire to the poetical conceit, rapture, and flight, in contemplation of the dear Dulcinea of his affections.
On the other side, Dictamnus and Maria are ever squabbling, and you may observe them all the time they are in company, in a state of impatience. As Usander and Viramira wish you all gone, that they may be at freedom for dalliance ; Dictamnus and
Maria wait your absence, that they may speak their harsh interpretations on each other's words and actions during the time you were with them.
It is certain that the greater part of the evils attending this condition of life, arises from fashion. Prejudice in this case is turned the wrong way, and instead of expecting more happiness than we shall meet with in it, we are laughed into a prepossession, that we shall be disappointed if we hope for lasting satisfactions.
With all persons who have made good sense the rule of action, marriage is described as the state capable of the highest human felicity. Tully has epistles full of affectionate pleasure, when he writes to his wife, or speaks of his children. But above all the hints of this kind I have met with in writers of an. cient date, I am pleased with an epigram of Martial, in honour of the beauty of his wife Cleopatra. Commentators say it was written the day after his wedding night. When his spouse was retired to the bathing-room in the heat of the day, he, it seems, came in upon her when she was just going into the water. To her beauty and carriage on this occasion we owe the following epigrain, which I shewed my friend Will Honeycomb in French, who has translated it as follows, without understanding the original. I expect it will please the English better than the Latin reader.
When my bright consort, now nor wife nor maid,
Kisses I snatch'd, the waves prevented more. My friend would not allow that this luscious account could be given of a wife, and therefore used the word
consort; which, he learnedly said, would serve for a mistress as well, and gave a more gentlemanly turn to the epigram. But, under favour of him and all other such fine gentlemen, I cannot be persuaded but that the passion a bridegroom has for a virtuous young woman, will, by little and little, grow into friendship, and then it is ascended to a higher pleasure than it was in its first fervour. Without this happens, he is a very unfortunate man who has entered into this state, and left the habitudes of life he might have enjoyed with a faithful friend. But when the wife proves capable of filling serious as well as joyous hours, she brings happiness unknown to friendship itself. Spenser speaks of each kind of love with great justice, and attributes the highest praise to friendship; and indeed there is no disputing that point, but by making that friendship take place between two married persons.
Hard is the doubt, and difficult to deem,
But, of them all, the band of virtuous mind
For natural affection soon doth cease,
So love of soul doth love of body pass,
IT is common with me to run from book to book, to exercise my mind with many objects, and qualify myself for my daily labours. After an hour spent in this loitering way of reading, something will remain to be food to the imagination. The writings that please me most on such occasions are stories, for the truth of which there is good authority. The mind of man is naturally a lover of justice, and when we read a story wherein a criminal is overtaken, in whom there is no quality which is the object of pity, the soul enjoys a certain revenge for the offence done to its nature, in the wicked actions committed in the preceding part of the history. This will be better un. derstood by the reader from the following narration itself, than from any thing which I can say to introduce it.
WHEN Charles Duke of Burgundy, sirnamed The Bold, reigned over spacious dominions now swallowed up by the power of France, he heaped many favours and honours upon Claudius Rhynsault, a German, who had served him in his wars against the insults of his neighbours. A great part of Zealand was at that time in subjection to that Dukedom. The Prince himself was a perso: of singular humanity and justice. Rhynsault, with no other real quality than courage, had dissimulation enough to pass upon his generous and unsuspicious master for a person of blunt honesty and fidelity, without any vice that could bias him from the execution of justice. His highness prepossessed to his advantage, upon the decease of the governor of his chief town of Zealand, gave Rhyn. sault that command. He was not long seated in that government, before he cast his eyes upon Sapphira, a woman of exquisite beauty, the wife of Paul Danvelt, a wealthy merchant of the city under his protection and government. Rhynsault was a man of a warm constitution, and violent inclination to women, and not unskilled in the soft arts which win their favour. He knew what it was to enjoy the satisfactions which are reaped from the possession of beauty, but was an utter stranger to the decencies, honours, and delicacies, that attend the passion towards them in elegant minds. However he had so much of the world, that he had a great share of the language which usually prevails upon the weaker part of that sex, and he could with his tongue utter a passion with which his heart was wholly untouched. He was one of those brutal minds which can be gratified with the violation of innocence and beauty without the least pity, passion, or love to that with which they are so much delighted. Ingratitude is a vice inseparable to a lustful man ; and the possession of a woman by him, who has no thought but allaying a passion painful to himself, is necessarily followed by distaste and aversion. Rhynsault being resolved to accomplish his will on the wife of Danvelt, left no arts untried to get into a familiarity at her house : but she knew his character and disposition too well, not to shun all occasions that might ensnare her into his conversation. The Governor despairing of success by ordinary means, apprehended and imprisoned her husband, under pretence of an information that he was guilty of a correspondence with the enemies of the Duke to betray the town into their possesion. The design had its desired effect ; and the wife of the unfortunate Danvelt, the day before that which was appointed for his execution, presented herself in the hall of the Governor's house, and as he passed