Obrazy na stronie

and less elevated views and pursuits. Let it be your task to lead him back to a more healthy tone of mind, and to more rational occupations ; and be it yours to reap a rich reward, in the consciousness of duties fulfilled, and of tranquillity, if not happiness, secured. Remember that he bears a portion of the chain that binds you together -- a chain to which he willingly submitted, because he believed that you would make his bondage light, in preferring him to all other men ; a natural conclusion, knowing, as he does, that it was solely owing to your request that your parents yielded bim your hand. Virtue, generosity, pity, all call on you, my dearest friend, 'to respect his happiness, even though you may have sacrificed some portion of your own. You owe this fulfilment of your duty no less to your excellent father and mother than to Lord Annandale. Think

what would be their despair, if, having yielded

their daughter so much sooner than parents in general are called on to relinquish their children, and to a husband chosen by her, and not by them, they discovered that she had imposed on their credulous affection, and left them, who so loved her, for one she did not love. Spare them this blow, my dearest Augusta; and let your next letter bring better tidings to your true friend,




Delaward Park.

I never thought so seriously, nor with such complacency, of marriage, my dear Mordaunt, as since I have been beneath this peaceful and happy roof, which seems fitted to be the very temple where Hymen ought to be worshipped. You know that Delaward was always .my model of what a nobleman should be; but, I assure you, I now look on him as the model of husbands — a part, few, even of the best men, perform with that just mixture of firmness, tenderness, dignity, and equanimity, which is essentially requisite, and which he possesses in an eminent degree. I dislike those exhibitions of fondness that we so often witness during the first months of wedlock, in what are called love-matches, - designated to me, by a French friend, as l’indécence légitime, almost as much as the ill-bred carelessness

which too often succeeds them. The first is

the most disagreeable of the two, because it indicates a want of modesty and delicacy in the woman who permits such exhibitions, and

a want of respect for her in the husband who

makes them.

A man should see in his wife, not an amor

ous puppet, with whom he whiles away his idle hours, but the partner, the helpmate, God has given him as the solace of his weary ones; the woman who is to be the mother of his child

ren, the mistress of his home, and with whom

he is to walk, hand in hand, through the painful journey of life, to that eternity where they hope not to be divided.

But when I see, every season, the marriages that are formed, and the motives that lead to them, I turn with repugnance from the contemplation. You remember that good-natured but weak man, Lord Allingham, who was induced to propose to a girl he had met at every ball for six seasons before, - without bestowing a thought on her, except to remark that her tournure was gauche, and her feet clumsy, - because some interested people about him assured him she admired him. He marries - discovers that

he has made indeed a sad mistake; for he finds that her temper is irascible; that her manner is even more gauche than her tournure; and her mind as blank as her countenance. Poor Allingham! but he is rightly punished for his vanity. One of our acquaintances marries a woman because half the men in town admire her; and another is piqued into marrying one who has admired half the men in town, because, with a laudable ambition, he wished to rival them in her good graces. A thought beyond the gratification of the present fancy seldom enters into their heads; and, that fancy satisfied, they are left at leisure to discover the defects, moral and physical, that now are as visible to their scrutiny as they were previously concealed. What follows ? the poor woman, married through caprice, and neglected from the same motive, is mortified, if not wounded; and seeks consolation in a round of dissipation, where

« PoprzedniaDalej »