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When Achilles proposes the games at the funeral, he says, « On any other occasion


horses should have started for the prize, but now it cannot be. They have lost their incomparable groom, accustomed to refresh their limbs with water, and anoint their flowing manes ; and they are inconsulable.” Briseis also makes her appearance among the mourners, avowing that, “when her husband had been slain in battle, and her native city laid in ashes, this generous man prevented her tears, averring to her, that she should be the wife of her conqueror, and that he would himself spread the nuptial banquet for her in the hero's native kingdom of Phthia.”

The reciprocity which belongs to a friendship between unequals may well be expected to give a higher zest to their union. Each party is necessary to the other. The superior considers him towards whom he pours out his affection, as a part of himself.

The head is not more native to the heart,

The hand more instrumental to the mouth. He cannot separate himself from him, but at the cost of a fearful maim. When the world is shut out by him, when he retires into solitude, and falls back upon himself, then his unpretending friend is most of all necessary to him. He is his consolation and his pleasure, the safe coffer in which he reposits all his anxieties and sorrows. If the principal, instead of being a public man, is a man of science,


this kind of unbending becomes certainly not the less welcome to him. He wishes occasionally to forget the severity of his investigations, neither to have his mind any longer wound up and stretched to the height of meditation, nor to feel that he needs to be any way on his guard, or not completely to give the rein to all his sallies and the sportiveness of his soul. Having been for a considerable time shut up in sequestered reflection, he wishes, it may be, to have the world, the busy impassioned world, brought to his ears, without his being obliged to enter into its formalities and mummeries. If he desires to speak of the topics which had so deeply engaged him, he can keep as near the edge as he pleases, and drop or resume them as his fancy may prompt. And it seems useless to say, how much his modest and unassuming friend will be gratified in being instrumental to relieve the labours of his principal, in feeling that he is necessary to him, and in meditating on the delight he receives in being made the chosen companion and confident of him whom he so ardently admires. It was precisely in this spirit, that Fulke Greville, two hundred

years ago, directed that it should be inscribed on his tomb, “Here lies the friend of Sir Philip Sidney.” Tenderness on the one part, and a deep feeling of honour and respect on the other, give a completeness to the union which it must otherwise for ever want. « There is no limit, none,” to the fervour with which the stronger goes forward to protect the weak; while put forth

in return the less powerful would encounter a thousand deaths rather than injury should befall the being to whom in generosity and affection he owes so much.

In the mean time, though inequality is necessary to give this completeness to friendship, the inequality must not be too great. The inferior party inust be able to understand and appreciate the sense and the merits of him to whom he is thus bound. There must be no impediment to hinder the communications of the principal from being fully comprehended, and his sentiments entirely participated. There must be a boundless confidence, without apprehension that the power of the stronger party can by the remotest possibility be put ungenerously. “Perfect love casteth out fear.” The evangelist applies this aphorism even to the love of the creature to his creator. “ The Lord spake unto Moses, face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” In the union of which I am treating the demonstrative and ordinary appearance will be that of entire equality, which is heightened by the inner, and for the greater part unexplained and undeveloped, impression of a contrary nature. There is in either party a perfect reliance, an idea of inequality with the most entire assurance that it can never operate unworthily in the stronger party, or produce insincerity or servility in the weaker. There will in reality always be some reserve, some shadow of fear between equals, which in the friendship of un

equals, if happily assorted, can find no place. There is a pouring out of the heart on the one side, and a cordial acceptance on the other, which words are inadequate to describe.

To proceed. If from friendship we go forward to that which in all languages is emphatically called love, we shall still find ourselves dogged and attended by inequality. Nothing can be more certain, however we may seek to modify and abate it, than the inequality of the sexes. Let us attend to it as it stands in Milton :

For contemplation he and valour formed,
For softness she and sweet attractive grace ;

He for God only, she for God in him. Thus it is painted to us as having been in Paradise ; and with similar inequality have the sexes subsisted in all ages and nations since. If it were possible to take from the fair sex its softness and attractive grace, and endow it instead with audacious, masculine and military qualities, there is scarcely any one that does not perceive, with whatever advantages it might be attended in other respects, that it would be far from tending to cherish and increase the passion of love.

It is in reality obvious, that man and woman, as they come from the hands of nature, are so much upon a par with each other, as not to afford the best subjects between whom to graft a habit of entire, unalterable affection. In the scenes of vulgar and ordinary society, a permanent connection between persons of opposite sexes is too apt to degenerate into a scene of warfare, where each party is for ever engaged in a struggle for superiority, and neither will give way. A penetrating observer, with whom in former days I used intimately to converse, was accustomed to say, that there was generally more jarring and ill blood between the two parties in the first year of their marriage, than during all the remainder of their lives. It is at length found necessary, as between equally matched belligerents on the theatre of history, that they should come to terms, make a treaty of peace, or at least settle certain laws of warfare, that they may not waste their strength in idle hostilities.

The nations of antiquity had a way of settling this question in a very summary mode. As certain Oriental tribes have determined that women have no souls, and that nothing can be more proper than to shut them up, like singing birds in cages, so the Greeks and Romans for the most part excluded their females from the society of the more martial sex. Marriage with them was a convenience merely; and the husband and wife were in reality nothing more than the master and the slave. This point once settled as a matter of national law, there was certainly in most cases little danger of any vexatious rivalship and struggle for power.

But there is nothing in which the superiority of modern times over the ancient has been more conspicuous, than in our sentiments and practices on

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