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she had given him, that she often wished herself at home. Thus she offended the delicacy of his affection, by preferring a dance to the quiet of his mind; and forfeited part of the esteem which was due to that very good-nature by which she lost the enjoyment of the night.
In this instance, the pain inflicted upon the husband was accidental to the private gratification proposed by the wife. But there is a passion very different both from malice and rage, to the gratification of which the pain of another is sometimes essentially necessary. This passion, which, though its effects are often directly opposite to good-nature, is yet perhaps predominant in every breast, and indulged at whatever risk, is vanity.
To a gratification of vanity, at the expence of reciprocal esteem, the wife is certainly under much stronger temptations than the husband: and I warn the ladies against it, not only with more zeal, but with greater hope of success; because those only who have superior natural abilities, or have received uncommon advantages from education, have it in their power.
Successfully to rally a wife, confers no honour upon a husband; the attempt is regarded rather as an insult than a contest; it is exulting in a masculine strength, to which she makes no pretensions, and brandishing weapons she is not supposed to have skill to wield.
For the same reasons, to confute or to ridicule a husband with an apparent superiority of knowledge or of wit, affords all the parade of triumph to a wife; it is to be strong where weakness is no reproach, and to corquer when it would not have been dishonourable to fly. But these circumstances, which encrease the force of the temptation, will be found to afford proportionate motives to resist it: whatever adds to the glory of the victor, adds equally to the dishonour of the ranquished; and that which can exalt a wife
only by degrading a husband, will appear, upon the whole, not to be worth the acquisition, even though it could be made without changing fondness to resentment, or provoking to jealousy by an implication of contempt. If the ladies do not perceive the force of this argument, I earnestly request that they would for once trustimplicitly to my judgment; a request which, however extraordinary, is not unreasonable; because in this instance the very vanity which hides truth from them, must necessarily discover it to me.
But if good-nature is sufficiently vigorous to secure the esteem of reason, it may yet be too negligent to gratify the delicacy of love: it must therefore, not only be steady, but watchful and assiduous; beauty must suffer no diminution by inelegance, but every charm must contribute to keep the heart which it contributed to win; whatever would have been concealed as a defect from the lover, must with yet greater diligence be concealed from the husband. The most intimate and tender familiarity cannot surely be supposed to exclude decorum; and there is a delicacy in every mind; which is disgusted at the breach of it, though every mind is not sufficiently attentive to avoid giving an offence which it has often received.
I shall conclude this paper as I did my last on the same subject, with a general remark. As they who possess less than they expected cannot be happy, to expatiate in chimerical prospects of felicity is to insure the anguish of disappointment, and to lose the power of enjoying whatever may be possessed. Let not youth, therefore, imagine, that with all the advantages of nature and education, marriage will be a constant reciprocation of delight, over which externals will have little influence, and which time will ra. ther change than destroy. There is no perpetual source of delight but Hope: so imperfect is the ute most temporal happiness, that to possess it all, is to lose it. We enjoy that which is before us; but when
nothing more is possible, all that is attained is insipid. Such is the condition of this life : but let us not, therefore, think it of no value ; for to be placed in this life, is to be a candidate for a BETTER.
No. XXXVII. TUESDAY, MARCH 13.
Calumniari si quis autem voluerit,
Let those whom folly prompts to sneer,
THOUGH it be generally allowed, that to communicate happiness is the characteristic of virtue, vet this happiness is seldom considered as escaling beyond our own species; and no man is thought to become vie cious, by sacrificing the life of an animal to the pleasure of hitting a mark. It is, however, certail, tliai by this act more happiness is destroyed than produced ; except it be supposed, that happiness should be estimated, not in proportion to its degree only, but to the rank of the being by whom it is enjoyed: but this is a supposition, which perhaps cannot easily be supported. Reason, from which alone man derives his superiority, should, in the present question, be considered only as Sensibility: a blow produces more pain to a man than to a brute; because, to a man it is aggravated by a sense of indignity, and is felt as often as it is remembered; in the brute it produces only corporal pain, which in a short time ceases for ever. But it may be justly asserted that the same degree of pain in both subjects, is in the same degree an evil; and that it cannot be wantonly inflicted, without equal violation of right. Neither does it follow from the contrary positions, that man should abstain from animal food; for by him that kills merely to eat, life is sacrificed only to life; and if man had lived upon fruits and herbs, the greater part of those animals which die to furnish his table, would never have lived ; instead of encreasing the breed as a pledge of plenty, he would have been compelled to destroy them to prevent a famine.
There is great difference between killing for food, and for sport. To take pleasure in that by which pain is inflicted, if it is not vicious, is dangerous; and every practice which, if not criminal in itself, yet wears out the sympathizing sensibility of a tender mind, must render human nature proportionably less fit for society. In my pursuit of this train of thought, I considered the inequality with which happiness appears to be distributed among the brute creation, as different animals are in a different degree exposed to the capricious cruelty of mankind; and in the fervor of my imagination, I began to think it possible that they might participate in a future retribution; especially as mere matter and motion approach no nearer to sensibility than to thought: and he who will not venture to deny that brutes have sensibility, should not hastily pronounce, that they have only a material existence. While my mind was thus busied, the evening stole imperceptibly away; and at length morning succeeded to midnight: my attention was remitted by degrees, and I fell asleep in my chair.
Though the labours of memory and judgment were now at an end, yet fancy was still busy: by this roving wanton I was conducted through a dark avenue, which, after many windings, terminated in a place which she told me was the elysium of birds and beasts. Here I beheld a great variety of animals, whom I perceived to be endowed with reason and speech: this prodigy, however, did not raise astonishment, but curiosity. I was impatient to learn what were the topics of discourse in such an assembly ; and hoped to gain a valuable addition to my remarks upon human life. For this purpose I approached a horse and an ass, who seemed to be engaged in serious conversation ; but I approached with great caution and humility : for I now considered them as in a state superior to mortality; and I feared to incur the contempt and indignation, which naturally rise at the sight of a tyrant who is divested of his power. My caution was, however, unnecessary, for they seemed wholly to disregard me, and by degrees I came near enough to overhear them.
“ If I had perished,” said the ass, “ when I was « dismissed from the earth, I think I should have « been a loser by my existence : for, during my whole “ life, there was scarce an interval of an hour, in which « I did not suffer the accumulated misery of blows, “ hunger, and fatigue. When I was a colt, I was sto“ len by a gipsy, who placed two children upon my “ back in a pair of panniers. before I bad perfectly « acquired the habit of carrying my own weight with " steadiness and dexterity. By hard rere and ill treat“ ment, I quickly became blind; andra in iamily a to which I belonged. went into their winter quarters « in Norwood, I was staked as a bet against a couple « of geese, which had been found by a fellow who o came by, driving before him two of my brethren, « whom he had overloaded with bags of sand: a halfpenny was thrown up:
: and, to the inexpressible encrease of my calamity, the dealer in sand was the « winner.
“ When I came to town, I was harnessed with my 6. two wretched associates to a cart, in which my new “ master had piled up his commodity till it would 6 hold no more. The load was so disproportionate to “ our strength, that it was with the utmost difficulty " and labour dragged very slowly over the rugged