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As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Sir Roger listened to this passage with great attention; and, desiring Mr. Honeycomb to fold down a leaf at the place, and lend him his book, the knight put it up in his pocket and told us that he would read over these verses again before he went to bed.
Complete. From the Spectator— No. 359.
LOVE AFTER MARRIAGE
Candida perpetuo reside, concordia, lecto,
Tamque pari semper sit Venus æqua jugo.
- Mart. Epig. xiii., Lib. IV. 7.
Perpetual harmony their bed attend,
HAVE somewhere met with a fable that made Wealth the father 1 of Love. It is certain that a mind ought at least to be free
from the apprehensions of want and poverty before it can fully attend to all the softnesses and endearments of this passion; notwithstanding, we see multitudes of married people who are utter strangers to this delightful passion amidst all the affluence of the most plentiful fortunes.
It is not sufficient to make a marriage happy that the humors of two people should be alike. I could instance an hundred pair who have not the least sentiment of love remaining for one another, yet are so like in their humors, that, if they were not already married, the whole world would design them for man and wife.
The spirit of love has something so extremely fine in it that it is very often disturbed and lost by some little accidents, which the careless and unpolite never attend to, until it is gone past recovery.
Nothing has more contributed to banish it from a married state than too great a familiarity and laying aside the common rules of decency. Though I could give instances of this in seyeral particulars, I shall only mention that of dress. The beaux and belles about town, who dress purely to catch one another, think there is no further occasion for the bait when their first design has succeeded. But besides the too common fault, in point of neatness, there are several others which I do not remember to have seen touched upon, but in one of our modern comedies, where a French woman offering to undress and dress herself before the lover of the play, and assuring her mistress that it was very usual in France, the lady tells her that is a secret in dress she never knew before, and that she was so unpolished an English woman as to resolve never to learn to dress even before her husband.
There is something so gross in the carriage of some wives that they lose their husbands' hearts for faults which, if a man has either good nature or good breeding, he knows not how to tell them of. I am afraid, indeed, the ladies are generally most faulty in this particular; who, at their first giving into love, find the way so smooth and pleasant that they fancy it is scarce possible to be tired in it.
There is so much nicety and discretion required to keep love alive after marriage, and make conversation still new and agreeable after twenty or thirty years, that I know nothing which seems readily to promise it, but an earnest endeavor to please on both sides, and superior good sense on the part of the man.
By a man of sense I mean one acquainted with business and letters.
A woman very much settles her esteem for a man according to the figure he makes in the world and the character he bears among his own sex. As learning is the chief advantage we have over them, it is, methinks, as scandalous and inexcusable for a man of fortune to be illiterate as for a woman not to know how to behave herself on the most ordinary occasions. It is this which sets the two sexes at the greatest distance; a woman is vexed and surprised to find nothing more in the conversation of a man than in the common tattle of her own sex.
Some small engagement, at least in business, not only sets a man's talents in the fairest light, and allots him a part to act in which a wife cannot well intermeddle, but gives frequent occasion for those little absences, which, whatever seeming uneasiness they may give, are some of the best preservatives of love and desire.
The fair sex are so conscious to themselves that they have nothing in them which can deserve entirely to engross the whole man, that they heartily despise one who, to use their own expression, is always hanging at their apron strings.
Lætitia is pretty, modest, tender, and has sense enough; she married Erastus, who is in a post of some business, and has a general taste in most parts of polite learning. Lætitia, wherever she visits, has the pleasure to hear of something which was handsomely said or done by Erastus. Erastus, since his marriage, is more gay in his dress than ever, and in all companies is as complaisant to Lætitia as to any other lady. I have seen him give her her fan when it has dropped, with all the gallantry of a lover. When they take the air together Erastus is continually improving her thoughts, and, with a turn of wit and spirit which is peculiar to him, giving her an insight into things she had no notions of before. Lætitia is transported at having a new world thus opened to her, and hangs upon the man that gives her such agreeable information. Erastus has carried this point still further, as he makes her daily not only more fond of him, but infinitely more satisfied with herself. Erastus finds a justness or beauty in whatever she says or observes, that Lætitia herself was not aware of; and by his assistance she has discovered an hundred good qualities and accomplishments in herself which she never before once dreamed of. Erastus, with the most artful complaisance in the world, by several remote hints, finds the means to make her say or propose almost whatever he has a mind to, which he always receives as her own discovery, and gives her all the reputation of it.
Erastus has a perfect taste in painting, and carried Lætitia with him the other day to see a collection of pictures. I sometimes visit this happy couple. As we were last week walking in the long gallery before dinner, “I have lately laid out some money in paintings,” says Erastus; “I bought that Venus and Adonis purely upon Lætitia's judgment. It cost me threescore guineas, and I was this morning offered an hundred for it.” I turned towards Lætitia, and saw her cheeks glow with pleasure, while at the same time she cast a look upon Erastus, the most tender and affectionate I ever beheld.
Flavilla married Tom Tawdry. She was taken with his laced coat and rich sword knot; she has the mortification to see Tom despised by all the worthy part of his own sex. Tom has nothing to do after dinner but to determine whether he will pare his nails at Saint James's, White's, or his own house. He has said nothing to Flavilla since they were married which she might not have heard as well from her own woman. He, however, takes great care to keep up the saucy ill-natured authority of a husband. Whatever Flavilla happens to assert, Tom immediately contradicts with an oath by way of preface, and, “My dear, I must tell you you talk most confoundedly silly.” Flavilla had a heart naturally as well disposed for all the tenderness of love as that of Lætitia; but as love seldom continues long after esteem, it is difficult to determine, at present, whether the unhappy Flavilla hates or despises the person whom she is obliged to lead her whole life with.
Complete. From the Spectator.
MR. RIGADOON'S DANCING SCHOOL
Saltare elegantiùs quam necesse est probæ.— Sallust.
Too fine a dancer for a virtuous woman.
UCIAN, in one of his dialogues, introduces a philosopher chid.
ing his friend for his being a lover of dancing and a fre
quenter of balls. The other undertakes the defense of his favorite diversion, which he says was at first invented by the goddess Rhea, and preserved the life of Jupiter himself from the cruelty of his father Saturn. He proceeds to show that it had been approved by the greatest men in all ages; that Homer calls Merion a fine dancer; and says that the graceful mien and great agility which he had acquired by that exercise distinguished him above the rest in the armies both of Greeks and Trojans.
He adds that Pyrrhus gained more reputation by inventing the dance which is called after his name than by all his other actions; that the Lacedæmonians, who were the bravest people in Greece, gave great encouragement to this diversion, and made their Hormus (a dance much resembling the French brawl) famous over all Asia; that there were still extant some Thessalian statues erected to the honor of their best dancers; and that he wondered how his brother philosopher could declare himself against the opinions of those two persons, whom he professed so much to admire, Homer and Hesiod,- the latter of whom compares valor and dancing together, and says that “the gods have bestowed fortitude on some men, and on others a disposition for dancing."
Lastly, he puts him in mind that Socrates (who, in the judgment of Apollo, was the wisest of men) was not only a professed admirer of this exercise in others, but learned it himself when he was an old man.
The morose philosopher is so much affected by these and some other authorities that he becomes a convert to his friend, and desires he would take him with him when he went to his next ball.
I love to shelter myself under the examples of great men; and I think I have sufficiently showed that it is not below the dignity of these my speculations to take notice of the following letter, which, I suppose, is sent me by some substantial tradesman about 'Change:
I am a man in years, and by an honest industry in the world have acquired enough to give my children a liberal education, though I was an utter stranger to it myself. My eldest daughter, a girl of sixteen, has for some time been under the tuition of Monsieur Rigadoon, a dancing master in the city; and I was prevailed upon by her and her mother to go last night to one of his balls. I must own to you, sir, that having never been to any such place before, I was very much pleased and surprised with that part of his entertainment which he called French dancing. There were several young men and women, whose limbs seemed to have no other motion but purely what the music gave them. After this part was over, they began a diversion which they call country dancing, and wherein there were also some things not disagreeable, and divers emblematical figures, composed, as I guess, by wise men for the instruction of youth.