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hat, and infulted me directly, by telling the watchman as well as he could, that he had fat in company with my fifter till he became too drunk to find his way home, which nevertheless he had attempted; and that he hated the fight of me as he hated the devil: he then defired that a coach or a chair might be immediately called to carry him from my presence.
About nine, I vifited a young lady who could not fee me, because fhe was but just returned from a rout. I went next to a ftudent in the Temple, who received me with great joy; but told me, that he was going to dine with a gentleman, whofe daughter he had long courted, and who at length, by the interpofition of friends, had been perfuaded to confent to the match, though several others had offered a larger fettlement. From this interview I had no defire to detain him; and about twelve I found a young prodigal, to whom I had afforded many opportunities of felicity, which he neglected to improve; and whom I had fcarce ever left without having convinced him, that he was wafting life in the fearch of pleafure which he could never find: he looked upon me with a countenance full of fufpicion, dread and perplexity, and feemed to wish that I had delayed my vifit or been excluded by his fervant; imagining, as I have fince heard, that a bailiff was behind me. After dinner, I again met my friend the ftudent; but he who had fo lately received me with extafy, now leered at me with a fullen difcontent, and if it had been in his power would have destroyed me, for no other reafon than because the old gentleman whom he had vifited had changed his mind.
You may, perhaps, be told, that I am myfelf inconftant and capricious, that I am never the fame perfon eight and forty hours together, and that no man knows whether at my next vifit I fhall bring him good or evil : but identity of perfon might with equal truth be denied of the ADVENTURER, and of every other being upon earth; for all animal bodies are in a ftate of perpetual decay and renovation: fo ridiculous a flander does not indeed deserve a ferious reply: and I believe you are now ready to answer every other cavil of my enemies,
by convincing the world that it is their own fault if I do not always leave them wifer and better than I find them ;. and whoever has through life continued to become gradually wifer and better, has obtained a fource of divine felicity, a well of living water, which like the widow's. oil fhall increafe as it is poured out, and which, though: it was fupplied by time, eternity fhall not exhauft.
I hope, Sir, your paper will be a means of procur ing me better treatment; and that you will yourself be follicitous to fecure the friendship of
Your humble Servant,
The Ladies directed in the choice of a bufband. [Adventurer, No. 30.]
HOUGH I devote this lucubration to the ladies, yet there are fome parts of it which I hope will not be wholly ufelefs to the gentlemen: and, perhaps, both may expect to be addreffed upon a fubject, which to both is of equal importance; efpecially after I have admitted the public recommendation of it by my corre fpondent Mr. Townly.
It has been univerfally allowed, and with great reafon, that between perfons who marry there should be fome degree of equality, with refpect to age and condition. Those who violate a known truth, deserve the infelicity they incur: I fhall, therefore, only labour topreferve innocence by detecting error.
With the ladies it is a kind of general maxim," that the best husband is a reformed RAKE;" a maxim which they have probably derived from comedies and novels, in which fuch a husband is commonly the reward of female merit. But the belief of this maxim is an inconteftible proof, that with the true character of a RAKE the ladies are wholly unacquainted. "They
have," indeed, "heard of a wild young gentleman, "who would rake about the town, and take up his lodging at a bagnio; who had told many a girl a
pretty ftory, that was fool enough to believe him: "and that had a right to many a child that did not call him father: but that in fome of these frolicks he thought no harm, and for others he had fufficiently "fuffered." But let the ADVENTURER be believed, thefe are words of dreadful import, and should always be thus understood.
"To rake about town and lodge at a bagnio, is to "affociate with the vileft and most abandoned of human beings; it is to become familiar with blafphemy and lewdness, and frequently to fport with the most "deplorable mifery: to tell pretty ftories to credulous "girls, is to deceive the fimplicity of innocence by cunning and falfhood: to be the father of a nameless progeny, is to defert thofe, whofe tears only can im"plore the protection to which of all others they have "the ftrongest and the tendereft claim; it is more than "to be a man without affection, it is to be a brute "without inftinct. To think no harm in some of these "frolics, is to have worn out all fenfibility of the dif"ference between right and wrong; and to have fuf"fered for others, is to have a body contaminated with "difeafes, which in fome degree are certainly tranf
mitted to pofterity."
It is to be hoped, that the mere exhibition of this picture will be fufficient to deter the ladies from precluding happiness by marrying the original; and from difcouraging virtue, by making vice neceffary to the character which they prefer.
But they frequently act upon another principle, which though not equally fatal and abfurd, may yet produce great infelicity.
When the Rake is excluded, it will be generally fuppofed, that fuperior intellectual abilities ought always to determine the choice. "A man of fine fenfe," is, indeed, a character of great dignity; and the ladies have always been advised to prefer this to every other, as it includes a` capacity to beflow" that refined, ex"alted, and permanent felicity, which alone is worthy
of a rational being." But I think it probable, that this advice, however fpecious, has been often given for
no other reason, than because to give it flattered the vanity of the writer, who fondly believed he was drawing his own character, and exciting the envy and admiration of his readers. This advice, however, the ladies univerfally affect to approve, and probably for a fimilar reafon; fince every one imagines, that to hold intellectual excellence in high eftimation, is to demonftrate that fhe poffeffes it.
As he that would perfuade, fhould be fcrupulously careful not to offend, I will not infinuate that there are any ladies, by whom the peculiar beauties of an exalted understanding cannot be difcerned; and who have not therefore a capacity for half the pleafure which it can beftow. And yet I think there is another excellence which is much more effential to conjugal felicity, GoOD. NATURE.
I know that GoOD NATURE has, like Socrates, been ridiculed in the habit of FOLLY; and that FOLLY has been dignified by the name of GOOD NATURE. But. by GOOD NATURE, I do not mean that flexible imbecility of mind which complies with every request, and inclines a man at once to accompany an acquaintance to a brothel at the expence of his health, and to keep. an equipage for a wife at the expence of his eftate. Perfons of this difpofition have feldom more benevolence than fortitude, and frequently perpetrate deliberate cruelty.
In true GOOD NATURE, there is neither the acrimony of spleen, nor the fullennefs of malice; it is neither clamorous nor fretful, neither eafy to be offended, nor impatient to revenge; it is a tender fenfibility, a participation of the pains and pleafures of others; and is, therefore, a forcible and conftant motive to communicate happiness, and alleviate mifery.
As human nature is, from whatever caufe, in a flate of great imperfection, it is furely to be defired, that a perfon whom it is moft our intereft to please, should not fee more of this imperfection than we do ourselves.
I fhall, perhaps, be told, that " a man of fenfe can "never ufe a woman ill." The latter part of this propofition is a phrafe of very extenfive and various figM 6 nification;
nification: whether a man of fenfe can "ufe a woman "ill," I will not enquire, but I fhall endeavour to fhew, that he may make her extremely wretched.
Perfons of keen penetration and great delicacy of fentiment, as they must neceffarily be more frequently offended than others; fo as a punishment for the offence, they can inflict more exquifite pain, because they can wound with more poignant reproach: and by him whom GoOD NATURE does not reftrain from retaliating the pain that he feels, the offence, whether voluntary or not, will always be thus punished.
If this punishment is fuffered with filence, confufion, and tears, it is poffible that the tyrant may relent; but this, like the remorfe of a murderer, is too late; the dread of incurring the fame anguish by a like fault, will fubftitute for the fmile of chearfulness, that funshine of beauty, the glooms of doubt, follicitude, and anxiety: the offence will notwithstanding be again repeated; the punishment, the diftrefs, and the remorfe, will again return; because error is involuntary, and anger is not reftrained. If the reproach is retorted, and whether it was deserved becomes the fubject of debate, the confequences are yet more dreadful: after a vain attempt to fhew an incongruity, which can no more be perceived than founds by the deaf, the hufband will be infulted for caufelefs and capricious difpleasure, and the wife for folly, perverfenefs, and obftinacy. In these circumftances, what will become of " the refined, the "exalted, and the permanent felicity, which alone is "worthy of reasonable beings, and which elevated ge"nius only can bestow."
That this conduct is by a man of fense known to be wrong, I am content to allow : but it must also be granted, that the difcernment of wrong is not always a propenfity to right; and that if pain was never inAlicted, but when it was known to produce falutary effects, mankind would be much more happy than they
GOOD NATURE, therefore, if intellectual excellence cannot atone for the want of it, must be admitted as the