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TO HIS FRIEND INCLINED TO MARRY,, I would not have you, Strephop, choose a mate,'. from too exalted, or too mean a state;, ! . . for in buth these we may expect to find . , a creeping spirit, or a haughty mind. Who moves within the middle region, shares w2. the least disquiets, and the smallest cares. Let her extraction with true lustre shine; .. if something brighter, not too bright for thine: ber education liberal, not great; . neither inferior nor above her state, Let her have wit; but let that wit be free from affectation, pride, or pedantry: for the effect of woman's wit is such, too little is as dangerous as too much, But chiefly let her bumour close with thive; unless where your's does to a fault incline; .. the least disparity in this destroys, Filme like sulphurous blasts, the very buds of joys. Her person amiable, straight, and free from natural, or chance deformity. Let not her years exceed, if equal thine; for women past their vigour, soon decline: ; her fortune competent; and, if thy sight can reach so far, take care 't is gather'd right, , If thine's enough, then her's may be the less : do not aspire to riches in excess. For that which makes our lives delightful prove, is a genteel sufficiency and love.
Life of Pomfret, ... page 1 | To bis Friend inclined to marryis The Choice, a' :::::: 3!
JOHN POMFRET was the son of the Rev. — Pomfret, rector of Luton in Bedfordshire, where he was born in 1677: After being instructed in grammatical learning, he was sent to Queen's College, Cambridge, where he continued till the year 1698, when he took a master's degree, He then entered into orders and was presented with the living of Malden, in Bedfordshire. The mind of Pomfret appears strongly impressed with sentiments of piety, his conduct well regulated, and his life inno-. cent; yet did milignity asperse him. Envy, detraction and vice have ever the most numerous associates, while innocence stands unaided and alone. A life so retired, peaceable, and little infected with the follies of the world as that of Pomfret, surety might have been allowed to glide smoothly along the stream of time. Yet was he unjustly reproached with being both a fanatic and a libertine. The former charge appears to be entirely without foundation, and the latter solely derived from the following passage in bis “ Choice,"
And as I near approach'd the verge of life,
while I did for a better state prepare. The malicious interpretation of these lines was, that happiness is more likely to be found in the society of a mistress tban a wife. This reproach was easy of obliteration with reasonable beings, for he was married at the time he wrote them, and yet his enemies succeeded in affecting Comton, Bishop of London, with scruples which retarded Pomfret's success in applying for an institution of considerable value. This obstruction constrained his attendance in London, where he was seized with the small pox, to which disease he fell a victim in 1713, in the 36th year of his age. Tho’in his compositions, Pomfret has little vigour of thought, or energy of expression, yet his versification is sufficiently smooth for that numerous class of readers, who having no vanity to indulge, nor expertness in criticism to exhibit, seek ouly theirown amusement. The Choice has been long a favourite poem, because it affords a picture resembling those situations in life which are attainable; it does not represent to the reader scenes in which he has no interest, but such as he finds at home or wishes to find. Hurdis says,