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Philander, who fell about her neck with a tendernest not to be expressed; and amidst a thousand sobs and sighs told her his love, and his dreadful mistake. The stage was now in flames, and the whole house full of smoke: the entrance was quite barred up with heaps of people, who had fallen upon one another as they endeavoured to get out: swords were drawn, shrieks heard on all sides; and, in short, no possibility of an escape for Puilander himself, had he been capable of making it without his Chloe. But his mind was above such a thought, and wholly employed in weeping, condoling, and comforting. He catches her in his arms. The fire surrounds them, while I cannot go on
Were I an infidel, misfortunes like this would convince me that there must be an hereafter: for who can believe that so much virtue could meet with so great distress without a following reward *?
DOMESTIC HAPPINESS. No. 95. THERE are several persons who have many pleasures and entertainments in their possession which they do not enjoy. It is therefore a kind and good office to acquaint them with their own happiness, and turn their attention to such instances of their good fortune which they are apt to overlook. Persons in the married state osten want such a monitor; and pine away their days, by looking upon the same condition in anguish and murmur, which carries with it in the opinion of others
* This catastrophe is said to have really happened in Denunark.
u complication of all the pleasures of life, and a retreat from its inquietudes.
I am led into this thought by a visit I made an old friend who was formerly my schoolfellow. He came to town last week with his family for the winter, and yesterday morning sent me word his wife expected me to dinner. I am as it were at home at that house, and every member of it knows me for their well-wisher. I cannot indeed express the pleasure it is to be met by the children with so much joy as I am when I go thither: the boys and girls strive who shall come first when they think it is I that am knocking at the door; and that child which loses the race to me runs back again 10 tell the father it is Mr. Bickerstaff. This day I was led in by a pretty girl that we all thought must have forgot me; for the family has been out of town these two years. Her knowing me again was a mighty subject with us, and took up our discourse at the first entrance. After which, they began to rally me upon a thousand little stories they heard in the country, about my marriage to one of my neighbour's daughters: upon which the gentleman, my friend, said,
Nay, if Mr. Bickerstaff marries a child of any of his old companions, I hɔpe mine shall have the preference; there is Mrs. Mary is now sixteen, and would make him as fine a widow as the best of them : but I know him too well; he is so enamoured with the very memory of those who flourished in our youth, that he will not so much as look upon the modern beauties. I remember, old gentleman, how often you went home in a day to refresh your countenance and dress, when Teraminta reigned in
heart. As we came up in the coach, I repeated to my wife some of your verses on her.' With such reflections on litile passages D 3
which happened long ago, we passed our time during a cheerful and elegant meal. After dinner, his lady left the room, as did also the children. As soon as we were alone, he took me by the hand; Well, my good friend, says he, I am heartily glad to see thee; I was afraid you would never have seen all the company that dined with you to-day again. Do not you think the good woman of the house a little altered since you followed her from the playhouse, to find out who she was for me? I perceived a tear fall down his cheek'as he spoke, which moved me not a little. But to turn the discourse, said I, She is not indeed quite that creature she was when she returned me the letter I carried from you; and told me, she hoped, as I was a gentleman, I would be employed no more to trouble her, who had never offended me; but would be so much the gentle. man's friend as to dissuade him from a pursuit which he could never succeed in. You may remember I thought her in earnest; and you were forced to employ your cousin Will, who made his sister get acquainted with her for
you. You cannot expect her to be for ever fifteen. Fifteen ! replied my good friend: ah ! you little understand, you that have lived a bachelor, how great, how exquisite a pleasure there is in being really beloved ! It is impossible that the most beauteous face in nature should raise in me such pleasing ideas as when I look upon that excellent woman. That fading in her countenance is chiefly caused by her watching with me in my fever. This was followed by a fit of sickness, which had like to have carried her off last winter. I tell you sincerely, I have so many
ob. ligations to her, that I cannot with any sort of moderation think of her present state of health. But as to what you say of fifteen, she gives me every day pleasures beyond what I ever knew in the possession of her beauty, when I was in the vigour of youth. Every moment of her life brings me fresh instances of her complacency to iny inclinations, and her prudence in regard to my fortune. Her face is to me much more beautiful than when I first saw it; there is no decay in any feature which I cannot trace from the
instant it was occasioned by some anxious concern for my welfare and interests. Thus at the same time, methinks, the love I conceived towards her, for what she was, is heightened by my gratitude for what she is. The love of a wife is as much above the idle passion conimonly called by that name, as the loud laughter of buffoons is inferior to the elegant mirth of gentlemen. Oh! she is an inestimable jewel. In her examination of her household affairs she shows a certain fearfulness to find a fault, which makes her servants obey ber like children, and the meanest we have has an ingenuous shame for an offence, not always to be seen in children in other families. I speak freely to you, my old friend; ever since her sickness, things that gave me the quickest joy before tura now to a certain anxiety. As the children play in the next room, I know the poor things by their steps, and am considering what they must do, should they lose their mother in their tender years. The pleasure I used to take in telling my boy stories of battles, and asking my girl questions about the dis-* posal of her baby, and the gossiping of it, is turned into inward reflection and melancholy.
He would have gone on in this tender way, when the good lady entered, and, with an inexpressible sweetness in her countenance, told us she had been searching her closet for something very good, to treat such an old friend as I was. Her husband's eyes sparkled with
plenty of the courful pea of hot tarantenance; and I 459 *1] hu fmxtz vanish in an metant. The lady is 4apninng unpath'ng, ur looks which showed we had koen forta pvms than otdinary, and waing her husbrand phalve her with great comer under a forced charranea, finhediately gueued at what we had been talking of; #l, applying herself to me, said with a Armila, Moto keretall, do ta beliau " a word of what ha telle yeri. I shall sul lure to have you fra my se cewe, na I have often prostried you, unlees he takes truspu tufft hunulf than hr has done since his coming th trwti Yuni tust kww, he tells me that he finds Indien je u truly more healthy place than the constry; fore he w** *wral of his old acquaintance and #rhovedfell *** here young fellows with their fullhttpred pt wigs I could scarce keep him this torttung ftuan giang out ofen-breasted.--My friend, whaty H4 al **** *tifemely delighted with her agreeable Burrit, mide be sit down with us. She did it with thr: 64414eme why by in puruliar to women of sense; and, th, beatpop the trail bur she had brought in with her, tred her taillery met me: Mr. Bukerstaff, you tt tomboy yeni followed me one night from the playtrents out you should carry me thither to-forrow fright, and lead me into the front box. This put us mio a lung, field of diseinuirse about the beauties who Wat terhets to the present, and shined in the boxes twenty years ago I told her, I was glad she had tarefarrers many of her chart, and I did not ques. tiem brut her eldest daughter was within half a year of bring a tort.
We were pleasing ourselves with this fantastical pre. ferment of the young lady, when ou a sudden we were alarmed with the noise of a drum, and immediately en