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from my college, and made me lose much time in my favourite career, he insisted upon my continuing to receive the three hundred a year, till a living of more than that value in his gift should fall in. I declined the stipend, but accepted the promise of the living, which I now enjoy. Hè still often writes to me, acquaints me, sometimes in confidence, with his views of things going on, and does me the honour to consult me on literary subjects, of which he is still keenly fond. Thus, we are better friends asunder than we were together, being so dissimilar; he, lost in the vortex of the world where he shines; I, buried in my living, or college, where I am anything but unhappy."
This recital made a deep impression upon me, and I neither wondered at my tutor's anxiety to set before me the dangers, or at least the disadvantages, of unequal friendships, nor how he came by his experience.
“ However,” said he, “ you observe, I speak of real friendship, intrinsic, pure, and indulged for its own sake alone, as so difficult to preserve between parties that are unequal. What I have called alliances for mutual benefit are far more easy, and therefore more common. They last as long as their usefulness lasts. If regard as well as respect accompany them, well; if not, a separation when required, as is often the case, is attended with less regret. Such an alliance you might make with another, but not now with Hastings, because you have loved him. For I need not refer you to Ovid for the apophthegm,
• Non bene conveniunt, nec in una sede morantur,
GENTLEMAN AND A LOW LADY, AND BETWEEN A HIGH LADY AND A LOW GENTLEMAN.
Oh! Hamlet, speak no more,
SHAKSPEARE. “ Bur if this take effect in male friendships,” said Fothergill, continuing his discourse, “ what must it be between the sexes? Here a still more comfortless scene opens, especially on the part of the woman who matches below herself. Even where the man does so, though, intrenched in his superiority, he can raise a wife to his own level, yet even there a long train of (to say the best of them) unpleasant concomitants attend and mortify him at every turn. He has to reconcile his family and friends to the false step they think he has made. They look down, or he fears they look down, upon his choice; they are angry that their own importance, perhaps fortunes, have been hurt by the match. His mother and sisters, if not very generous, criticise, and sneer; and even his younger brothers think to enlarge their consequence by giving themselves airs.
“ If the husband is of very high rank, and there are children, they have but one parent ; at any rate,
if they tolerate their mother, it is quite enough, without taxing their attentions for a number of poor or unfashionable relations, whom they at least had no part in bestowing upon themselves.
“ This is all sad, and there must be great beauty, accomplishments, and merit, in the poor wife, to be thus even condescendingly admitted into another and higher family, at the price of mortifying herself, and forgetting her own.
There is also another of this sort of cares, not so melancholy to the wife, but perhaps more destructive of the peace of the husband. It is when the lowborn lady is the person to give herself airs, and flies in the face of her high-born husband, and all his family. This was felt by no less a man than Cato, the censor, who, in his old age, married a young girl of mean extraction, thinking to do what he pleased with her, I suppose out of expected gratitude. But she proved a termagant; and St. Jerome, wanting to show that those who marry poor wives in order to be quiet at home are not always sure of their mark, quotes this case of Cato in proof of his opinion.”
“ That I can believe," said I; “but is not your other supposition, that the poor wife is made so unhappy by her high alliance, often contradicted by facts ?"
And I mentioned several marriages of peers with persons of inferior condition, of which the periodicals of the day were full.
“ That there are instances of such merit,” replied he, as to overcome all this, is not to be denied ; and persons of very middling rank have sometimes seemed,
by their talents for representation, to have been born countesses. But these are as rare as felicitous exceptions, and, for the most part, the high husband, after the first attraction has lost its charm, finds himself plunged for the rest of his life in endless mortifications ; for he has to support and countenance, for his own credit's sake, a troop of near and dear connections whom he wishes he had never seen, if he does not wish them at the devil; and who he at least feels will do him the reverse of honour.
66 Thus much where the wife is really a woman of elegance of mind and of manners. But there are marriages where, from the weakness or blindness of the husband, influenced by a temporary passion, the woman may in these respects be grossly deficient. I have seen such wives, vulgar, coarse, and selfish in mind, and slatterns in person ;-such wonders will caprice or a vitiated taste effect in some of us lords of the creation. Where this is the case, if the man has a spark of delicacy or sensibility left, he is exiled for life from society, where he can never show himself without shame, and · bitter must be his portion to drink ;' for it would be happier for him to be of the same nature as his wife, and both to lie down in the same stye."
“ This is a picture to make one shudder,” said I, “s and perhaps too true.”
“ I assure you, it is not overcharged,” said Fothergill, “even where the lady is parvenue. Now to take its converse, and let the gentleman be the one promoted
“ But I spare you, my young cousin; for your high-hoping temper, and unfledged experience, will not easily bear the picture I could paint."
And here the Cumberland sage again stopt.
I assured him I could bear all, and desired nothing so much as to see the world through his clearsighted vision. And yet I trembled; for the remembrance of Bertha unnerved me.
He saw it, and said he would be as light with me as he could.
My first appeal,” observed he, “ shall be to your honour. And certainly if ever honour would influence a man, it would be to prevent him from seeking to make a person he loves degrade herself.”
“ Degrade!" exclaimed I.
not reduce Miss Hastings from her own class to yours ; and without meaning at all to go beyond the etymology of the word, or make it stand, as it often does, for disgrace, would not that degrade her? Could you expect her to descend from the society of Foljambe Park, or Grosvenor Square, to follow you to your father's homestead, or through the world in the shape perhaps of that illustrious being called a tutor, or at very best a country parson ? Be it, however, that your fondest dream was realized ; that instead of forgetting you, as she probably has done, she was absolutely ready to go with you to the altar, and there meet the curses of her father, and all those relations whose countenance would make marriage sweet, instead of the blessings she would have a right to expect :-where would be the happy home to which you