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Fothergill, of London-a man alike distinguished for parts and learning, and for benevolence and piety-being informed that a gentleman at a house where he visited was paying his addresses to a young lady, desired leave to offer to him a piece of advice. Upon the gentleman making a bow of submission-“ Friend,” said the shrewd physician “ my advice is this—that thou shouldest court in thy every day clothes.”
“ The Doctor,” as observes his commentator, questionably did not mean that the sentiment he delivered should be confined to the article of dress. He intended to insinuate that the man who is paying his ad. dresses (and, by parity of reason, the lady also who is receiving them) should exhibit themselves to each other such as they usually are, and should not endeavour to wear, for the time, a more favourable character than will be found ordinarily to belong to them.”
What a deal of matrimonial disappointment and strife might be prevented, if, while the treaty were going on, both the addressers and the addressed would appear in their every day clothes ?-or in no better character for temper and disposition, or for any attractive or estimable quality, than such as they were determined to maintain, in the connubial state, constant. ly, throughout the whole of their lives.
4. The little obliging attentions which are the food of friendship, and without which close and ardent
can hardly be kept alive for any long while, are too often remitted after marriage, and even discontinued. And hence, without any flagrant fault on either side, coolness arises, then indifference, and finally
5. Among the higher classes, marriage, in too many instances, is the cold, calculating chaffery of avarice and ambition, for money or for rank. And as neither
love nor friendship has any concern in the contract, it is no wonder that neither love nor friendship should ever after spring up and bless the union.
6. Amongst the lower classes many rush into mar. riage improvidently, or without being furnished with any competent means of supporting a family. Poverty and want follow of course. Their own suffering is ag. gravated by the sufferings of their little ones; and they look back, with deep regrets, to the comparative comforts of their single life.
Lastly, there are those of the baser sort, who, by reason of the perverseness of their tempers, or the pravity of their hearts and viciousness of their lives, would needs he wretched in any condition. As husbands and wives, they mutually are fiendlike tormentors, if equally matched; or if yoked together unequally, the connection proves the sorest of calamities to the better party.
And yet, after making all these deductions, it is un questionably true that more than a full moiety of the social comfort enjoyed in this world, is the fruit of marriage. In it the extreme cases, either way, are comparatively few. Of married men and women the most by far are made neither very happy nor very wretched by this connection. Between these two extremes there is an intermediate class, immense in numbers, who, though they constantly experience a mixture of good and evil in the connubial state, will perceive, nevertheless, upon a fair estimate, that the good considerably preponderates.
One observation more, and I shall conclude. The surest basis of connubial happiness is genuine piets. 56. Wisdom,” as observes a venerable sage in the Apocraphy, " is a loving spirit.” The wisdom that is from above is peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated. The humility, the meekness, the benevolence, the gen
deness, of real christianity, and indeed the whole body of the christian virtues, when heart-felt, and acted out in sincerity, do directly and powerfully tend to sweeten the trials and multiply the comforts of those who are partners together in marriage : while the hope of meeting in a better world, “ strews their path to the grave with flowers."
of favoritism as respects the deal of parents with
their oron children.
As parents naturally love their children, so they naturally wish to be loved by them; and yet, very often, this darling wish of their hearts is defeated by their own imprudence. Upon this point it would be easy to enumerate facts or instances ; but I shall mention only one-and that is, the partial favour and disfavour of parents toward their offspring.
Parental favouritism springs, sometimes, from motives that are seemingly reasonable, as some children are possessed of dispositions much more attractive than those of others. But even where this difference is clear. ly seen, it concerns the parents to take heed that the bias of their hearts become not too visible in their conduct. It is no wonder that the venerable patriarch felt a superior degree of affection for the son, who, in regard to every thing morally excellent and lovely, was so manifestly exalted above his brethren : nevertheless, the manifestation of the partiality so reasonable in itself-the coat of many colours, for instance led to consequences of the most tragical nature. Happy would it be, however, if there were no paren
tal bias but such as is founded on merit, as in the instance just mentioned : wkereas it sometimes springs from causes that can afford it not the least shadow of escuse.Of these I will name only two.
1. Personal Beauty, and especially female beauty, is frequently the ground of parental partiality. Notwithstanding that the mere possession of beauty neither implies merit nor gives promise of any real excellence, yet often it happens that the most beautiful of the daughters, is, for that single reason, the most ca. ressed by the ill-judging parents, who, on the same wretched principle, are the most negligent of the one that has the least personal comeliness. The unfeeling cruelty of this species of domestic favouritism is too obvious to need remark: its results are unhappy every way. Even the favourite herself is a great loser, for, in proporition as' her vanity is fostered, and by such hands, every estimable quality that might grow up in her mind under proper culture, is stifled. On the other hand, the smothered discontents and heart-burnings of the children who lie under unmerited neglect, and their feelings of envy toward the favourite, are the seeds which often burst up finally into violent and interminable contentions.
The parental discretion acts a part quite different from that which has now been described. It warns and admonishes her to whom nature has been lavish in personal attractions, and teaches her betimes, not to value herself
them: while it encourages those of the family that possess the least of personal comeliness, by imprinting it upon them, that the due cultivation of their intellectual and moral faculties will make them be respectable and respected.
2. There is another species of favouritism practised by parents, which, if not so common, is yet more reprehensible : it is treating the prosperous child with
fond attention, and the unprosperoụs one with cold neglect. Worldly prosperity is no evidence of merit, nor adversity of demerit. - It often happens that, of the members of the same family, having in their outset in life the like prospects-it often happens that some come to wealth, whilst others are cast into the shades of poverty, through misfortune, rather than from any faultiness in their own conduct. In cases of this sort, the partiality of parents, if it be allowable at all, should lean to the unfortunate child : at least they are bound, by the ties of nature and of duty, to show quite as much attention to the unfortunate, as to the fortunate part of their offspring. And it would be a libel upon parents to say, that, in general, the tide of their affection flows or ebbs according as their children make out well or ill in the world. The thing is not common, nor yet is it very rare: There are but few persons of considerable age and observation, who have not witnessed it in more than one instance. And whenever and whereever this happens, it excites emotions of disgust and abhorrence. When the unfortunate son is treated with coldness, because he has been unfortunate, and is poor; when the unfortunate daughter, along with her needy little ones, is neglected and in a manner forsaken-not by the world only, but by father and mother when persons bearing the sacred name of parents, are kind only to those of their children who need not their kindness, and forsake those who need it most : when such a horrible thing is seen in the land, it is seen to be detested.