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been educated at school and at college, and with whom I had ever after lived in habits of the strictest friendship, putting me in mind of an engagement I had come under when last in London, to show him some parts of the Highlands in Scotland, and to pass some time with him there in growse-lhooting. I immediately made the necessary preparations for this excurfion, and not doubting that my wife would be happy to show every mark of attention to the chosen friend of my youth, I wrote to him to haften his journey to Scotland. When he arrived, it was with pain that I observed that my Louisa, fo far from participating the joy I felt at the fight of my friend, feemed to sink in spirits in proportion as I was overjoyed on the occasion..
I left her in a situation which distressed me at the time, and the reflection of which damped all the joy I should otherwise have found in the fociety of my friend. I shortened our excurfion, although I saw it rather disappointed him, in order to get home as soon as possible. Instead of being received by my Louisa with that pleasure which I experienced in seeing her after this short absence, I found her ftill oppressed with that melancholy in which I had left her. It is needless, Sir, to detain you with a detail of further particulars. In a word, I find that my wife considers my partaking in any amuse
ment, joining in any society, or engaging in the most neceffary and effential business, as a mark of want of attachment and affection to her. That romantic turn of mind, which at firft charmed me so much, and which her natural good sense has not enabled her to restrain within due bounds, leads her to fee every object through a medium very remote from the occur. rences of ordinary life. As she is a reader of the Lounger, I beg you will favour us with a paper on the danger of encouraging this engaging sort of delufion, fo apt to captivate a young and a virtuous mind, but which I find, from fatal experience, leads to much misery and distress.-Yours, &c.
It might be fuppofed, that the Lounger, who has somehow been led to confess himself a bachelor, would not be much diffatisfied at receive ing, in such letters as the above and Mr. Easy's, a sort of testimony of the inconveniencies of marriage. He must however declare, that they afford him no kind of satisfaction; nor indeed do the complaints of those correspondents induce him to think at all unfavourably of that state in which they have found the em
barrassments they describe. Want of judgment in our choice, or ridiculously fanguine expectations from what we possess, will, in every article of life, produce disappointment and chagrin ; and the situation from which the greatest felicity may be drawn, must necessarily be that. from which most uneasiness may spring. But the relations of misfortune are generally exaggerated. From Mrs. Easy I have received a letter, denying more than half of her husband's affertions. My correspondent Alcander's relation on the other fide of the question, meets with perfect credit from me. I myself know several couples as happy as his Euphanor and Almeria ; it is probably owing to the truth of its recital, that his letter seems to me not so well calculated for the entertainment of my readers, as those which perhaps borrow a little from fiction, to furnish out their distresses. The epistles of to-day in particular, I have taken the liberty to read to some of the most creditable of my married acquaintance, who are unanimous in declarina the diffefer declaring the distress of which they complain to be perfectly out of nature.
No:75. SATURDAY, July 8, 1786. E troppo barbara quella legge, che vuol disporre del cuor delle donne a costo della loro rovina.
To the AUTHOR of the LOUNGER.
Avignon, May 1786. VOU will perhaps be surprised at receiving
a letter from this place; but if you possess that benevolence which from your writings one is led to ascribe to you, the unfortunate from any quarter may claim some of your notice. My story, I believe, will not be without its use; and if you knew that sort of melancholy indulgence which I feel in addressing a letter to my native country !_But I will not give way to feeling; I mean simply to relate ; and situated as I am, banished from the world, and lost to myself, I can tell my story,—I think I can,-as that of a third person, in which. though I may be interested, I will yet be im-, partial.
My father possessed a small patrimonial estate in the county of , and married, in early D 3
life, a lady whose birth was much above her fortune, and who unluckily retained all the pride of the first, tho it but ill suited the circumstances of the latter. The consequences were such as might naturally be looked for. My father was involved in an expenfive style of life, which in a few years obliged him to sell his estate for payment of his debts. He did not live to feel the distresses to which he might have been reduced ; and after his death my mother took up her refidence in a country-town, where the pittance that remained from the reversion of my father's effects, aslifted by a small pension from government, which a distant relation of my mother's procured for us, enabled her to educate me on that fober plan which necessity had now taught her to adopt.
Our situation, however, ftill allowed her to mix something of the genteel in my education : and the place in which we lived was inhabited by several families, who, like, us, had retired from more public and expensive life, and still retained somewhat of that polith which former intercourse with the fashionable world had conferred. At the age of feventeen, therefore, I was, I believe, tolerably accomplished; and though I knew nothing of high life, nor indeed wifhed to know it, yet I pofseffed a degree of refinement and breeding rather above what the