網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

unfavourable both of men and things ; my friend carries the prisca fides" too much about with him to be perfectly pleased in his dealings with people of business. When we returned home in the evening, he seemed to feel a relief in having got out of the reach of the world, and muttered expressions, not to mention the inflections of his countenance, which, if fairly set down on paper, would almost amount to calling his banker a Jew, his lawyer not a gentle. man, and his agent a pettifogger. He was however, very ready to clap up a truce with his ideas when in company with these several personages; and though he thought he saw them taking ad. vantages, of which I am persuaded they were per. fectly innocent, he was contented to turn his face another way, and pass on. A man of Umphraville's disposition is willing to suffer all the penalties of sil. ļiness, but that of being thought silly.

I

N° 33. TUESDAY, MAY 18, 1779.

AMONG the many advantages arising from cultivated sentiment, one of the first and most truly valuable, is that delicate complacency of mind which leads us to consult the feelings of those with whom we live, by shewing a disposition to gratify them as far as in our power, and by avoiding whatever has a contrary tendency.

They must, indeed, have attended little to what passes in the world, who do not know the importance of this disposition; who have not observed, that the want of it often poisons the domestic hap. piness of families, whose felicity every other circumstance concurs to promote..

Among the letters lately received from my Correspondents, are two, which, as they afford a lively picture of the bad consequences resulting from the neglect of this complacency, I shall here lay before my readers. The first is from a lady, who writes as follows:

To the Author of the Mirror.

SIR,

My father was a merchant of some eminence, who gave me a good education, and a fortune of several thousand pounds. With these advantages, a toler. able person, and I think not an unamiable temper, I was not long arrived at womanhood before I found myself possesed of many admirers. Among othe:s was Mr. Gold, a gentleman of a very respectable character, who had some connections in trade with my father : to him, being a young man of good figure, and of very open and obliging manners, I soon gave the preference, and we were accordingly married with the universal approbation of my friends.

We have now lived together above three years, and I have brought him two boys and a girl, all very fine children. I go little abroad, attend to nothing so much as the economy of our family, am as obliging as possible to all my husband's friends, and study in every particular to be a kind and duti. ful wife. Mr. Gold's reputation and success in business daily increase, and he is, in the main, a kind and attentive husband ; yet I find him so particular in his temper, and so often out of humour about trifles, that in spite of all those comfortab. circumstances, I am perfectly unhappy. . .

VOL. XXXIV.

At one time he finds fault with the dishes at table ; at another, with the choice of my maid-servants; sometimes he is displeased with the trimming of my gown, sometimes with the shape of my cloak, or the figure of my head-dress; and should I chance to give an opinion on any subject which is not perfectly to his mind, he probably looks out of humour at the time, and he is sure to chide me about it when we are by ourselves.

It is of no consequence whether I have been right or wrong in any of those particulars. If I say a word in defence of my choice or opinion, it is sure to make matters worse, and I am only called a fool for my pains ; or, if I express my wonder that he should give himself uneasiness about such trifles, he answers sullenly, that, to be sure, every thing is a trifle in which I choose to disoblige him.

It was but the other day, as we were just going out to dine at a friend's house, he told me my gown was extremely ugly. I answered, his observation surprised me, for it was garnet, and I had taken it off on hearing him say he wondered I never chose one of that colour. Upon this he got into a passion, said it was very odd I should charge my bad taste upon him ; he had never made any such observation, for the colour was his aversion. The dispute at last grew so warm, that I threw myself down on a set. tee, unable to continue it, while he Aung out of the room, ordered away the coach from the door, and wrote an apology to his friend for our not waiting upon him.

We dined in our different apartments : and though I believe, we were equally sorry for what had passed, and Mr. Gold, when we met at supper, asked my pardon for having contradicted me so roughly ; yet we had not sat half an hour together, when he told me, that, after all, I was certainly mistaken, in

saying he had recommended a garnet colour ; and when I very coolly assured him I was not, he renewed the dispute with as much keenness as ever. We parted in the same bad humour we had done before dinner, and I have hardly had a pleasant look from him since.

In a word, Mr. Gold will allow me to have no mind but his; and, unless I can see with his eyes, hear with his ears, and taste with his palate (none of which I can very easily bring myself to do, as yon must know all of them are somewhat particular), I sée no prospect of our situation changing for the better; and what makes our present one doubly provoking is, that, but for this unfortunate weakness, Mr. Gold, who is in other respects, a very worthy man, would make one of the best of husbands.

Pray tell me, Sir, what I should do in this sia tuation, or take your own way of letting my husband see his weakness, the reformation of which would be the greatest of all earthly blessings to

Yours, &c.

SUSANNA GOLD.

I was thinking how I should answer this letter, or in what way ì could be useful to my Corrrespondent, when I received the following, the insertion of which is, I believe, the best reply I can make to it.

To the AUTHOR of the Mirror.

Sir,

I was bred a merchant; by my success in trade I am now in affluent circumstances, and I have reason to think that I am so with an unblemished character.

Some years ago, I married the daughter of a respectable citizen, who brought a comfortable addition to my fortune ; and, as she had been virtuqusly educated, and seemed chearful and good tempered, as I was myself naturally of a domestic turn, and resolved to make a good husband, I thought we bade fair for being happy in each other.

But, though I must do my spouse the justice to say, that she is discreet and prudent, attentive to the affairs of her family, a careful and fond mother to her children, and, in many respects, an affectionate and dutiful wife ; yet one foible in her temper destroys the effect of all these good qualities. She is so much attached to her own opinions in every trifle, so impatient of contradiction in them, and withal so ready to dispute mine, that, if I disapprove of her taste or sentiments, in any one par. ticular, or seem dissatisfied, when she disapproves of my taste or sentiments, it is the certain source of a quarrel; and while we perfectly agree as to our general plan of life, and every essential circumstance of our domestic economy, this silly fancy, that I must eat, dress, think, and speak, precisely as she would have me, while she will not accommodate herself to me in the most trilling of these particulars, gives me perpetual uneasiness; and with almost every thing I could wish, a genteel income, a good reputation, promising children, and a virtuous wife, whom I sincerely esteem, I have the mortification to find myself absolutely unhappy.

I am sure this foible of my poor wife's will appear to you, Mr. Mirror, in its proper light ; your making it appear so to her, may be the means of al. leviating our mutual distress ; for, to tell you the truth, I believe she is almost as great a sufferer as I am. I hope you will gratify me in this desire ;

« 上一頁繼續 »