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Be it well-minded, therefore, by all persons eager to commit matrimony, that, like a stratagem in war, this is that one adventure in which a man can err but once. It is a lottery, in which if a prize be missed, he is for ever un

His best or worst fortune is a wife; and
e a man can scarcely possess any thing

Dan a good woman, he can assuredly be
Niwch nothing more intolerable than a bad

ther merchants in such a bargain; The water the whole world to take your

re: de deceived. He who is only

Proseli a horse, examines well his -ww-weighs its qualities and its

:is last he have done foolishly,

lo his bargain at a discount.
me sheh scarcely dispose of an in-

after such fashion at the next
For richer, for poorer, for better,
is his portion until death bring

This is a hard saying,'
sidered of.
as indispensable that your love
An unformity of manners;

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perhaps some difference in tastes offers that concordia discors, that suitable disagreement, which makes up happy wedlock : “ You may depend upon it,” says Coleridge, “that a slight contrast of character is very material to happiness in marriage.”

Yet there are many points on which the unwary must stand warned. Consider your intended helpmate well; view her by the lamp of opportunity; let her temper be regularly assayed and found to possess the requisite carats. Search the fountains of her heart, and search narrowly. This kind of geography may prove the most useful science ever learned.

Beauty (6 in a wife is a very important point: be this snare especially guarded against where not coupled with stauncher qualities. To choose such a companion for the rough highways and head-winds of life, would be the wisdom of projecting a voyage round the world in a gay and painted gondola, without ballast, mast, or rudder! The father of a fool has no joy in him, and a man leagued for life to an animated doll, can hardly achieve happiness! Above all,

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* Table Talk,

1

be not carried adrift by the glitter of accom-
plishments. Choose not the rapier by its


ringing, nor a wife by her singing.'

Though we by no means join in the sentiment of a great philosopher, who being asked when a man should marry, replied—“A young man not yet-an old man not at all !” still there is one consideration belonging to this subject, which at least is obvious and undoubted :—What we would say is expressed to our hands in the language of Dr. Chalmers :

-66 The more we elevate man into a reflective being, and raise his standard of enjoyment, the more will the important step of marriage become a matter of deliberation and delay *.”

- The choice is difficult, the success doubtful, and the engagement perpetual +.” It is a state, the cares and duties of which are many and complicate :-Releasing us from none of our former obligations to society, it imposes on us others yet stronger;- they are such, indeed, as nothing but the truest love can prompt and sweeten!

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* Political Economy.

+ Gibbon.

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NOTES. CHAPTER IX.

(1) The female of rank, or “respectability,” as it is termed, is trained to undergo a species of prostitution which is sanctioned by law. Disguise it as we will, under the fine sounding names of “excellent match," and other specious terms which have been invented to make interest look like affection, the marriage which is entered into by a female for the consideration of wealth or station, is at best but prostitution clothed in the robes of sanctity. Fox's Monthly Repository.

(2) When rank and equipages, or when caprice and levity have induced a couple to unite themselves for life, matrimony has no pleasant side. They accustom themselves to consider each other as the hateful cause of every misfortune they undergo; asperity is mingled with their conversation, coldness with their caresses.-KOTZEBUE.

(3) Si dotata erit, imperiosa ; continuò que viro inequitare conabitur. PETRARCHUS.

(4) It necessarily happens that adverse tempers, habits, and tastes oftentimes meet in marriage; in which case, each party must take pains to give up what offends, and practise what may gratify the other ! A man and woman in love with each other do this insensibly; but love is neither general nor durable ; and where that is wanting, no lessons of duty, no delicacy of sentiment, will go half VOL. I.

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Be it well-minded, therefore, by all persons eager to commit matrimony, that, like a stratagem in war, this is that one adventure in

, which a man can err but once. It is a lottery, in which if a prize be missed, he is for ever undone. His best or worst fortune is a wife; and though a man can scarcely possess any thing better than a good woman, he can assuredly be cursed with nothing more intolerable than a bad one! Be ye

then wise merchants in such a bargain; you may have the whole world to take your choice in, and yet be deceived. He who is only providing for himself a horse, examines well his intended purchase,—weighs its qualities and its capacities, and if at last he have done foolishly, he may rid himself of his bargain at a discount. But a man shall scarcely dispose of an indifferent wife after such fashion at the next market-day.--"For richer, for poorer, for better, for worse," she is his portion until death bring with it separation !—This is a hard saying,' Tone little considered of.

jy no means indispensable that your love id take deep root in conformity of manners ;

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