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be that in which a young couple find themselves, when just let loose from confinement, and whirling off to the land of promise. When the post-chaise is driving off, and the blinds are drawn up, sure nothing can equal it. And yet, I do not know how, what with the fears of being pursued, or the wishes for greater happiness, not one of my customers but seems gloomy and out of temper. The gentlemen are all sullen, and the ladies discontented.

But if it be so going down, how is it with them coming back? Having been for a fortnight together, they are then mighty good company to be sure. It is then the young lady's indiscretion stares her in the face, and the gentleman himself finds that much is to be done before the money comes in.

For my own part, sir, I was married in the usual way; all my friends were at the wedding; I was conducted with great ceremony from the table to the bed; and I do not find that it any ways diminished my happiness with my husband, while, poor man! he continued with me. For my part, I am entirely for doing things in the old family way; I hate your new-fashioned manners, and never loved an outlandish marriage in my life.

As I have had numbers call at my house, you may be sure I was not idle in inquiring who they were, and how they did in the world after they left me. I cannot say that I ever heard much good come of them; and of a history of twenty-five that I noted down in my ledger, I do not know a single couple that would not have been full as happy if they had gone the plain way to work, and asked the consent of their parents. To convince you of it, I will mention the names of a few, and refer the rest to some fitter opportunity.

Imprimis, Miss Jenny Hastings went down to Scotland

with a tailor, who, to be sure, for a tailor, was a very agreeable sort of a man. But I do not know how, he did not take proper measure of the young lady's disposition: they quarrelled at my house on their return; so she left him for a cornet of dragoons, and he went back to his shop-board.

Miss Rachael Runfort went off with a grenadier. They spent all their money going down; so that he carried her down in a post-chaise, and coming back she helped to carry his knapsack.

Miss Racket went down with her lover in their own phaeton; but upon their return, being very fond of driving, she would be every now and then for holding the whip. This bred a dispute: and before they were a fortnight together, she felt that he could exercise the whip on somebody else besides the horses.

Miss Meekly, though all compliance to the will of her lover, could never reconcile him to the change of his situation. It seems he married her supposing she had a large fortune; but being deceived in their expectations, they parted and they now keep separate garrets in Rosemary-lane.

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The next couple of whom I have any account, actually lived together in great harmony and uncloying kindness for no less than a month; but the lady, who was a little in years, having parted with her fortune to her dearest life, he left her to make love to that better part of her which he valued more.

The next pair consisted of an Irish fortune-hunter, and one of the prettiest modestest ladies that ever my eyes beheld. As he was a well-looking gentleman, all dressed in lace, and as she seemed very fond of him, I thought they were blessed for life. Yet I was quickly mistaken. The

lady was no better than a common woman of the town, and he was no better than a sharper; so they agreed upon a mutual divorce: he now dresses at the York Ball, and she is in keeping by the member for our borough in parliament.

In this manner we see that all those marriages, in which there is interest on the one side and disobedience on the other, are not likely to promise a long harvest of delights. If our fortune-hunting gentlemen would but speak out, the young lady, instead of a lover, would often find a sneaking rogue, that only wanted the lady's purse and not her heart. For my own part, I never saw any thing but design and falsehood in every one of them; and my blood has boiled in my veins, when I saw a young fellow of twenty kneeling at the feet of a twenty thousand pounder, professing his passion, while he was taking aim at her money. I do not deny but there may be love in a Scotch marriage, but it is generally all on one side.

Of all the sincere admirers I ever knew, a man of my acquaintance, who, however, did not run away with his mistress to Scotland, was the most so. An old exciseman of our town, who, as you may guess, was not very rich, had a daughter who, as you shall see, was not very handsome: It was the opinion of every body that this young woman would not soon be married, as she wanted two main articles, beauty and fortune. But for all this a very well-looking man, that happened to be travelling those parts, came and asked the exciseman for his daughter in marriage. The exciseman willing to deal openly by him, asked him if he had seen the girl; «for,» says he, « she is humpbacked.»-« Very well,» cried the stranger, << that « I will do for me.»-« Ay," says the exciseman, «but my daughter is as brown as a berry. » »-« So much the better,"

cried the stranger; « such skins wear well.»—« But she is bandy-legged," says the exciseman.« No matter, » cries the other; «her petticoats will hide that defect. »-« But then she is very poor, and wants an eye.› »-« Your description delights me," cries the stranger; « I have been looking out for one of her make; for I keep an exhibition of wild beasts, and intend to show her off for a Chimpanzee."

ESSAY XXIV.

MANKIND have ever been prone to expatiate in the praise of human nature. The dignity of man is a subject that has always been the favourite theme of humanity: they have declaimed with that ostentation which usually accompanies such as are sure of having a partial audience; they have obtained victories because there were none to oppose. Yet from all I have ever read or seen, men appear more apt to err by having too high, than by having too despicable, an opinion of their nature; and by attempting to exalt their original place in the creation, depress their real value in society.

The most ignorant nations have always been found to think most highly of themselves. The Deity has ever been thought peculiarly concerned in their glory and preservation; to have fought their battles, and inspired their teachers their wizards are said to be familiar with heaven; and every hero has a guard of angels as well as men to attend him. When the Portuguese first came among the wretched inhabitants of the coast of Africa, these savage

nations readily allowed the strangers more skill in navigation and war; yet still considered them at best but as useful servants, brought to their coast, by their guardian serpent, to supply them with luxuries they could have lived without. Though they could grant the Portuguese more riches, they could never allow them to have such a king as their Tottimondelem, who wore a bracelet of shells round his neck, and whose legs were covered with ivory.

In this manner examine a savage in the history of his country and predecessors, you ever find his warriors able to conquer armies, and his sages acquainted with more than possible knowledge: human nature is to him an unknown country; he thinks it capable of great things because he is ignorant of its boundaries; whatever can be conceived to be done, he allows to be possible, and whatever is possible he conjectures must have been done. He never measures the actions and powers of others by what himself is able to perform, nor makes a proper estimate of the greatness of his fellows by bringing it to the standard of his own incapacity. He is satisfied to be one of a country where mighty things have been; and imagines the fancied power of others reflects a lustre on himself. Thus by degrees he loses the idea of his own insignificance in a confused notion of the extraordinary powers of humanity, and is willing to grant extraordinary gifts to every pretender, because unacquainted with their claims.

This is the reason why demi-gods and heroes have ever been erected in times or countries of ignorance and barbarity: they addressed a people who had high opinions of human nature, because they were ignorant how far it could extend; they addressed a people who were willing to allow that men should be gods, because they were yet imperfectly acquainted with God and with man. These

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