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who really loved his wife muft adopt all her fentiments, and conform to all her wishes, was ineffectually opposed to the rigid pertinacity with which fir William defended the principles that he had ever confidered to be the out-works of religion and morality. The circumftances which had induced him to put his "free condition into circumfpection" did not appear to him to favour the claims of female fupremacy; and he entertained the very heterodox notion, that when. a lady falls violently in love, the favoured gentleman has a right to expect that he will make an obliging attentive wife, rather more ftudious of his humour, than devoted to the indulgence of her own. This is not the only notion in which the lords of the creation are misled by that vanity of which nature has given them a preponderant fhare. The delicacy of the female mind
may very poffibly be attached to the fplendid titles, large poffeffions, or handfome equipages of a gentleman, when the gentleman himself, confidered apart from all these appendages, would never Strike any body fuperior to his dairymaid. Would it not be unjust to charge a countess with inconfiftency, because the neglected her noble earl, when all the time her heart had been only attracted by the luftre of his coronet? The noble earl's chagrin entirely proceeds from the delufions of felf-flattery, which whif pered that his individual felf was the all-potent load-ftone, when in reality the magnetic influence darted from his elegant villa and liberal fettlement, or per haps an enamelled watch and diamond hoop-ring, might form the infatuating talifman. I hope this explanatory rule will be applied to all matches which proceed from the ftrong attachment of a
* difcreet young creature" to a good fort of a man a few years older than herself." It might preferve many a refpectable bachelor from the vexation of disappointment, and prevent the cenforious from fixing the charge of inconfiftency upon many a lady's character, who rather deferves admiration for unfhaken conftancy.-But to return from my digreffion.
Fashion, who in one of her whimsical moments elevated lady Powerfcourt into a first-rate toaft at Bath, capriciously denied her in London the eclat to which she now conceived herself entitled. The glofs of novelty was paft, and the at-traction of the ridiculous was leffened by the appearance of fresh eccentricities in newer characters: She dreffed with greater taste, and her repartees poffeffed fuperior wit and brilliancy; but the gazer
gazer and the liftener no longer announced her triumph.
My matronly friends affure me, that one prime ingredient of marriage felicity is, that you always have a helpmate at hand, to whom you transfer the burden of faults and misfortunes. Lady Powerf court could find no other reason for her going out of fashion, than that fir William, not content with his own fingularities, had abfolutely prohibited her from dashing in a grand ftyle. No entreaties would prevail upon him to let lord Jehu drive her in his phaeton up the park in a morning, though his ponies were the sweetest little fpirited creatures in the world, and the ride would be of infinite fervice to her health and fpirits. Her head was nine inches lower than any body's at the opera, and though moft ladies wore fruit and vegetables by way of aigrette, and lady Morgan
fported a beautiful bunch of amethyst grapes with a little gold chaffinch peck. ing at them, the herself must wear nothing but plain riband and blond. She might not even play for gold; nay, fir William was fo puritanic, and fuch an enemy to a little harmless mirth, that she was forced to be as cautious in avoiding a double entendre or a witticifm upon prieftcraft, as if fhe were wife to the Archbishop of Canterbury. What woman of spirit could brook fuch reftrictions? If he must be moped up, better return and rufticate at Powerf court, than fit like Tantalus within reach of the defired enjoyment which fhe was not permitted to share. She hinted to her husband fomething like a wish to do fo in a moment of moody difcontent, occafioned by his peremptory declaration that the fhould not go to a mafquerade, though the ticket was proD 5 cured,