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Say, fhould the philofophic mind difdain
THE fang froid with which lord Monteith always treated every fcheme not immediately connected with his own pleafures, frequently communicated a fevere pang to the liberal mind of the countess. Her delicacy was hurt at the grofs character of his amufements, and her vanity was piqued by perceiving that the tenaciousness of long-indulged habit would not yield to the fascination of her refined accomplishments. Like Desdemona, she was an excellent musician, and could fing the favage
nefs out of a bear." Her mellifluous voice and fweet-toned harp ftill retained all their exquifite power of transfufing harmony and delight into her husband's foul, while the early horn or the convivial appointment called him from the fyren in vain. But if he fought to lead his attention to the blooming wilderness of sweets planted by her hand, or the fcarcely lefs glowing garland created by her pencil, he inftantly recollected fome infurmountable engagement which required every moment of his time. She was equally unfortunate if the attempted to interest him in the hiftory of her colony, as the termed her neat little white village; or if, opening the stores of her capacious mind, fhe fought to difcufs fome topic of literary taste, her arguments might be brilliant, but unlefs they were compreffed within the ftrictest rules of Spartan brevity, her
lord was either difcovering the wit of his fpaniel, or had fallen fast asleep.
Yet his heart was juft to her merits, and his tongue fo copious in her praise, that he was fometimes inclined to thrust in the agreeable fubject without proper preparation. He was confidered by all who visited at the caftle to be a most perfect paragon of connubial merit; and lady Monteith was as univerfally pronounced to be a happy woman; with which opinion I am inclined to coincide, notwithstanding that the power of Gyges' magic ring, invariably poffeffed by all novel writers, has enabled me to peep behind the curtain, and to see the corroding forrow which a prudent wife will not only conceal from public obfervation, but even withhold from the knowledge of her bofom friend.
My young female readers, whose notions of nuptial felicity are drawn from
the delufive pages of a circulating library, will start at the harsh tenet which feems to affirm, that a great number of married ladies may affign caufes for difcontent of a feverer nature than what fometimes affected the tranquillity of the blooming Geraldine. Fearful left they fhould fuppofe my doctrine ambiguous, or imagine that the happiness of the lady was wholly owing to the amiable conftitution of her own mind, I will very plainly tell them, that, though caufes for vexation occafionally occurred, lafting unhappiness in fuch a fituation could only proceed from a difcontented, ill-regulated temper, or a perverted judgment, which, instead of forming an estimate of life as it really. is, erects a fallacious standard, by which it decides upon what is due to its own deferts, and how far others at as they ought. Reverse this laft fentence, and
let the fair fcrutinizer of her husband's faults contemplate the errors of her own behaviour; let her recollect the duties fhe has heedlessly omitted, and the provocations fhe has undefignedly given; and let her then use the experience the derives from felf-examination in her estimate of the conduct of her partner. After making fome deductions for the stronger temptations to which the other fex are expofed by their more impetuous paffions and blunter feelings, that indulgence of their hu mours which their manners in early youth permit, and their hereditary notions of fuperiority derived from Adam; I fay, fhe will then, perhaps, justly refer the apparent neglect or cruel unkindness which had juft extorted her tears, to fome. thing of business, which " had puddled his clear temper," and fent him home rather with an expectation of having his humours