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They fain would have me think that he
Is faithless to his vow;
Is changed to coldness now;
To glad me with his smile:
That he could so beguile!
His words of love I may not tell,
His looks I could not speak;
And burn upon my cheek!
A fount of purest thought,
And lesson he has taught.
If false, I banish for his sake
My dream of future bliss,
Its wretchedness from this.
And turn my fond eye dim,
And in my evening hymn!
MA TRI MONY.
A FEW REFLECTIONS BY A DISAPPOINTED AND INCORRIGIELE OLD BACHELOR.
Such hath ever been the stupidity of mankind, that they could neverfully appropriate the experience of their predecessors, and learn wisdom from the misfortunes of others ; but they must continually be traversing the circle of the same follies which have caused the wretchedness, and worked the ruin, of generation after generation of others before them, and of their contemporaries around them. Thus Human Nature is still performing the same antics it performed two thousand years ago ; flattered by the same antiquated compliments, seduced by the same ancient devices, and cherishing the same oldfashioned delusions, that have been exposed again and again by the poets, philosophers, historians, and divines, of every successive age. The world does not grow one whit the wiser as it grows older; and, by the united confession of every constituent part of it, is one of the most incorrigible, stupid old fools that was ever beard or read of.
What is true of the whole, is true of individuals. The boy, despite the best lecturing, will not appropriate the wisdom of the old man, although he would save a great deal of time by it. On the contrary, he must arrive at the same results by the same means; be first curious, then positive, then wild, then forcible; by degrees, temperate; when vice and energy expire together, and he atones for the past follies of his own actual career, by the speculative wisdom which he doles out without stint for the benefit of others. So it is on this sub
ject of MARRIAGE ; and being so, I do not fear, in all my severity of experienced bachelorship, to animadvert upon it to the consolation of all well-seasoned, right and tight old-bachelor souls, not doubting that however candidly the true state of the case may be
exposed, there will still be fools enough in the world to maintain the necessary succession of the species.
The old gentleman with whom I have taken rooms, is one who claims to belong to the fraternity of old bachelors, but without any right or title. I disown and disclaim him. He is a bachelor in external circumstance only, and not at heart; for instead of maintaining his position like a soldier, and conducting himself toward the fair sex like a gallant, he has a craven spirit, and a sneaking and luxurious tendency toward the domestic atmosphere of the kitchen and the nursery. I have been unable to cure my friend of his unfortunate delusion. It is particularly prevalent and powerful o' Saturday nights, for which period he reserves the miscellaneous mending which the wear and tear of this rude world make periodically necessary.
On these occasions, having taken off his coat, and adjusted it, with great formality, on the two back posts of an old-fashioned chair, (an heirloom attached to the mansion we inhabit,) giving a deep sigh, as he brushes a parting stroke on the back, to divest it of what he fancied a slight accumulation of dust, but discovers to be a thread-bare dinginess, he places bis shade over his brows, displays his work upon his Jap, with his ' house-wife' at his side, and prepares for his task. Before beginning, however, he gives a side-long glance at the grate, to take due and military distance from the fire, deposites his needle temporarily in his left hand, and taking the scissors in his right, prepares to give a proper disposition to his candles, and gently to clip their wicks. This is the moment when my mouth always involuntarily opens to receive his soliloquy. Drawing a sigh far deeper than that which the trace of Time's finger on his once very respectable coat called forth, he begins :
Oh, how I do wish I had a nice little wife to do these things for me!'
It moves me, at once ; for I compassionate the man, and I can never permit his regrets to proceed farther. “My dear Mr. C I interpose, if you had a wife, you would have to designate to her from time to time what you wished to have done ; and then, perhaps, at the very moment you wished to put the garment in requisition, you would find it in an unwearable state. Why, my dear,' you would say, “this is not mended yet!' 'No,' she would doubtless reply, 'I forgot it.' But I have reminded you of it, love, three or four times.' Well, I have had other things to attend to.' 'I should think you might have an eye to these little things for me; it's but very little that I ask,' Well, I will tell you what it is, Mr.
Ci she adds, growing warm, 'if you married me for nothing else but to attend to your old breeches, and mending of shirts, and sewing on of buttons, I can tell you what it is, you are very much mistaken: you think I have nothing else to take care of but your old clothes. You do n't consider how much I have to attend to in ! And here, unable to contain yourself any longer, you would be very apt to interrupt her by saying : •Well, my dear, if you wont scold, I'll
do it myself. I would rather do any thing than hear you scold.' And so,'I add, you see, my dear friend, you would find yourself with your clothes to mend, and a wife to provide for, into the bargain. Now, Richard,' pursuing my advantage in a familiar tone, 'what rational object would you propose to yourself in getting a wife?'
Oh, I should be so happy! I should like her so well!
* For all the world the plea of a child begging a bauble of its parents ! — and ten to one the child gets whipt for his obstinate solicitations, while you, not a whit the less deserving, and without his youth for your excuse, escape with impunity.'
But to leave our friend: I admit, that if all were perfect, perhaps the most intimately social union we could form, would be the most happy; but, with the ordinary amount of human infirmity about us, it seems much better to ` let well enough alone,' and the part of true practical wisdom, to prefer the known inconveniences of our present condition, which we fully appreciate, yet find very tolerable, to the uncertain annoyances of a domestic revolution. To some, I can well imagine the married state to be desirable. To an old bachelor, with money, but without friends, for example : he may as well purchase friends in this way as any other; and if perchance, as is quite likely, he marries a poor girl, instead of one he may obtain a dozen very eager and sociable friends by the bargain. Indeed, a young man, with a fortune that satisfies his wishes, may a great deal better marry than not.
He must have some annoyances, imaginary or real. Of the two, I should decidedly prefer the latter; and of the latter, perhaps as agreeable a one as any is
But how inconsiderately are unions of this kind usually formed! Not one of the qualities which fit the parties for it, are the determining motives to the contract. A wife's beauty, which is the chief attraction before marriage, like handsome furniture, becomes common by habit : her drawing-room accomplishments are without their use in the domestic apartments; her wit finds no subject but ourselves, or ours, when it becomes downright satire: her music has answered its end, and reposes in the piano-case from its labors. These are what won us. A mild temper is not always found behind the mist with which our imagination has invested the objects of our passions. It is learned for the first time, after marriage, but rarely learned, even then, that, whatever may have been the best means of getting a husband, a good dinner, and a neat, comfortable apartment, are the beast means of keeping him : that a cleverness at housewifery has infinitely more value than the most brilliant execution of a whole opera of Rossini, and that a thrifty hand is much better than a bright eye, to make the pot boil.' In other words, the difference between a useful article of household furniture, and a merely parlor ornament, becomes very clearly discernible, but in a manner not very conducive to our omfort or satisfaction.
To form an alliance in business, no consideration can be too careful, no decision too protracted. Honesty, disposition, ability to discharge the partnership duties, cannot be too rigidly sought for by the calmest and most dispassionate observation, and the most diligent inquiry. This is a business copartnership; the parties meet but on a few points, for the transaction like clerk and principal, or two inde
pendent citizens of mere business affairs, with mutual intelligence and skill. It may last, when formed, for one or two years. In the affair of marriage, when the two parties are to be amalgamated into one, their situations in society, and the most essential part of their enjoyments for life, are dependant upon its propriety. How brief, oftentimes, the interviews, how slight the means of information, or acquaintance ! A few bright smiles, a few confidential glances, a few witty speeches; no part of the ordeal tending to give a calm, dispassionate observer the slightest foundation for a judgment; and the two parties are one! They descend from the heaven of their imaginations, and fall to this earth destined for the repentance of mortals
. Of course, with love, that makes such fools of us, and all our boasted powers of discernment, I keep po terms. It is, to my mind, a mere disease of the imagination; and if I had the nursing of it, I should certainly treat it as I would any other inflammatory distemper. Blood-letting, spare diet, sudorifics, are, depend upon it, allpotent in this business. If any desperate lover doubt it, let him try my remedies ; if he fail, he must be cracked indeed. Yet 1 do not by any means intend to deny that the lover is himself (so Nature has benevolently provided,) resolutely intent on what is, after all, the very best cure for his passion -- possession ; for, let him once marry, and if he be not shortly cured, his disease would baffle Galen and Hippocrates — nay, old Æsculapius himself. He has it in his power, with this recipe, to exchange at any time the pains of the heart for those of the head; and if not wholly to eradicate, at least very effectually to shift the seat of the disease.
ONE evening, sooner than her wont, she sought
Next morning she was dead !
THE BLACK BARON.
"And there ben in that contree ful manye tradiciounes of thinges passed out of long tyme fro mennes syght and fro hir myndes, which soudenlye cometh agen with won. dirfulle tokene: and this is ful gret marveylle.'
SIR JOHN MAUNDEVILLE.
In a certain province of Germany, north of the Mayn, there formerly dwelt a scion of the house of Osnabruck, known by bis serfs and vassals as the Black Baron; a name probably derived from the dark character of their feudal lord, and certainly one which had more meaning than his true title, Baron Von Gliffen.
Some of the old traditions concerning the pedigree of the Baron are still extant; and though all of em concur in making him the offspring of the most beautiful woman conceivable, few seem inclined to allow him a father. Such miraculous occurrences as spontaneous production were too common in those times to excite particular attention : tradition is fraught with instances of the kind ; and all will admit, from the following account of his life and character, that Baron Von Gliffen was as substantial flesh and blood as if he had a dozen fathers.
Throughout Germany there was neither lord nor plebeian could cope with the Baron in drinking hock or Heidenmaur, smoking, eating, or in any thing requiring extraordinary alimentary prowess. Among the most distinguished of his table-cronies, were Baron Schwartenberg, a miracle at despatching roast beef and tossing hock; Herr Von Twitter, a prodigy ; Corporal Thwack, a sort of hyena ; Hyman Der Vheiber, a bottomless pit; Snyder Hans-Globbin, an elastic rum pipe; Herr Cartouchen, a mammoth sponge ; but it was sagely hinted that Baron Von Gliffen was someway akin to the Great Receptacle, or Ditch of Mundus, into which the Romans used to throw a little of every thing, not forgetting the necessaries of life.
In his less serious occupations, the Baron was equally famous. None could hunt with greater success; none could bring to battle a nobler array of followers; and none needed partisans more than the Black Baron, for his feuds were universal; his person the terror of the weak, and the scorn of the strong; nor was it in those times considered disgraceful to make depredations on neighboring barons, to kill their cattle, maltreat their vrouws, and occasionally carry off their daughters and take them to wife, in default of a suitable ransom.
In a predatory excursion of this kind, Baron Von Gliffen vanquished the forces of one Weldimar, a nobleman of high degree; and with his followers, entered the castle of the conquered, to take possession of the booty. Whether rumor had bruited abroad something concerning a certain jewel belonging to the Baron Weldimar, or whether led by instinct, it matters little ; but while his followers were ransacking every other valuable about the castle, Baron Von Gliffen had found his way to the chamber in which the treasure was concealed, and was paying his devoirs to Cristella, the jewel itself, the diamond of beauty! Cristella refused to fly; the Baron per