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and happiness of the wedded pair in a common tomb. cradle of jealousy is the sepulchre of domestic bliss.
MUTUAL FORBEARANCE is indispensable in this relation. Excellent as may be the characters of both the parties, neither of them has married an angel. The lesson TO BEAR AND FORBEAR," must come into their "preaching and practice."
"The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to forbear,
Strange, indeed, would it be, if, as the months roll on, no imperfections should be manifest in each other's character. For nothing is wholly pure and perfect this side the throne of God. The snow-white lily that unfolds itself to the morning sun, may have an imperfect petal. The sparkling diamond a fortune-treasure in itself- may have a tiny flaw. And the sun, the reflection of the Creator's gloryhath spots upon his burnished disc. And it were strange if blemishes did not stain all human characters, if defects did not mar human conduct, requiring all to learn the difficult lesson, "TO FORGIVE AND FORGET."
"For the best compensation is paid for all ill,
When the check with contrition is wet,
And every one feels it is possible, still,
At once to FORGIVE AND FORGET."*
Hence the need of mutual forbearance in the marriage state, upon the principle that both have faults. The husband should look upon the blemishes of his wife as he regards the spots upon the sun; and vice versa.
MUTUAL GOOD TEMPER is another duty of the wedded. There are "moods" in matrimony as well as in grammar
the equable, peevish, fretful and temper is in one or the other.
that flows like a
scolding moods — and the
The first is known by the peace sea of glass;" and the others by the withering look or the flash of harsh invective. One severe reply ever breeds another, until the domestic altar is made the rostrum for enacting the famous drama, "TIT FOR TAT." And all lookers-on come to feel that Wolcott, in his Peter Pinder, is not so wrong after all.
"Wedlock's a saucy, sad, familiar state,
Where folks are very apt to scold and hate.”
A good temper is less expensive than a bad one; and the kind words which it prompts, may be uttered without blistering the tongue. They cost little, and slip out from the heart without alarming the conscience. They neither break nor bruise anything, nor wound a heart, though they sometimes burn by heaping "coals of fire" on erring peoples' heads. There are passionate words, and sarcastic words, and idle words, and vain words, and spiteful words, and silly words, and great swelling words; but they all slink away for very shame before the kind words of a mild and equable temper. Tart words make no friends." The fol lowing lines were sent to Matthew Henry, the Commentator at the time of his marriage, by his venerable father.
"Love one another; pray oft together; and see
If one speak fire, t'other with water come;
Is one provoked? be t'other soft or dumb."
A scold for a companion is the bane of domestic bliss, and worst of all if it be the WIFE. Habitual scolding renders either party unloving and unloveable. Mr. A wonders tha;
his wife is so mute and unsocial as the shades of evening are gathering. And Mrs. B is at her "wits' end' to learn the reason her husband dislikes her company, and spends his evenings at the tavern. But, in both instances, the reason lies in the fact that they are habitual fretters or scolders. Many a man has been driven to the tavern, and his cups, and to a drunkard's grave, by a peevish and fretful wife. And many a wife has had her heart and hopes crushed, and been plunged in mental misery, by a similar cruel spirit on the part of her husband.
The following incidents are illustrative of an equable temper. A married man was spending the evening as usual with his jovial companions at the tavern. The conversation, in the course of the evening, was directed to the faults of their wives. One of the number declared, after a tart discourse upon the provocations of married life, that his wife was, nevertheless, a woman of remarkable good temper, and added, were I to take you gentlemen home with me at midnight, and order her to rise and get you a supper, she would be all submission and cheerfulness." The company were incredulous, and a wager was staked. So about midnight they started to make the experiment. Being admitted, "Where is your mistress?" said the husband to the maid servant who sat up for him. "She is gone to bed, sir!" "Call her up," said he. “Tell her I have brought some friends home with me, and desire she would get up, and prepare them a supper.' At once "the woman obeyed the unreasonable summons, and received the company with perfect civility; told them she happened to have some chickens ready for the spit, and supper should be prepared as soon as possible. The supper was accordingly served up; when she performed the honors of the table with as much cheerfulness as if she had expected company at a proper season." The husband won the wager, and such an exhibition of good temper resulted in making him a better man. It is one of
the rewards of obeying the Apostolic iujunction, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." Such a wife, amid the varied scenes of domestic life, is a kind of moral talisman. She reminds us of " certain aquatic plant which speads its top on the surface of the water, and with wonderful elasticity keeps the surface still, if the water swells or if it falls. In her tongue is the law of kindness." She is like the statue of Memnon in Egypt, giving forth delightful sounds with every rising day, whether in sunshine or in storm. She reminds us of the heavenly temper of our mother Eve, in her reception and entertainment of the angel Raphael. so gentle, so kind, so cheerful, so lovely. Not every husband is thus greeted with a smile, when he unexpectedly brings home even an angel, at a proper time, to dine.
Side by side with this example of an excellent wife, we may place the following example of a husband as happy in his temper. Bishop Cowper had been eight years in collecting materials for his Dictionary. One day, in his absence, his wife, who was afraid he would injure himself by his arduous studies, gathered up all the manuscript notes he had been so long collecting, and in the kindness of her heart committed them to the flames. It was all done to save the good man's life. When he returned, she told him what she had done. Satisfied of the kind motive which prompted her to do it, he cooly replied in these brief words, "Woman! thou hast put me to eight years' study more." The reply was more dignified and christian, and accomplished more than a storm of anger.
A few kind words and oily sentences are not sufficient to atone for a general habit of fretfulness. The rose parts with its lovely hues, and the daisy droops upon the hill-side, if only one sunny day in seven pours genial rays upon it, and the rest is driving storm. There is need of continual kindness in this blest and delicate relation, to welcome peace.
And to this end mutual yielding is needful. For "in love's wars, he who fleeth is conqueror."
MUTUAL ATTENTION is yet another duty of the conjugal relation. It has been said, that, a woman can bear any thing better than a slight." As much may be said of man. Neglect, on either side, may awaken suspicion and jealousy. Both, however, should be careful not to construe every instance of apparent indifference into intentional neglect. The husband has more connection with the world-its numerous cares and anxieties - its failures and sad reverses. same flow of cheerfulness will not always speak in his eye, and throb in his heart. His mind is sometimes intensely absorbed in his wordly affairs, and often jaded and tired by disappointments, so that he may not always return at evening to his family with his wonted joy and cheerfulness. He may omit an accustomed word of greeting. He may be unsocial and silent. And yet this may not be neglect. This the wife should have good sense enough to see and understand. There is a time to talk and a time to be silent time to laugh and a time to reflect —a time to be merry and a time to be sober. On the other hand, the silence or sadness of a wife, her want of interest and attention, should not always be construed into designed neglect by her husband. Abundant reasons for this may exist, and these should first be sought.
There are many practices in married life inconsistent with this mutual attention. One only will be named. The husband often spends his evenings unnecessarily away from home, at the tavern or shops. It is not a very flattering compliment to the social character of his wife. If he prefers the company of his joking neighbors, in tavern or store, to that of his chosen wife at home, there is something wrong in his views and feelings respecting the conjugal relation. Were he compelled to sit solitary and alone, through the lengthy evenings of winter, while his wife is "making merry"