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BEST REMEDY FOR THEM.

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medium of incensed vanity, that whatever really good qualities remain, far from being appreciated, are utterly undervalued and disdained.

Such examples as the above, which any but the most limited knowledge of human nature and human life must admit to have been drawn from truth, (not imayination,) will, it is hoped, afford a lesson to the young; adding yet another to the many cogent reasons already urged upon those who have the care of their early education, to cultivate those faculties which may best preserve them from fatal mistakes involving the affections, and, through them, the happiness, and, it is not impossible, the respectability of their future lives.

To attempt to lay down precise rules for the formation of happy marriages, would be to furnish conclusive evidence of ignorance and presumption. To prepare the way, by strengthening the judgment and regulating the passions, is all that can be done. Reason seems to point out the necessity of mutual sympathy and affection, as well as of congeniality in tastes and sentiments, between two persons destined to live together; and whose every action, every desire, and every thought must, in some measure, affect one another.*

As a general * Sir Walter Scott seems to have differed widely from this opinion. In his novel of “ The Pirate,” speaking of apparently ill-assorted marriages, he says:

“ A moral and primary carse might easily be assigned for these alies, in the wise dispensations of Providence, that the general balance of wit, wisdom, and amiable qualities of all kinds should be kept up through society at large. For what a world were it, if the wise were to intermarry only with the wise, the learned with the learned, the

principle, I should also contend for parity of age, and no very great disparity of rank and condition; but it is only fair to add, that under the most apparently unfavourable circumstances, a disposition to make the best of every thing, forbearance, selfcontrol, expectations not too highly wrought-in short, a spirit of true Christian benevolence-has often been able to produce good out of evil, and to make that fortunate which was the least promising.

IMPROVIDENT MARRIAGES.

I cannot dismiss this subject without adding a few remarks on those improvident unions, which --guiltless of the base and worldly motives of

amiable with the amiable, nay, even the handsome with the handsome? And is it not evident that the degraded castes of the foolish, the ignorant, the brutal, and the deformed, (comprehending, by the way, far the greater portion of mankind,) must, when condemned to exclusive intercourse with each other, become gradually as much brutalized in person and disposition, as so many ouran-outangs ? When, therefore, we see the 'gentle joined to the rude,' we may lament the fate of the suffering individual; but we must not the less admire the mysterious disposition of that wise Providence which thus balances the moral good and evil of life ; which secures for a family, unhappy in the dispositions of one parent, a share of better and sweeter blood transmitted from the other, and preserves to the offspring the affectionate care and protection of, at least, one of those from whom it is naturally due. Without the frequent occurrence of such alliances and unions-mis-sorted as they seem at first sight the world could not be that for which Eternal Wisdom has designed it-a place of mixed good and evil-a place of trial at once, and of suffering, where even the worst ills are chequered with something that renders them tolerable to humble and patient minds, and where the best blessings carry with them a necessary alloy of embittering depreciation.”

IMPROVIDENT MARRIAGES.

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mercenary marriages — are almost, in an equal degree, productive of heart-corroding disappointment. They generally occur in the middle class of society, in the ranks of mercantile and professional life, where the means are precarious, the fortune prospective, and, thanks to the luxury of the age, the style of living ostentatious and expensive. Contracted while the parties are very young, possibly they promise fair at the outset, exhibiting the usual, or more than the usual, degree of liking-love, as it is called. Should circumstances continue favourable, the union turns out well; but let them prove adverse, and the chances are, that unhappiness is the result; for, alas! the cares and crosses of this chequered existence test severely the strength of the affections. “When Poverty stalks in at the door,” as the old proverb hath it, “ Love flies out at the window.” Then ensue those bitter recriminations, those unavailing regrets that poison domestic peace. We will suppose, however, that conjugal affection is proof against poverty-are there none other besides the loving pair whose welfare may be endangered by their improvidence ? Not to enumerate the difficulties and troubles in which

persons indifferent to them may be involved through their means, are there no innocent, helpless beings, bound to them by the tenderest ties, whose presence may reproach them with the spectacle of an imperfectly educated family, doomed, it may be, to utter degradation, utter destitution, should fate deprive them of their natural protectors ? Such instances are of too frequent occurrence--are they not, indeed, a daily increasing evil—the cause of a very large proportion of the misery and disorder of this country?

Yes—these improvident marriages are a serious offence against society, since it is upon society that they re-act—by society at large that the penalty eventually is paid. Either public charity is directly taxed to support the destitute offspring, or else they are turned loose to prey upon the world in the character of needy adventurers. Let this truth be impressed upon the minds of all—we have no right to indulge even our legitimate inclinations at the expense of others, or at the risk of bringing misfortune upon the head of a single human being.

CHAPTER XVI.

Rational Recreations-Drawing - Tableaux Vivants - Music

Taste and Imagination_Books—Education considered as a

Recreative pursuit_Conversation-Observation-Usefulness. UNDER the general term of RATIONAL RECREATIONS, I propose to consider, not so much what are called the amusements of life, as the satisfactory employment of leisure hours. Supposing previous education to have been conducted on sound principles, I also assume that the occupation of leisure hours, to be productive of real pleasure, must, in some sort, conduce either to the improvement of the mind or the invigoration of the body. Mere dissipation can never satisfy a virtuous and intelligent human being, nor indeed does it thoroughly satisfy those who give way to it, although they have neither the wisdom nor the moral courage to extricate themselves, else why those complainings of weariness and ennui, and of the joylessness of existence which we continually hear?

That amusements, the amusements of the world, as they are called by strict religionists, may, under proper regulations, be partaken of without committing any offence against either morals or reli

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