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103 Degradation of the Stage--Dignity of Human
thinkers-The latter how to be treated-
term Madam-Indecorums at Church—
N° 85. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1709.
From my own Apartment, October 24.
My brother Tranquillus, who is a man of business, came to me this morning into my study, and after very many civil expressions in return for what good offices I had done him, told me, "he desired to carry his wife, my sister, that very morning, to his own house." I readily told him, "I would wait upon him," without asking why he was so impatient to rob us of his good company. He went out of my chamber, and I thought seemed to have a little heaviness upon him, which gave me some disquiet. Soon after my sister came to me, with a very matron-like air, and most sedate satisfaction in her looks, which spoke her very much at ease; but the traces of her countenance seemed to discover that she had been lately in a passion, and that air of content to flow from a certain triumph upon some advantage obtained. She no sooner sat down by me, but I perceived she was one of those ladies who begin to be managers within the time of their being brides. Without letting her speak, which I saw she had a mighty inclination to do, I said, "Here
has been your husband, who tells me he has a mind to go home this very morning, and I have consented to it."-" It is well," said she," for you must know- "Nay, Jenny," said I, "I beg your pardon, for it is you must know-You are to understand, that now is the time to fix or alienate your husband's heart for ever; and I fear you have been a little indiscreet in your expressions or behaviour towards him, even here in my house." "There has," says she, "been some words: but I will be judged by you if he was not in the wrong : nay, I need not be judged by any body, for he gave it up himself, and said not a word when he saw me grow passionate, but, Madam, you are perfectly in the right of it: as you shall judge« Nay, Madam," said I, " I am judge already, and tell you, that you are perfectly in the wrong of it; for if it was a matter of importance, I know he has better sense than you; if a trifle, you know what I told you on your wedding-day, that you were to be above little provocations." She knows very well I can be sour upon occasion, therefore gave me leave to go on.
"Sister," said I, "I will not enter into the dispute between you, which I find his prudence put an end to before it came to extremity; but charge you to have a care of the first quarrel, as you tender your happiness; for then it is that the mind will reflect harshly upon every circumstance that has ever passed between you. If such an accident is ever to happen, which I hope never will, be sure to keep to the circumstance before you; make no allusions to what is passed, or conclusions referring to what is to come: do not show an hoard of matter for dissention in your breast; but, if it is necessary, lay before him the thing as you understand it, candidly, without being ashamed of acknowledging an error,