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FEW HAPPY MATCHES.
Say, mighty Love, and teach my song,
And who the happy pairs,
To soften all their cares?
Not the wild herd of nymphs and swains,
As custom leads the way:
And be as blest as they.
Not sordid souls of earthly mould,
To dull embraces move :
And make a world of love.
Not the mad tribe that hell inspires
T'improve the burning joy.
Cap mingle hearts and hands :
With osiers for their bands.
Nor can the soft enchantinents hold
The rugged and the keen:
With firebrands tied between.
For love abhors the sight:
Rise and forbid delight..
And feeds their mutual loves :
And Cupids yoke the doves.
DUTIES OF MARRIED WOMEN.
AMONG the most important of the duties peculiar to the situation of a married woman, are to be ranked those arising from the influence which she will naturally possess over the conduct and character of her husband. If it be scarcely possible for two persons connected by the ties of common friendship, to live constantly together, or even habitually to pass much time in the society of each other, without gradually approaching nearer and nearer in their sentiments and habits; still less probable is it, that from the closest and most attractive of all bands of union a similar effect should not be the result. The effect will be experienced by both parties, and perhaps in an equal degree. But if it be felt by one in a greater degree than by the other, it seems likely to be thus felt by the husband. In female manners inspired by affection, and bearing at once the stamp of modesty and of good sense, example operates with a captivating force which few bosoms can resist. When the heart is won, the judginent is easily persuaded. It waits not for the slow process of argument to prove that to be right, which it already thinks too amiable to be wrong. To the fascinating charms of female virtue, when adorned by its highest embellishment, diffidence, the Scriptures themselves bear testimony. St. Peter, addressing himself to married women, some of whom, in those days, had been converted to the Christian religion while their husbands reinained yet in idolatry, speaks in the following terms: “ Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that if any obey not the word, they also, without the word, may be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” To every woman who, in modern times, is unhappy enough to have a husband ignorant of the evidence, unconvinced of the truth, regardless of the precepts, or destitute of the genuine spirit of Christianity, this direction of the apostle indicates an object which ought to be among the Dearest to her heart; and at the same time describes, with an accurate insight into the nature of the human mind, the methods from which, under the superintending control of Providence, the attainment of it is to be expected. But it speaks to married women universally. To every one who discerns in the behaviour of her husband a habit of deviation, in any respect, from the path of Christian rectitude, it speaks the language of instruction and of encouragement. If the example of a wife endearing herself to her husband by "chaste conversation," by purity of manners and of conduct, “ coupled with fear," united with modest respect, and unassuming mildness, would be thus efficacious towards reclaiming a person immersed in the darkness and immoralities of paganism; shall it now be without power to detach him, who daily beholds it, from smaller 'errors? Shall not the divine blessing, which heretofore enabled it to do so much, enable it now to do that which is less ? Its power is neither diminished, nor forsaken of the divine blessing. It labours in secrecy and silence, unobtrusive and unseen. But it is, at this hour, performing its part throughout every quarter of the Christian world, in weaning from prejudices, in dissuading from vice, in fixing the wavering, in softening, the abdurate, in rendering virtue and holiness beloved, in extending the sphere of peace and happiness, and in preparing those on whom it operates for higher felicity hereafter. Women appear to be, on the whole, more disposed" to religious considerations than men. They have minds more susceptible of lively impressions, which religion is
pre-eminent in producing. They are less exposed that the other sex' to the temptations of gross and open vices. They bave quicker feelings of native delicacy, no inconsiderable sopports to virtue. They are more easily excited to tenderness, benevolence, and sympathy. And they are subjected, in a peculiar degree,.to vicissitudes of health adapted to awaken serious thought, and to set before them the prospect and the consequences of dissolution. The sleady glow of piety excited in the mind of the wife has; id pumberless instances, diffused itself through the breast of the husband; and in no instance has it diffused itself through bis breast, without adding to the warmth of connubial affection,
But never let it be forgotten, that female example, if it be thus capable of befriending the cause of religion and the interests of moral, rectitnde, is equally capable of proving itself one of the most dangerous of their foes.. We are all prone to copy a model, though a faulty one, which is continually before us. When the persons by whom it is exhibijed are indifferent to us, we yet conform to it imperceptibly; when they are esteemed and loved, we are eospared into imitation even with open eyes. She who, at present, has no piety of heart, or so far mistakes the essence of Christian piety as to regard it as a matter but of secondary importance, knows not whether she shall not have to answer at tbe day of retribution for having betrayed her husbaud into a neglect of his eternal welfare. She who sets the pattern of slighting one Christian precept, contributes not only to lead her husband into the same sin, but likewise to weaken his attachment to every other Christian ordinance, and to impair the sense which he entertains, be it more or less strong, of the obligation and importance of the other precepts of the gospel. If you are a little capable of being, in the most important points, a beneficial companion to your husband; beware, at least, of being a noxious associate. If you are unable to forward his course in the paths of virtue and religion; as least beware that he be not impeded and misled by failings borrowed from yourself. Be not, however, disposed to conclude that your modest endeavours to promote his best interests are in vaio. Be not weary in well doing," nor despair. Persevere in your exertions, for your husband's sake, as well as for your own. Unavailing as they have bitherto proved, at a future period they may be rendered, by the blessing of Providence, sue cessful. Even now, unpromisiog: as appearances may be you may have sown seed which, under the fostering inAuence of reflection, of sickness, and of sorrow, may spring up and bear.excellent fruit hereafter.
But, whatever be the influence which the amiable virtue of a wife may obtain over her husband; let not the consciousness of it ever lead ber to seek opportunities of displaying it, nor to cherish a wish to intrude into those departments which belong not to her jurisdiction. Content with the province which reason and revelation have assigned to her, and sedulous to fulfil, with cheerful alacrity, the duties which they prescribe; let her equally guard against desiring to possess undue weight over her husband's conduct, and against exercising amiss that which properly belongs to her. Let her remember too, that the just regard which has been acquired by artless attractions, may be lost by unwarrantable and teasing competition.
To preserve unimpaired the affections of her associate, to convince him that in his judgment of her character formed antecedently to marriage, he was neither blinded by partiality, nor deluded by artifice, will be the uniform study of every woman who consults her own happiness and the rules of Christian duty. The strongest attachment will decline, if it suspect that it is received with diminished warmth. And the suspicion will present itself to the mind of a busband, who sees not in the behaviour of his wife a continuance of that solicitude to render herself pleasing to hiin, which he had experienced at the commencement of their union. The advice which has been publicly and seriously given, that a married woman should ever conceal with care from her husband the extent of her affection for him, is happily too absurd to gain many converts among women who really love those to whom they are united ; and too dif. ficult to be frequently put in practice by wives of that de. scription, should they blindly desire to follow it.
Next to the attractions of virtue, the qualification which contributes, perhaps, more than any other to cherish the tender feelings of regard, and to establish connubial happiness, is good temper. li is indeed itself a virtue. As far as it is the inere gift of nature, it is not in strictness entitled to that appellation. But as far as it results from conscien, tious cultivation and vigilance, it has a claim to the honourable distinction. Some minds are originally imbued with an ampter share of benevolence and kindness than bas beca infused into others. The difference is obvious, even in early childhood. Care, however, and exertion, founded on a 18