« EelmineJätka »
The Compiler of this little volume has read a great many books on a great variety of subjects, and has, in almost all of them, discovered something that, in his opinion, deserved to be extracted for further consideration or remark. These extracts encreased at length, to an inconvenient bulk, and it became a question whether they should be committed to the flames, or whether a part of them might not, with some advantage to others, be committed to the press. A judicious friend was consulted, and he decided in favour of the last alternative: to him, therefore, the publication of this farrago is due. May it answer his and the Editor's wish of promoting the public amusement in a manner perfectly harmless, if not instructive. Those to whom it may afford matter of information, discussion, or reflection, will no doubt, speak well of such an attempt to increase the stock of « harmless gaiety."
The word Farrago was, at first, intended as the title of the book ; but the one it now bears was preferred, because it seemed more perfectly to express the Editor's humble opinion of his own endeavors to be useful.
It is not impossible that a very small part of the publication may be original ; some of the remarks will certainly be so ; but of this there will not be enough to give the Editor any better claim to authorship, than is implied in the unpresuming, perhaps ludicrous, title underwhich it now appears. Reader, “ be candid where you can;" and, if you receive the amusement intended for you by the Editor, encouragé him to the publication of a second number, by conveying to him, in some way or other, your approbation of this.
* Commencez au commencement, mon ami," is a piece of very good advice, to be found either in Rabelais or Scarron : But it would be difficult to apply it to a book so circular as we hope this will be, which hardly seems to have any appropriate beginning. If, however, there is a topic of human-prudence upon which it concerns us all to expatiate “ first, last, and without end,” that of marriage may be so considered. Those that are not married, should be taught how to lessen the miseries and increase the enjoyments of married life; and those who never mean to quit the blessedness (such as it is) of the single state, may learn to view with gratitude, the possible miseries which their prudence or their fortune has caused them to avoid.
MARRIAGE AND WOMEN.* In the regulation of Families, so essential to the order and tranquility of life does an unity of government appear, that a leading voice is with much propriety assigned to one of the parties. When a question concerns the common interest, a degree of deference and respect should be paid to the sentiments of the husband ; but this can never authorize that species of usurpation which interferes with the personal happiness of the Wife. No law of God or man can warrant us in making a fellow creature unhappy. Of all tyrants the most execrable and the most to be dreaded is a domestic tyrant. The public tyrant extends his cruelties only to his enemies, or to those whom he happens to esteem as such. The domestic tyrant torments, with a malignancy peculiar to the human species, the gentle and inof. fensive being who honors and adores him, and whose felicity is often dependent on his smile. The fury of a Nero or a Domitian, is of a momentary nature, and is generally satisfied with the life of the object; but the petty despot perpe. tuates his cruelty, puts the victim to a lingering death ; and, like the vulture of Prometheus, renews his infernal task from day to day.
In the present state of Society, I see no means by which the Fair Sex may reasonably hope to escape the evils of domestic tyranny, except by extreme caution and forethought as to those to whom they entrust the future happiness of their lives.
Without presuming to lay down a system for their con duct in a matter of so much importance, my knowledge of characters has suggested a few hints which may be useful in preventing improper connexions ;-and which, on that account, a sense of duty will not allow me to suppress.
If, on any occasion, the morals as well as temper of the
This article is more illustrative, in some respects, of European society, than of the society now existing in the United States ; yet, if the authors of the second series of Salmagundi, published in NewYork, are not unduly severe upon the females of that city, it is time that men should look about them who expect to derive from Marri. age, comfort and respect, instead of ruin and dishonor..See, too, « Weems' God's Revenge of Adultery.".
party with whom a connexion is to be formed, ought to be regarded, it is when the whole of temporal enjoyment and satisfaction is at stake. No vulgar maxim has proved more detrimental to female happiness than that “ a reformed rake makes the best husband." In every instance that has fallen within my observation, the direct contrary has happened. For, in the first place, if the maxim were true, it is far from certain that matrimony will produce a reform. The vanity of an enamoured female may flatter her with the hope that her amiable qualities will effect a reformation ; but experience tells us that the reformation must go deeper than that which is only the effect of an impetuous passion. It must extend to the moral principle; to the whole mode of thinking. A rake is but another term for a sensualist, which in itself implies the quality of selfishne88. He has
been accustomed to sacrifice the best interests of others to - his personal gratification ; and there are more ways than one of trifling with the happiness of a fellow-creature.
Further, the libertine has acquired a despicable opinion of the sex, from conversing only with the depraved part of it ; and we know that matrimonial tyranny usually originates from a contemptible opinion of the female sex. Lastly, in marrying a rake, there are many chances that a woman marries a drunkard or a gamester ; and these are, perhaps, the only vices which are never to be reformed. I might add that, without some notion of religion, morality has but an uncertain basis ; and what rake would be thought to entertain any respect for religion!
I would not have the Ladies fall into the opposite ex. treme ; and, to avoid a profligate, take up with a bigot: Religious enthusiasm has a natural tendency to sour the temper, and the fanatic derives his morality, not from the mild and equitable precepts of the gospel, but from the rigid and tyrannical institutions of the Jews.
Some caution will be requisite also, in engaging with a man whose situation obliges him to be much conyersant with the vicious or uncultivated part of mankind; or whose profession (as that of military and naval officers, schoolmasters,