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HUMOROUS, MORAL, AND LITERARY, &c.
ON EARLY MARRIAGES.
TO JOHN ALLEYNE, ESQ
YOU defire, you fay, my impartial thoughts on the fubject of an early marriage, by way of anfwer to the numberlefs objections that have been made by numerous perfons to your own. You may remember, when you confulted me on the occafion, that I thought youth on both fides to be no objection. Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under my obfervation, I am rather inclined to think, that early ones ftand the beft chance of happiness. The temper and habits of the young are not yet become fo ftiff and uncomplying, as when more advanced in life; they form more easily to each other, and hence many occafions of difguft are removed. And if youth has lefs of that prudence which is neceffary to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of young married perfons are generally at hand to afford their advice, which amply fupplies that defect; and by early marriage, youth is fooner formed to regu
lar and useful life; and poffibly fome of thofe accidents or connections, that might have injured the conftitution, or reputation, or both, are thereby happily prevented. Particular circumftances of particular perfons, may poffibly fometimes make it prudent to delay entering into that ftate; but in general, when nature has rendered our bodies fit for it, the prefumption is in nature's favour, that he has not judged amifs in making us defire it. Late marriages are often attended, too, with this further inconvenience, that there is not the fame chance that the parents fhall live to fee their offspring educated. "Late children," fays the Spanish proverb," are early
orphans." A melancholy reflection to thofe whofe cafe it may be! With us in America, marriages are generally in the morning of life; our children are therefore educated and fettled in the world by noon; and thus, our business being done, we have an afternoon and evening of cheerful leifure to ourselves, fuch as our friend at prefent enjoys. By thefe early marriages we are bleffed with more children; and from the mode among us, founded by nature, of every mother fuckling and nurfing her own child, more of them are raifed. Thence the fwift progrefs of population among us, unparalleled in Europe. In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratulate you most cordially upon it. You are now in the way of becoming a useful citizen; and you have escaped the unnatural state of celibacy for life-the fate of many here, who never intended it, but who having too long poftponed the change of their condition, find, at length, that it is too late to think of it, and fo live all their lives in a fituation that greatly leffens a man's value. An odd volume of a fet of books, bears not the value of its proportion to the fet :
what think you of the odd half of a pair of fciffars? it can't well cut any thing; it may poffibly serve to fcrape a trencher.
Pray make my compliments and beft wishes acceptable to your bride. I am old and heavy, or I should ere this have prefented them in perfon. I fhall make but fmall ufe of the old man's privilege, that of giving advice to younger friends. Treat your wife always with refpect; it will procure refpect to you, not only from her, but from all that obferve it. Never ufe a flighting expreffion to her, even in jeft; for flights in jeft, after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry earneft. Be ftudious in your profeffion, and you will be learned. Be induftrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be fober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At leaft, you will, by fuch conduct, ftand the best chance for fuch confequences. I pray God to bless you both! being ever your affectionate friend,
ON THE DEATH OF HIS BROTHER,
Mr. JOHN FRANKLIN.
TO MISS HUBBARD.
I CONDOLE with you.
We have loft a
moft dear and valuable relation. But it is the will of God and nature, that these mortal bodies be laid afide, when the foul is to enter into real life. This is rather an embryo ftate, a preparation for living. A man is not completely born until he be dead. Why then fhould we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals, a new member added to their happy fociety? We are fpirits. That bodies fhould be lent us, while they can afford us pleasure, affift us in acquiring knowledge, or doing good to our fellowcreatures, is a kind and benevolent act of God. When they become unfit for thefe purposes, and afford us pain instead of pleasure, instead of an aid become an incumbrance, and answer none of the intentions for which they were given, it is equally kind and benevolent that a way is provided by which we may get rid of them. Death is that way. We ourselves, in fome cafes, prudently choose a partial death. A mangled painful limb, which cannot be reftored, we willingly cut off. He who plucks out a tooth, parts with it freely, fince the pain goes with it: and he who quits the whole body, parts at once with all pains, and poffibilities of pains and diseases, it was liable to, or capable of making him fuffer.