« PreviousContinue »
rate parts; and if both refuse, the money remain of course in the mass of my estate, and it is to be difpofed of therewith, according to my will made the seventeenth day of July 1788.
My fine crab-tree walking-stick, with a gold head curiously wrought in the form of the cap of Liberty, I gave to my friend and the friend of mankind, General Washington. If it were a fceptre, he has merited it, and would become it,
E S S A Y S
HUMOROUS, MORAL, AND LITERARY, &c.
ON EARLY MARRIAGES.
TO JOHN ALLEYNE, ESE
DEAR JAC Kg
You desire, you say, my impartial thoughts on the subject of an early marriage, by way of answer to the numberless objections that have been made by numerous persons to your own. You may remember, when you consulted me on the occasion, that I thought youth on both fides to be no objection. Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under my observation, I am rather inclined to think, that early ones stand the best chance of happiness. The temper and habits of the young are not yet become so stiff and uncomplying, as when more advanced in life; they form more easily to each other, and hence many occasions of disgust are removed. And if youth has less of that prudence which is necessary to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of young married persons are generally at hand to afford their ad. vice, which amply supplies that defect; and by early marriage, youth is sooner formed to regu.
lar and useful life ; and poflibly some of those accidents or connections, that might have injured the constitution, or reputation, or both, are thereby happily prevented. Particular circumstances of particular persons, may possibly sometimes make it prudent to delay entering into that state ; but in general, when nature has rendered our bodies fit for it, the presumption is in nature's favour, that the has not judged amiss in making us desire it. Late marriages are often attended, too, with this further inconvenience, that there is not the same chance that the parents shall live to see their offspring educated. children,” says the Spanish proverb, “ are early “ orphans.” A melancholy reflection to those whose case it may be! With us in America, marriages are generally in the morning of life; our children are therefore educated and settled in the world by noon; and thus, our business being done, we have an afternoon and evening
of cheerful leisure to ourselves, such as our friend at present enjoys. By these early marriages we are blessed with more children, and from the mode among us, founded by nature, of every mother suckling and nursing her own child, more of them are raised. Thence the swift progress of population among us, unparalleled in Europe. In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratulate
you molt 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 postponed the change of their condition, find, at length, that it is too late to think of it, and so live all their lives in a situation that greatly leffens a man's value. An odd volume of a set of books, bears not the value of its proportion to the set :
what think you of the odd half of a pair of fciffars ? it can't well cut any thing; it may posfibly serve to scrape a trencher.
Pray make my compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride. I am old and heavy, or I should ere this have presented them in perfon. I shall make but small use of the old man's privilege, that of giving advice to younger friends. Treat your wife always with respect; it will procure respect to you, not only from her, but from all that observe it. Never use a flighting expression to her, even in jeft; for Nights in jest, after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry earnest. Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be induf. trious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At least, you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences. 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 lost a most dear and valuable relation. But it is the will of God and nature, that these mortal bodies bę laid afide, when the soul is to enter into real life. This is rather an embryo state, a preparation for living. A man is not completely born until he be dead. Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals, a new member added to their happy society ? We are spirits. That bodies should be lent us, while they can afford us pleasure, assist us in acquiring knowledge, or doing good to our fellowcreatures, is a kind and benevolent act of God. When they become unfit for these 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
We ourselves, in some cases, pru. dently choose a partial death. A mangled painful limb, which cannot be restored, we willingly cut off. He who plucks out a tooth, parts with it freely, since the pain goes with it: and he who quits the whole body, parts ať once with all pains, and possibilities of pains and diseases, it was liable to, or capable of making him fuffer.
is that way.