Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

DEAR JACK, You desire, you say, my impartial thoughts on the Buluject of an early marriage, by way of answer to the numberless ohjections that have been made by Qumerous persons to your own. You may remember, when you consulted me on the occasion, that I thought youth on both sides to be no objection. Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under my observation, Tam rather inclined to think, that early ones stand the best chance of happiness. The temper and labits of the young are not yet become so stiff and uncoir. plying, as when more advanced in life; they form inore 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 percons are generally at hand to afford their advice which amply supplies that defect; and, by early mar riage, youth is sooner formed to regular and usefu life ; and possibly some of those accidents, or con nexions, that might have injured the constitution, or eputation, or both, are • ereby happily prevented Particular circumstances of particular persons, may possibly sonjetines make it prudent to delay entering into that state ; but, in general, when nature has ren dered our bodies fit for it, the presumption is in na ture's favour, that she has not judged aniss in mak


ing us desire it. Late marriages are often attended, too, with this further inconvenience, that there is not the sainu chance that the parents should live to see their offspring educated. Late children," says the Spanish proverb, " are early orphans.” A melan. choly reflection to those whose case it may be! With us in America, marriages are generally in the morn. ing of life; oir children are therefore educated and settled in the world by noon; and tius, our business being done, we have an asteroon and evening o cheerful leisure to ourselves, such as our friend at present enjoys. By these early marriages we are blsssed with more children; and from the mode anong us, founded by nature, of every !nother suckJing 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 most cordially upon it. You are now in the way of be coming a viseful citizen; and you have escaped the umnatural state of celibacy for life--the fate of inany here, who never intended it, but who isaving too long postponed the change of their conditions, find, at length, that it is too late to :hink of it, and so live all their lives in a situation that greaily lessens a man's value. An odd volume of a sei of books, hears not the value of its proportion to the set; what think you of the odd half of a pair of scissors; it cant well cut any thing; it may possibly serve to scrape a trencher.

Pray make my compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride. I am old and heavy, or ! should ere this have presented them in person. I hall make but small use of the old man's privilege, hat 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 obscrve it. Never use a slighting expression to her, even in jest ; for slights in jest, after frequent bandyi:igs, are apt to end in angry earnest. Be stuctions in your pro fession, and you will be learned. Be industrioll, and frugal and you will be rich. Be sober and *emper. ate, and you will be healthy. Be in gene, ai virtu. ous, and you will be happy. At least, you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for such con. sequences.

I pray God to bless you both! being ever your affectionate friend,



TO MISS HUBBARD. { 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 be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life. This is rather an embryo state, a preparation for living. A ma is nut completely born until he be dead. Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immor. tals, a new member added to their happy society? We are spirits. That bodies should be lent us, while while they can afford us pleasure, assist us in acquir. ing knowledge, or doing good to our fellow-creatures, is a kind and bencvolent act of God. When they become unfit for these purposes, and afford us pain instead of pleasure, instead of an aid bicomes 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 some cases, prudently choose a partial death.' A mangled painful limb, which cannot be restored, w willingly cut off. He who plucks out a tooth, part with it freely, since the pain goes with it: and he who quits the whole body, parts at once with all pains, and possibilities of pains and diseases, it was liable to, or capable of making him suffer.

Our friend and we are invited abroad on party of pleasure, which is to last for ever. His chair was ready first; and he is gone before us. We could not all conveniently start together; and why should you


[ocr errors]

and I be gricved at this, since we are soon to follow and know where to find him ?





REV. STR, I RECEIVED your kind letter, with your excellent advice to the people of the United States, which I read with great pleasure, and hope it will be duly regarded. Such writings, though they may be lighaly passed over by many readers, yet if they make a deep inpression on one active mind in a hundred, the effects may be considerable.

Permit me to mention one little instance, which, thongh it relates to myself, will not be quite uninter. esting to you. When I was a boy, I met with a book entitled “Essays to do good," which I think was written by your father. It has been so little rogarded by a former possessor, that several leaves of it were torn out; but the remainder gave me such a turn of thinking, as to have an influence on my con. duct through life ; for I have always set a greater value on the character of a doer of good, than any other kind of reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book.

You mention your being in your seventy-eighth year. I am in my seventy-ninth. We are grown old together. It is now more than sixty years since I left Boston; but I remember well both your father and grandfather, having heard them both in the pulpit, and seen them in their houses. The last time I saw your father was the beginning of 1724, when I visited

me :

him after iny first trip to Pennsylvania. He received me in his library; and, on my taking leave, showed ine a shorter way out of the house, through a nartow passage, which, was crossed by a bearn over head. We were still talking as I withdrew, he accompanying me behind, and I turning partly' towards bim, when he said hastily, “Swoop! stoop!" I did not understand hiin till I feli my head hit against the beam. He was a man who never inissed any occa sion of giving instruction; and upon this he said to

“ You are young, and have the world before you: stoop as you go through it, and you will miss many hard thumps." This ailvice, thus beat into my heail, has frequently been of use to me; and I uften think of ic when see pride mortified and misfortunes brought upon people by their carrying their heads !00 high.

I long much to see again my native place; and once hoped to lay my bones there. I left it in 1723. I visited it in 1733,1743, 17533, aud 1763; and in 1773 I was in England. In 1775 I had a sight of it, but could not enter, it being in peesession of the enemy. I did hope to have been there in 1783, but could not obtain my dismission froin this employment here; and now I fear I shall never have that happinesą. My best wishes however attend my dear country, perpetua." It is now blessed with an excellent constitution : may it last for ever!

This powerful monarchy continues its friencship for the United States. It is a friendship of the ut. most innp.jriance to our security, and should be carefully cultivated. Britain has not yet well digested the loss of its dominicn over us; anel has still at imes soiric flattering hopes of recovering it. Acci dents may increase those hopes, and encourage dan gerous attempts. A breach between us and France would i..fallibly bring the English again upon our backs: and yet we have some wild heasts among our countrynen, who are endeavouring to weaken that conexion.

Let us preserve our reputation, by performing our engagements; our credit, log fulfilling our ccatracts; and our friends, by gratitude and kindness : for wo

" esto

« PreviousContinue »