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existence of matrimonial happiness, was introduced upon the stage as having experienced a sudden change of heart, and become a convert, as by miracle, to the ways of religion and virtue. The same preposterous reformation occasionally finds a place in compositions of modern date. The reasons which have induced many writers, by no means unskilled in the science of human nature, to construct their dramas on a plan so unnatural, are evident. Following the bent of his own contaminated mind, or solicitous only to suit the taste of a corrupted audience, the author conceived immorality seasoned with wit to furnish the most copious and attractive fund of entertainment. He formed his plot, drew his characters, and arranged his incidents accordingly. His catastrophe was to turn on the usual hinge, marriage. But though he had, without scruple, exhibited his hero through four entire acts, and three-quarters of the fifth, as unprincipled ; yet, in the final scene, to unite him, unprincipled as he was, to the lady of his wishes, a lady whom it had been found convenient to represent throughout the drama in a much more respectable light than her intended husband, was an indecorum too flagrant to be hazarded. For form's sake, therefore, it was necessary that an instantaneous reformation should be supposed to be wrought in his heart. Let the female sex be assured, that whenever, on the stage of real life, an irreligious and immoral young man is suddenly found, when on the eve of matrimony, to change his external conduct, and to recommend himself by professions of a determination to amend; the probability that the change is adopted, as in the theatre, for the sake of form and convenience, and that it will not be durable after the purposes of form and convenience shall have been answered by it, is one of those which approach the nearest to certainty.

THE HYMENEAL CHARTER.

TO HER NEPHEW, ON HIS MARRIAGE.-BY HELEN MARIA

WILLIAMS.

Child of my heart; while others hail
This festive morn when joys prevail,
With careless wishes they may last,
Spite of all annals of the past;
As if for thee alone secure,
Their fleeting nature would endure,
With roses strewing all the way,
And life were but a bridal day ;-
For me, by pensive thoughts opprest,
The future fills my anxious breast;
And flow’rs that fade, and joys that flee,
Are not the things I ask for thee !
My heart for thee has learnt to prove,
The throbbings of a mother's love;
Since on thy cradle fell the tear
That mourn’d a sister's early bier;
And sure that angel's sainted prayer
Has shed sweet influence o'er my care :
To sorrow doom'd in all the rest,
And only in her children blest !
While now you sign, with hope elate,
The civic register of fate;
Or, at the holy altar bow,
To ratify the plighted vow,
Which made aright, or breath'd amiss,
Includes all future woe or bliss ;
While kneeling youth, and weeping beauty,
Hear the grave ritual of their duty,
And the stern rubrick well approve,
That charges to be true to love ;-
This compact that for ever binds
In holy links to kindred minds,
Their happiness to be their mutual barter,
This solemn league we'll call a CHARTER;
Th' allusion never can be wrong,
While omens to the name belong ;
Palladium that has all withstood.
And harbinger of boundless good.

And ever may its hallow'd law
Your willing hearts together draw !
Ah! may no ultra thirst of pow'r
Ambitter life's domestic hour;

;

No principles of feudal sway
Teach, without loving, to obey;
The heart such joyless homage slights,
And wedlock claims its Bill of Rights.
May you to virtue, nobly just,
Disdain the whisper of mistrust;
Your truth her dark police may brave,
Made for the tyrant and the slave.-
May discord pass with sullen tread,
Far from the threshold of your shed
With accents that on harshness border,
And words that love would call to order :
Or, Veto, he would pine to hear,
Protesting only by a tear.-
Nor when true fondness with submission
Her right asserting of petition,
Shall meekly hint at some abuse,
Or some reform of gen’ral use,
Unheeding all that she may say,
Pass to the order of the day.

Nor bidding every blessing fade, Let jealousy your peace invade; Whose shadow clings to all that's dear, And adds the length'ning shapes of fear ; Whose mind, with sickly colours ting'd, Discerns in all, the code infring'd; Reads violations in the eye, And marks the treason of a sigh; Or loads a tear with false aspersion, Mistaking sorrow for aversion i Or construes into acts of guile The tender pleadings of a smile; Condemns unheard, with ultra fury, Nor suffers love to call a jury, Where innocence, with pride appears, Safe in a trial by her peers.

Thus having ne'er from duty swery'd, The faith of treaties well observ'd ; When time your destin'd lot shall fling Of sorrow from his loaded wing ; For you, of other good bereft, Unchanging love will still be left; Not like the world, he then will roam, But rest, the morning star of home. Not yours, their bitter fate, who know That agony

of lonely woe,

An alter'd heart was bound to share,
Nor find defence, nor charter there !

For you, to every duty true,
The Charter held in rev'rence due,
Each tender clause shall habit zeal,
With no suggestion of repeal ;
Firm to the

law of true election,
And treating change with stern rejection ;
Tho'time the graceful form has worn
To which fidelity was sworn.
For not alone with blooming youth
Is made that league of lasting truth;
The compact sign'd with beauty now,
Includes wan age, with wrinkled brow,
With tresses gray, with visage pale,
And eyes whose liquid lustre fail;
For then the hand, that shrivell'd thing,
Shall still display the nuptial ring,
Pledge of your faith, and cherish'd token
Of vows, thro' lengthen'd years unbroken,
When all that's left of passion's flame
Is friendship, with a dearer name.

Thus be the charter'd code imprest,
With all its statutes, on your breast;
No duty it enjoins forsook,
Till time at length shall close the book ;
And hope shall

frame, for worlds to come,
A treaty that survives the tomb.

CHAP. VIII.

THE PLEASURES OF MARRIED LIFE-continued.

The union of the virtuous in the holy state of matrimony, opens a new source of pure and innocent joys, and cherishes all the social affections of nature.

The treasures of the deep are not so precious,
As are the concealed coinforts of a man

Lock'd up in woman's love!

Happy the man who is blessed with a virtuous wife." And,

Happy the fair, who, with a virtuous mind,
Can in her husband every solace find;
Tho' not by affluence cheer'd, in humble life
Proud of that best of titles, faithful wife;
The world's vain praise, or blame, her least regard,
Her husband's smile her chief, her sole reward.
For him she lives,-in him alone confides,
His wish-his will—his every action guides ;
The ray of pure affection warmly glows,
And o'er her home eternal sunshine throws.

Then will the pleasures of love be truly experienced, and the delighted husband will address his partner in some such language as the following :

When on thy bosom I recline,
Enraptur'd still to call thee mine,

To call thee mine for life ;
I glory in the sacred ties,
Which modern wits and fools despise,

Of Husband and of Wife.
One mutual flame inspires our bliss,
The tender look, the melting kiss

E'en years have not destroy'd ;
Some sweet sensation, ever new,
Springs up, and proves the maxim true,

That love can ne'er be cloy’d.
Hare I a wish? 'tis all for thee;
Hast thou a wish ? 'tis all for me :

So soft our moments move,
That angels look with ardent gaze,
Well pleas'd to see our happy daye,
And bid us live

and love.
If cares arise, (and cares will come,)
Thy bosom is my softest home,

I lull me there to rest;
And is there ought disturbs my fair?
I bid her sigh out all her care,

And lose it on my breast. A wedded pair, united in the bonds of pure and virtuous Love, striving to please and be pleased, be come as it were,“ one soul in two bodies.

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