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hood. Now, it appears very plain - will allow that there is scarcely an ar-
that all these parties cannot entertain ticle in the service that does not convey
that sense of the contract which is en- a satire on such matches.
tertained by persons who unite from You will perhaps say, that these things
motives of affection, and with a mutual are true, and that they afford fufficient
desire to make each other happy. Hence ground for making tome alteration in the

first objection, and indeed my prin- service. I once thought so myself, and
cipal one, is aimed at the contract itself I tried the alteration ; but it would not
as not being suited to the different par. do. I omitted, and I added, and tried
ties who are to sign it. At the time it in all various ways, but at laft was o-
the form of matrimonial service was. bliged to be of opinion, that in the pre-
composed, we may suppose that there sent state of the fashionable world, we
prevailed a greater degree of equality want a form of service for the various
in the dispositions of persons about to ranks of society.
marry than we find now, and one form The present is far too good ; it pro-
might very well serve for all. But the ceeds upon motives of religion, but that
introduction of genteel manners into all you know, is rather out of fashion
ranks of life, and those manners grafted and I am persuaded no person of dif-
upon vulgarity and ignorance, have oc- tinction would thank you for supposing
casioned To great a variety of tastes and him influenced by it in his conduct to.
dispositions, that it would be really un- wards his wife. The phrases used in
reasonable not to think that the present it are also too loose and general. Love,
form of service has become nearly obso. honour, and obey! There are not three
lete, or only fit for the few who have words in the language, which admit of
been so economical as to hand down the greater latitude. Firít, as to love ;
virtues as well as the estates of their most men of fashion think they love
ancestors to posterity.

their wives dearly, if they neither beat Can we, for example, expect that a them, nor turn them of doors ; and man who has married a woman for no that love is perfectly consistent with other obje&t than her money, will regard frequent absence from home, occasional his promise “ to love her, and confort gallantries with other ladies, and the her, honour and keep her in sickness and distant respect of occasional acquainhealth,” when we know that the great- tances. As to honour, their notions est favour she can do him, next to giving of that are very latitudinarian; I shall her money into his hands, is to give not enter particularly into them, , but him an opportunity of burying her they are very frequently exemplified in When we see a young woman forced the civil and criminal courts. With into the arms of an old dotard, for regard to obedience, which is principally no other purpose than to obtain a title expected from the fair sex, I am lorry or a handsome jointure (by the bye to say, that it is a word of very lax this word should be written disjointure, and general interpretation, and is clogas it is one of the preliminaries to a fi- ged with so many conditions and acts nal separation) are we to expect that of mental reservation, as to be rarely she will love, cherith, and obey such a recognized in the sense in which it ap. husband? I might state many other pears to have been used by the compilers cases for which our service is obviously of our liturgy. One lady of fashion proill adapted. But the other day we read fesses to obey her husband in every in the papers of a couple married, the thing consistent with her own inclinaman was eighty, and the woman seven- tion : That is har sense of obedience. ty-six years of age. I believe them as Another thinks herself absolved from fully inclined to fulfil their vows as one all obedience, because her husband is a balf of our fashionable pairs, yet you fool. A third conditions with him,



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that if he will obey in some points, she thought unreasonable. As for the will in others.

couples who came together they know Then the great mischief is, that not why, clause might be introduced włen a disagreement takes place, and confining them only durante bene placilo, the contending parties chuse to interpret that is, as long as they please, which I the treaty in different ways, there is no humbly apprehend would give fatisfacthird

party to which the dispute can be tion to a great many persons who are referred. No interference is admitted ; apt to fall in love at first sight, to be or whenever attempted, it is not to the struck with a pretty face, or who marsy advantage of the disputants, but always for a temporary convenience. to the loss and injury of the mediator, I have not presumed to draw up any who of two friends, is sure to make at sketch of these new services, but confine least one enemy. The parties, in fact, myself, as I merely engaged, to some aet precisely like two high-spirited na hints upon the subje&, which others tions. They go to war, and expend all may improve upon. I should, theretheir force and ammunition, before they fore, farther fuggeft, that all such marwill listen to terms of accommodation, riages be removed from the church, and which, after all, amount only to a truce, performed in the drawing-room, the the parties ever after retaining a watch- tavern, or any other suitable place. I ful jealousy, and a dignified contempt propose this ; becaufe I have fometimes for each other.

observed, that persons who never go to I have read somewhere lately, of a church but when they are married, are * nation where the matrimonial contract so struck with the novel appearance of Bafts only for three years. They are, the place, the folemn appearance of the I remember, reckoned a nation of la. parson, and the facetious gria of the vages ; but niy fashionable readers will I clerk, as to be quite confounded, and hope agree with me, that in this respect incapable of knowing what they are athey have acquired a very considerable bout. I propose it likewise in respect portion of civilization, and are very to tender consciences, for really when well qualified to " preserve the accuf- a man is disposed to take an oath which tomed relations” of the matrimonial he has no inclination to keep', I had ftate. The term of three years may, much rather he did it any where than indeed, be supposed rather too long, but at the altar. The glib enunciation of it is Mill shorter than the lives of most the custom-house, or the justice room, men, and comes nearer, than any da- where the only words you hear are, tion has yet attempted, to the period, “ So help you God! twelve pence :" when, according to the manners, of peo- would much better suit the fashionable ple of fashion, the matrimonial treaty votaries of Hymen. Great respect virtually expires. In compiling, there. ought to be paid to tender consciences, fore, forms of service for the beau monde, and that the duties of the married liate the first and great object would be to should be enforced by what may be termlimit the time io the probable duration ed an act of uniformity, has no doubt of the affections of the parties. In the given great unealiness to many scrupu. case of an old Lord marrying a young lous people of rank, who may naturally woman for a nurse, there would be no expect that some diftin&tion should be harm in extending it “ till death do us made between them and the vulgar. part," but in most other cases, as that They might even, I think, (but I proof a fortune-hunter marrying a dowager, . pofe every thing with fubmiffion) be alor a child, it would be fufficient if time lowed to marry upon their honour, which were given for the regular transfer of would be equally binding with the form the land and the three per cents. This, to which they are now obliged to fubI think, could not, in all conscience, be mit. If there be any objection to this,

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it may probably arise from the mistaken to perform. Their ignorance in this fense of honour, or rather the many respect may, however, be excused. The fenfes in which sit is used. Valeat wiselt of men cannot know more than quantum valere poffit. This iš au ob- the age in which they live. They judga je&tion which it is not in my power to ed of English manners influenced by reremove, and I throw it out to those who ligion, not foreseeing that foreign travel can.

would foon introduce foreign manoers, The farther necessity for a service, and that a man who has made a tour Specially adapted to modern manners, of Europe, should think it his duty to appears from another consideration. In import the most genteel of its vices, as all contracts, the breach of it by one a recompence for his long absence, and party either incurs a penalty, or amounts a benefaction to the prosperity of his to a diffolution. Unfortunately, the country. compilers of the contract in question, There are many other hints I might not foreseeing that a time would come, offer on this subject. I might suggelt when it should be reckoned genteel for the propriety of permitting more wives one party to break the contract, and yet than one, in order to prevent domestic very proper for the other to be bound disorder, and other improvements on by it, have made no provisions for such the system of marriage ; but I have aloccurrences as are now frequent enough, ready made my letter too long. I hope, and notorious enough. These good however, that what I have thrown out men had no idea of pin-money, jointures, will have the due effect I proposed, as and separate establishments. They could well as incline those who have more not conceive that married persons, liv- leisure and greater abilities, to give the ing in the same kingdom, possessed of subject an attentive confideration. Let carriages and horses, and enjoying the it not be understood, that I wish to advantages of the finest turnpike-roads, abolish entirely the present service. Far should never meet, unless by accident, from it. It is admirably calculated, for and, when met, part without exchanging all who are serious, to execute the most a word, or even a look of mutual esteem. important of duties from the molt conIf they had, would they have put in scientious of motives; who will to add such words as to have and to hold, to the happiness of their country by en. for better for worse, for richer for poor- creasing the aggregate of domestic reguer, in sickness and in health, to love larity ; who wish to be regarded rather and to cherish, till death do us part !” as good than great ; and who, by an hoCertainly not; if they had foreseen the nourable conduct, add real dignity to an changes and improvements introduced obscure station--but these are not the into the married state by modern man- persons of whom I spoke in the precedners, they would not have expected im- ing part of my letter. I am, &c. poffibilities, nor thought of binding a

SERIO JOCOSUS. man down to what he never intended


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MORE active occupations have, I be surprised to find how little difficulty lieve, finally diverted me from a design, there is in reducing our abstract words which I long cherished, and to which, to a fensible or objeđive fignification : after Mt Tooke's labours, 1 fancied my. I do not say, to their primary significaself equal--the design was such an ana- tion: for precedence may give rise to lysis of our language as seems to me to frivolous disputes here, as in other constitute the effence of grammar. Those 'nice cases. who have not made the trial, will be You will perhaps indulge me with Vol. LVIII.

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room to exemplify my manner of pro

To consolidate HEED ( care, caution) ceeding. We have a remarkable class of with Head, may appear too bold noun fubftantives, as they are called by adventure, even in etymology. The grammarians ;, though, according to the difference, however, in spelling is of mataphysician, they are mere attributes no account, the present orthography or qualities; that is, they cannot stand being modern. I think, both words by themselves, but are supported by are spelled alike, by some old writers, substances. The words I mean are good. bede. lo use, there obtains sufici. ness, greatness, and their fellows. We have ent similarity, at the present moment. similar words, ending in head. Onhead, I do not HEED (head) that. I do not in old Englih, is unity (one head). It mind that. We fay, he puts a thing to will not, I pre!ume, be denied that HEART ; and, had it been stamped by head (caput) is here used in compofi. usage, heart would have passed just as tion. Now, in the other case, I fuse currently as head for one of our verbs. pest, that it is part of the head which I DO NOT HEART that. Certain lanis used; the nose, nefs, nez, French. guages have it so, or very nearly as eBoth words have been indifferently em-, very scholar knows. ployed to mark the points of land, that 3. The substantive verb, am obf. are or have been conspicuous. Will not. com) le (obs. bee) is, probably, fome this geographical analogy be admitted mode of motion or appearance; and, if as a strong confirmation of my opinion ? traced higher, may turn on some aniIf ness be any part of the body, what mal, whose mode of motion is striking. part else can we imagine it to be, whe- To walk (incedo), to emerge (evado), ther we regard found or situation to echip (ftand out), are, in Latin, There exists an etymological, as truly as perpetually fynonimous with to be. In a moral sense ; and those who have ac- Greek, to be is the self-fame word as to quired the former, will feel by how go, though split by grammarians and very natural a transition two such emi- lexicographers. nent members of the body natural, as 4. To alter is a good example of a the head and nofe, came todenote abstract word retaining an objective fignification in qualities.--I conjecture, that thing or ding one dialect of a language, and not in anwill prove to mean some striking obječt other. To alter, means in German, to in one of its fixed corporeal senses.

2. This analysis, carried to its ut The booksellers, I think might renmost extent, would constitute a reform- der an essential service to

education ed dictionary. Every person appre- and letters, by engaging some intellihends the mataphorical use of a term gent person to introduce, more and the better for knowing its original more, genealogies of fignification into meaning; and how invariably have dic- the common English dictionaries, as tionary-makers diffevered the soul of a new editions are printed. To complete word from its body! Thus, spite and spit the investigation of our words would (the culinary implement) are clearly take time ; but, with a proper adverthe same word. To spite a person is tisement, an imperfect, would, on one to run a spit into his mind. The very account, be preferable to a perfect dicmetaphor, I think, occurs not unfre- tionary: it would induce fome to ob quently in the poetry ascribed to king serve and think for themselves. David; and Shakspeare makes Hamlet resolve to“ speak daggers."

grow old.

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Forbes's Collections had been lost upon
Reverend Sir,

his death, but I am glad to find by your THOUGH I have not the good for- Memoirs that they are in the possession tune to be known to you personally, I of Mr Yorke. I see likewise that the am so happy as to be no stranger to your Depeches de Beaumont are in the hands writings, to which I have been indebt. of the fame Ge leman. But I have ed for much useful instruction. And no opportunity of consulting your Meas I have heard from my friends, Sir moirs at present, and I cannot remem-. David Dalrymple and Mr Davidson, ber whether the Depeches de Fenelon that your disposition to oblige was equal be still preserved or not. I fee that to your knowledge, I now presume to Carte has made a great use of them, in write to you, and to ask your assistance a very busy period, from 1563 to 1576. without any apology.

I know the strength of Carte's prejuI have been engaged, for some time, dices so well, that I dare say many in writing the history of Scotland from things may be found there that he could the death of James V. to the accession not see, or would not publik. May I of James Vl. to the throne of England. beg the favour of you to let me know My chief object is to adorn (as far as whether Fenelon's papers


yet extant "I am capable of adorning) the history and accessible ; and to give me some gel of a period, which, on account of the neral idea of what Dr Forbes's Collect

greatness of the events, and their close tions contain with regard to Scotland ; connection with the transactions in and whether the papers they consist of England, deserves to be better known. are different from those published by But as elegance of composition, even Haynes, Anderson, &c. I am faf where a writer can attain that, is but a from desiring that you should enter into trivial merit without historical truth and any detail that would be troublesome to accuracy, and as the prejudices and you, but some short hint of the nature rage of factions, both religious and po- of these Collections would be extremely

litical, have rendered almost every fact, satisfying to my curiosity, and I shall - in the period which I have chosen, a esteem it a great obligation laid upon me.

matter of doubt or of controversy, I I have brought my Work almost to hare therefore taken all the pains in my a conclusion. If you would be so good power to examine the evidence on both as to suggest any thing that you thought Tides with exactness. You know how useful for me to know, or to examine copious the Materia Historica in this into, I Mall receive your directions period is. Besides all the common with great respect and gratitude, Historians and printed collections of I am with sincere esteem papers, I have consulted several manu. Revd Sir, Yr m. ob. & m. h. St fcripts which are to be found in this Gladsmuir WM ROBERTSON. country. I am perfuaded that there are 19 Sept. 1757. still many manuscripts worth my feeing to be met with in England, and for that reason I propose to pass some time in London this Winter. I am impatient If I had not considered a letter of however to know what discoveries of mere compliment as an impertinent inthis kind I may expect, and what are terruption to one who is so busy as you the treasures before me, and with regard commonly are, I would long before to this I beg leave to consult you. this have made my acknowledgments I was afraid for some time that Dr to you for the civilities which you was


Dear Sir,

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