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A VIEW OF MATRIMONY IN THREE DIFFERENT LIGHTS.
The marriage life is always an insipid, a vexatious, or a happy
condition, the first is, when two people of no taste meet together, upon
such a settlement as has been thought reasonable by parents and
conveyancers, from an exact valuation of the land and cash of both
parties. In this case the young lady's person is no more regarded than
the house and improvements in purchase of an estate; but she goes with
her fortune, rather than her fortune with her. These make up the crowd
or vulgar of the rich, and fill up the lumber of the human race, without
beneficence towards those below them, or respect towards those above
them; and lead a despicable, independent, and useless life, without
sense of the laws of kindness, good-nature, mutual offices, and the
elegant satisfactions which flow from reason and virtue.
The vexatious life arises from a conjunction of two people of quick
taste and resentment, put together for reasons well known to their
friends, in which especial care is taken to avoid (what they think the
chief of evils) poverty; and ensure them riches with every evil besides.
These good people live in a constant restraint before company, and when
alone, revile each other's person and conduct. In company they are in
purgatory; when by themselves, in hell.
The happy marriage is, where two persons meet, and voluntarily make
choice of each other without principally regarding or neglecting the
circumstances of fortune or beauty. These may still love in spite of
adversity or sickness. The former we may in some measure defend
ourselves from; the other is the common lot of humanity. Love has
nothing to do with riches or state. Solitude, with the person beloved,
has a pleasure, even in a woman's mind, beyond show or pomp.
BETROTHING AND MARRIAGE.
At a very early period, families who lived in a friendly manner, fell
upon a method of securing their children to each other by what is called
in the sacred writings Betrothing. This was agreeing on a price to be
paid for the bride, the time when it should be paid, and when she should
be delivered into the hands of her husband.
There were, according to the Talmudists, three ways of betrothing. The
first by a written contract. The second, by a verbal agreement,
accompanied with a piece of money. And the third, by the parties coming
together, and living as husband and wife; which might as properly be
called marriage as betrothing.
The written contract was in the following manner--"On such a day, month,
year, A the son of B, has said to D the daughter of E, be thou my spouse
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