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HUMOROUS, MORAL, AND
1 LITERARY, &c.
ON EARLY MARRIAGES..
TO JOHN ALLEYNE, ESQ.
; DEAR JACK, You desire, you fay, 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, Vol. I.
from the marriages that have fallen un. der 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 occa- . : sions 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 advice, which amply sup. plies that defect; and by early marriage, youth is sooner formed to regular and useful life; and possibly fome of those accidents or connections,' that might have injured the constitution, or reputation, or both, are thereby happily prevented. Particular circumstances of particular perfons, may possibly fometimes 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. “ Late children,” fays the Spanilh 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 most 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-te fite 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 lessens 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 scissars? it can't 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 I should ere this have presented them in person. I shall make