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HUMOROUS, MORAL, AND LITERARY, &c.
ON EARLY MARRIAGES.
TO JOHN ALLEYNE, ESQ.
You defire, you fay, my impartial thoughts on the fubject of an early marriage, by way of anfwer to the numberlefs objections that have been made by numerous perfons to your own. You may remember, when you confulted me on the occafion, that I thought youth on both fides to be no objection. Indeed, VOL. I. from
from the marriages that have fallen under my obfervation, I am rather inclined to think, that early ones ftand 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 occafions of difguft are removed. And if youth has lefs of that prudence which is neceffary to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of young married perfons are generally at hand to afford their advice, which amply fupplies that defect; and by early marriage, youth is fooner formed to regular and ufeful life; and poffibly fome of those accidents or connections, that might have injured the conftitution, or reputation, or both, are thereby happily prevented. Particular circumftances of particular perfons, may poffibly fometimes make it prudent to delay entering
into that ftate; but in general, when nature has rendered our bodies fit for it, the prefumption is in nature's favour, that she has not judged amifs in making us defire it. Late marriages are often attended, too, with this further inconvenience, that there is not the fame chance that the parents fhall live to see their offspring educated. "Late children,” fays the Spanish 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 fettled in the world by noon; and thus, our business being done, we have an afternoon and evening of cheerful leifure to ourselves, fuch as our friend at prefent enjoys. By these early marriages we are bleffed with more children; and from the mode among us, founded by nature, of every mother fuckling and nurfing her own child,
child, more of them are raised. Thence the swift progrefs of population among us, unparalleled in Europe. In fine, I am glad you are married, and congratu late you most cordially upon it. You are now in the way of becoming a useful citizen; and you have efcaped the unnatural state of celibacy for life-te fate of many here, who never intended it, but who having too long poftponed the change of their condition, find, at length, that it is too late to think of it, and fo live all their lives in a fituation that greatly leffens a man's value. An odd volume of a fet of books, bears not the value of its proportion to the fet: what think you of the odd half of a pair of fciffars it can't well cut any thing; it may poffibly serve to scrape a trencher.
Pray make my compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride. I am old and heavy, or I fhould ere this have prefented them in perfon. I fhall make but