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CHAPTER VIII. it dialogue matrimonial, which passed between Jonathan Wild, Esquire, and Letitia his wife, on the morning of the day fortnight on which his nuptials were celebrated; which concluded more amicably than those debates generally do. JoNATHAN. My dear, I wish you would lie a little longer in bed this morning. LETITIA. Indeed I cannot; I am engaged to breakfast with Jack Strongbow. JonATHAN. I don’t know what Jack Strongbow doth so often at my house. I assure you I am uneasy at it; for though I have no suspicion of your virtue, yet it may injure your reputation in the opinion of my neighbours. LETITIA. I don't trouble my head about my neighbours; and they shall no more tell me what company I am to keep, than my husband shall. Jonathan. A good wife would keep no company which made her husband uneasy. LETITIA. You might have found one of those good wives, sir, if you had pleased ; I had no objection to it. JoNATHAN. I thought l had found one in you. LETITIA. You did : I am very much obliged to you for thinking me so poor-spirited a creature; but I hope to convince you to the contrary. What, I suppose, you took me for a raw, senseless girl, who knew nothing what other married women do JonATHAN. No matter what I took you for : I have taken you for better and worse. LETITIA. And at your own desire too: for, I am sure, you never had mine. I should not have broken my heart if Mr. Wild had thought proper to bestow himself on any other more happy woman Ha, ha, JonataAN. I hope, madam, you don’t imagine that was not in my power, or that I married you out of any kind of necessity. LETITIA. O no, sir; I am convinced there are silly wemen enough. And far be it from me to accuse you of any Recessity for a wife. I believe you could have been very well contented with the state of a bachelor; I have no reason to complain of your necessities: but that, you know, a woman cannot tell before-hand. JonATHAN. I can’t guess what you would insinuate; for I believe no woman had ever less reason to complain of her husband's want of fondness. LETITIA. Then some, I am certain, have great reason to complain of the price they give for them.—But I know better things. (These words were spoken with a very great air, and toss of the head.) * Jonathan. Well, my sweeting, I will make it impossible for you to wish me more fond.— LETITIA. Pray Mr. Wild, none of this nauseous behaviour, nor those odious words.-I wish you were fond – I assure you—I don’t know what you would pretend to insinuate of me.—I have no wishes which misbecome a virtuous woman No, nor should not, if I had married for love.—And especially now when nobody, I am sure, can suspect me of any such thing.— JonATHAN. If you did not marry for love, why did you marry LETITIA. Because it was convenient, and my parents forced me. JoNATHAN. I hope, madam, at least, you will not tell me to my face, you have made your convenience of me. LETITIA. I have made nothing of you; nor do I desire the honour of making any thing of you. JonATHAN. Yes, you have made a husband of me. Ilotitia. No, you made yourself so; for I repeat once more, it was not my desire, but your own. JonATHAN. You should think yourself obliged to me for that desire. LETITIA. La, sir! you was not so singular in it. I was not in despair.—I have had other offers, and better too. JonATHAN. I wish you had accepted them with all my heart. o
LETITIA. I must tell you Mr. Wild, this is a very brutish manner of treating a woman, to whom you have such obligations; but I know how to despise it, and to despise you too for showing it me. Indeed I am well enough paid for the foolish preference I gave to you. I flattered myself that I should at least have been used with good manners. I thought I had married a gentleman; but I find you every way contemptible, and below my concern. JonATHAN. D—n you, madam, have not I more reason to complain, when you tell me you married me for your convenience only 7 LETITIA. Very fine, truly. Is it behaviour worthy a man to swear at a woman 2 yet why should I mention what comes from a wretch whom I despise ? JonATHAN. Don't repeat that word so often. I despise you as heartily as you can me. And, to tell you a truth, I married you for my convenience likewise, to satisfy a passion which I have now satisfied, and may you be d–d for any thing I care. LETITIA. The world shall know how barbarously I treated by such a villain. JonATHAN. I need take very little pains to acquaint the world what a b–ch you are, your actions will demonstrate it. LETITIA. Monster I would advise you not to depend too much on my sex, and provoke me too far; for I can do you a mischief, and will, if you dare use me so, you villain JonATHAN. Begin whenever you please, madam ; but assure yourself, the moment you lay aside the woman, I will treat you as such no longer; and if the first blow is yours, I promise you the last shall be mine. LETITIA. Use me as you will ; but d-n me if ever you shall use me as a woman again; for may I be cursed, if ever I enter your bed more. JonATHAN. May I be cursed if that abstinence be not the greatest obligation you can lay upon me; for, I assure
you faithfully, your person was all I had ever any regard for ; and that I now loath, and detest, as much as ever I liked it. LETITIA. It is impossible for two people to agree better; for I always detested your person ; and, as for any other regard, you must be convinced I never could have any for you. JonATHAN. Why, then, since we are come to a right understanding, as we are to live together, suppose we agree, instead of quarrelling and abusing, to be civil to each other. LETITIA. With all my heart. JonATHAN. Let us shake hands then, and henceforwards never live man and wife; that is, never be loving, nor ever quarrel. LETIt A. Agreed.—But pray, Mr. Wild, why b—ch 7 Why did you suffer such a word to escape you? JoNATHAN. It is not worth your remembrance. LETITIA. You agree I shall converse with whomsoever I please ? JonATHAN. Without control. And I have the same liberty? * Lætitia. When I interfere, may every curse you can. wish attend me. JonATHAN. Let us now take a farewell kiss; and may I be hanged if it is not the sweetest you ever gave me. LETITIA. But why b—ch 2 Methinks I should be: glad to know why b—ch 2. At which words he sprang from the bed, damning her temper heartily. She returned it again with equal abuse, which was continued on both sides while he was dressing. However, they agreed to continue steadfast in this new resolution: and the joy arising on that occasion at length dismissed them pretty cheerfully from each other, though Laetitia could not help concluding with the words, why. B—ch 2 *.
CHAPTER IX. observations on the foregoing dialogue, together with base design on our hero, which must be detested by ever lover of GREATREss. Thus did this dialogue, (which though we have termed it matrimonial, had indeed very little savour of the sweets of matrimony in it,) produce at last a resolution more wise than strictly pious, and which, if they could have rigidly adhered to it, might have prevented some unpleasant moments, as well to our hero as to his serene consort; but their hatred was so very great and unaccountable, that they never could bear to see the least composure in one another's countenance, without attempting to ruffle it. This set them on so many contrivances to plague and vex one another, that as their proximity afforded them such frequent opportunities of executiug their malicious purposes, they seldom passed one easy or quiet day together. And this, reader, and no other, is the cause of those many inquietudes, which thou must have observed to disturb the repose of some married couples, who mistake implacable hatred for indifference; for why should Corvinus, who lives in a round of intrigue, and seldom doth, and never willingly would, dally with his wife, endeavour to prevent her from the satisfaction of an intrigue in her turn ? Why doth Camilla refuse a more agreeable invitation abroad, only to expose her husband at his own table at home 2 In short, to mention no more instances, whence can all the quarrels, and jealousies, and jars, proceed, in people who have no love for each other, unless from that noble passion above mentioned, that desire, according to my lady Betty Modish, of curing each other of a smile. We thought proper to give our reader a short taste of the domestic state of our hero the rather to show him that great men are subject to the same frailties and inconveniences in ordinary life, with little men, and that heroes are really of the same species with other human creatures, notwithstanding all the pains they themselves, or their flatterers, take to assert the contrary; and that they differ