Saturday, October 7 1758

…In the forenoon my father Slater called on us in his way from Lewes; he dined with us on the remains of Thursday’s dinner, and after dinner he went home, carrying my wife with him. Oh, the arbitrary temper of a wife that must be master! Not all the entreaties and expostulations could persuade my wife to postpone this journey, though no other reason could occasion this journey than the fantastical odd capricious humor of her mother when undoubtedly (if ever she is a help to me) I now have the greatest occasion for it to put my accounts and other affairs in order (after so great a confusion) as they must naturally require it. But the humor of a parent must be first consulted and then the interest of a husband, as humor and fancy leads. Not but I think parental authority and filial duty should have a just deference paid to it when it is not founded on a basis opposite to that of a more near (and should be) a more dear relation. Oh, how happy must that men be whose more than happy lot it is to whom an agreeable company for life falls, one in whom he sees and enjoys all that this world can give. He can open the most in-most recesses of his soul to her and receive mutual and pleasing comfort to soothe the anxious and tumultuous thoughts that must many times arise in the breast of any man in trade, occasioned by the many losses and disappointments that must naturally occur in business, one whose heart and interest is as his own, and not only so by marriage, but inclination only.

Ah, happy, thrice happy must that man be, and on the contrary (for I speak by woeful experience) how miserable must they be where there is nothing else but matrimonial discord and domestic disquietude. They drag on life, as it were with a galling and wearisome chain, and are only a burden to each other. They not only frustrate each other’s temporal interest but, it is to be doubted, their eternal also. How does this thought wreck my tumultuous breast! It even chills the purple current in my veins and almost bids nature stand still. A thought a pungent must I think pierce a heart that is as hard as the nether millstone. Oh, how are those delusive hopes and prospects of happiness before marriage turned into briers and thorns and seem as if they never existed. But as happiness is debarred me in this affair, I sincerely wish it to all those that shall ever tie the Gordian knot.

Rec’d of Mr Sam Slater 1.1.3 in full.

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