'Having in your Paper of Monday last  published my Report on the Case of Mrs. Fanny Fickle, wherein I have taken Notice, that Love comes after Marriage; I hope your Readers are satisfied of this Truth, that as Love generally produces Matrimony, so it often happens that Matrimony produces Love.
'It perhaps requires more Virtues to make a good Husband or Wife, than what go the finishing any the most shining Character whatsoever.
'Discretion seems absolutely necessary, and accordingly we find that the best Husbands have been most famous for their Wisdom. Homer, who hath drawn a perfect Pattern of a prudent Man, to make it the more compleat, hath celebrated him for the just Returns of Fidelity and Truth to his Penelope; insomuch that he refused the Caresses of a Goddess for her sake, and to use the Expression of the best of Pagan Authors, vetulam suam prátulit Immortalitati, his old Woman was dearer to him than Immortality.
'Virtue is the next necessary Qualification for this domestick Character, as it naturally produces Constancy and mutual Esteem. Thus Brutus and Porcia were more remarkable for Virtue and Affection than any others of the Age in which they lived.
'Good-Nature is a third necessary Ingredient in the Marriage-State, without which it would inevitably sower upon a thousand Occasions. When Greatness of Mind is joined with this amiable Quality, it attracts the Admiration and Esteem of all who behold it. Thus Cásar, not more remarkable for his Fortune and Valour than for his Humanity, stole into the Hearts of the Roman People, when breaking through the Custom, he pronounced an Oration at the Funeral of his first and best beloved Wife.
'Good-Nature is insufficient, unless it be steady and uniform, and accompanied with an Evenness of Temper, which is, above all things, to be preserved in this Friendship contracted for Life. A Man must be easie within himself, before he can be so to his other self. Socrates, and Marcus Aurelius, are Instances of Men, who, by the Strength of Philosophy, having entirely composed their Minds, and subdued their Passions, are celebrated for good Husbands, notwithstanding the first was yoked with Xantippe, and the other with Faustina. If the wedded Pair would but habituate themselves for the first Year to bear with one another's Faults, the Difficulty would be pretty well conquer'd. This mutual Sweetness of Temper and Complacency, was finely recommended in the Nuptial Ceremonies among the Heathens, who, when they sacrificed to Juno at that Solemnity, always tore out the Gaul from the Entrails of the Victim, and cast it behind the Altar.
'I shall conclude this Letter with a Passage out of Dr. Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire, not only as it will serve to fill up your present Paper; but if I find my self in the Humour, may give Rise to another; I having by me an old Register, belonging to the Place here under-mentioned.'
Sir _Philip de Somervile_ held the Manors of _Whichenovre,Translation of motto:
Scirescot, Ridware, Netherton_, and _Cowlee_, all in _Com.
Stafford_, of the Earls of _Lancaster_, by this memorable Service.
The said Sir _Philip_ shall find, maintain, and sustain, one _Bacon
Flitch_, hanging in his Hall at _Whichenovre_ ready arrayed all
times of the Year, but in _Lent_, to be given to every Man or Woman
married, after the Day and the Year of their Marriage be past, in
Whensoever that any one such before named will come to enquire for
the Bacon, in their own Person, they shall come to the Bailiff, or
to the Porter of the Lordship of _Whichenovre_, and shall say to
them in the manner as ensueth;
'Bayliff, or Porter, I doo you to know, that I am come for my self,
to demand one _Bacon Flyke_ hanging in the Hall of the Lord of
_Whichenovre_, after the Form thereunto belonging.'
After which Relation, the Bayliff or Porter shall assign a Day to
him, upon Promise by his Faith to return, and with him to bring
Twain of his Neighbours. And in the mean Time the said Bailiff shall
take with him Twain of the Freeholders of the Lordship of
_Whichenovre_, and they three shall go to the Manor of _Rudlow_,
belonging to _Robert Knightleye_, and there shall summon the
aforesaid _Knightleye_, or his Bayliff, commanding him to be ready
at _Whichenovre_ the Day appointed, at Prime of Day, with his
Carriage, that is to say, a Horse and a Saddle, a Sack and a Pryke,
for to convey the said Bacon and Corn a Journey out of the County of
_Stafford_, at his Costages. And then the said Bailiff shall, with
the said Freeholders, summon all the Tenants of the said Manor, to
be ready at the Day appointed, at _Whichenovre_, for to do and
perform the Services which they owe to the Bacon. And at the Day
assigned, all such as owe Services to the Bacon, shall be ready at
the Gate of the Manor of _Whichenovre_, from the Sun-rising to Noon,
attending and awaiting for the coming of him who fetcheth the Bacon.
And when he is come, there shall be delivered to him and his
Fellows, Chapelets; and to all those which shall be there, to do
their Services due to the Bacon. And they shall lead the said
Demandant with Trumps and Tabours, and other manner of Minstrels to
the Hall-Door, where he shall find the Lord of _Whichenovre_, or his
Steward, ready to deliver the Bacon in this Manner.
He shall enquire of him, which demandeth the Bacon, if he have
brought twain of his Neighbours with him: Which must answer, _They
be here ready_. And then the Steward shall cause these two
Neighbours to swear, if the said Demandant be a wedded Man, or have
been a Man wedded; and if since his Marriage one Year and a Day be
past; and if he be a Free-man, or a Villain. And if his said
Neighbours make Oath, that he hath for him all these three Points
rehearsed; then shall the Bacon be taken down and brought to the
Hall-Door, and shall there be laid upon one half Quarter of Wheat,
and upon one other of Rye. And he that demandeth the Bacon shall
kneel upon his Knee, and shall hold his right Hand upon a Book,
which Book shall be laid upon the Bacon and the Corn, and shall make
Oath in this manner.
'Here ye, Sir _Philip_ de _Somervile_, Lord of _Whichenovre_,
mayntener and gyver of this Baconne: That I _A_ sithe I Wedded _B_
my Wife, and sithe I had hyr in my kepyng, and at my Wylle, by a
Year and a Day after our Marriage, I would not have chaunged for
none other; farer ne fowler; richer, ne pourer; ne for none other
descended of greater Lynage; slepyng ne wakyng, at noo tyme. And if
the seyd _B_ were sole and I sole I would take her to be my Wife
before all the Wymen of the Worlde, of what condiciones soever they
be: good or evylle, as help me God ond his Seyntes, and this Flesh
and all Fleshes.'
And his Neighbours shall make Oath, that they trust verily he hath
said truly. And if it be found by his Neighbours before-named that
he be a Free-man, there shall be delivered to him half a Quarter of
Wheat and a Cheese; and if he be a Villain, he shall have half a
Quarter of Rye without Cheese. And then shall _Knightleye_ the Lord
of _Rudlow_ be called for, to carry all these Things tofore
rehearsed; and the said Corn shall be laid on one Horse and the
Bacon above it: and he to whom the Bacon appertaineth shall ascend
upon his Horse; and shall take the Cheese before him if he have a
Horse. And if he have none, the Lord of _Whichenovre_ shall cause
him to have one Horse and Saddle, to such time as he be past his
Lordship: and so shall they depart the Manor of _Whichenovre_ with
the Corn and the Bacon, tofore him that hath won it, with Trumpets,
Tabourets, and other manner of Minstrelsie. And all the Free Tenants
of _Whichenovre_ shall Conduct him to be passed the Lordship of
_Whichenovre_. And then shall they all return; except him, to whom
appertained to make the Carriage and Journey without the County of
_Stafford_, at the Costs of his Lord of _Whichenovre_.