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tester 100 Years go.


tester 100 Years go. INTERESTING REMINISCENCES. Being notes given week by week of matters con- nected with Chester and the locality a hundred years ago. (Compiled from the Chester Courant, Aug. 29th and Sept. 5th, 1797.) DIVORCE. In the last French papers we find a report of Portalig on the subject of divorce for incom- patibility of disposition, in which a spirit, if not of returning piety, at least of returning prudence, is manifest. "Marriage (says the reporter) ia considered by the practitioner in the law as a civil contract; but by the theologians as a sacred one; by others as a mixed act, in which religion and civil laws concurred. It is evident they were all in an error, because all considered the law of nature as nothing. Marriage was instituted by the Creator, and is then neither a civil contract Hor a religious act, for it existed before all ° religions and all civil laws. It is an act purely natural, regulated by civil laws, and sanctified by religion." The reporter then entered into a direct examination of the question. "No society is sternal, and marriage is but a social contract. Let us take care of narrowing thus the ideas respecting marriage. Common societies are not necessary for perpetuating the 8pecies—marriage is commanded by the law of nature. In common societies only property and interest are in common; in marriage property and the heart are in common. In common societies we stipulate only for private interests in marriage we stipulate for the species —for the whole of the human race. By dissolving a marriage, we necessarily injure the children. Are we to conclude from that, that divorces ought not to be allowed ? If men were inviolably what they ought to be, the con- jugal union would never be disturbed; but men are subject to errors, to passions, and it is for them that we must make laws. The legislature, in making them, ought to 'have for his object peace more than virtue—the general good rather than the perfection of individuals. In this he differs from the moralist and the minister of religion, because he ought sometimes to permit certain things which morality disfavours and religion prohibits. It would be besides as dangerous as inhuman to bind, without hope of dissolving the tie, a married couple tied with each other. But if the legislature ought to permit divorce, he ought also to put a check upon the passions, and prevent the most sacred of contracts from becoming the sport of man's caprices. He ought not to authorise divorce upon an allega- tion of incompatibility of disposition and character, for allegation is not proof, and nothing would lead to greater abuses. But, it is said, the allegation of incompatibility is frequently only a veil to circumstances which could not be rendered public, without scandal- izing the family and society. I agree to it—but this allegation also may be merely the want of reasonable motives. It would be better, then, that the proofs of incompatibility should be submitted to tribunals of the family, which should remain secret. To permit a divorce upon an allegation of incompatibility without an obligation to disclose the motives, would be to give one of the married pair the right of vorcing the other; it would expose to the saddest fate the divorced wife, who would be on d,Wv1Q 5ePuriVtd °f the title of honour and SwJif i 8 0 Proffere<i—who would be VJ A J in 8°ciety, a lingering and degraded existence—who would be condemned to a forced celibacy that would not leave her even the merit of virtue. It would flatter the constancy of the capricious husband, who, after having snatched from the bosom of her family a young person to immolate her to his pleasures after having ravished from her favours that were only reserved for virtue, would send her away without giving her that indemnity which the law obliges the seducer to give to her who has been the victim of his debauchery. ANECDOTE OF DR. ROCK AND SIR EDWARD HULSE, THE PHYSICIAN. Sir Edward Hulse, who was physician to His Majesty, driving one day down the Strand, was stopped by the mob listening to the oratory of Dr. Rock, in his gaudy equipage. Seeing Sir Edward Hulse look out at the chariot window, he instantly took a quantity of boxes and vials, gave them to one of his belaced cqueys, saying, Give my compliments to SIr Edward, tell him these are all I have with DIe, but I will send him ten dozen more to- morrow." Sir Edward, astonished at the message and the effrontery of the man, actually took them into the chariot; on which the mob, with one consent, all cried out, See, see, all the doctors, even the King's, buy their medicines off him." In their youth they had somewhere been fellow-students j Rock not succeeding in a regular way, metamorphosed himself into a quack. In the afternoon he waited on Sir Edward to beg his pardon for having played him such a trick, to which Sir Edward replied, f My old friend, how can a man of your under- standing condescend to harangue the populace with such nonsence as you talked to-day ? Why, none but fools listen to you." "Ah, my good friend, this is the very thing. Do you give me the fools for my patients, and you shall have my free yeave to keep the people of sense for your own." This anecdote was related by a medical gentle- man of great eminence, who had often heard air Edward Hulse relate it to divert his friends; adding "I never felt so like a fool in my life, as when I received the bottles and boxes from Rock." SPURIOUS LITERATURE.' The books now published under the titles of novels and romances, that tend to no other purpose but that of mis- leading young minds, by false notions of the sublime and beautiful, ought to be suppressed by every means. They relate nothing worth remembering but may leave impressions not easily eradicated, and totally subversive of all true information. As a specimen of the sublime in one of these romances, we give the following superlative piece of nonsense, with which it begins:—"The sun had just sunk beneath the craggy summit of a gloomy rock, that shot its brown spires above the waving tops of the tall pines and its last rays cast a glowing tint of purple on the low clouds that seemed to roll with elastic majesty over the barren bosom of the Alpine ridges: the hazy mist of night darkened in the solitary grove and a deep murmur broke the branches, as the evening breeze ushered in the queen of night, who now in clouded majesty, emerged from a dark gloom, &c., &c." Who, that could value the use of words, would be so be-mooned, and be-clouded through a maze of pages ?

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. A UDLEilf.