BOOK II. CONTAINING SCENES OF MATRIMONIAL FELICITY IN DIFFERENT DEGREES OF LIFE; AND VARIOUS OTHER TRANSACTIONS DURING THE FIRST TWO YEARS AFTER THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN CAPTAIN BLIFIL AND MISS BRIDGET ALLWORTHY.
7. Chapter vii. A short sketch of that felicity...
A short sketch of that felicity which prudent couples may extract from
hatred: with a short apology for those people who overlook
imperfections in their friends.
Though the captain had effectually demolished poor Partridge, yet had
he not reaped the harvest he hoped for, which was to turn the
foundling out of Mr Allworthy's house.
On the contrary, that gentleman grew every day fonder of little Tommy,
as if he intended to counterbalance his severity to the father with
extraordinary fondness and affection towards the son.
This a good deal soured the captain's temper, as did all the other
daily instances of Mr Allworthy's generosity; for he looked on all
such largesses to be diminutions of his own wealth.
In this, we have said, he did not agree with his wife; nor, indeed, in
anything else: for though an affection placed on the understanding is,
by many wise persons, thought more durable than that which is founded
on beauty, yet it happened otherwise in the present case. Nay, the
understandings of this couple were their principal bone of contention,
and one great cause of many quarrels, which from time to time arose
between them; and which at last ended, on the side of the lady, in a
sovereign contempt for her husband; and on the husband's, in an utter
abhorrence of his wife.
As these had both exercised their talents chiefly in the study of
divinity, this was, from their first acquaintance, the most common
topic of conversation between them. The captain, like a well-bred man,
had, before marriage, always given up his opinion to that of the lady;
and this, not in the clumsy awkward manner of a conceited blockhead,
who, while he civilly yields to a superior in an argument, is desirous
of being still known to think himself in the right. The captain, on
the contrary, though one of the proudest fellows in the world, so
absolutely yielded the victory to his antagonist, that she, who had
not the least doubt of his sincerity, retired always from the dispute
with an admiration of her own understanding and a love for his.