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Part 3 Chapter 8

A Dialogue Matrimonial, which Passed Between Jonathan Wild, Esq., and Laetitia 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.

Laetitia. 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.

Laetitia. 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.

Laetitia. You might have found one of those good wives, sir, if you had pleased; I had no objection to it.

Jonathan. I thought I had found one in you.

Laetitia. 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.

Laetitia. 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!

Jonathan. I hope, madam, you don’t imagine that was not in my power, or that I married you out of any kind of necessity.

Laetitia. O no, sir; I am convinced there are silly women enough. And far be it from me to accuse you of any necessity 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 beforehand.

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.

Laetitia. 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.

Laetitia. 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?

Laetitia. 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.

Laetitia. I have made nothing of you; nor do I desire the honour of making anything of you.

Jonathan. Yes, you have made a husband of me.

Laetitia. 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.

Laetitia. 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 ac............

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