unreasonable, says he, as this woman? What shall I do with her? I doat on her to distraction; nor have I any cause to complain of, more than this obstinacy in her temper; whatever she asserts, she will maintain against all the reason and conviction in the world. Pray give me your advice.—First, says Paul, I will give my opinion, which is, flatly, that you are in the wrong; for, supposing she is in the wrong, was the subject of your contention any ways material? What signified it whether you was married in a red or a yellow waistcoat? for that was your dispute. Now, suppose she was mistaken; as you love her you say so tenderly, and I believe she deserves it, would it not have been wiser to have yielded, though you certainly knew yourself in the right, than to give either her or yourself any uneasiness? For my own part, if ever I marry, I am resolved to enter into an agreement with my wife, that in all disputes (especially about trifles) that party who is most convinced they are right shall always surrender the victory; by which means we shall both be forward to give up the cause. I own, said Lennard, my dear friend, shaking him by the hand, there is great truth and reason in what you say; and I will for the future endeavour to follow your advice. They soon after broke up the conversation, and Lennard, going to his wife, asked her pardon, and told her his friend had convinced him he had been in the wrong. She immediately began a vast encomium on Paul, in which he seconded her, and both agreed he was the worthiest and wisest man upon earth. When next they met, which was at supper, though she had promised not to mention what her husband told her, she could not forbear casting the kindest and most affectionate looks on Paul, and asked him, with the sweetest voice, whether she should help him to some potted woodcock? Potted partridge, my dear, you mean, says the husband. My dear, says she, I ask your friend if he will eat any potted woodcock; and I am sure I must know, who potted it. I think I should know too, who shot them, replied the husband, and I am convinced that I have not seen a woodcock this year; however, though I know I am in the right, I submit, and the potted partridge is potted woodcock if you desire to have it so. It’s equal to me, says she, whether it is one or the other; but you would persuade one out of one’s senses; to be sure, you are always in the right in your own opinion; but your friend, I believe, knows which he is eating. Paul answered nothing, and the dispute continued, as usual, the greatest part of the evening. The next morning the lady, accidentally meeting Paul, and being convinced he was her friend, and of her side, accosted him thus:—I am certain, sir, you have long since wondered at the unreasonableness of my husband. He is indeed, in other respects, a good sort of man, but so positive, that no woman but one of my complying temper could possibly live with him. Why, last night, now, was ever any creature so unreasonable? I am certain you must condemn him. Pray, answer me, was he not in the wrong? Paul, after a short silence, spoke as follows: I am sorry, madam, that, as good manners obliges me to answer against my will, so an adherence to truth forces me to declare myself of a different opinion. To be plain and honest, you was entirely in the wrong; the cause I own not worth disputing, but the bird was undoubtedly a partridge. O sir! replyed the lady, I cannot possibly help your taste. Madam, returned Paul, that is very little material; for, had it been otherwise, a husband might have expected submission.—Indeed! sir, says she, I assure you!— Yes, madam, cryed he, he might, from a person of your excellent understanding; and pardon me for saying, such a condescension would have shown a superiority of sense even to your husband himself.—But, dear sir, said she, why should I submit when I am in the right?—For that very reason, answered he; it would be the greatest instance of affection imaginable; for can anything be a greater object of our compassion than a person we love in the wrong? Ay, but I should endeavour, said she, to set him right. Pardon me, madam, answered Paul: I will apply to your own experience if you ever found your arguments had that effect. The more our judgments err, the less we are willing to own it: for my own part, I have always observed the persons who maintain the worst side in any contest are the warmest. Why, says she, I must confess there is truth in what you say, and I will endeavour to practise it. The husband then coming in, Paul departed. And Lennard, approaching his wife with an air of good humour, told her he was sorry for their foolish dispute the last night; but he was now convinced of his error. She answered, smiling, she believed she owed his condescension to his complacence; that she was ashamed to think a word had passed on so silly an occasion, especially as she was satisfyed she had been mistaken. A little contention followed, but with the utmost good-will to each other, and was concluded by her asserting that Paul had thoroughly convinced her she had been in the wrong. Upon which they both united in the praises of their common friend.

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