But the practice of capturing wives, vi et armis, is largely a thing of the past, and demands, therefore, only passing notice. More important, as it is by no means obsolete, is that of purchase, to which I invite the reader's attention for a few moments.
As it is only just that man should give some compensation for what he receives, particularly "that first, best good, an understanding wife/' and as ability to give very naturally ensures the best and most valuable commodity in the market, it is only in the nature of things that the rich should enjoy the very daintiest tid-bits procurable in this as in everything else. But sometimes rich men are grievously imposed upon. They buy a woman, presumably perfect in body, "fair as the smile of heaven," and with "a tongue more tunable than lark to shepherd's ears," only to find in a little while that some of the furniture is missing; or the tongue is too "tunable," dt that her heart—a very important item in the interior decorations—has already been disposed of. This would be sad were it not for the fact that both parties to the contract are usually in the same boat, which robs the bargain of every element of one-sidedness.