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Full text of "Practical hints to young females : on the duties of a wife, a mother, and a mistress of a family"

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PRACTICAL HINTS 

TO 

YOUNG FEMALES, 

ON THE DUTIES OP 
A WIFE, A MOTHER, AND A MISTRESS OF A FAMILY. 

BY MRS. TAYLOR, 

Of Ongar, 

Author of • Maternal Solicitude fw a Daughter's 

Best Interesli.^ 



Every wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it 
down with her hands. Sol<mon. 



•KCOND AMERICAN EDITION. 

BOSTON ; 
WELLS AND LILLY, COURT-STREET. 

1820. 



^ 



CONTENTS. 



Page. 

Advei-dsement v 

Introduction 1 

Conduct to the Husband ..».. 12 

Domestick Economy 21 

Servants ..>.. 40 

Education ^ 50 

Sickness , 92 

Visiters . 103 

Keeping at Home 120 

Recreation 130 

The Step-Mother 137 

To the Husband 147 

Conclusion 169 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



It is not easy to form rules, or even to sug- 
gest principles of practice, in such a manner 
as shall render them applicable to individuals 
of every class ; and it will be obvious, upon 
a perusal of this little Work, that no attempt 
of the kind has here been made. Females 
in the middle ranks of society, in those espe- 
cially which included numerous occupations 
and confined circumstances, are more imme- 
diately addressed ; and to them many of the ' 
following observations assume to be of essen- 
tial importance : but, at the same time, a 
hope is indulged, that readers of a different 
description may gain an occasional hint, by 

which their conduct in domestick life may 
be improved. 



VI ADVERTISEMENT. 

The parties more expressly in view are 
exempt (perhaps happily,) from that notorie- 
ty and distinction by which the family ar- 
rangements of such as move in the upper 
walks of life are too frequently disturbed : 
yet they occupy a station of sufficient emi- 
nence to render their conduct highly impor- 
tant to society. If it does not necessarily 
expose them to dissipation, much less does it 
degrade them into vulgarity or insignificance, 
as the degree of intellectual cultivation to be 
found among them evinces ; for it is not 
every citizen in our days who is a Jolui Gil- 
pin ; nor is every farmer a rustick. And 
although the influence of good example in 
the middle ranks can be but small upon those 
which are more elevated ; yet it descends 
like a kindly shower upon such as are 
beneath them, and gives fertility to many a 
spot which would otherwise have remained 
sterile and unsightly : so that, (to adopt the 
expressive language of inspiration,) Instead 



ADVERTISEMENT. Vll 

of the briar, comes up the myrtle ; and the 
wilderness blossoms as the rose. 

To increase, by appropriate hints, the re- 
spectability of this numerous class, is a de- 
sign, therefore, which immediately, or remote- 
ly, afifects so large a proportion of the cora- 
muuily, that it might discourage the attempt 
of an humble individual. But if to promote 
domestick virtue, and preserve the happiness 
of the fire side, is an effectual, as well as a 
simple means of increasing n-itional prosperi- 
ty ; how many are there, who have hitherto 
deemed themselves incompetent, whose 
efforts might thus contribute to the publick 
weal ! 

If this were not the case, and if effects the 
most beneficial were not often produced by 
very humble means, the present attempt had 
never been made by 

THE AUTHOR. 



PRACTICAL HINTS, &-c. 
N^ I. 

INTROnUCTIOlV. 



X HERE was a time when females of rank 
auil affluence were not thought dfgrailed «*y 
dressing the failed calf, and baking cakes 
upon the hearth ; when, with their pitcher 
on their shoulder, tht y went to the well to 
draw water for their flocks; and when even 
royalty knew how to appreciate the virtues 
of her, who sought wool and flax, and wrought 
willingly with her hands ; who laid her hands 
to the spindle and to the distalf ; who made 

1 



2 INTRODUCTION. 

fine linen and sold it, and delivered girdles 
to the merchant; who looked well to the 
wavs ot her household, and ate not the hread 
of idleness. But time has wrought a change 
in the circumstances and hahits of females of 
the present .age, though there are many of 
all ranks who are not less usefully employed 
than were the matrons of ancient times ; 
many, to whom it may he said, 'Give them 
of the fruit of their doings, and let their own 
works praise them in the gate.' Happy 
the female in whom education has united 
with natural talent, to form so important a 
character as that of the viistress of a family ; 
and unhappy she, who, possessing neither of 
these advantages, has the temerity to under- 
take a task to which she is altogether'incom- 
petent. Notwithstanding that old nivcs, or 
yonnsc wives, may furnish the^ willing with 
themes for ridicule, a closer ol)servatioQ 
would convince him, tlMt the mistress and 
mother of a family occupies one of the most 



INTRODUCTION. 3 

important stations in the community ; of 
which he would be feelingly convinced, were 
so large a portion of it to suspend its services 
for ever so short a period. 

We are, however, obliged to acknowledge, 
that the deficiencies of many have afforded 
but too just occasion for the sarcasms to 
which we allude. Nothing less than a more 
judicious education can remedy this vital 
evil ; an evil which pervades all classes In 
some degree, but which is peculiarly inju' 
rious to those of the middle ranks. Many a 
female, because she has been educated at a 
boarding-school, returns home, not to assist 
her mother, but to support her pretens'ons 
to genii! ity by idleness, dress, and dissioa- 
tion. She conceives herself degraded by 
domestick occujialiun, and expects to lose 
her credit if she is known to he industrious; 
wMile the fond parents too frequently aid 
the delusion, and in due time fransfer her to 
a husband, to curse him with a fortune of a 

1* 



4 INTRODUCTION. 

few himdreds ; a sum which she supposes 
inexhaustible ; accordingly she takes care to 
remind him, on every occasion, of the hand- 
some fortune she brought him, as well as of 
the gentility of her boarding-school educa- 
tion. With what pity do we anticipate the 
sequel; and how many, who might have 
been formed to inestimable characters, have 
been thus rendered worse than useless to 
society ! To afford a hint to such, as well as 
to those, who, from various other causes, may 
be incompetent to the duties of this impor- 
tant station, is the object of the following 
pages : and it is hoped that some of the ob- 
servations introduced may he found suitable 
to their circumstances, and deserving their 
attention. 

Many, when they enter the married life, 
assume a consequence to which their charac- 
ters by no means entitle them. To be a 
wife, and to be a good wife, which is from the 
Lord, are two very distinct things : and if 



INTRODUCTIOIff. 5 

you, my dear reader, have no just claims to 
the latter title, that of the former will soon 
dwindle into insignificance. The situation 
in which you are placed is of vast, of vital 
importance; support the dignity of it by 
your conduct, and add not to the number by 
which it is brought into disrepute and con- 
tempt.— The mothers of those who have 
decided the fate of empires were once young 
wives, such as you are ; and, perhaps, the 
happiness or misery of thousands then ud- 
boru originated in their conduct. But, should 
the influence of your posterity never extend 
beyc»nd the limits of private life, the eflects 
of your conduct will yet be sufficiently im- 
portant to warrant an earnest expostulation. 
Indeed your own respectability and happi- 
ness so immediately depend upon those of 
your family, that in neglecting the latter, the 
former are unavoidably undermined. — Some 
there are who contrive to plod through life, 
without any failings prominent euougb to 



6 INTRODUCTION. 

incur (he censure of their acquaintance, and 
pass in the crowd for miehty good sort of 
women : thouo;h it does not invariably hap- 
pen that their families possess even these 
negative advantages : such have probably 
sunk into insipidity of character, from want 
of a timely stimulus and proper direction ; 
and talents, which either lie dormant, or are 
wasted in trivial pursuits, might have been 
rendered, by early assistance, extensively 
useful. Many others, who, from their con- 
duct in life, but too justly incur the censures 
of society, might equally with these have 
merited its applause, had some friendly hand 
been stretched out at the commencement of 
their journey, to guide them in the ditficult 
and dubious way. To ensure so happy a 
result, let it be your ambition, my dear rea- 
der, to form a sterling character; and, while 
you contemplate women who command your 
esteem, endeavour to become estimable your- 
self: while others} act desultorily, without 



INTRODUCTION. i 

design, and from mere impulse, do you pro- 
ceed on principle; or, while their aim is 
fashion, let yours be steadiness. 

There are two extremes into which young 
people are apt to fall, perhaps equally inimi- 
cal to respectability of conduct : the one is 
confidence, the other timidity. The former, 
without doubt, is the most decided enemy 
to improvement ; it renders the character 
ridiculous, and deprives it of a thousand 
advantages, by which the humble and teacha- 
ble are benefited : but, where the latter pre- 
dominates, the result is nearl}' the same; 
want of courage is mistaken for inability ; 
and, from fear of making an effort, no effort 
is made. 

Where, however, as in the raajoritj'^ of 
instances, there is no material deficiency in 
the intellectual powers, much may be effect- 
ed by well timed advice, encouragement, or 
admonition ; and those whose age and expe- 
rience qualify them for the service, ought 



8 INTRODUCTION. 

conscientiously to avail themselves of pro- 
per occasions upon which to render it. — 
Some years ago, a lady, who went with a 
party to the British Museum, expressed con- 
tempt and dissatisfaction at every thing she 
saw; protested it was loss of time to con- 
tinue, and urged the company to hasten 
their departure. At length they politely 
thanked the gentleman in attendance, and 
were about to withdraw, when he detained 
them by the following address to their fasti- 
dious companion : — * When 1 first saw you, 
madam, I was struck with your beauty and 
interesting appearance ; but you soon gave 
me occasion to alter my opinion : 1 pily the 
man that marries you, if any one ever will ; 
certainly 1 would not ; and I fear for you, 
unless some alteration takes place in your 
taste, manners, and habits. — Madam, 1 wish 
you a good morning.' Many years after, 
the same gentleman waited upon another 
company at the Museum : when they took 



^INTRODUCTION. 9 

their leave, and thanked him for his polite 
attentions, a lady stepped forward, and ex- 
pressed her gratitude in a manner more 
lively than the occasion seemed to require. 
The gentleman, rather surprised, professed 
himself happy in having contributed to her 
amusement. ' Sir,' said she, ' my obliga- 
tions to you far exceed those which you 
have conferred this morning.' She then re- 
called to his memory the above circum- 
stance ; and added, ' I am that lady ; and 
to you I am indebted, next to this gentle- 
man, who is my husband, for the happiest 
influence on my life and character; arising 
from the very pointed, but salutary, reproof 
which you then administered.' 

It is no wonder if the traveller, who is 
unacquainted with the road, should sometimes 
turn wrong, or be so entangled in intricate 
windings as to be unable to retrace his steps ; 
nor is it too great a stretch of candour to 
believe, that many of the actions, which 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

afford copious matter for the tongue of ca- 
lumny, or just ground for re|)roof, are the 
result, not so much of ill-intention, as of in- 
consideration or mistake. But mistakes, 
which may involve families in ruin, or ren- 
der them miserable, it becomes of the utmost 
importance to rectify ; especially if we take 
into the account the influence which they 
have ultimately on the general weal. One 
of the most prominent, and fatal in its con- 
sequences, is the propensity to assume, by 
external a{»pearance, a rank in society to 
which the finances are inadequate. This, 
indeed, is a conduct which rarely succeeds ; 
for, till one rank can assume the manners 
and habits "of those above them, it is in 
vain that they ape their dress and equipage ; 
they will generally remain stationary in the 
eyes of all who know them, and even of all 
who do not ; as the servant girl, who, taking 
the pattern of her mistress's cap, remains a 
servant girl still, and exposes herself to ridi- 



INTRODUCTION. 11 

cule for her presumj)tion. As nothing is 
more common than this destructive ambi- 
tion, tiiough so little is really gained by it, 
some of the subsequent pages shall be devot- 
ed to the consideration of this, and the oppo- 
site line of conduct : but previously we shall 
treat of more important matters. 



12 



?}«• II. 

CONDUCT TO THE HUSBAND. 

The first object that should claim your 
attention, is that being with whom you have 
united your fortunes. When he vowed to 
take you for better for worse, he staked the 
happiness of his future life ; a treasure for 
which the most ample portion is insufficient 
to compensate. On your part, you promised 
to love as well as to honour and obey ; and 
probably from the all-perfect being to whom 
you then surrendered yourself, you expected 
to derive such uninterrupted felicity as would 
render the fulfilment of this promise constant- 
ly easy and delightful. But, however dis- 
creet your choice has been, time and circum- 
stances alone can sufficiently develope your 
husband's character : by degrees the disco- 
very will be made that you have married a 



CONDUCT TO THE HUSBAND. 13 

mortal, and that the object of your affections 
is not entirely free from the infirmities of 
human nature. Then it is, that by an im- 
partial survey of your own character, your 
disappointment may be moderated ; and your 
love, so far from declining, may acquire ad- 
ditional tenderness, from the consciousness 
that there is room for mutual fori)earance. 

Should your husband's temper be of the 
placid and gentle kind, endeavour to perpe- 
tuate it, even though your own may not na- 
turally be of that description, and you will 
have a powerful incentive to imitation, in 
observing the benign effects of such disposi- 
tions on yourself and others : especially re- 
collect, that nothing is more contagious than 
a bad temi)er, and that a disordered mind, as 
well as a diseased body, may spread infection 
over a whole house. — Should he be morose, 
fretful, or capricious, liable to sudden sallies, 
or the prey of constant irritability, the cure 
cannot be effected by opposing similar qua- 



14 CONDUCT TO THE HUSBAND. 

lities ; by these the evil would be increased 
and perpetuated : but their contraries, sweet- 
ness, the coolness of a reasonable mind, and 
that kindness which anticipates the causes 
of irritation, or allays and soothes it when 
it is excited, even if they failed to produce 
the change in his feelings that might be 
expected, would at least have the most salu- 
tary influence upon your own, and bring 
a revenue of peace to the mind under all its 
trials. — There is one simple direction, which, 
if carefully regarded, might long preserve 
the, tranquillity of the married life, and in- 
sure no inconsiderable portion of coonuhial 
happiness : it is, to beware of the first dis- 
pute. 

As the head of a family, you mrjst expect 
to meet with provocation, and to (ind your 
patience conlirjually called to the proof; but 
you are utterly unfit to command others, if 
yon cannot command yourself; and that is a 
lesson which ought to have been previously 



CONDUCT TO THE HUSBAND. 15 

learned, for it will be difficult to acquire it 
when pressed by business and surrounded 
by vexations, which demand its immediate 
and perfect exercise. Destitute of a qualifi- 
cation so important, you cannot acquit your- 
self well; and possessing it, you will proba- 
bly rule even over your husband with a 
sway which he will not be inclined to dis- 
pute, and of which you need not yourself be 
ashamed. There cannot, indeed, be a sig;ht 
more uncouth, than that of a man and his 
wife struggling for power; for where it ought 
to be vested, nature, reasop, and scripture, 
concur to declare : but the influence acquir- 
ed by amiable conduct and s*"lf-oommand 
does not fall under this censure. She 
whose firedominant passion is the love of 
sway, has cerfaitil}' mistaken her object 
when she exercises it upon her husband. 
How preposterous is it to hear a woman 
say, ' It shall be done !' — ' I ivill have it so !' 
and often extending her authority not only 



16 CONDUCT TO THE HUSBAND. 

beyond her jurisdiction, but in niatters where 
he alone is competent to act, or even to 
judge. A man of common understanding, 
though he may derive benefit from his wife's 
advice, certainly ought not to be governed 
by her: and as the fool sailh to every one 
* I am a fool,' it is presumed that whoever 
has the misfortune to be united to such a 
one, might have previously made the disco- 
very, and can only have herself to blame. 
Bui the woman who can tyrannize over her 
husband, will generally betray the same dis- 
position towards her children, her servants, 
and her acquaintance. By all of these she 
may contrive to be feared; and as it is pro- 
bable tiial to be loved is no part of her am- 
bition, she escapes the mortification of disap- 
pointment : but, my young friend, I would 
hope better things of you, and that to deserve 
and ensure the aflVctions of your family is 
the virtuous satisfaction at which you conti- 
nually aim. 



CONDUCT TO THE HUSBAND. If 

In order to cherish these kindly feelings, 
accustom yourself, in the contemplation of 
your husband's character, to dwell on the 
bright side ; let his virtues occupy your 
thoughts more than his failings : this will 
impel yo:i to honour him in the jiresence of 
others, and jnrjy eventually produce the hap- 
piest effects on his character; for most [iro- 
bahly he will feel the value of that estima- 
tion in which you hold him, and be solici- 
tous to ()reserve it. — Do not expose his fall- 
ings; no, not to your most cotifidential friend* 
^If, unhappily, they are of the more flagrant 
kind, he divulges them himself; but if, on 
the contrary, they are merely such as prove 
him to he a fallible creature. leave your 
friends to infer it for themselves, rather than 
furnish them with proofs of it from your com- 
plaints. Your own fMilings (should you have 
any) you would studiously conceal ; and pro- 
batily you think it the duty of your husband 
;i conceal them too: but the golden rule of 



18 CONDUCT TO THE HUSBAND. 

doing to others as you would they should do 
unto you, does not apply, in this case, with 
sufficient force ; because it is your very self, 
your better self, who would suffer by such an 
exposure ; his honour and yours are insepara- 
bly one. 

It has been observed, that you have unit- 
ed your fortunes: how absurd then would it 
be to urge your husband to expenses beyond 
his income ! how thoughtless, to forget that 
you must stand or fall together! — There 
are many, who, instead of restraining those 
generous spirits that would make cosily - 
sacrifices to love, have adopted the ruinous 
system of getting all they can ; not consider- 
ing that they are but taking out of one 
pocket to put into another, or foreseeing the 
consequence, in having both pockets emjity. 
But young women, who have been profusely 
supplied with money by their parents, are 
often not snfficientl}' aware of its value: 
those who, while single, have been accus- 



CONDUCT TO THE HUSBAND. 19 

fomed only to a?k and have, to have and 
spend, will rarely make careful or economi- 
cal wives ; and hence appears the utility of 
parents allowing; their drtughtersa stipulated, 
but moderate sum, for their dress and other 
expenses at an early a^e : this will inure 
them to hahits of economy, and restrain 
them from heina; lavish in domestick expen- 
diture. Hence too the benefit of admitting 
them to family confidence, and making them 
acquainted with the general state of affairs. 
In most cases, they will thus discover that 
their income, however abundant, is not quite 
inexhaustible, and that there may be such a 
thins as living beyond it. Of this simple 
truth it is especially important that a wife 
should be convinced, though to the minds of 
some it seems never to have occurred. 

There are few husbands so a*ir(>it in the 
management of their incomes as 'o t)e entire- 
ly able to defeuii them from dissipation, 
where ignorance or extravagance are the 

2* 



20 CONDUCT TO THE HUSBAND. 

characteristicks of the wife. Vain are his 
labours to accumulate, if she cannot, or will 
not, expend with discrelion. Vain too are 
his expectations of happiness, if economy, 
order, and regularity, are not to be found at 
home: and the woman ^^ ho has not feeling 
anti principle sutficient to regulate her con- 
duct in these concerns, will rarely acquit 
herself respeclal>ly in the more elevated 
(larts of female duty. We shall therefore 
request permission to introduce a subject 
which, though less sentimental than some 
we have already noticed, has often an equal 
influence on the happiness of the married 
life. 



21 



N^- TIT. 

DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 

The minute <Ietails into which we are 
about Jo enter, in this chapter, may seem 
beneath (he dijinity of instructitm : but if 
* general principles ar*' thereby better under- 
stood, they will not require apology. Even 
an astronomer, reasof»iiiQj upon the planetary 
system, resorts to a diagram of a few simple 
lines, an<l explains clearly the most sut lime 
or intricate doctriries by this means. Wtth- 
out further jireiiice then, we shall place at 
the hta<l of the present siitject. a sirn[;le 
caleulatson, wliich forms a sage, but neglect- 
ed maxim, ' A pniny a day is thirty shillings 
a year.'' 

Were this habitually kept in view, how 
many superfluous expenses would I e curtail- 
ed ! It would raise the ci»aracter of that 



22 DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 

degraded thing apenni/, to its proper value; 
pence would accumulate till they became 
pounds; and, like a well disciplined troop 
surrounding our possessions, would prevent 
insidious depredations, and often keep pover- 
ty at bay. It is to be feared, that few of 
those who frequently say. ' It is but a penny,' 
will become possessed of pounds by their 
own prudence and management. Yet a 
penny a day does not suffice such persons 
as these to disregard and to squander; the 
same disposition pervades their whole con- 
duct, and is a constant drain upon their 
pecuniary resources : probably every article 
with which they are concerned will pay its 
tribute to the idol of extravagance ; and the 
amount of such a daily tax it is fearful to 
calculate. That this calculation may not 
eventually be made by the cre<iitor, an 
account book is earnestly recommended ; 
printed ones may be had with columns for 
every article, and for every day in the year ; 



DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 23 

and to those who are so frequently \von<Ier- 
ing which way their money goes, this would 
have the effect of demonstration ; it would 
do away all that was mysterious in the busi- 
ness, and convince them that they have 
neither had holes in their pockets, nor been 
robbed. Many persons satisfy themselves 
with keepins an account of the larger sums 
they expend ; but these can generally be 
recollected; while the shillings and sixpences 
pass away in great numbers, and almost im- 
perce[)tibly, because deemed too trifling for 
notice. A strict account of these would at 
a glance convince of their importance. It 
would exhibit, at one view, the enormous 
amount of money expended in gloves, ri- 
bands, and other articles of haberdashery, in 
which some young women are thoughtlessly 
profuse; and it might prove a more effectual 
antidote to the passion for great bargains, 
than any that could be written upon the 
subject. It is certain, that though the afflu- 



24 DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 

ent may occasionally indulge themselves in 
purchasing articles lliey do not want, or 
perhaps never may, those who are not afflu- 
ent should by no means allow such a propen- 
sity ; lest while a great bargain is lying by 
useless, they should actually be in want of a 
common necessary. Some years ago, a 
female, who had by imprudence reduced 
herself to her las! ninepence, was prevailed 
upon, by its cheapness^ to purchase a pretty 
box for the reception of threads and tapes ! 
Alas ! it was iloubtful whether she would 
ever more be mistress of either ta|)es or 
threads ! 

If that money which is spent by the young 
and inconsiderate, in a des!ihory or super- 
fluous manner, were liept in reserve to sup- 
ply the |»lace of each useful article, as il is 
laid aside ; it would l)e very a<lvantiigeous 
to those whose finances render it difficult to 
jticike large purchiises. To such it is of 
great importance lo keep up the original 



DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 25 

slock ; and if they were, at stfited times, to 
put hy a certain sura, however small, they 
would have a little fund constantly rising, 
and be exempted from those anxieties which 
many, for want of better management endure. 
Should this plan be thought eligible, let 
servants' wages especially be includetl; and 
if the day upon which they became tlue 
were previously marked in the account- 
book, it would ensure their punctual payment, 
and the wnges of the hireling would not be 
kept back, either by lack of m^"ans or treache- 
ry of memory. A jioor girl, who go« s to 
service with a scanty wardrobe, has often 
to endure inconveniences, or incur debts, 
through the negligence of her employers, 
which a little attention on their part, to her 
necessities and feelings, would easily prevent. 
Much loss is sustained by purchasing arti- 
cles of housekeeping in smill quantities; 
not only as to their original cost. •'Uf in their 
consumption, as many of them are benefited 



26 DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 

by keeping : nor can regular weekly pay- 
ments he too forcibly recommended. It is 
frequently impossible to ascertain whether a 
bill of even a month's standing is quite cor- 
rect ; and many who are tempted to let them 
run still longer, increase with the delay the 
probability of not paying them at all : th(»se 
who are honestly determined that they shall 
be paid, would find it more prudent and less 
difficult to discharge them weekly, and there- 
by at once defend their own property, and 
ensure that of their tradesmen. — A house- 
keeper who had a«lopted the injudicious jitac- 
tire of paying but once a year, having equal- 
ly i\\\it\e\\ his custom between two bakers, 
found that one of them had charged him for 
a quantity of brea^l just twice as much as he 
had had from the other ! Tradesmen are 
not all dishonest, but all are liable to mis- 
lakes, many of which in a long account can- 
not be rectified. 

A discreet housekeeper will distinguish 
between necessary and unnecessary expen- 



DOMESTICK ECONOMV. 2T 

ses : as no one can work wilh<)u( tods, every 
house ought to be furnished wilh appropriate 
utensils, or there will be great codfusion 
and inconvenience in domestiek business. 
A deficiency of this kind is sometimes sup- 
plied by borrowing of neighbours, and leav- 
ing them no alternative between the injury 
of their goods by contitiuHl use or removal, 
and a negative which they would feel it 
painful to give. It is aslonishina; to what 
inconveniences some people subject them- 
selves and their unfortunate neighbours for 
years, to save the expense of a few shillings, 
jierhaps a few pence; forgetting that while 
they are sending to next door,, or across the 
way, tbey mny lose more time than the bor- 
rowed article is worth. Yet the contrary 
extreme should be avoided, and whim not 
mistaken for necessity : many ijiandy things 
may be dispensed with, and the money they 
would cost, which, if properly employed, 
is the handiest thing of all, devoted to more 
useful purposes. 



28 DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 

But if small inadvertent expenses may 
become serious in the agg:regate, what must 
be the result of a style of dress and appear- 
ance throughout, to which the circumstances 
are unequal I Many persons are so adroit in 
purchasing;, in rutfing; and contriving, that 
they can obtain articles at a much cheaper 
rate than others : but perhaps when re(!uced 
by those melius to their lowf^st cost, the 
amount not only exceeds what ought to be 
afforded, but Ihe article so obtained ii! ac- 
cords with the rank in life, or coutined in- 
come, of the purchaser, and only exposes 
her to ridicule or censure. Thogp who ob- 
tain for four pounds that which is worth five, 
are neither to be praised nor envied, if two 
were as much as they ought to have Sj ent. 
— A smart young cuu|)le were once passing 
the door of a tradesman to wliom ihey owed 
a small sum of rather too long standing, 
when the creditor was beard io exclaim, 
' See how tine ihey are ! ihey bad better pay 



DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 29 



% 



their debts.' Now it happened that th^ir 
finery had cost them nothing;, for it was fur- 
nished by their kind but ill-judyiing friends ; 
this, however, the tradesman could not know, 
nor do lookers on in general either know or 
care, how finery is obtained; but Ihey do 
know whether situation and appearance cor- 
resjKmd, and they make their animadver- 
sions accordingly'. 

Next to the knowledge of what to gety is 
the necessary study of how to keep. It is 
astonishing at what a small expense some 
persons will maintain a genteel appearance : 
and here I hope I shall not be ihouulit too 
minute, if I allude to the care which is re- 
quisite to apparel o^* as well as on ; permit 
me to say, that articles neatly dustetl, brush- 
ed, folded, and laid in a place of safety, will 
retain their beauty lor a length of time, of 
which those who never m:\i\ii the experiment 
would be incredulous. It is also to be v\i jib- 
ed, that mothers, iu those ranks where income 



30 DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 

is usually small, would initiate their daugh- 
ters well in the art of repairing; it is an in- 
dispensable part of female economy, and its 
humble tropiiies would be in reality more 
iionourable, as well as more useful, than the 
finest piece of embroidery ever sent in from 
a boarding; school r much comfort, in families 
that are not affluent especially, depends 
upon the ' stitch in time.' 

That house only is well conducted, where 
thire is a strict attention paid to order and 
rey:ularity. To do every thing in its proper 
time, to keep every thing in its right place, 
and to use every thing for its proper use, is 
the very essence of good management, and 
is well expressed in one of the Lancasterian 
establishments, ' the rule of this school is 
to have a place for every thing, and every 
thipo; in its place.' While 8f»me think ihey 
have no time to put things awriy, others hs- 
sert that they have no time to misifl ice 
them j no half hours to spare io searching for 



DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 31 

lost goods. The time of every individual 
ought to be precious; with the mistress of a 
family it is peculiar! j so; and a proper ad- 
justment of this cannot be too forcibly incul- 
cated. Meals should always be ready at the 
stated time; and servants, if possible, oblig- 
eti to be punctual : but to etfect this, and 
prevent confusion, they must receive clear 
an<i early orders. Early rising, where the 
health will permit, produces more advan- 
tages than the mere lengthening of the day. 
An honest labouring man said once, very 
significantly, to a gentlemen in whose neigh- 
bourhood he livedo ' I observe, sir, you are 
up very early of a morning: I believe, if all 
housekeepers would do the same, they would 
find their account in it at the years end.' 
This has often been fouifd to lie true. Where 
servants are ill disposed, and their employers 
are known to be snfe in their chaml)ers (ill a 
late ht»ur, depredations to no inconsiderable 
amount may easily be carried on. 



.» 



32 DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 

There are some who complain that the 
day 18 too long; others, that it is too short; 
for the toriner there is no excuse : and many 
of ihe latter would find it difficult to produce 
one, were they told of the desultory rnnnner 
in which they pass their lime. Those who 
will sit an hour idle over ilie fire at dusk 
light, to save an inch of candle, must not 
complain of being busy: it is probable that 
if others were to value their time no more 
than they appear to do themselves, they 
•would resent the apparent injustite. 

The hints that have here been given, are 
mere hints, and form a small proportion of 
those which the subject of dotnestick econo- 
my suggests : but some may lliink them al- 
ready too minute, and others may even ob- 
ject to the principles upon which they are 
founded : if, however, they would take the 
trouble to look around I hem in the world, 
instances would not be wanting to sanction 
and enforce both the principles and the par- 



DOMESTICK ECONOMr. 33 

ticulars. For the accoraraodation of some rea. 
ders, one shall be selected from a number 
known to the author. 

A gay young person of nineteen, who had 
married a respectable tradesman soon after 
she left a boarding school, had a young friend 
in similar circumstances, who was lamenting 
their mutual ignorance, and expressing her 
fears lest they should be unable, little as 
they knew of doraestick management, to 
acquit themselves well in their new situa- 
tions. ' Dear me !' was the reply, ' 1 do not 
trouble my head about that ; the maids will 
do those things.' This, with the disordered 
state of her wardrobe, and many symj)toms 
of a similar nature, excited in her friend, 
who had rather more thought, no very san- 
guine hopes of her success. It is almost 
superfluous to record the sequel : her husband 
was a bankrupt in two years ! So well had 
the m.atds managed for her ! 



34 DOMESTICK ECONOMT. 

There are honourable examples of an 
opposite class ; but they are too rare ; and 
should any of my readers be disposed to imi- 
tate them, they must pay the price, and dare 
to he singular ; for if among their own ac- 
quaintance they lack a precedent, they must 
venture to make one. Shoukl they wish to 
maintain their rank in society, it will be 
better preserved by having it said, that the}^ 
have more than they spend ; than, that they 
spend more than they ought. It is true 
that he who will be rich at any rate pierceth 
himself through with many sorrows; but 
' give me neither poverty nor riches,' is a 
petition not unbecoming a Christian. A 
decent comjietence, as it exempts from prey- 
ing anxiety, and from the temptation to 
mean contrivances and low subterfuges, en- 
nobles the character; and, by expanding 
the heart, promotes feelings of benevolence, 
and cherishes a variety of Christian virtues ; 
which are blighted, and sometimes totally 
. destroyed, by pecuniary difficulties. 



DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 35 

Persons who live up to their income are 
totally unprepared for sudden contingencies : 
having neglected common forelhought, they 
are little likely to extricate themselves from 
embarrassments, in Mhich they may unex- 
pectedly be involved; and are not unfre- 
quently brought, therefore, into circumstan- 
ces the most insupportable to a well-consti- 
tuted mind ; they become dependent upon, 
and burdensome to, others. 

My young friend, if you have children, 
how anxious are you that every want shall 
be supplied ! Perhaps you are one of those 
who indulge all their caprices, and can deny 
them nothing. You would be shocked to 
be com[)ared with the brute species, who, 
after all their indulgence, at length turn their 
young adrift, nor cherish them more : yet 
your conduct bears too near a resemblance 
to theirs, if, from thoughtlessness or extrava- 
gance, you make no provision for them 
against they attain your age, and are in 

3* 



36 DOMESTICK ECONOMT. 

your circumstances. If you know the value 
of only a few hundred pounds by the want 
of (hem, one would think it would naturally 
sug£;est to you the propriety of making some 
provision for your childre^, however smfill 
it may be ; and remember, that the fact of 
' a penny a day being thirty shillings a year,' 
if kept in view, and applied prudently (not 
Covetously) to your domestick economy, will 
go a great way, in the course ot lime, 
towards freeing them from many of the 
anxieties, which at this moment you may 
be enduring. ' He that provideth not for 
his own house, is worse than an infidel.' 

But, whether you have children or not, 
the period of old age will arrive to your- 
selves. Some persons toil all their lives* 
and refuse the enjoyments \^hich can only 
be relished when life is in its prime, that 
they may be rich when the power of enjoy- 
ment is over. To such, these pages are not 
addressed : but surely it is desirable, after 



DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 37 

the heat and burden of the day are over, to 
enjoy a degree of rest and Iranquillity, which 
uarrovv or embarrassed circumstances will 
not admit. How many at this period are 
deprived, by their earjj' imprudeneies, of 
comforts to which they had long been accus- 
tomed ! How many too, from the s:ime 
cause, are compelled to turn a deaf ear to the 
necessities of others, and thereby to forego 
one of the highest gratifications of wliich 
human nature is susceptible ! 

If reason should assent to any of these 
remarks, it will be wise to form correspond- 
ing resolutions, and to act upon them with 
promptitude ; for it is an awkward thing to 
make great changes and adopt new habits, 
after years of errour and misconduct ; though 
it is better to improve late than never. Af- 
fliction is the common lot of humanity ; but 
there is much that might be averted, and life 
rendered not so dreary a season as some re- 
present it, if right views, and a right direc- 



38 DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 

tion, were taken at its commencement. It 
is an imj3ortant truth, and one that should 
be continually borne in mind, that a large 
proportion of the evils which overtake us, is 
fairly attributable to the spirit of procrastina- 
tion. We could scarcely believe, did we 
not witness it every day, that a traveller 
would knowingly take the wrong road, for 
no other reason, perhaps, than because a few 
gaudy flowers grow on the way-side ; and 
often for no assignable reason whatever still 
proceed, though always intending to turn 
back at some time or other. We could 
scarcely believe, that what ought to be 
done to-day should ever be carelessly post- 
poned till to morrow, since to-morrow is 
laden with duties of its own : trifles thus 
accumulated, produce at length serious diffi- 
culties and embarrassments, from which the 
procrastiuator, of all people, is the least 
qualified to extricate himself. If the in- 
cessant confusion in which such persons in- 



DOMESTICK ECONOMY. 39 

volve themselves and others, has become so 
habitual that they scarcely perceive the 
cause of the evil, let them discern their own 
character drawn to the life, and possibly 
something like their own fate predicted, in 
an admirable tale, entitled ' To-morrorv^^ by 
Miss Edgeworth : it can scarcely fail to 
produce conviction; and the next step to 
this is, or ought to be, amendment. 



40 

]N° IV. 

SERVANTS. 

That servants have a considerable influ- 
ence on the happiness of families, few, who 
have been long accustomed to the superin- 
tendance of them, will dispute. It is pain- 
ful to hear the incessant complaints to which 
this subject gives rise, as they are strong 
indications of the continued depravity of 
the lower orders, notwithstanding the bene- 
volent exertions of the last thirty years to 
banish ignorance, and vice as its offspring. 
This, indeed, no longer excites surprise, 
when it is considered how much the whole- 
some lessons dispensed at scho»>l, are counler- 
acied at home. That such is the faci, ihose 
who fire in the habit of visiting the cottages 
of the poor do not require to be informed ; 
they meet, it is true, with some pleasing 



SERVANTS. 41 

exceptions, but at present they are excep- 
tions. We do not tind upon every heath, or 
in every cottage, such characters as the 
Shepherd of Salishury Plain, nor in the daugh- 
ters of every dairvman a Dairyman's Daugh- 
ier. Parents who from ignorance are immo- 
ral, who have been unused either to observe 
or reflect, and whose habits are uncouth and 
vulgar, cannot be expected to render their 
children moral, observant, and considerate, 
or neat and skilTuI ; nor ought the society to 
•which most servants have been exposed, to 
be forgotten : a well inclined girl is frequent- 
ly ruined by her neighbours, or the compa- 
nions of her servitude, who are much less 
likely, in general, to im[)rove than to injure 
her. What wonder then, if, when we admit 
into our houses the children or associates of 
such, we find them without principle and 
without conduct, and apparently incapable 
of using either their eyes, their ears, or un- 
derstandings I Why should we expect to 



42 SERVANTS. 

gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles ? 
To those who have passed their childhood 
in want and wretchedness, the sudden change 
which they experience when they enter 
service and are introduced to a plenlifnl sup- 
ply, is another unfavourable circumstance ; 
and is not likely to make the thoughtless 
either frugal or prudent : to plenty, they 
annex the idea of riches, and sup[»ose that 
any, and every thing, can be afforded. A 
master can hardly appear to them oiher than 
a being of a different species, with whom 
they are totally unqualified to sympathize, 
and in whose welfare they can scarcely be 
expected to take much interest. 

If therefore, from various causes, ooo^f ser- 
vants are scarce, those who have large fami- 
lies, and cannot conveniently keep more 
than one, must not be disappointed if such 
do not fall to their share. A good servant 
can always find a good situation, among 
those who are both able to appreciate her 



SERVANTS. 43 

worth, and willing to reward it : of course it 
is not likely that she will take an inferiour 
place ; nor ought those who have adopted 
the mistaken economy of giving low wages, 
to expect much better success. While some 
assert that they cannot afiford to give high 
wages, others shrewdly maintain that they 
cannot afford to give low. Persons who 
save three or four pounds a year in this way, 
forget that nothing is gained in board, and 
generally much more than an equivalent lost 
by carelessness and want of skill. 

It cannot be doubted, that much of the 
evil of which mistresses complain, would be 
remedied, if they would invariably adhere to 
giving just and faithful characters. Every 
servant should be told, when hired, that the 
whole of her conduct will be communicated 
to her next mistress : it is a false and ill- 
judging lenity that dictates an opposite con- 
duct, and is eventually injurious to both 
parties. Every one would wish to receive 



44 SERVANTS. 

a faithful character when she applies for it 
herself, and should therefore be conscieo- 
tious in giving it, nor conceal even Utile 
faults, of \vhich there would be fewer if this 
conduct were more generally adopted. An 
author, who in a recent publication asserts, 
that ' when you admit a servant into your 
house, you admit an enemy,' perhaps ap- 
proached too near the truth; yet he might 
have expressed himself with less severity, 
bad he taken all the circumstances of the 
case into consideration : at any rate, those 
who would not wish to have their assent to 
his opinion extorted by their own expe- 
rience, will be exceedingly cautious with 
regard to the characters which they either 
take or 2;ive. ' 

If Housekeepers, where it is possible, would 
put that work out which cannot be perform- 
ed at home without extra help, they would 
find their account in it. Many a worthy girl 
has been corrupted, and eveuluaUy ruined^ 



SERVANTS. 45 

by those [feople who have access to families 
as charwomeu, &c. — they are too frequent- 
ly depredators in the houses Nvhich they fre- 
quent ; and it is well if in time they do 
not prevail upon the servant to assist in 
their nefarious practices : where they do 
nothing worse, it is too frequently their cus- 
tom to prejudice servants against their places; 
and from these and similar objections, many 
judicious and experienced persons will bn no 
account suffer them to enter tiieir houses. 

But, notwithstanding all our endeavours 
to obtain and to keep good servants, we 
shall generally tiiid much devolve u|)on our- 
selves : and those certainly should not com- 
plain of the remissness of their domeslicks, 
who are Uiemselves deficient in the art of 
management. A little activity on the part 
of a mistress, especially where hut one ser- 
vant is kept, will give an agreeable finish to 
the appearance of a house, and prevent 
many a reprimand for inattention to the 



46 SERVANTS. 

minutise ; from which those, at least, who 
have a redundancy of work, ought to be 
exenipted. 

In every kitchen there should be a library, 
for which a judicious selection of books will 
be requisite, and nothing beyond the com- 
preiiension of kitchen readers admitted : but 
none in the present day need be at a loss for 
appropriate works, when, beside other things, 
so many excellent tracts may be procured 
for the instruction of the poor. Perhaps 
Mrs. More's Cheap Repository would stand 
pre-eminent in such a collection ; as the les- 
sons there given, and the examples exhibit- 
ed, judiciously blend amusement with in- 
struction. And here let me drop a hint 
respecting the choice of such publications : 
many well meaning and zealous Christians 
really counteract the good they intend to do, 
by refusing to distribute those which are of 
a lively and entertaining nature, forgetting 
that the readers they wish to serve, require 



SERVANTS. 47 

to be enticed to peruse, that they take the 
alarm at an introduction too serious, and 
rarely then go on to the end. Such persons 
have been known to throw away tracts put 
into their hands, merely from a sight of their 
solemn and injutlicious titles. Our Saviour 
pursued a ditlerent course, frequently intro- 
ducing parables of a very entertaining kind: 
and were these zealous disciples to study 
human nature in general, and especially the 
heart in its unconverted state, they might 
perceive the utility of those innocent baits, 
which more judicious Christians may set to 
catch souls. They appear not sufficiently to 
distinguish between their own sensations, 
which revolt at every thing that Is not ex- 
pressly serious, and the sensations of those 
who revolt still more against all that is. 

But to return from this digression, let 
those who are possessed of such a treasure 
as a good servant, i\u\y estimate their privi- 
lege, and be neither too rigid in their require- 



48 SERVANTS. 

tnents, nor too sparing in their rewards. It 
is poor encouragement to a servant, if she 
is invariably blarned for what is wrong, and 
never praised for what is right; and some 
respect should be paid to the feelings of 
human nature, which will not endure conti- 
nual chiding, however deserving of it : both 
praises and rewards should be suitably dis- 
pensed ; and if, when there is occasion to 
complain, appeals to reason were more fre- 
quent than they generally are, such reproof 
might have a gradual tendency to improve 
the character. The old domestick attached 
to a family, whose best days have been 
spent in faithful services, is a lovely charac- 
ter, and entitled to every indulgence : and 
when an honest and tractable disposition is 
observed in the young, self-interest alone 
would dictate an endeavour to rear a servant 
of this description, liy care and kindness, 
by mingling patience and forbearance with 
instruction or reproof. It is scarcely neces- 



SERVANTS. 49 

sary to add, that a good example must be 
set by the mistress, in order to give effect to 
her injunctions ; for if her own character is 
turbulent and disorderly, she has little rea- 
son to anticipate regularity and comfort from 
her domesticks. 

An additional hint to those youd2: mislres- 
ses who have not the knowledge requisite 
for their situation, but who, conscious of 
their deficiency, wish to acquire it, shall 
close this subject. A young and ignorant 
mistress will rarely have a servant from 
whom she may not gain, hj unobserved atten- 
tion^ some useful hints : from her last place 
something is generally brought that will 
turn to account; and there are those who 
have obtained much of their domestick know- 
ledge from this source ; it is tedious and pre- 
carious, but if necessary information can be 
obtained, those who are destitute of it shauid 
not be too |)roud,or too indolent, to avail them- 
selves of every opportunity for acquiring it-. 

4 



50 

N^ V. 

EDUCATION. 

In proportion as parents are sensible of 
the importance and difficulty of the work of 
education, will they be attentive to any otfer 
of assistance, and solicitous to qualify their 
children for discharging similar duties, when 
it shall come to Iheir turn to discipline and 
instruct. All admit that childhood is the 
time for instruction ; but the term discipline 
sounds harsh in the ears of many a tender 
mother, because she has attached to it the 
idea of severity. No wonder, then, if even 
in this, the most imi)ortant of all mortal con- 
cerns, she is tempted to procrastinate ; no 
wonder if her resolution fails, when con- 
templating the lovely cherub with a mother's 
fondness; yet she would do well to consider, 
during those tender moments, that there 
may be other cherubs quite as interesting to 



EDUCATION. 51 

their parents, who may hereafter endure the 
acutest sufferings, from their connexion with 
the darling whose passions she has not suffi- 
cient fortitude to control; the darling, who 
must grow a little older, and, of course, a lit- 
tle more ungovernable, before the dreadful 
secret is revealed to it, that all it sees, and 
all it wishes for, is not its own ! 

It is a mistake, fraught with the most dis- 
astrous consequences, to individuals, to fami- 
lies, and eventually to communities, that an 
infant is too young to be rebuked : not long 
after it can distinguish the parent, and know 
that from her it derives its nourishment, it 
may be made sensible of her displeasure, 
when evidently crying from passion • but how 
inimical to its peace and happiness are the 
absiird and mistaken notions respecting its 
crying which are generally entertained ! — 
Peo()le actually perpetuate what they wish 
to prevent, by complying thus with every 

caprice. The child who has learned that 

4* 



52 EDUCATION. 

its grali6cations are not to be purchased by 
tears and clamour, will soon forbear; will 
become tranquil and peaceable, and afford 
reason to hope, that so desirable a temper, 
improved by a rational system of education, 
will accom|>any it through life : while the 
being who has been accustomed to have 
every wish gratified, for which it could cry, 
may one day have recourse to other means, 
more forcible than crying, to obtain its ob- 
ject. Education, according to Mr. Howard, 
should commence with the first dawn of the 
mental faculties; and an anecdote is related 
by his biographer, which exhibits a speci- 
men of the discipline he really adopted : 
' His child one day wanting something 
which he was not to have, fell into a fit of 
crying, which the nurse could not pacify. 
Mr. Howard took him from her, and laid 
him quietly in his lap, till, fatigued with 
crying, he became still. This process, a 
few times repeated, had such an effect, that 



EDUCATION. 33 

the child, if crying ever so violeutly, was 
rendered quiet the instant his father took 
him. In a similar manner, without harsh 
words and threats, still less blows, he gained 
every other point which he thought necessa- 
ry to gain, and brought the child to a habit 
of obedience.'^ 

The first process of education is easy and 
simple, if not rendered otherwise by delay. 
Should the reader happily be one of those 
whose wayward passions were thus early 
checked, she will bear her testimony to the 
excellence of the principle. She has no 
gloomy recollections attached to her infant 
days : the gentle discipline she underwent 
was at too early a period to leave any traces 
upon her memory; the violence of self-will 
was soon, but surely checked, and she has 
not sallied into life with her hand against 

* When there is reason to fear that the child may be 
injured by excess of crying, let it be pacified or diverted by 
some other object ; but by no means that for which it first 
cried. 



54 EDUCATION. 

every one, and, of course, every one's hand 
against her ; as is the case where passion 
has been suffered to domineer without con- 
trol. 

It is a question, in some cases, whether 
the infants of the rich or the poor are the 
worst situated ? The former are frequently 
exposed to a degree of neglect and suffering 
in the nursery, which might damp the viva- 
city of some gay mothers, were they aware 
of it : and those who are anxious to cultivate 
amiable dispositions in their families, and 
to preserve the simplicity and purity of their 
minds, will intrust them as little as possible 
to the care of servants and hirelings ; re- 
joicing if their rank in society, or small 
circle of what are called friends, allows them 
the unremitting superintendance of their 
bodies and minds. The cusiom of not per- 
mitting children to sleep with any but the 
most confidential domtsticks, and not even 
with them any longer than is absolutely ne- 



EDUCATION. 55 

cessary, cannot be too carefuliy attended to : 
the evils of neglecting it are great and va- 
rious, as many have lamented, and many 
more might confess. Servants, if not ill- 
dis|iosed, are, in general, too ignorant to be 
trusted much alone with children : and the 
terrours which a superstitious girl may ex- 
cite in their minds, are, often so strong, as to 
baffle the efforts of reason during many suc- 
ceeditig years. Children have naturally, or 
early acquired, a fear of * the dark;' which 
it is desirable as quickly as possible to re- 
move :, but a few words dropt by a servant 
relative to ' the ghost' — ' the old man,' — or 
some such mysterious personage, who ia in- 
voked, perhaps, to run away with the young 
delinquent, may ren<ler ever}' attempt to 
dispel it for a long time unavailing. Ano- 
ther practice, extremely injudicious, is that 
of habituating a child to have some one, or 
at least a light, in the room with it, till it 
alls asleep : this is to cherish fear, instead of 



56 EDUCATION. 

destroying it ; and when is it to be laid aside ? 
When the poor child becomes old enough to 
be beaten for wanting it ; and when its ima- 
gination has acquired activit}' sufficient to in- 
crease and magnify the images, which were 
too vague at first to have made any deep 
impression upon its fears, if judiciously re- 
pressed. A father has been known to un- 
dress and go every evening to bed with his 
only son, till he was ten or eleven years of 
age. When the darling had been by this 
means lulled to slee(), the parent was at 
liberty to creep down again to his friends 
or his business ! 

It is doubtful whether the bodies or the 
minds of children sustain the greatest injury 
from the inordinate gratification of their ap- 
petites. There are few adults, in our days, 
whose experience does not enjoin them to 
practice abstinence, sometimes in conse- 
quence of early indulgence; and, where this 
is the case, the habit of self-denial is very 



EDUCATION. 57 

difficult to form, perhaps is never acquired ; 
and a life of disease is endured for want of it. 
Others, whose constitutions have not suffer- 
ed, have felt the haneful effects of a pamper- 
ed appetite in distant periods of life ; when, 
instead of having it gratified hy what is nice, 
they have been deprived by poverty of com- 
mon necessaries, and have then felt ihe con- 
trast with double poignancy. Children should 
be accustomed to plain and wholesome food ; 
should never, when in health, be permitted 
to choose for themselves, or to ask for this 
or that particular part or dish : nor will they 
do it, but eat their meals jieaceably, (a great 
help to digestion,) if they find there is noth- 
ing to be had but what is placed before 
them ; nothing, especially, for asking or for 
crying for : they should learn, as soon as pos- 
sible, that man does not live to eat ; but that 
he eats to live. 

How many family misfortunes are fairly 
attributable to the love of dress I How many 



53 EDUCATION. 

might be obviated if this destructive passion 
were nipped in the bud ! if chihlren were 
early taught the original use of clothing, and 
were mothers contented with keeping them 
clean and warm ! There is so strong a pro- 
pensity to decorate these objects of our affec- 
tion» that an attempt to eradicate it is not 
made with very sanguine hopes of success : 
and such a copious source of maternal enjoy- 
ment might be left unmolested, were it not 
for the injurious effects produced by it upon 
the infant mind. Yet, if there is a period 
when the costume of a certain sect might 
prove really advantageous, it is that of child 
hood ; a period in which every bugle becomes 
the prolifick seed of vanity and extravagance. 
— What cost is frequently bestowed upon an 
infant's dress ! An infant ! which wants noth- 
ing to make it lovely and interesting ! At 
first it receives neither pleasure nor injury 
from the beauty of its attire ; for, in orna- 
ment, simply considered, there is no evil; 



EDUCATION. 59 

but presently the child grows susceptible of 
injurious feelings. The new shoes, the fine 
hat, or frock, is promised as a reward for 
good behaviour; is admired by every good- 
natured friend to whom it is shown ; and no 
wonder if objects thus recommended become 
deeply and permanently interesting. How 
lamentable, that some of the (irst lessons 
conveyed to the mind should be in direct 
opposition to the divine mandate ; not to be 
solicitous about what we shall eat, or what 
we shall drink, or wherewithal we shall be 
clothed ! 

If to be genteel is the object, some of my 
readers might be informed, that in decking 
their children with finery, they depart Irom 
the general practice of the rich and elegant : 
children in such families are, with few ex- 
ceptions, distinguished by the plainness of 
their attire ; and whatever taste for dress 
they in future evince, it is a foible which 
seldom originates in the nursery. It is not 



60 EDUCATION. 

till the period at which education is said to be 
finished, and young; hdits, are ' brought out,' 
to exhibit the efifect of theirs to the world, 
that much supert1uii;y of ornament is permit- 
ted by mothers who are really genteel. 

It is an errour very prevalent, but much 
to be de[)lored, that the mtrsery, of all 
places, should be destitute of neatness. Or- 
der, cleanliness, and regularity, have the 
happiest influence on the human mind, and 
contribute more to keep the temper placid, 
and the head clear, than many people are 
aware of. * Let every things be done decent- 
ly and in order,' is a precept that should be 
extended from our religious concerns to all 
the affairs of life; and where this invalua- 
ble principle is associated with the habits of 
childhood, it may reasonably be expected to 
pervade the subsequent conduct, and contri- 
bute largely to individual and domestick hap- 
piness. Children who are always accustom- 
ed to replace their toys when done with ; to 



EDUCATION. 61 

make no unnecessary dirt or litter; to be 
puuctual in their observance of time and 
place; will, even from the force of habit, 
practise the same regularity in more im|)or- 
tant concerns, on which (he prosperity of 
future families may depend. It is to be re- 
gretted that males are so generally neglected 
in this respect; even where, with the females, 
it is strictly attended to. This negligence 
originates in the mistaken notion of its be- 
ing out of a boy's department to be neat and 
observant. It is not likely that, with the 
utmost care, he should become too much so, 
if that care is judiciously exercised; and 
habits of regularity are as advantageous to 
him as to his sister. Beside which, the 
comfort accruing both to mistresses and ser- 
vants, where the males of a family have 
been so instructed, none but mistresses and 
servants can duly appreciate. The only evil 
that could result to the young men them- 
selves, would be in the event of their future 
coQuexiou with females of o[>posite habits. 



62 EDUCATION. 

It would contribute much to the comfort 
of families, without in the least iiitcn-feriug 
with that of childr*^ji, if some reasonable 
bounds were set to the noise and clamour 
witli which people suffer themselves to be 
annoyed, because they suppose it unavoida- 
ble. Children certainly mi^jht be accustom- 
ed to quiet at certain times and in certain 
places : and those who question the practica- 
bility of this, have only to recollect what 
wonders have been done with the brute sj>e- 
ci€S by the force of habit merely. Are 
children less teachable than brutes ? — A 2:en- 
tleman once seeing a child much hurt by a 
fall, expressed his surprise that he did not 
cry. ' I must not cry in the parlour,' said 
the child. And what injury did he sustain 
■by this prohibition ? Perhaps by the time he 
had jreacbed the nursery the pain had sub- 
eided, and he felt no inclination to cry at 
^, Unless, however, such prohitnlic^iis ori- 
ginate in rational motives, motives which 



EDUCATION. 63 

children will soon perceive to be rational, 
little benefit wili be derived from them be- 
yond present quiet. A family of eight or 
nine children, who had been placed under 
the most unreasonable restrictions, and ren- 
dered almost mutes by the father's caprice, 
evinced, some of them by their future con- 
duct, that they had rather been tbe slaves of 
absurd self-will, than the subjects of paternal 
government. The frolick of infancy and the 
vivacity of youth are so natural and engag- 
ing, that those who attempt to suppress them, 
rarely succeed in forming a pleasing charac- 
ter. It is only excessive or ill-timed vivaci- 
ty that a judicious parent wishes to con- 
trol ; but of times and seasons the parent 
must be the sole and unquestionable judge. 
A word, or a look, should be a sufficient 
signal, and instantly obeyed. 

Parents should recollect, that what is most 
fascinaiing in their own eyes, and si»unds 
that are musick to their ears, may be ex- 



64 EDUCATION. 

tremely troublesome and oppressive to others. 
It was the remark of a sensible woman, that 
* People think their children can do no 
harm :' the noise, the distyrbance, even the 
diseases of their children, can be unplensant 
to no one. This mistake renders the visits 
of those who are accomi»anie»! by a rude and 
clamorous child, very unwelcome and irk- 
some. As it is allowed to trample upon the 
chairs and solas, to displdce, break, and 
destroy whatever it pleases at home ; those 
whom they visit cannot presume to defend 
their own furniture from similar depredation, 
but at the peril of otf^^nding the parent, or at 
least of doing violence to their own feelings. 
It is astonishing how much even superiour 
people often depart from the rules of good- 
breeding in this particular. But children 
must be kept in subordination at home, or 
they will rarely produce to their parents 
either credit or comfort abroad. 



EDUCATION. 65 

It is painful to observe, in many families, 
bow much the clue order of things is revers- 
ed, by obliging the elder children to give 
place to the younger : when, if there is any 
weight in the arguments lor early discipline, 
the reverse should be the case. This spe- 
cies of hardship and persecution has the 
most injurious effect on the temper of both, 
as it is not by acts of oppression and injus- 
tice, that the feelings of benevolence and 
brotherly kindness can be cherished, either 
in the oppressor or the oppressed. Those 
"who practise this mode of appetising their 
younger children, should remember, that the 
surrender of a toy m ty be as severely felt 
by a child, as if themselves were comjelled 
to relinquish somH!hif»g of real value; and 
that the sense of wrong effectually CDUute- 
racts the disposition t<» kindness, which, per- 
haps, they endeavour to instil. A voluntary 
surrender of jpersronal grallfu'ali.ui shoidd be 
early encouraged ; sellishness, in every pos* 

5 



^6 EDUCATION. 

sible form, should be repressed : but coer- 
cion, though it may form habits, never 
forms principles, the only security for their 
permanence. 

However diverting the mistakes of infan- 
cy may be, yet surely the sooner they are 
rectified the better. Parents, frequently not 
content with letting their children remain in 
ignorance, really promote and perpetuate it, 
by the absurd impositions they practice upon 
them ; equally unconscious of the injury they 
are doing, and of the ease and facility with 
which they might be instructed. They 
might improve every little occurrence, read 
lectures upon almost every domestick pro- 
cess, and make every utensil a diagram, 
with scarcely any interruption to their own 
avocations: and if, instead of a laconick 
command, ' Do this,' or ' Do that,' they were 
to explain the reason why this or that should 
be done, they would at once impress it upon 
the memory, and dispose the pupil to obey, 



EDUCATION. 67 

from the conviction that the method pre- 
scribed was the only, or the best means, by 
^vhich he could accomi^lish his purpose. To 
accustom chihiren to habits of observation 
on passing events and daily occurrences, 
would oe more beneficial than the abun- 
dance of tasks and lessons, with which riieir 
tender memories are frequently loaded. Me- 
mory, it is certain, must be early and dili- 
gently exercised, or it will never acquire 
facility and strength ; but its labours must 
bear some proportion to the growth of the 
understanding, or its exertions will be fa- 
tigue, and its stores, lumber. A mind early 
accustomed to act upon what it sees, will 
acquire a degree of vigour, and a power of 
discrimination, extremely serviceable in the 
ditlicult and intricate circumstances to which 
human life is exposed. As much as possi- 
ble to excite the mental capacity, parents 
should discuss their affairs in the presence 
of their children, who will seldom make an 

5* 



68 EDUCATION. 

ill use of Iheir confidence, unless there has 
been some radical errour in the treatment 
they have received ; an(i this certainly should 
be corrected before tlie |>!an pro[>osed can 
prudently be adopted. Where, from hiibits 
of integrity and proper feeling, a child may 
be relied upon, the happy effects of family 
confidence will soon appear : they will take 
an early interest in family concerns, and 
endeavour to promote th^ general welfare, 
with a degree of thojighifulness and self <!e- 
nial, if necessary, lisat cannijt he expected 
from tl'ose \Nho are kept at a distance, and 
treated with srr'uigene^^s and reserve. Frank- 
ness produces frankness, one of the most 
pleasing (jUJiruies of the human heart ; and 
this, family secrets and family [)arties hsve 
a continual tenilency to repress : so that 
children who hdve been brought Uj» under 
iKis system, generally acquire an uuMraiable 
casi of character through life. But the ne- 
cessity for reserve and mystery decreases, in 



EDUCATION. 69 

projmrtion (o uprightness of conduct and rec- 
tilude of inten'.ion : where these exist, there 
is generally little to concecil ; and where 
they do not, it is useless to prescribe rules 
for education. A prior work must be per- 
formed the cure must be attempted at its 
source, in the renovation of the parents. 
But this is irrelevant to the present sulyect. 
Should any question the pru<lence, or 
even the praciicai»ilily of the confidence 
here recommended, they are assured that 
it has been !*ersevered in with success in 
numerous instances ; and that children who 
have been accustumed to hear matters of 
private concern discussed in the parlour, 
from a very early a};^e, have never been 
known to divulge them beyond its precincts. 
But to this system one exception must be 
made : those who indulge in habits of do- 
mestick altercation or detraction, should 
certainly choose opportuiiities in which their 
children are absent; and a restraint of this 



70 EDUCATION. 

kind might prove as beneficial to themselves, 
as the child found it, who was not permitted 
to cry in the parlour. Few, it is presumed, 
would desire their children to withdraw for 
the purpose; and in the interval the humour 
might be diverted, or subside. 

If possible, my dear young friends, let 
your children be strangers to scenes of strife : 
they will soon learn to espouse some side, 
and participate in the unamiable feelings 
which such scenes produce. Remember 
that ' all the wars of feeling leave their 
trace :' and even if you regard their exiernal 
appearance only, be solicitous to preserve 
the countenance, that faithful index of the 
mind, from the expressions of passion. Those 
who have been nurtured ami<l scenes of do- 
mestick peace anil tranquillity, though Na- 
ture may not have been lavish of her gifts, 
generally wear such aspects, as are invalua- 
ble passports into the world. 



EDUCATION. 71 

There are, probably, persons who may 
regard some of the above suggestions as fan- 
ciful, or impracticable : but nothing has been 
advised, that has not been practised with 
success in numerous instances ; and those 
who are convinced of their importance, 
would be richly repaid by making the expe- 
riment ; to accomplish which, nothing is ne- 
cessary but resolution. When Frederick 
the Third of Prussia suggested a plan for 
the performance of some extraordinary mili- 
tary exercise, and his general objected that 
such a thing had never been done or thought 
of: he laconically replied, ' It has been 
thought of, and it shall be done :' — a spirit, 
this, which overcomes difficulties insurmoun- 
table to a feeble mind. That resolutions 
thus formed should be persisted in to any 
effect, it is necessary that both parents co- 
operate. If to keep children in subordina- 
tion, and to give a right bias to their minds, 
entirely depends upon the mother, she 



72 EDUCATION. 

should possess more strength of mind and 
address than Tails to the lot of i/omw»- females 
in general : and what objects for commisera- 
tion are ihose who, convinced of the vast, 
the vital importance of their charge, and 
sensible of their weakness if left entirely 
alone, are obstructed in their arduous efforts, 
by him who ought most anxiouslj to assist 
and support them ! A house divided against 
itself, cannot stand. How needful then is it 
that both parties should unite in the imj^rove- 
ment of their common propert} ; since, even- 
tu Iry, both must part!cij)ate in the conse- 
quences of the good and bad managt ment to 
which it has been expos* d. 

So much has been u'tten upon the com- 
parative advantages of publick and private 
education, that it would be superfluous to 
protract the dispute : an<l persons in the mid- 
dle ranks of society have IVtquenlJy no 
choice, but are obliged to be guitle<i l;y cir- 
cumstances. Yel, if there is any weight in 



EDUCATION. 73 

what has been already advanced, it is ob- 
vious that schools, which do not abounci in 
the means here recommended, cannot be pre- 
ferred. Day-schools, where any sufficiently 
respectable are within reach, may afford the 
best substitute for domestick instruction, and 
natural intructers. who forego, or are com- 
pelled to resign, one of (he most rational and 
pleasing em[iioymen{s in wluch the human 
mind can engyge. that of rearing u\) us^^tul 
members ot society, and, ultimately, inhabi- 
tants for the heavenly world. 

It is suTjirisiog how circumscribed are the 
views of many who call themselves rational 
peopb*. Hud love to be thought so. With 
common foresight theN^ might discerri (he 
fotjtuiation laid for diseases, and frequenily 
death, l»y the mode of living adopted in th(*se 
schools, the proprietors of which are not 
sufficitnlly remunerate;i lor she comforiitole 
support of the childrtii «ommitted to iheir 
care." This vital evil is -ijot so prevalent as 



74 EDUCATION. 

formerly; yet, surely, too strict an inquiry 
cannot be made, before the health of chil- 
dren, and, perhaps even of their children, is 
hazarded. It is during the season usually 
spent at school, that Nature requires more 
nourishment than at any previous, or subse- 
quent period. Dainties are unnecessary and 
injurious, either abroad or at home ; but as 
much as a healthy appetite demands of good 
and wholesome food, is indispensible both to 
body and mind : more than this, it would be 
a false tenderness to allow ; and it is the 
part of discriminating judgment to discern 
the exact point at which excess begins. That 
the mind, if not injured, at least derives no 
benefit from the ciistom already alluded to, 
of overcharging the memory wilh what is 
not understood^ many can bear their testi- 
mony, who now reflect upon such severe 
penances as the sorrows of ancient times. 
Childhood is the season lor s[)rightliness and 
vivacity, as well as for instruction ; and 



EDUCATION. 7A 

^vhether a great portion of it is not spent in 
such (Irudgerj^ as must injure both the spirits 
and health, may he questioned by those who 
have witnessed the laborious exercises with 
which children at some schools are 0|)press- 
ed. At any rate, no task can be productive 
of benefit, which is exacted as a penance : 
none can love punishment ; of course, when 
thus imposed, no chihl can love his task. 
An antipathy to the sacred Scriptures is 
often thus instilled : and what more effectual 
method could be adopted for the propagation 
of infidelit}^, than this mode of chastising the 
frolicks of youth, by giving to be learned, as 
a punishment, a chapter in the Bible ! 

It is however but justice to acknowledge, 
that there are many school, the conductor? 
of which have adopted, as mvjch as is practi- 
cable in a publick establishment, a system 
of domestick education; and thereby afford 
a pleasijig substitute {or home, to the children 
placed under their care. Such Instructers 



76 EDUCATION. 

have a strong claim upon the gratitude of 
those parents who lay them under so great 
responsibility, and repose in them a confi- 
dence, great as is the value of the treasure 
dej)Osited in their hands. 

The unavoidable evils, however, which 
have attached even to the best schools, 
most of the male sex must encounter : and 
m my circumstances conspire to render the 
number of females comparatively small, who 
receive the whole of their education under 
the parental roof. Hrippy few, who are thus 
situated ! who are trained up where affection 
is regulated by prudence and skill ! where 
no [)ains are iniiicted, or penances required, 
but siich as are dictated by the tenderest 
love, and fervent solicitude for their welfare ! 
If such do not prove bless<inga to all within 
their sphere, where are we to look for amia- 
ble charncters in this lower world ? 

But that all do not prove blessings, we 
are constrained to allow. Where this, un- 



EDUCATION. 77 

happily, is the case, I would say, do not 
publish your children's failings. Sh -uld 
their conduct be very irregular, it will war- 
rant some suspicion of youl* management ; 
and, in any case, you had much better en- 
deavour to correct what is amiss, than to 
de[)reciate thi^m in the esteem of others, 
and thus weaken one of the motives to 
honourable conduct. The consciousness of 
beins: suspected, or desi>ised, has the most 
injurious etfect upon" the mind ; while the 
hope, that wc enjoy the good opinion of our 
friendsv contributes, powerfully, to render us 
deserving of it, and frequently deters from 
unworthy actions. We find, accordingly, 
thMt those who during chiUlhood have been 
accustomed to perj)etual chiding, and fre- 
quent and publick marks of disapj)rolmtion, 
rarely attain to any dignity of character, per- 
haps not even to common respectability of 
conduct. It is lamentai !e to hear parents 
say of their children, ' I got such a one to 



rS EDUCATION. 

speak to them, for they will uot mind me.' — 
Indeed ! — Then it is to be feared, fhat the 
precMus opportunity has gone by, in which 
habits of obedience might have been formed ; 
and that an occasional reproof from a friend 
will not produce any permanent benefit. 

And now, my young friend, before I quit 
this part of my subject, I shall solicit your 
attention to one so intimately connected 
with it, that I trust I need not apologize for 
its introductio!!. It is the treatment of ani- 
mals : the im})ortance of attending to which, 
from its influence upon the happiness of jour 
children, has, perhaps, never occurred to 
you. In doing this, I feel less hesitation, 
from being sanctioned by such a name as 
that of Erskine, who, to his honour as a man 
and a senator, impelled as well by humane 
feelings towards suffering creatures, as a 
^desire to promote the interests of society, 
laid the subject liefore a British Senate. The 
respect due to so august an assembly, induce? 



EDUCATION. 79 

US to draw a veil over the result : but as the 
efforts of an immortal Clarkson, and his coad- 
jutors, in a cause of still greater magnitude, 
finally triumphed over avarice, prfjudice, 
and inhumanity ; the hope is not yet extin- 
guished, that the laws of our country may 
extend their benip;n influence to the lower 
orders of the creation ; and while niiti>^ating 
their unnecessary sufferings, aim a success- 
ful blow at, vice and immorality : though it 
is not to the credit of human nature, that we 
are obliged to inlist our own interests in the 
cause of any creature having; life or feeling, 
before its appeal can gain access to our 
hearts. 

That this subject should q^eed apology 
with the humane, especially those of the 
female sex, is surprising ; but in such cases 
it must be from want of thought, rather than 
of feeling; and .: lew words will suffice, per- 
haps, to recommend it to their consideration. 
That those domestick animals which we 



80 EDUCATION. 

retain, eidier for our convenience or caprice, 
have a righlful cF-iim u[)on ns for their main- 
teunnce and good usa^e is obvious upon a 
iTH)raent''s reflection : and what subject is 
there connected with the comfort of any 
creature that can feel, upon which we slioiiUl 
thiiik it too much to reflect for a moment ? 
Yet almost every house furnishes a proof 
that few have given themselves this trouble, 
in what Miss Porter so emi)hatically stales, 
* that ill treated and traduced creature, the 
cat.' To what severe suffering is this ani- 
mal exposed from famine, in houses abound- 
ing with plenty, where its cravings might he 
supidied by the least possible attention, and 
no expense at all. Like all otbers, when in 
a natural state, it is competent to supply its 
own necessities; or if occasionally otberwise,. 
it is no affair of ours : but when oner domes- 
ticated, though still a beast of prey, it can 
rarely maintain itself, ano has a claim upon 
those who have made it their property to 



EDUCATION. 81 

assist in its support. But poor Grimalkin is 
often dubbed thief for life, and doomed to 
continual persecution and neglect, because 
she has no alternative between famishing 
with hunger and those nefarious practices 
which are punished by the unfeeling cook 
with many a kick upon her naked ribs : 
while those who would not wantonly drown, 
burn, or scourge a poor animal to death, feel 
perfectly at ease upon the subject ; forgetting 
that tht'irs is but a negative kind of humani- 
ty. They would not neglect the bird impri- 
soned in a cage; but where is the difference 
between an animal in or out of a cage, pro- 
vided it cannot procure the means of subsis- 
tence ? 

Some people's feelings are wonderfully hurt 
if they see an animal in good condition, while 
so many of their own species are in want; 
as if there were no difference between giving 
a bone to a dog, and the meat to a beggar : 
the former can always be done with little 

6 



82 EDUCATION. 

trouble and no cost, but it is not always con- 
venient to do the latter. Those who ex- 
pend or waste upon favourite animals what 
would really supply the wants of a child, 
and who neglect a single human creature in 
order to do so, have doubtless to answer for 
a cruel misapplication of iheir benevolence. 
But it is a question, whether those in gene- 
ral who state this objection, are any more 
charitable in this way, for their want of feel- 
ins; in that. There is one^ who feeds the 
youna: ravens when they cry ; who satisfies 
the desire of every living thing; whose ten- 
der mercies are over all his works. How 
amiable those, who in imitation of the divine 
example, |)ractise universal benevolence, and 
take care of the meanest creature they call 
their own ! 

As far as cruelty, cruelty of any kind, is 
tolerJited in a state, its pretensions to civili- 
zation mny be questioned, and its views must 
be considered as proportionally contracted. 



EDUCATION. 83 

It is no remote conjecture then, that, in tear- 
ing the liml)S from the agonized body of a fly, 
the little urchin is inflicting a wound, which, 
at some future period, shall be felt by his 
country ! And, in the same act, what a 
blow may be aiming at those who witness 
the scene without concern ! An eventful 
moment shall it appear to have been when 
this minute germ of vice, though ia the esti- 
mation of his tender parents only like a grain 
of mustard seed, shall have sprung up and 
produced the most noxious fruit : — fruit which 
may poison their latter days, and eventually 
bring their gray hairs with sorrow to the 
grave ' It is only a fly.' Only a fly ! 
It might as well be an elephant ; ils eSects 
upon the tortured and the torturer are the 
same. The refined xAiheniaus adjud2;ed a 
man to dt^ath for dashing a bird to (he ground 
which had taken rffii^e in his bosom; re- 
gardifig it as an indjcafion of present bad 
feeling, and a presag*^ of future bad conduct. 

6 * 



84 EDUCATION. 

We may not approve of punishing thus bj 
anticipation ; yet we must admit, that the 
suspicion was very probably correct. But 
we need not refer to ancient times : a variety 
of names, by which the pages of modern 
literature are embellished, have enlisted upon 
the same side, and endeavoured, though 
hitherto almost in vain, to instil the feelings 
of humanity to the brute creation into man- 
kind. That' this in so many instances is 
without effect, is not surprising; for, if it is 
difficult to remove prejudices and destroy 
evil habits, in cases that have a direct influ- 
ence upon our happiness, those whose influ- 
ence is indirect or remote, though equally 
certain, are little likely to be regarded. On 
such, people will scarcely give themselves 
the trouble to think. Should the time ever 
arrive when the cries and groans of the suf- 
fering and oppressed creation find their way 
to the heart of man, and duly meliorate his 
conduct, what happy days may not be anti- 



EDUCATION. 85 

cipated ! For who couid lift a weapon against 
his brother, who, equally from principle and 
feeling, would not wantonly injure one of 
the lowest brutes ? The stag and the hare, 
those amiable and innocent creatures, would 
still bleed to supply his table; but they 
would cease to be tortured, to furnish him 
sport. There would still be butchers, but 
not huntsmen ; fishermen, but not anglers : 
the lords of the creation would no longer 
appear in a situ, t ion so calculated to excite 
a smile ; — mighty warriours, whom, with a 
troop of dogs and horses, one might imagine 
in pursuit of some nightly depredator; some 
noxious beast, who had been devouring our 
flocks, or scouring our hamlets, in quest of 
the sleeping infant ! of whom, in short, one 
might imagine any thing, rather than that 
they were pursuing a poor little animal, that 
one of their fair wives or daughters might 
destroy with the pressure of her finger and 
thumb ! Rear not up a sportsman, my young 



86 KDUCATION. 

friend ; but, by the rescue of a fly drovviiiog 
in a cup of water, or by a morsel afforded to 
a domestick animal, lay the foundation of 
more kindly feelings; feelings that may be 
productive of virtue and happiness when 
you are sleeping in the dust. This subject 
cannot conclude better than with the follow- 
ing extract from the writings of Mr. Pope : 

' Montaigne thinks it some reflection on 
human nature itself, that few people take 
delight in seeing beasts caress or play toge- 
ther, but almost every one is pleased to see 
them lacerate and worry one another. I am 
sorry this temper is become almost a distin- 
guishing character of our own nation ; from 
the observation which is made by foreigners 
of our beloved pastimes, bear-baiting, cock- 
tiii;hting, and the like. We should find it 
hard to vindicate the destroying any thing 
that has lifp, merely out of wantonness, yet 
in this principle our children are bred up : 
and one of the first pleasures we allow them 



EDUCATION. 87 

is the license of inflicting |).'iin upon poor 
animals. Almost f s soon as we are sensible 
what life is ourselves, we make it our sport 
to lake t from other creatures. 1 cannot 
but believe a very <i;ootl use mig;ht be made 
of the fancy which children have for birds 
and insects. Mr. Locke takes notice of a 
mother who permitted them to her children, 
but rewarded or [)unished them as they treat- 
ed them well or ill. This was no other 
than enterino; them betimes into a dail}'^ ex- 
ercise of humanity, and iraj.roving their di- 
version to a virtue. I fancy, too, some ad- 
vantage might be taken of the common no- 
tion, that it is ominous or unlucky to destroy 
some sorts of birds, as swallovss or martins. 
This opinion might possibly arise from the 
confidence these birds seem to put in us by 
building under our roofs : so that this is a 
kind of violation of the laws of hospitality to 
murder them. As for robin red breasts, in 
particular, it is not improbable they owe 



88 EDUCATION. 

their security to the old ballad of ' The Chil- 
dren in the Wood.' However it be, I don't 
know, I say, why this prejudice, well improv- 
ed, and carried as far as it would go, might 
not be made to conduce to the preservation 
of many innocent creatures, which are now 
exposed to all the wantonness of an ignorant 
barbarity. 

' There are other animals that have the 
misfortune, for no manner of reason, to be 
treated as common enemies, wherever found. 
The conceit that a cat has nine lives, has 
cost, at least, nine lives in ten of the whole 
race of them. Scarce a bov in the streets 
but has, in this point, outdone Hercules him- 
self, who was famous for killing a monster 
that had but three lives. Whether the un- 
accountable animosity against this useful do- 
mestick may be any cause of the general 
persecution of owls, (who are a sort of feath- 
ered cats ;) or whether it be only an unrea- 
sonable pique the moderns have taken to a 



EDUCATION. 89 

serious countenance, I shall not determine ; 
though 1 am inclined to believe the former. 
Yet, amidst all the misfortunes of these un- 
friended creatures, it is some happiness that 
we have not yet taken a fancy to eat them: 
for, should our country retine upon the French 
never so little, it is not to be conceived to 
what unheard of torments owls, cats, &c. may 
be yet reserved. When we grow up to men, 
we have another succession of sanguinary 
sports ; in particular hunting. — I dare not 
attack a diversion which has such authority 
and custom to support it, but must have 
leave to be of opinion, that the agitation of 
that exercise, with the example and number 
of the chasers, not a little contributes to re- 
sist those checks which compassion would 
naturally suggest in behalf of the animal pur- 
sued. Nor shall I say with Monsieur Fleury, 
that this sport is a remain of the Got hick 
barbarity; but I must animadvert upon a 
certain custom, yet in use with us, and bar- 



90 EDUCATION. 

barous enough to be derivecJ from the Goths, 
or even the Scylhians; I mean that savage 
compliment our hunlsmen pass upon ladies 
of quality, who are present at the death of a 
stag, when they put the knife in their hands 
to cut the throat of a helpless, trembling, and 
weeping creature ! 

' But, if our sports are destructive, our 
gluttony is more so, and in a more inhuman 
manner : lobsters roasled and fish fried alive ! 
pigs whipped to dealh ! &c. are testimonies 
of our outrageous luxury.* Those who (as 
Seneca expresses it) divide their lives be- 
twixt an anxious conscience and a nauseat- 
ed stomach, have a just reward for their glut- 
tony in the diseases it brings with it : for 
human savages, like other wild beasts, tind 

* Fish of all kinds may be previously killed by putting 
them, for a sufficient time, into cold pump wafer. This 
mode should be strictly enforced upon servants ; for, in- 
dependently of the shocking cruelty, there is no need yet 
more to brutalize the lower orders. 



EDUCATION. 91 

snares and poison in the provisions of life, 
and are allured by their appetite to their de- 
struction. I know nothing more shocking, 
or horrid, than the prospect of one of their 
kitchens, covered with blood, and tilled with 
the cries of the creatures, expiring in tor- 
tures. It gives one an imnge of a giant's 
den in romance, bestrewed with the scatter- 
ed heads and mangled limbs of those who 
were slain by his cruelty.' 



92 

SICKNESS. 

You perceive, by this time, my young 
friend, that the task you have undertaken is 
both multifarious and complicated, were no 
other cares or duties to demand your atten- 
tion : but, alas ! you may be called to act a 
most important pait in scenes which will 
require an additional portion of prudence, 
self command, care, and skill. Rare, indeed, 
■will be your lot, if, after rearing a numerous 
family, your matronly qualifications have 
never been exercised ia the sick chamber : 
then will you be deprived of lessons which 
are among the most salutary taught by ad- 
versity ; lessons which, as they foster some 
of the best feelings of the heart, are eventu- 
ally productive of happiness. 

It is not the object of these pages, to 
attempt more upon the important subject of 



SICKNESS. 98 

sickness, than a few general hints : but, be- 
fore I proceed to these, I would observe, 
that it is less difficult to prevent diseases 
than to cure them. Air, exercise, and ha- 
bitual placidity of temper, have more influ- 
ence in this respect than (to judge by their 
conduct) many people are aware of. Persons 
who would shudder at the idea of incapacita- 
ting; themselves for the duties of life by in- 
toxication or other vicious excesses, often, 
by a criminal in" iention to their health, ap- 
proach nearer to the guilt than they are wil- 
ling to own, and produce the same effects, 
only by a conduct a little less discreditable. 
That Being who gave us life and health, has 
a right to expect that we use all suitable 
means to preserve them from injury, in order 
that we may perform the various tasks he 
has allotted us, with alacrity and cheerful- 
ness. But mortal poison is disregarded, if 
its effects are slow and scarcely perceptible. 
Because no immediate pain results from th* 



94 



SICKNESS. 



want of ..'r and exercise, people neglect 
them till neitlici' air, nor exercise, nor medi- 
cine, can avail. They feel that they Ciin- 
not exist without food, hut they do not feel 
immediately that they cannot exist without 
exercise and air, although equally necessary » 
they therefore persist in neglecting them, till 
life itself, perhaps dragged on through many 
a miserable year, hecomes a burden, and such 
a burden as those only who have borne it 
can describe. It cannot be denied, that 
heads of families frequently find it extremely 
difficult to select any })ortion of the day for 
this necessary duty ; but they find time to 
eat and sleep, and to do a variety of things, 
which they deem indispensible to the welfare 
of their families : would they rank daily ex- 
ercise among the number of their necessary 
duties, how much longer might their families 
be blessed with their protection and support, 
instead of being left orphans, as. from this 
fatal uegligeuce, many are ; or, at any rate, 



SICKNESS. 95 

instead of inheriting such constitutions from 
sickly parents, as must render their own en- 
deavours to preserve health of no avail! 

But, with every precaution, disease is npt 
always to be avoided ; and from being una- 
ble to prevent, we must study how to cure. 
Many lives are sacrificed by the officious in- 
terference of the ignorant, who, when it is too 
late, have recourse to medical assistance ; 
and because the physician cannot perform 
miracles, deny his skill. This not unfre- 
quently is rendered ineffectual, by the ignor- 
ance or prejudice of the nurse, which has 
converted many a healing draught into 
mortal poison : or what is equally disastrous 
in its consequences, administered death in 
a quack medicine. If some of these are good 
in their kind, yet they are always applied at 
great hazard, for want of skill ; this can only 
be expected in a regularly educated medi- 
cal man. It is from his watchful eye alone, 
observing the varying or complicated symp- 



96 SICKNESS. 

toms, that any salutary effect from medicine 
can be rationally expected. If this is the 
case how ungrateful must they be, who, 
when restored to life and health, grudge the 
remuneration which such services demand' 
Yet these are the people who frequently esti- 
mate the skill of the practitioner by his ex- 
ternal appearance, and place no confidence 
in the prescription, unless he attends in a 
carriage. But neither is skill acquired, or a 
carriage maintained easily : a handsome in- 
come must warrant the latter, and years of 
laborious study and application precede the 
former. Who ought to compensate for these, 
but those who reap the benefit of them ? On 
the other hand, a liberal education should be 
accompanied by a liberal mind. It is pre- 
sumed that none will afford just occasion of 
com(>laint, but those who have not the ad- 
vantage of either : especially that none will 
be so indiscriminate in their charges, as not 
to distinguish between affluence and medi- 



SICKNESS. 97 

ocrity : or will so afflict the afflicted, as 
when they have restored a healthy appetite, 
to deprive of the means of gratifying it. 

If any attention is to be paid to, or confi- 
dence placed in, medical writers, who with 
t)ne accord assert the importance of regimen, 
we shoukl ex[)ect them to be very explicit 
upon this subject when they attend the sick, 
especially as they are continually witnessing 
the fatal mistakes that are made respecting 
it : but, as they are not invariably so, it be- 
hoves the nurse to apply to them forinf<'rma- 
tion, and having obtained it, implicitly to 
follow their directions. It may be very use- 
ful to make minutes of the proceedings of a 
sick chamber, with the occasional ohstrva- 
tions of physicians, for future use; not as a 
substitute for medical help, but as a guide to 
the nurse in her department. 

Every woman of sense and observation 
will soon discover the necessity of keeping 

a sick chamber well ventilated and fnmisal^ 

7 



98 SICKNESS. 

ed. Many people imagine, that if a disor- 
der is not infectious, this precaution is un- 
necessary ; not considering that a healthy 
person could not continue in the same 
apartment long together, especially with 
a tire night and day, without rendering ihe 
atmosphere unwholesome ; and that tiie dis- 
eased are peculiarly susceptihie of bad air 
which contributes greatly to retard their re- 
covery. When the weather will permit, 
the doors and windows of a sick room should 
be opened daily, tor a few minutes, and a free 
current admitted, provided it be not suffered 
to blow upon ihe patient, who will alsu be 
much refreshed, as well as his attendants, by 
having a hot iron put into vinegar and carri- 
ed round the chamber ; and if slips of lemon- 
peel are strewed upon the bed, it will have a 
very agreeable effect. That a change of 
linen must be dangerous, is a prejudice now 
entertained by the vulgar only ; cleanliness 
can do harm in no case : if linen be well 



SICKNESS. 99 

aired, it can scarcely be changed too often ; 
and by these means* rooms, in which the 
sick have been confined many months, have 
been kept as sweet and fresh as any other 
apartment. 

Experience has proved, that the notion of 
keeping the delirious perfectly still, may be 
carried loo far, at any rute in the early stage 
of delirium. The mistake of a distempered 
imagination may be rectified, and the patient 
rendered quiet and tranquil, for a time, by 
judicious management. Let him, for in- 
stance, be remui»1ed in a low and delil)erate 
voice of the hour of the (lay the day of the 
week ; the room he is in ; who were last in 
it ; where they are now gone ; with any other 
simple occurrence that may have taken place 
in his presence. In this way let any extrava- 
gant notion be rectified in as few words as 
possible, to bring his ideas into a rational 
train : and if these means are repeated every 
time there is a disposition to wander, they will 



100 SICKNESS. 

generally have a very favourable effect. If 
it is true, as has heen asserted, that deliriums 
have been a2:'Ji;ravated by the flowers, and 
large patterns of bed curtains, it is obvious 
that too much care cannot be taken to chas- 
tise the imagination, to siymplify the ideas, 
and prevent them from running into confu- 
sion : but this will not be accomplished by 
leaving the patient to himself, and suffering 
him to follow the vagaries of a distempered 
fancy, and thereby increase the irritation. 
When, however, the cause is removed, the ef- 
fects will cease. The firsl devolves upon 
the physician, but the second may be ereatly 
mitigated by the management of a judicious 
nurse. 

Those who have never before duly estima- 
ted the importance of keeping children in 
subordination, v.ili no longer withhold (heir 
assent, when the child dies because il wilhwt 
take its medicine! — Will not ! Some parents 
can boast of never having heard such a word 



SICKNESS. 101 

in their families ; and of their children's 
owing much of their recovery, under provi- 
dence, lo their habitual tranquillity. 

But, my dear reader, let me remind you of 
what youth is much disposed to for2;et, — that 
you may be sick yourself. Now, if you are 
beloved by all around you. which I hoi>e is 
the case, their affliction is liille short of your 
owu, perhaps it is much greater: their united 
anxiety and fatigue have a claim upon you 
even in your lit* l[)less state, and you will not 
be so absorbed in your own sufferings as to 
forget theirs, or give unnecessary trouble, 
when you perceive with what anxious coun- 
tenances they prepare your nutriment : if* 
after all their pains, it do not sjjit your palate, 
or gratify your wishes, remember the fault is 
not in them, but in your distempered frame ; 
that not only your own sufferings may be 
tranquillized, but that you may greatly miti- 
gate theirs by a patient and grateful carriage 
towards them. It is true, that in the event 



10*2 SICKNESS. 

of your being taken from them, the remem* 
brance of such conduct might inflict an ad- 
ditional pang : but it will also be admitted, 
that there is joy in such grief. 



103 

IS^ VII. 

VISITERS. 

Such as are in the habit of observing 
what passes before them, with a view to 
their own improvement and direction in fu- 
ture exigencies, will accumulate a stock of 
experience, of which they are wholly desti- 
tute, whose minds have not been accustomed 
to such exercises. It was observed, in treat- 
ing upon education, that lectures might be 
read upon almost every domestick process, 
that every utensil might be converted into a 
diagram, and persons might adopt a similar 
mode of self-instruction ; a mode which need 
not be retarded by want of leisure; as the 
im|)rovement of the mind in knowledge and 
experience, is a process that may not only 
go on amidst the most multifasiuus avoca- 
tions, but which may actually be assisted by 
them. Those who are unaccustomed to 



104 VISITERS. 

mental industry ^vould scarcely believe what 
rubbish may be converted by it into use ; 
even that troublesome lumber, as some peo- 
ple es'eem it, the chat of old wives ! To 
this the prudent young woman will be atten- 
tive when it falls in her way ; because, at 
the worst, she may glean from it some piece 
of useful information in the art of housekeep- 
ing; some scraps of homely knowledge, col- 
lected by age and experience, which her own 
good sense may turn to account : she will find 
that old dowagers do not invariably talk non- 
sense or scan\ial. 

Nor, if she hns any taste beyond the sphere 
of domestick concerns, will she be inatten- 
tive to the conv«^rsation of persons of the 
other sex. Knowledge is desirable in all 
situalions, if it be not obtained by a sacrifice 
of that time which their j.eculicir duties de- 
mand ; and subjecis of literature.' espec ially, 
afford resources, of which 5 he mind cannot 
be deprived; a fund of enjoyment alike va- 



VISITERS. 105 

luable in prosperity and adversity. Some 
seusiole people have observed, that they like 
to hear every man talk in his own line, upon 
subjects, therefore, which he well under- 
stands, and with which others are but par- 
tially acquainted. Much conversation, nei- 
ther interesting nor useful to a common ob- 
server, will, by the more sa2;aci(»us and intel- 
ligent, be carefully gathered up, and kept in 
s[ore for future service. Those who search 
the streets for pins, rusty nails, and bits of 
iron, which others have cast away as refuse, 
are thereby obtaining a livelihood : perhaps 
occasionally finding a treasure. And where 
the mind is disposed to similar industry, se- 
lecting the valuable from things which are 
every day and every hour passing before it, 
what a treasure is amassed in the course of 
years ! What a legacy to bequeath to poste- 
rity ! There is a tolerably fair proportion of 
eyes, ears, and cornrnon sense, distriiuiled 
among mankind, would they only apply them 



106 VISITERS. 

to the purposes for which they were bestow- 
ed. Young people must feel that they have 
much to learn upon most subjects ; and a 
young h<)usekeei»er especially, who is anx- 
ious to acquit herself well, and conscious of 
son)e awkwardness for want of practice, will 
avail herstif of every hmt by which her 
management may be improved ; she will 
gather up even the fragments, that nothing 
be lost. 

In the middle classes of society many feel 
themselves perplexed at iirsl in the enter- 
tainment of company ; but it would be irre- 
levant to the general intent of this work to 
give that minute information which such 
require. Those who are in ^he habit of fre- 
quenting genteel tables will learU; by proper 
observation, how to conduct their own, as 
to appearance and arrangement ; and the 
culinary detail may be learned, as far as 
instruction can ever teach without practice, 
from a book, entitled, ' A new System of 



VISITERS. 107 

DoDiestiick Cookery ; founded upon Princi- 
ples of Economy, an<l ada{>ted to (he use of 
private Families. By a Lady.' This work, 
tho'.igh, like all others of the kind, it has its 
defects, is, on the whole, the best that has 
appeared, and is held in deserved esteem by 
many young; housekeepers. There certainly 
is no part of domestick management which 
requires more skill and address, in order to 
unite g:entility with economy, than the con- 
duct of the table. Some persons suppose, 
that they cannot preserve an air of boSf>ita- 
tality without profusion : hut they are egre- 
giously mistaken ; for, with a little manage- 
ment, a table may he genteelly fiirnished, at 
an expense comijaratively small, yet so as 
will give it a decided superiority over the 
lavish, and even clumsy feasts provideti by 
many ho8j)itable and well meaning people, 
who, not knowing a medium between profu- 
sion and meanriess. would despise, perhaps, 
that respectable kind of frugality which is 



108 VISITERS. 

here recommended. It has been .justly re- 
marked, that those who would study econo- 
my must learn among (he rich; or, at least, 
the genteel ; where an observant eye will 
frequently obtain lessons, which may be 
advantageously applied to humbler circum- 
stances. 

There is one lesson, however, which per- 
sons must frame for themselves, and which 
is a most important one to young people 
when they enter life. It is the proportioning 
of their acquaintance to their finances Hos- 
pitality is a virtue recommended in Scrip- 
ture, both by prece[jt and example ; and 
friendship, that cordial of life, can he preserv- 
ed oi'ly by showirjg ourselves friendly ; but 
when the love of com|?:iny. for its own sake, 
becomes the prevailing passion, it is no 
longer hospitality, but dissi[)ation. People 
of fortune are obliged, in some degree, to 
comply with Ihe customs of (heir own socie- 
ty, whether quite congenial to their tastes or 



YISITERS. 109 

otherwise, and could not make any material 
alteration, without the appearance of eccen- 
tricity ; an appearance always to he avoi<le<l, 
unless enjoined hy duty and reason ; an<i it 
is the part of good sense to draw r he line 
correctly between necessary and unnecessa- 
ry singularity. But there are many, whose 
connexions are numerous and respectable, 
•who would be warranted by their circum^i 
stances to make some decided regulations 
with regard to company, at their first setting 
out in life. Such conduct, however, requires 
some fortitude, and must be founded upon a 
conviction of its necessity, or it will not be 
persevered in ; for, in many cases, it is simi- 
lar to the cutting off of the right hand, and the 
plucking out of the right eye : it is enforced, 
however, by innumerable fatal instances, 
within every one's ofiservation. Of these, a 
single anecdote, known to the author, may 
be introduced as a s|>ecimen. 

A young coufde, having a very numerous 
acquaintance, were, on their marriage, pre- 



110 TIglTEKS. 

sented by them with plate and other articles 
to a considerable amount; and they natural- 
ly Ihought themselves very fortunate in the 
possession of such numerous and kind friends ; 
(kin»i fi lends undoubtedly they were ) Im- 
pelled by feelings of gratitude, the young 
people endeavoured to make returns lor ihe 
favours they had received, by frequent en- 
tertisinmenis : the conse<]uence. though ditfi- 
cuSi !o avoid, was such as experience would 
have anticipated; the presents they had re- 
ceived became, in f)rocess of time, the pro- 
perty of their creditors, while some of those 
who had presented them made remarks on 
the imprudence which themselves had con- 
tributed to increase, each one thinking that, 
* excepting me^ they ought to have kept lit- 
tle company : 1 was only one, and could not 
possibly hurt them !' If further persuasives 
need be added to such instances as these, 
they might be furnished by keeping an ac- 
count of expenditure, as has been strongly 



VISITERS. Ill 

recommended in another place. Were this 
plan uiiopied, it would rt quire a greater pro* 
porrion of hardihood than most people pos- 
sess, to persevere in any course of super- 
fluous expense, the amount of which would 
continually force its»:il( upon their observa- 
tion. 

There are many friendships, as they are 
called, commeoced in the early part of life, 
which experience proves to be not worth 
preserving : to relinquish such on both sides^ 
would be wise ; especially where the number 
still retained is quite equal to the means and 
opportunilies : and few will disapprove of 
such counsel, but those who have nothing to 
do either with their time or their money. 
Persons of this description will, in general, 
be unable to account for many of the strange 
actions of men of l)usiness, and women with 
families ; and must be placed in such situa- 
tions themselves, before they will sus|»ect 
that many of their friendly calls have been, 



112 VISITERS. 

if not too frequent, at least ill timed and pro- 
tracted : from the inconvenience of which, 
those of their friends, who cannot conscien- 
tiously suffer themselves to be denied, are 
without defence. There are some who in- 
struct their servants to say they are not at 
home; and assert it to be no falsehood, be- 
cause the meaning of it is well understood. 
It is but a gentler phrase, they contend, for 
saying that they are unable, or unwilling, to 
be seen. This certainly is not avoiding the 
appearance of evil, nor is it setting a proper 
example before servants; who, in their rc- 
ceptation of the words, are uttering a round 
and premeditated falsehood, and who will 
learn, by these menus, to disj)ense with 
truth for their own convenieuce occasionally, 
as well as for their master's. But 1 beg 
pardon for this digression. 

Before I quit the suiyect of visiters, I may 
solicit the attention of my reader to what 
cannot be introduced with equal propriety, 



VISITERS. 113 

elsewhere. A prudent woman, who is sensi- 
ble how liable she is to errours and mistakes 
herself, will be little disposed to investigate, 
censure, or ridicule, the domestick conduct 
of others. To hear females, after returning 
from a visit, ridiculing the entertainments of 
those who, perhaps, had been doing their 
very best to treat them with hospitality, is 
painful and disgusting. It is true that such 
frequently pacify their consciences by expos- 
ing the blunders of their friends only to their 
husbands, mothers, sisters, or aunts ; forget- 
ting that, as these stand in no such relation 
to the person exposed, the injury done is the 
same as if the communication had been made 
to any other individual. Habits of observcL- 
iion here, it is to be lamented, are too preva- 
lent among all classes ; and the propensity 
to ridicule, though sometimes a prostitution 
of superiour talent, is the common resource 
of a vacant mind, unequal to self-improve- 
ment. Its own mistakes and errours lie un* 

8 



114 VISITERS. 

discovered, while those of others, especially 
of the trivial kind, are sought for witii avidi- 
ty, and magnitied into importance. They 
furnish food, without which minds of this 
description know not how to subsist; and 
which, by its noxious qualities, eventually 
indisposes them for more wholesome nutri- 
ment. But if in any degree, my young 
friend, you are unequal to the duties of your 
station, it is more than probable that you 
may, in turn, become an object of ridicule 
yourself; and however unbecoming it may 
be in others to smile at your incompetence, 
the smile, with regard to yourself, may be 
justly incurred. 

There is one object upon which ridicule 
seems likely to expend itself: and it is la- 
mentable, that even women of feeling do 
not always scruple to indulge themselves this 
way ; while many, from the solitary title of 
a wife, without any other pretension, suppose 
themselves at liberty to treat with contempt 



VISITERS. 115 

and ridicule females, as much their supe- 
riours in character as in years, merely be- 
cause they remain in a single state. This 
is a species of cruelty in which both sexes 
are apt to indulge; but it merits unquulitied 
censure, and should call a blush into the 
cheek of every female who has ever been 
guilty of it. Perhaps, ladies, some of these 
traduced and persecuted beings have been 
only more delicate in their choice than yoji 
have been ; or circumstances may have arisen 
in this mutable world to prevent Iheir enter- 
ing a state which they were qualified to 
adorn; circumstances which have thus de- 
prived you of the benefit of many excellent 
examples. It does not invariably happen 
that persons remain single because they are 
not worth having, or that others are married 
because they are : an example of here and 
there a married lady might, perhaps, be found, 
which would prove the contrary. Her hus- 
band, it is true, may be known in the gates ; 



il6 VISITERS. 

lie may bear the marks of her negligence 
about him wherever he goes : her children 
may rise up, not to call her blessed, but to 
set her authority at defiance, and to spread 
the contagion of an ill-governed family far 
and wide. She may be employed, too, in 
manufacturing girdles and other trappings; 
not to sell to the merchant, but to decorate 
herself in unbecoming finery, and to instil 
the destructive passion for dress into her 
children. It is not from being a wife merely, 
that real respectability can arise. 

A few words upon an errour into which 
some young persons fall in the choice of 
their associates, and the present subject 
shall conclude. Many are so blind to their 
real interests, as greatly to limit their socie- 
ty to persons of their own age : among these, 
if they are careful in the selection, they 
may, doubtless, be furnished with valuable 
examples; and, upon the whole, they are 
generally the best calculated to pass away a 



VISITERS. llf 

social hour. But are all old people uninte- 
rest'iDg ! None would be so, if in early life 
they had accustomed themselves to habits of 
observation and thought : but many there are 
who have availed themselves of passing 
scenes, have accumulated a rich stock of ex- 
perience, and are solicitous to diffuse it all 
around, that the young may obtain gratis, 
what they^ perhaps, have purchased at a dear 
price. Many of them have not forgotten how 
to amuse, while they instruct, and are capa- 
ble of tempering the dignity of age by a cheer- 
ful vivacity. But it must be confessed, that 
characters of an opposite description are suflfi- 
ciently numerous, to account, in some mea- 
sure, for the distaste of which we complain : 
and what objects for commiseration are those » 
who, when neglected and avoided by all, 
cannot retire into themselves and find re- 
sources there ! Would you, my young friend, 
avoid so forlorn a condition ? Perhaps you 
are now caressed and courted by all your 



118 VISITERS. 

i 

acquainfance : but what would be j'our feel- 
ings, were the case reversed, and your socie- 
ty shunned and avoided ? This 7vill be the 
case, unless now you apply to the cultiva- 
tion of 3'our mind. Youth and beauty will 
be gone before you are well aware ; time is 
rapidly bringing them to their climax; then 
they will be on the wane ; and, if these are 
all you possess, what a dismal prospect pre- 
sents itself ! 

Place yourself tiow, therefore, at the feet 
of those venerable characters from whom 
5'ou may learn wisdom ; and do not a(loj)t the 
foolish notion, that those of modern times 
must, in all respects, be wiser than their an- 
cestors : history does not warrant us to view 
human wisdom as so progressive. You 
would feel indignant, were your sagacity 
and experience put upon a level with that 
of a girl at school ; as doubtless she would, 
to be ranked with a child in the nursery. 
Why, then, be reluctant to admit that the 



VISITERS. 119 

aged possess all the advantages that time 
can give in a much greater proportion ? 

It is truly interesting to contemplate youth 
and age, when united by congenial minds, 
enjoying the pleasures of rational friendship. 
If youth may profit by the experience of 
such a friend, age is amply recompensed for 
the instruction it so willingly bestows, in 
the sprightly vivacity which endeavours to 
cheer its drooping spirits, or the kind atten- 
tions and voluntary services performed to its 
feeble frame. 



120 



N°- VIII. 

KEEPING AT HOME. 

1 MIGHT feel some hesitation in the intro- 
duction of this subject, if 1 had not a sanc- 
tion which none can well dispute, that of 
the apostle Paul, who expressly commands 
that the young women ' be keepers at home.' 
Now, I have applied to the learned to ascer- 
tain whether the words in the original, or 
by any possible rendering, might be made to 
contradict what they seem to enjoin, since 
this is no unusual mode of dispensing with 
passages that may not suit our taste or con- 
venience : but, I believe, in this instance, I 
am tolerably safe, and that nothing remains 
to be done, as we cannot refute the command, 
but to conform our habits to the genuine 
sense of it. It is obvious, however, that it 
would be impracticable for females to ob- 



r--*« 



KEEPING AT HOME. 121 

serve and profit by the experience and con- 
duct of others, and to perform raany of the 
duties which devolve upon them in society, 
if these words were to be understood in their 
widest meaning : they can only be designed 
to correct that propensity to gadding, that 
disinclination to the retired occupations of 
home, which too many have evinced, from 
the days of the apostles to the present time. 
If the heart is abroad, the footsteps will fol- 
low, under some pretence or other. Those 
who cannot resist an invitation, who seize 
every opportunity, or create opportunities 
where none exist, to gratify this dangerous 
passion, should have such a text of Scripture 
set before them continually, in all its forci- 
ble simplicity and unequivocal meaning, be- 
fore they venture upon a direct breach of 
the command. It is surprising, that many 
who profess a deference for the Bible, should 
act in this, and some similar instances, as if 
no such injunctioQs could be found in it. 



122 KEEPING AT HOME. 

A thoughtless creature must she be, an^ a 
cipher in her family, who inquires why she 
must keep at home. Those who are habitu- 
ally absent from home, underrate their ovtq 
importance, for their presence ought to be as 
essential there, as that of a general at his 
post ; and it would be no breach of charity 
to presume, that something must be amiss 
in such families. Where children are thus 
frequently left, it is impossible to estimate 
the extent of the evil. Will it be thought 
too much to assert, that society at large is 
eventually affected by it ? Surely not ; 
■when the danger of contamination, and Ihe 
incurable mischiefs of early impressions, are 
duly considered. To what purpose is the 
divine injunction, if hirelings are as compe- 
tent to superintend a family, to take charge 
of the bodies and minds of children, as iheir 
parents ? But the utility of every duty in- 
culcated in Scripture is so clear, and the 
performance of it so consonant to reason, 



KEEPING AT HOME. 123 

that obedience and happiness are evidently 
inseparable. 

What a melancholy catalogue would our 
newspapers exhibit, if, beside the ravages of 
the devouring flames, and the midnight mur- 
derers, those made upon the human mind by 
the habitual absence of mothers, were faith- 
fully recorded ! If such a register were kept, 
it would doubtless appear, that too severe a 
censure could not be passed upon those who 
abandon such important duties, for places of 
publick amusement. Mothers whose eyes 
are suffused in tears at the pathetick scenes 
of a tragedy, may, perhaps at that moment, 
have the scenes of a deeper tragedy prepar- 
ing at home, in which themselves, at some 
future period, may be among the principal 
characters. And is there not another de- 
scription of persons to which, with much 
tenderness, similar hints may be addressed ? 
Mothers, who, in attending the publick ser- 
vices of religion many times during the week, 



124 KEEPING AT HOME. 

are obliged to neglect those important duties 
which, as ntiothers, Providence has commit- 
ted to their hands : we allude to those reli- 
gious societies where week-day services are 
customary. It is true that the usual atten- 
dance at such times is seldom too large, and 
that it may be deemed a kind of index to 
the state of religion in those individual socie- 
ties ; but it is not in general from the nursery 
that the thin ranks should be filled up. 
Many there are, who, without neglecting any 
duty, or with but little exertion and manage- 
ment, need not forsake this assembling of 
themselves together, this free-will offering 
from the time which Providence has intrust- 
ed to their disposal, and let such feel them- 
selves doubly bound. But the God whom 
we serve will have mercy rather than sacri- 
fice : and surely from those mothers who 
leave large families to the care, or rather to 
the negligence of servants, while they attend 
thoBe extra services, he may demand, ' Who 



KEEPING AT HOME. 125 

hath required this at your hands, that yc 
should tread my courts ?' Far be the thought 
of discouraging any, even mothers, who, 
without neglecting duties at home, can thus 
secure an hour from secular employments 
for their spiritual benefit. * Come in, thou 
blessed of the Lord ! why standest thou with- 
out ?' would we earnestly say to such. Come 
in, and strengthen the hands and comfort the 
heart of him who serves in the sanctuary. 
Come in, and enjoy the blessing which, both 
in season and out of season, is ready to 
descend. But to such only could we thus 
speak : others might more suitably be remind- 
ed of that command which says, ' Six days 
shalt thou labour and do all thy work.' 

Innumerable painful instances might be 
adduced, of evil resulting from the practice 
to which we allude ; and, among many known 
to the author, one may be mentioned of a 
vrell-meaning, but mistaken woman, who, 
during the infancy of her children, pursued 



126 KEEPING AT HOME. 

this system to excess. When they were 
arrived at maturity, she acknowledged, with 
agony, that she had not one who did not scoff 
at religion! But the immorality of their 
conduct rendered this confession superfluous. 
A religious parent with an immoral family ! 
Surely, if vice pervades the whole of them, 
it is not unfair to suppose that there has been 
some important mistake or negligence in 
their education. ' W hile men slept, an 
enemy has crept in and sown tares among the 
wheat.' It should also be remembered that 
servants, as well as children, suffer from the 
frequent absence of her whose duty it is to 
superintend them ; acquiring habits of idle- 
ness and irregularity, which a mistress will 
find it difficult to reprove, and still more diffi- 
cult to correct, while thus remiss in her own 
department. When she quits the post at 
which she is stationed, and in which her own 
interest is so deep, it is not to be wondered 
at if servants quit theirs, in which they have 



KEEPING AT HOME. 127 

no interest at all; nor is it likely they should 
be skilful in Iheir business, when the watch- 
ful eye of the mistress is so ofteu removed. 
Where this neglect arises from the love of 
dissijmtion and gayety, she can scarcely be 
pitied when sufifering from its inevitable ef- 
fects. 

But we have not yet mentioned the hus- 
band, the poor husband! Where is he all 
this time ? The parable tells us of one who 
had married a wife, and therefore could not 
accept an invitation : but if she is more often 
out than at home, he will be induced to ac- 
cept invitations that may eventually prove 
to her disadvantage. The man who is not 
domestick in his habits, will rarely be kind : 
but where are the charms of the fire-side ; 
where is that which should give him a taste 
for its pleasures, if the wife, its chief orna- 
ment, is absent ? He is an object of the 
greatest commiseration, whose domestick 
feelings cannot be gratified by the presence 



128 KEEPING AT HOME. 

of her whom he has selected from the rest of 
her sex to cheer his social hours ; and she 
must uot be surprised if his disappointment 
eventually recoil upon herself. 

To a woman of proper feeling, no plea- 
sures could be greater than those which the 
society, esteem, and affection of her husband, 
the improvement of her children, and the 
due order of her family, afford. But, lest I 
should be thought too rigid, or be suspected 
of attempting to consign the young to days 
of toil and drudgery, 1 will suggest some 
sources of relaxation, for which they need 
not be indebted to the caprices of their ac- 
quaintance, and which are excellent substi- 
tutes for that unprofitable round of visiting 
in which some people pass their lives. If 
these were added to the necessary and ra- 
tional intercourse which all ought to main- 
tain with their relations and real friends, 
life would be rendered, even to those who 
have large families and much to do, not 



KEEPING AT HOME. 129 

quite so gloomy a thing as some are disposed 
to represent it. Who, of my young readers, 
will not give me auiiience upon the interest- 
ing subject of recreation? But, before the 
preceding hints are dismissed, permit me to 
suggest, that instead of applying them ex- 
clusively to your acquaintance, as perhaps 
might easily be done, you for once reverse 
the order of politeness, and appropriate as 
many as possible to your own use ; as we 
have, in general, more encouragement to 
amend ourselves than others. 



Q 



130 



N^ IX. 

RECREATION. 

Lest what I may reeommend upoa this 
subject should appear chimerical or imjirac- 
ticable, I shall confine myself to the relation 
of facts, and record what has been done by 
some who were strongly disposed to recrea- 
tion, and willing to enjoy as many of the 
pleasures of life as its duties would permit. 
It must be allowed, that few could do exact- 
ly the same whose circumstances and situa- 
tion in life were not somewhat similar ; yet 
such as could not adopt the whole, might 
have been inclined to select a part, and 
model it to their own convenience, could 
they have witnessed some happy seasons, 
which have left effects as salutary upon the 
characters of those who acted in them, as 
they have imprinted indelible traces upon 



KECREATIOX. 131 

their memories. But it is necessarj' that the 
reader should have contracted a taste for 
literature, in order fully to appreciate the 
pleasures here recommended. Literary oc- 
cupation formed one of the princi[)al sources 
of recreation in the cases referred to, and 
was accompanied by a variety of advantages, 
which might not have been perceived by a 
superficial observer. But how, it is inquired, 
could a wife and a mother, so occupied as we 
are told she must be, find opportunity for 
reading ? Ah ! where are the husband and 
children now ? How she could, remained, 
indeed, a difficult question for a long season : 
but at last it occurred, that the hours of 
breakfast and tea might be devoted to this 
rational amusement, without encroaching 
upon more important avocations. — While 
the children were in the nursery ? — No. — 
One of the parents read aloud, while the 
little auditors were sitting, and actually 
quietly eating their bread and butter in si. 



132 RECREATION. 

lence. And soon, very soon, did they begin 
to glean fragments of knowledge ; soon were 
their tender minds enlarged by ideas imper- 
ceptibly imbibed, which years of school dis- 
cipline could scarcely have instilled : while 
to the parents many a pain was beguiled, 
many a corroding care forgotten, as the inte- 
resting page was explored. Soon, too, an 
addilioual advantage was derived from this 
custom; the children were so early habituat- 
ed to occasional quietness, that it became 
easy to take them to a [)lace of worsliip : 
and thus again, a common reason for leaving 
them to the care of strvants was avoided. 

And, even if they had been disposed to 
altercation, yet many, no doubt, of such dis- 
graceful jars as disturb the mei'ls ol numerous 
families, reputed to live happily^ would have 
been |)revented. If reading thus twice a day, 
in the presence of a family, perhaps for a 
period of twenty years, were not to produce 
some salutary etlecis upon the heads and 



RECREATION. 133 

hearts of children, still parents might congra- 
tulate themselves upon obtaining:, by this 
means, one constant source of gratiticatiou, 
amid the multifarious cares and concerns of 
life. Anticipating similar cares for their otf- 
spring, they will be solicitous both to inspire 
tastes, which may thus afford a lasting solace, 
and to render, at least, one portion of their 
lives, the days of childhood, serene and de- 
lightful ; affording them every innocent en- 
joyment, and, as far as possible, such as, 
while they amuse, cherish the best feelings, 
and improve the characler. To contribute 
to these desirable ends, the aid of birth-days 
may be called in. The young mind has not 
yet attained the pleasures of retrospection ; 
it prefers something in prospect. Age and 
experience halt and look back ; youth pres- 
ses forward, and is susceptible of feelings all 
its own, in the anticipation of future enjoy- 
ment. With such feelings, in general, the 
early birth-day is greeted; and seasons of 



134 RECREATION'. 

this kind may be improved to the happiest 
purposes, as well as made subservient to in- 
nocent pleasures. They are calculated to 
soften family feuds, to silence petty bicker- 
ings, and to excite a fraternal interest in the 
bosom of every individual. In summer, 
such days may be commemorated by a coun- 
try excursion, provisions taken, and the re- 
past spread under the shade of a tree ; while 
^halti^^, one, perha{)s, sketches the surround- 
ing; scenery ; another reads ; thus uniting pro- 
tit with pleasure ; and on their return a little 
repast may be provided : the whole conclud- 
ing with devout acknowledgments to that 
Being, who has given life and breath, and 
all things richly to enjoy. In the winter a 
temporary cassation from usual tasks ; the 
whole family assembled, as for an extraordi- 
nary occasion, and other significant prepara- 
tions, may announce a gala day; and the 
evening spent in drawing, reading, musick, 
or any amusement congenial to the family 



RECREATION. 135 

taste, will lou^ be remembered mih affection 
and pleasure. In families of any size, these 
seasons occur too frequently to allow of com- 
plaints for want of recreation ; the interval 
is short between one anniversary and an- 
other ; and if daily reading be added, and 
evening walks, the time cannot pass away 
very heavily. Persons thus occupied and 
amused, need not be dependent upon tlieir 
neighbours for zest and interest;- they have 
complete enjoyment in the happy circle at 
home. Nor is it to a few families only that 
the materials for happiness are confined; 
most are possessed of them in a greater or a 
less degree, within the narrow compass of 
their own walls ; but, while the natural and 
rational sources of pleasure are neglec'^d, 
life moulders away, and at the close of it 
numbers look back and complain of their 
scanty portion of felicity. They had sought 
it where it was not to be found, in artificial 
pleasures, and had overlooked the satisfac- 



136 RECREATION. 

tion and delisht arising from the performance 
of duty, from the expansion of domestick 
affections, and from cultivating the intellec- 
tual powers : unhappily they attached the 
ideas of confinement and drudgery to every 
thing that was to be felt or done at home ; 
and when the foolishness of man has thus 
perverted his way, his heart fretteth against 
the Lord. Happy they who learn early to 
prefer the pleasures which God has provided, 
and whose minds are prepared by him to en- 
joy them. 



137 



N°- X. 

THE STEP-MOTHER. 

If the task is so important, the responsibi- 
lity so great, which* attaches to a moiher, 
with what cautibn should a female undertake 
a charge, in which she has not the co-opera- 
tion of natural aflection ! 1 would earnestly 
advise my reader, before she surrenders her 
afifections to a widower and a father, first to 
ascertain whether it will be possible to be- 
stow a due portion of them upon those ob- 
jects, in whom, if he does not manifest the 
deepest interest, he affords an insufficient 
security for her individual happiness. Should 
he betray an indifference to their welfare, he 
gives reason to suspect the weakness of his 
attachment to her who was their mother : 
and in this case, my young friend, if self- 



133 THE STEP-MOTHER. 

love do not interpose with brighter anticipa- 
tions, an inference unfavf)urable to your own 
future happiness must be the result. 

Should you, on the contrary, be able to 
form a pleasing and rational expectation of 
what he may be by what he has been, and\ 
from what he still iV, to those dear pledges 
of his earlier afTection, I would again entreat 
you to make a solemn pause before you en- 
ter into so serious an engagement. When 
such a one takes you, he not only places 
his own happiness at your disposal, but that 
of others, dear to him as the apple of his eye. 
And will you betray his confidence, when 
the power with which he has invested you 
biiH defiance to his utmost vigilance ? Shall 
the circumstance of becoming a mother your- 
self, which is calculated to enforce the ten- 
der lesson, shall this operate against them ; 
and, insensible to the feelings and equal 
claims of those you are bound to foster and 
protect, will you transfer the whole of your 



THE STEP-MOTHER. 139 

affections to your. own immediate offspring? 
If so, it is clear that you love them not for 
their father's sake, but for your own ; and 
this would direct the most amiable propensi- 
ties of the female heart into a sel&sh channel. 
Without in the least derogating from the 
superiority of the other sex, she must be a 
very superficial observer who has not disco- 
vered, that they are deficient in that species 
of minute discernment, of intuitive penetra- 
tion, which enables women to feel their way 
through the diflficullies of the world, and of- 
ten successfully to combat superiour strength. 
From this deficiency, men frequently become 
the dupes of artifice and criminal design. 
The woman who has gained complete ascen- 
dancy over her husband's affections, in gene- 
ral requires nothing but address to possess a 
proportionate influence upon his conduct. 
Nor let statesmen, or philosophers, or heroes, 
feel indignant at the assertion. Solomon, 
the wisest of men, was seduced into the 



140 THE STEP-MOTHER. 

grossest absurdities and the deepest crimes; 
not by his wife, but his wives, for whcm he 
could not feel the ardour of concentrated 
affection. It cannot, then, be surprising, if 
men of inferiour order, (and whc^ is not ?) 
should be unduly influenced by the indivi- 
dual upon whom they have fixed the whole 
of their afifection ; should lie first blinded, if 
such be her unworthy aim, and then led, as 
her passions or caprice may dictate. Ac- 
cordingly, we have beheld, with agony, fa- 
thers, whose hearts have been alienated from 
their own children, the relicks of a once 
beloved wife, by falie representations and in- 
cessant complaints. Every childish foible 
has been artfully magnified into a crime ; 
if not obvious necessaries, yet every indul- 
gence, represented as superfluous, and either 
withheld or reluctantly bestowed. The new 
family have been suffered to tyrannize over 
their elder brethren; au<l, by a strange per- 
version, they have been view ed as interlopers 



THE STEP-MOTHER. 141 

or encroachers. — Ah ! my young friend ! if 
your jieart, and, what is more, if your princi- 
ples, cannot insure better conduct from i^on^ 
give up the father an(i his children, and leave 
him and them to the mercy of hirelings, who, 
in case of flagrant miscon<Iuct, may be disco- 
vered, and can be exchanged. 

Bii^, if this expostulation should come too 
late to prevent the danger, let your own ten- 
der infant plead in behalf of those you are 
disposed to o[)press or neglect. You are fas- 
cinated by its smile : they would smile U[»on 
you, too, if they dared, or if they discerned 
any thing in your deportment^ to encourage 
them. Once they </?// smile on their mother; 
but, alas ! her eyes are closed in deilh ; as, 
indeed, yours m&y be, you know not how 
soon, and the darling of your a(!ection may, ia 
its turn, have no maternal eye to sympathize 
either with its sorrows or its joys. But, if 
its smile prove iueffectUHl, let its tears pre- 
vail. Ah ! its sobs you cannot bear, you 



142 THE STEP-MOTHER. 

hush its little sorrows at any price : these 
Aveep, too, but their tears are disregarded ; 
their monns are magnified into crimes ; yet, 
if they hfive any recollection of her they 
have lost, theirs are not trivial sorrows ; their 
little hearts may be unable to distinguish the 
cause of their woes; they only recollect that 
they once were happy, and they feci that 
they are not happy now. Yet all this may 
be the case when no just cause of complaint 
may appear to the superficial observer, when 
no decided ill usage may mark your conduct : 
on the contrary, it may assume the appear- 
ance of solicitude for their good, of zeal for 
their welfare; and for their good it may even- 
tually prove to be, though far from your real 
design ; the afflictions of their youth may be 
blessed by the orphan's Friend to the im- 
provement of their characters, and may give 
them a decided advantage over your own 
family in fulure life. 



THE STEP-MOTHER. 143 

But, while they suffer daily from your 
unkindness, or, at least, Irom your iodiife- 
rence, it is probable that they gradually lose 
ground in the aflections of their father. Were 
hft to examine his own heart, he would dis- 
cover that his love is less fervent than for- 
merly, less fervent than towards his new 
family; and he might, by a judicious inves- 
tigrition of circumstances, discover also the 
cause, and, in a degree, become proof against 
the eucroaching evil : but whether or not he 
may «iiscern the difference, bis family will, 
ere long, make the discovery, and he might , 
anticipate, with little hazar<l of mistake, jea- 
lousy, strife, and discord, as the natural con- 
sequence ; thorns (hat will beset his future 
path, and be too deeply rooted for his utmost 
care and toil to eradicate. Judge, my young 
friend, whether all this can terminate in the 
happiness of her by whose misconduct it 
was produced, or contribute, in any degree, 
to that of her offspring. 



144 THE STEP-MOTHER. 

One important lesson she may learn, from 
reflecting upon lier own feelings and conduct. 
In proportion to the ditficully she finds in 
conducting herself well towards the children 
of another, especially if any thing really un- 
engaging exists in their characters, she will 
be solicitous to educate her own, that if, by 
her death, they should fall info similar cir- 
cumstances, they may, at least, afford no 
just cause for prejudicing their father against 
them; and that their amiable dispositions, 
confirmed and improved by her judicious 
management, may give them one chance, at 
least, for ingratiating themselves with her 
who has become their mother. 

There is an ungenerous err? ur, into which 
a female is apt to fall who becomes a second 
wife ; she views her precedessor. though 
mouldering in the dust, as her rival ! Proba- 
bly she still e'xisfs in the memr»ry and affec- 
tion« of her husband; and, if she whs a 
worthy character, this ought to be the case : 



THE STEP-MOTHER. 145 

should he be one also, it certainly will. To 
become the successor of one so deserving 
and so beloved, is no light undertaking : yet, 
as every female excellence was not concen] 
trated in her, it is possible for a man to ap- 
preciate the virtues, and love the person of 
a living wife, while he retains the most sin- 
cere affection for the memory of the dead. 

View her, then, no longer, as a rival, but 
as a partner in his heart, and never suffer 
him, by your conduct, to make a comparison 
to your disadvantage. 

I would earnestly recommend to you the 
study of human nature : you need not travel 
far in your researches ; descend into your 
own heart, and there you will be furnished 
with lessons well adapted to your purpose. 
When you have acquired some skill in the 
science, you will discover, that sympathy 
should be an essential ingredient in your 
friendly intercourse with all ; but especially 
with him whose bosom friend you are ; and 

10 



146 THE STEP-MOTHER. 

to sympathize with him in his tender tecol- 
lections of a departed wife, while it gratifies 
his feelings, will enhance your own charac- 
ter, and confirm his affection to yourself. 
But if her memory should be held thus sa- 
cred, with equal tenderness should you re- 
gard the dear pledges she has left ; pledges 
which Providence and their father's choice 
have deposited in your hands: do by each 
no less than you would wish to be perform- 
ed to your own memory and your own chil- 
dren, should they ever be committed thus to 
the mercy of another, and you will secure 
the approbation of your husband, of your 
family, of society, and, what is of far greater 
importance, of your own conscience, and of 
God. 



147 

N^ XI. 

TO THE HUSBANQ^. 

You have heard, my friend, of the multi- 
farious and difficult duties required from her 
whom you have chosen for your partner in 
life. You discern, that hers is a station 
equally important with your own ; and that 
whatever place you hold in the estiraati')n of 
society, it depends greatly upon your wife, 
whether your children attain the same emi- 
nence. You perceive in how great a degree 
your domestick happiness, as well as your 
prosperity, is at her disposal. If you have 
made choice of one whom your judgment as 
well as your heart apj)roves ; one who wants 
nothing but experience, to render her all that 
is valuable in a wife; your own duties and 
obligations will appear in a forcible light. 
What does not a man owe to such a treasure ? 
On the day when you solemnly committed 



148 TO THE HUSBAND. 

your happiness to her, she afforded an indubi- 
table proof of the most unlimited confidence 
in you, by surrendering her liberty into your 
hands, and making you her undisputed lord. 
Should you sustain a fair character in the 
Yvorld, suffer not her who has the first claim 
upon you, to know of your amiable qualities 
only by report. A saint abiuad, and its op- 
posite at home, is an offensive compound, 
and it is well, if, in process of time, some 
illnatured tell-tale do not divulge'the truth to 
society : indeed, it is seldom that real charac- 
ter can be ke[)t a secret long, even with the 
greatest precaution. But, if it could, how 
impolitick is it for a man to render his home, 
of all places in the world, uncomfortable, as 
is frequently done upon the slightest occa- 
sions; and often in cates where the wife is 
not proijeriy responsible, or where it is evi- 
dent that she has taken all possible care to 
promote his comfort, though, from the negli- 
gence of others, without success! He should 



TO THE HUSBAND. 140 

invariably conduct his own affairs with pre- 
cision and exactness, and preserve the great- 
est regularity in those whom he employs, 
before his wife is made answerable for the 
negligence and blunders of servants, or she 
and they, and j)erhaps a whole company, are 
embarrassed and rendered miserable, because 
some dish lia[)pens not to be seasoned lo his 
taste, or lo aMj)ear in time. A man of this 
cast has mistaken his cunjpanion for his 
slave. 

It is allowed, that every man should be 
master of his own house, a jirerogative which 
he may preserve inviolate, without in the 
least interfering vsidi that of his wife; and, 
in general, it will contribute more to his 
comfort, if she is left to the (juiet direction of 
those concerns which are more immediately 
within her i)rovince: that woman should not 
have been made a wife who is inadecjuale to 
such a trust ; and if adequate, ha|)py is she 
whose lot is cast with one capable of per- 



150 TO THE HUSBAND. 

7. 

ceiving Ihe discretion with which she fulfils 
it; who knows, and approves, the judicious 
medium between extravagance and parsimo- 
ny, and who, of course, does not counteract 
her prudent endeavours to preserve it. In 
vain does she watch over her own depart- 
ment with scrupulous care, if the husband 
does not co operate with her in the system of 
economy, and submit with cheerfuhiess toils 
necessary privations. In vain does she at- 
tend to the minutiae of expenditure, and re- 
trench, if needful, every indulgence of her 
own, if he is spending upon a larger scale. 
In that case, while the wise woman is build- 
ins a house, it is the foolish husband who 
{HJileth U down wilh his hands. 

To What sufferings, on the contrary, are 
those women exposed, who are not allowed 
a sufficiency to defray jh« expenses of their 
establishment, and who never obtain even 
llieir scanty allowance, but at the [irice of 
peace ! Men who act in this way, often 



TO THE HUSBAND. 151 

defeat their own intentions, and by constant 
opposition render those wives lavish and im- 
provident, who would be quite the reverse, 
were they treated in a more liberal manner. 
It would not be difficult to find examples of 
this ungenerous system, and its disgraceful 
effects; but they are not required. Wherever 
41 is adopted, it is utterly destructive of con- 
nubial confidence, and often compels women 
to shelter themselves under mean contrivan- 
ces and low arts, equally injurious to their 
husband's happiness, as to their own charac- 
ters. From such men, indulgence is not to 
be expected : he who supplies usual and ne- 
cessary expenses with so sparing a hand, will 
rarely be attentive to the extra calls of sick- 
ness, or endeavour to alleviate, by his kind- 
ness, the sufferings of a constitution, perhaps, 
wearing out in his service. It was observed, 
upon the subject of cruelty to animals, that 
many, because they would not drown, burn, 
or scourge a poor animal to death, think 



152 TO THE HUSBAND. 

themselves sufficiently humane, though they 
suffer them to famisli with hunger: and does 
not the conduct of many husbands suggest a 
similar idea ? They imagine, that if they 
provide carefully for the maintenance of their 
families; if their conduct is moral; if they 
neither beat, starve, nor imprison their Avives ; 
they are all that is requisite to constitute 
good husbands, and (hey pass for such among 
the crowd : but as their domestick virtues 
are chiefly of the negative kind, the happi- 
ness of her, whose lot it is to be united to 
such a one for life, must be of the same de- 
scription. Even the large allowance, ' Have 
what you like,' is insufficient to satisfy the 
feelings of many, who would be more grati- 
tied by the presentation of a flower, accom- 
panied with expressions of tenderness, than 
l)y the most costly indulgences they could 
|)rocure for themselves. A delicate miud, 
united, perhaps, to a delicate constitution, 
has little relish for luxuries self-acquired. 



TO THE HUSBAND. 153 

A pruileat woman ought fo be made ac- 
quainted with her husband's affairs ; she has 
an indisputable claim upon his confidence; 
with him she must stand or fall : he should 
not, therefore, conduct Jier blindfold to the 
edge of a precipice, and plunge her, unsus- 
pecting, into the gulf below ; nor has he any 
right to complain, if her expenditure is some- 
times too liberal for his circumstances ; she 
cannot be expected to act with judgment, if 
the ground upon which she goes is concealed 
from her. 

To render the married life happy, there 
must not only be confidence, but sympathy, 
which is an essential ingredient in its felici- 
ty. Pleasure or pain, of whatever kind or 
degree, is never communicated to another, 
but with the hope of obtaining the cordial 
smile, or the ready look of attention and 
interest: and those who, either from want of 
feeling, or of thought, withhold them, have 
made little progress in the study of human 
nature. But, whatever similarity of taste 



154 TO THE HUSBAND. 

may subsist in a married pair, the difference 
of their pursuits and avocations is such as to 
require considerable watchfulness in this par- 
ticular. Happy is it, where atfectiou and a 
just sense of politeness co-operate to render 
them attentive to each other, whenever inter- 
est is expressed, let the occasion be what it 
may : and engaging are those tempers which 
are ever ready to weep with those who weep, 
and rejoice with those who rejoice, even in 
cases where little emotion might have been 
excited by the event or the accident, but 
that which arose from this kindly feeling. 

But, if similarity of views and feelings is 
ever important, ever indispensible, it is so in 
the education of children. It is probable, 
my dear reader, that your avocations \fill 
not permit you to take a very active part in 
this most momentous of all temporal con- 
cerns : but if your assistance must be dis- 
pensed with, at least be solicitous not to 
retard. In one hour, in one moment, you 



TO THE HUIBAICD. 153 

may overthrow and render abortive the la- 
bour of weeks or months, and make your 
children set at defiance her authority, upon 
whose wisdom and prudent management may 
depend the future ha[>piness of their livei, 
and, perhaps, the peace and tranquillity of 
your own declinine years. ShouUI your 
situation and circumstances be such as to 
permit you to superintend their education, 
avail yourself of the privilege, for yon can- 
not have an employment more useful, more 
delightful, or eventually more productive. 
How many are there, who spend a 
great proportion of their time in training 
animals to contribute to their sport, who, 
to the unspeakable advantage both »f their 
children and themselves, might employ the 
same time, the same energy, and persever- 
ance, in traininjr man ! And to what com- 
parative perfection might he not be brought, 
if transferred from the care of one parent to 
another, he passed only through ditferent 



156 TO THE HUSBAND. 

stages of instruction and disipline, dictated 
by (he tenderest affection, and the Avisest 
solicitude for his future interests! Where 
this cannot be the case, and one half of 
such inestimable advantages is unavoidably 
curtailed, allow the mother full sco[)e for her 
exertions, nor throw any impediment in her 
way, already too perplexing and difficult. 

As communities and armies are composed 
of individuals, it is obvious that each indi- 
vidual must act his part, or the operations 
of the whole will be retarded ; nay, that if 
every individual were to suspend his assis- 
tance, the whole could no longer act at all. 
This, which is true upon the largest, is also 
true upon the smallest scale ; it might be 
brought down as low as the parlour, or still 
lower, to the kitchen, if required. Survey 
some apartments, where a number of thought- 
less individuals are assembled, and where the 
hat of one, the gloves of another, the cane 
of a third, the knife of a fourth, the brush of 



TO THE HUSBAND. 157 

a fifth, the handkerchief of a sixth, and so on 
in proportion to the size of the family, are 
left to bestrew the floor, the chairs and the 
tables. ' ''Thonli/ my hat,' says one ; ' 'Tis 
only my cane,' says another, without con- 
sidering that a house full n^ onl7/s, constitutes 
some one in it a slave, if every one will not 
take his share of the burden ; and that by 
the simple process of each individual resum- 
ing and replacing his own properly, confusion 
might be reduced to regularity, as by the 
touch of a magical wand, at least with as 
much expedition as evolutions are made at 
the word of command. You who imagine, 
that upon this larger scale your feats would 
astonish the world, practise first upon a small, 
and begin the manual exercise within the 
walls of your own castle, where hosts of the 
enemy might be put to flight without danger 
of a wound, and where your exploits would 
be rewarded by the smiles and thanks of her 
who presides in it ; smiles of complacency. 



158 TO THE HUSBAIfD. 

instead of involuntary expressions of vexa- 
tion and disgust. Perhaps, if some portion 
of that spirit of order, that love of re- 
gularify, which she displays, were trans- 
ferred to the r<hop or the counting house, 
it might both increase the comfort, and 
secure the permanence of the establishment. 
Thp*"e are some men, at least, who might 
obtain useful lessons from the domestick 
mam\gement of (heir wives ; and those who 
require no such assistance, but preserve, 
upon principle, the strictest order in their 
own department, should not object to au 
equal solicitude evinced by their wives in 
theirs. 

It is in general from thoughtlessness, from 
want of a moment's reflection, ^a moment's 
care, that this distressing negligence pro- 
ceeds : and from the same cause it is that 
persons, otherwise quick in discerning, do 
not perceive, that, if to perform their little 
offices, everv one for himself, is a tax so bur- 
densome, it. must be inexpressibly more so to 



TO THE HUSBAND. 159 

that unhappy individual upon whom, in case 
of bis negligence, the whole must devolve. 
Nor ought she to be thought unreasonable, 
for wishing good order lo be preserved in 
her humble sphere ; for, if from the bee-hive 
or ants' nest, to the mighty empire, order 
and regularity are i»(lis!»ensible, why should 
the poor housewife's domain be excepted, 
when all below, and all above her, are allow- 
ed the privilege ? It has so favourable and 
^ pleasing an effect upon I he mind of a sensi- 
ble woman, when the males of her family 
contract habits of decency and order, and 
evince a respect to her feelings therein, that 
it might be worth while, were this the only 
advantage, to make the experiment; es- 
pecially as the etfort required would be so 
small. There is something, indeed, so 
agreeable in the character of a gentleman, that 
there are few females to be found with whose 
taste it would not accord. A slovenly 
ploughman may be no inconsistent cbarac- 



160 TO THE HUSBAND. 

ter : tliere may, too, be slovenly lawyers, 
physicians, soldiers, and divines; nay, for 
any thing I know, slovenly dukes and lords ; 
but a slovenly gentleman can only be ranked 
with si^hinxes, griffins, unicorns, and mer- 
maids. 

Something has been advanced upon the sub- 
ject of keeping at home ; and, to the woman 
who has a just sense of duty, home will be the 
spot where her happiness is concentrated, 
whether her husband is there or not : but if, 
after all her exertions to render it agreeable, 
he takes no delight in it. and by his unne- 
cessary absence proves that he undervalues 
her society, of how much deserved felicity is 
she not deprived ! He, raethinks, whose pre- 
vailing passion is for going abroad, has little 
right to object, nay, should make the widest 
allowance, if his wife should manifest the 
same disposition. Ai-d if she should, the 
fate of that family may be augured with 
little danger of mistake. Should she not^ 



TO THE HUSBAND. 161 

her situation is inferiour to tliat of his ser- 
vajits, who, if they have cause for discontent, 
chuige their master, and meliorate their 
condition. It is only criminals that should 
be punished with solitary confinement. 

But if, unhappily, husbands and wives 
should rarely meet at home, it is possible 
that they may occasionally meet abroad ; 
and here it is of more importance than many 
married people are aware of, that each should 
render to the other that kind of houourf 
which is due to sur.h a relationship. 
Many, indeed, who are by no m^*:in3 defi- 
cient in real affection and mutual respect, fail 
to express either in 1 heir general conduct, and 
appear as if at liberty to treat with pe- 
culiar neglect, that individual, whom one 
has promised to honour, and the other lo 
cherish. A wife is tenderly alive to the 
kind attentions of her husbarul, whether at 
home or abroad : and neither can more 
gracefully fulfil the m irriage vow, than by 

11 



162 TO THE Husband, 

thus giving honour, open and cheerful hon- 
our, to whom honour is due. 

As every man is mathematician enough 
to know that the whole is composed of parts, 
he might, by the most simple process, ascer- 
tain whether the character of a good husband 
is justly his due. Pounds are composed of 
pence, centuries of moments, this ponderous 
globe of atoms; and so, in the most impor- 
tant relations of human life, trivial attentions, 
nameless kindnesses, habitual tenderness, go 
far to compose the sum of its happiness. 
The great outlines of a picture may be cor- 
rect, but it is by a variety of minute and 
scarcely perceptible touches, that it is ren- 
dered beautiful and complete. Refined, in- 
deed, is the enjoyment of those who know 
both how to bestow and how to appreciate 
this exquisite finish. 



163 

IX^- XII. 

CONCLUSION. 

And now, my dear reader, should I be so 
happy as to have obtained your hearty con- 
currence with the foregoing pages ; yet, 
could I know of your closing the book with- 
out discovering it to be incomplete, we 
should not part mutually satisfied. Hitherto 
I have said little more than the wisdom of 
this world would suggest ; and, though thus 
far I may have gained your cheertul atten- 
tion, it is possible that now you may take 
alarm, and decline the perusal of a subject, 
in which you feel, perhaps, but little inte- 
rest, or suppose that you feel enough with- 
out further anxiety. But let me crave, for 
a few moments longer, that attention with 
which yoij have hitherto favoured me, and 
nothing shall be advanced that will remind 



]64 CONCLDSION. 

you of sects or parties ; nothing; but what is 
clearly authorized by the sacred Scriptures; 
nothing but a few simple truths, to which, 
upon retlectiun, your own reason, 1 doubt 
not, will assent. 

The Scriptures plainly reveal that there 
is a 2;reat and glorious Being, the creator 
and the upholder of all things, the sovereign 
disposer and Lord. And as to him we owe 
all we have and all we are, he has a right ta 
our best services : these, to be acceptable, 
must spring from the pure motive of filial 
love ; for he says, ' My son, give me thine 
heart / and we are enjoined to set our affec- 
tions on things above, to seek first the king- 
dom of God and his righteousness; and not 
to labour, as if it were our only portion, for 
the meat which perisheth, but for that which 
endureth unto eternal life. The aj)ostle 
Paul was so convinced of the necessity of 
this, that he couqied all things but dross 
that he might wia Christ : and wherefore, 



CONCLUSION. 165 

says the prophet Isaiah, do ye spend your 
money for that which is not bread, and la- 
bour for that which satisfieth not ? Also of 
the two sisters recorded in the gospel, it was 
she who sat at the feet of Jesus, to be in- 
structed in heavenly things, and not the one 
who was cumbered with much serving, that 
obtained his approbation. Vain, indeed, 
would be your utmost diligence; in vain 
would 3'ou rise up early, sit up late, and eat 
the bread of carefulness, without having Him 
for your friend, who alone is able to estab- 
lish I he work of your hands, to make you 
rich, and to add no sorrow therewith ; for, 
though your indefatigable industry should 
heap up baskets full and barns full, yet, with- 
out a heart devoted to your God, there is a 
curse upon you, both in basket and in store. 
The curse of the Lord is said to be in the 
house of the wicked ; and this not only in 
the dwellings of the profligate and the openly 
profane, of those who cast off fear, and re- 



166 CONCLUSION. 

strain prayer before birn ; but of tboge, who, 
ill the outward forms of religion, call upon 
him with their lips, while their hearts are 
far from him ; and of whom it may be said, 
that he is not in all their thoughts. Of such 
worship he complains, and compares it to 
bringing the lame, the halt, and the blind, 
for a sacrifice. ' Take them now to thy 
governour,' says the offended Majesty of Hea- 
ven, ' and see if he will accept them at thy 
hands.' What blessings, on the contrary, 
may not be showered down upon that taber- 
nacle, which, when, it is first reared, is de- 
voted to God ! The Lord blessed the house 
of Obed-edom, when the ark had abode there 
only a few months. And the pious inten- 
tion of David to build a house to the Lord 
God of Israel, was rewarded by a promise, 
that the Lord would build him a house, that 
he would preserve and bless his posterity if 
they continued to walk in the ways of their 
illustrious ancestors. Then think not your 



CONCLUSION. 167 

house furnished or complete till you have 
reared in it an altar to the Lord ; till that 
worship is established in it which He gra- 
ciously approves. Morning and evening as- 
semble your family together to solicit His 
blessing, and say, ' Establish thou the work 
of oar hands ; yea, the work of our hands 
establish thou it.' O ! if the hearts of all 
who bend the knee at such seasons were 
ascending in devout aspirations, and not 
wandering, as the fool's eye, to the ends of 
the earth, what rich, what abundant blessings 
might be anticipated ! ' Where two or three 
are gathered together in my name,' says our 
Saviour, ' there am I in the midst of them.' 
There is He waitinsi; to be gracious, though 
with our bodily eyes we cannot discern Him. 
The Apostle James explains to us the rea- 
son why our prayers avail so little. ' Ye 
ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss.' 
The prayer of the wicked, the supplication 
of those who mock Him with a solemn sound 



168 CONCLUSION. 

upon a thoughtless tongue, the petitions of 
such, He will not answer. 

You perceive, then, my young friend, that 
one thing is needful ; that the substance, as 
well as the appearance of religion is neces- 
sary to your prosperity, even in this world, 
and how much more so with regard to that 
which is to come ! Not that any are promis- 
ed exemption from those afflictions, which 
are the common lot of mankind. Even if 
among his true disciples, you are expressly 
warned by our Lord, that in the world you 
shall have tribulation ; but it shall be admi- 
nistered with a tender regard to your real 
welfare ; and that portion, both of prosperity 
and adversity, shall be measured out to you, 
which shall eventually promote your eternal 
interests. What your heavenly Father gives, 
he will accompany with a blessing; what he 
takes, he will amply compensate to you by 
better and more durable substance. 



CONCLUSION. 169 

That you should be dilisfent in business, 
has been the object of the foregoing; pages; 
that you should be fervent in spirit serving 
the Lord, is the design of those which fol- 
low : and, for this purpose, let us see what 
improvement can be extracted from some of 
the common concerns and avocations of life ; 
nor shall 1 be accused, in so doing, of sink- 
ing beneath the dignity of a sacred subject. 
Scriptures, with illustrations drawn from hum- 
ble employments, and the commonest proces- 
ses, and meanest implements, are selected to 
exemplify important truths. The Prophet 
Jeremiah foretold a national destruction by 
the type of a decayed girdle; and the abso- 
lute dominion of God over all nations, by 
the similitude of a potter's vessel; by good 
and bad figs, the restoration from captivity; 
and by bonds and yokes, the important revo- 
lutions that were to take place in the world. 
Ezekiel, too, by a tile and a pan, by a vine 
branch and \:\y sour grapes, predicted ^imilar 



irO CONCLUSION. 

events : and our Lord especially abounds in 
dimilitudes of the most familiar nature. A 
net, with fish of every kind, illustrates that 
most solemn of all events, the final judgment. 
Stewards, sowers, labourers, debtors, leaven 
hidden in meal, a new piece in an old gar- 
ment, lost sheep, pieces of silver, and even a 
grain of mustard-seed; are severally employed 
by him, and set an example which we need 
not be afraid or ashamed to follow. Let us, 
then, retrace the path we have trodden, and 
see what further a<lvantage it may yield. 

And if economy in worldly matters is in- 
dispensible, of how much greater importance 
must it be in ycur spiritual concerns ! The 
days of our years are three score years and 
ten. This, probably, will be all your portion 
of time, and it may be of much shorter dura- 
tion : even now, for any thing you can tell, 
the Judge may be standing before the door. 
With what parsimony, then, ought you to 
husband the fleeting moments J Money lost 



CONCLUSION. in 

or squandered may be regained ; but time, 
precious time, can never be recalled. It is 
a treasure of inestimable value; a value, un- 
like that of other treasures, enhanced by its 
insignificance ; for, compared with eternity, 
it is less than a drop to the ocean, than an 
atom to the universe ; yet upon it your eter- 
nal weal or wo depends. To have squan- 
dered your whole substance upon the vainest 
frivolities, would be wisdom, compared with 
that infatuation which devotes every moment 
of life to objects of which you must shortly 
take an everlasting farewell. If pence accu- 
mulate and become of value, listen to the 
clock, and note the fleeting moments, how 
rapidly do they amount to hours ; hours to 
days, and days to months and years! How 
swiftly do infancy, childhood, youth, and 
maturity, succeed to each other, till that 
period arrives, when all the vain amusements 
of the world lose their altractions, when its 
busy pursuits no longer interest, and the 



172 CONCLUSION. 

grasshopper becomes a burden ! It is "wise to 
make temporal provision for such a period; 
but awful will be the cnse of those, who, 
when flesh and heart fail them, have no bet- 
ter stores, than of corn, and wine, and oil : 
these cannot support nature beyond the time 
appointed for its continuance; neither can 
they be carried wiih us into the unknown 
land to which we go. Naked came we into 
the world, and naked must we return : but 
true religion [)rovides all that is needful and 
suitable for the fainting travellers ; it supports 
and comforts them in the dark valley, and 
leads them on till the heavenly country 
opens beyond. 

Again, if that style of dress is justly cen- 
sured that assumes the appearance of a rank, 
to which we do not belong, may it not sug- 
gest a caution against the false appearances 
•which too many wear, who impose upon the 
world by engaging manners, and put on the 
look of sweetness or piety, while the internal 



CONCLUSION. 173 

principle is wanting: from which they should 
proceed ; that principle which alone gives 
vahje to the character, or which can satisfy 
conscience, when the good opinion of the 
world is hestowed. In vain, my young 
frierul, do you make broad your phylacteries, 
and enlarge the borders of your garments ; 
if you are not what you appear to be, you 
cannot deceive the penetrating eye of Him 
who knows your heart, and cannot, like 
ycmr fellow mortals, be misled by fair pro- 
fessions, and the outwarti form of religion. 
King David was so desirous of sincerity of 
character, that, in the lany;uage of humility, 
he appealed to the King of kings, an<l said, 
* Search me, and try me, and see what evil 
there is in me, and lead me in the way ever- 
lasting.' 

You may he disposed sometimes to exact 
too much from your neighbours, by borrow- 
ing of them what you should have taken 
timely care to provide for yourself: remem- 



174 CONCLUSION. 

ber, upon such occasions, the parable of 
those foolish virgins, who, on the sudden ap- 
pearance of the bridegroom, said to their 
companions, ' Give us of your oil.' Vain 
request ! It must be by the reality of our 
own religion, that we stand in that awful 
and decisive day. The holiness of our hus- 
bands, our parents, our dearest connexions, 
though it might have proved extremely be- 
neficial as an example, and have given au- 
thority to their precepts, will not avail us 
when the period arrives in which every one 
is to be rewarded according to the deeds 
done in the body. Isaac, Jacob, David, 
Hezekiah, had irreligious children, the holi- 
ness of whose ancestors could but aggravate 
their guilt; and the awful line of separation 
will finally be drawn between many a hus- 
band and wife, a parent and child. 

If the wholesome maxim of doing every 
thing in i(s prot)er time, of applying every 
thing to its proper use, and of keeping every 



CONCLUSION. 175 

thing in its proper place, were extended to 
religion, how beneficial would be its influ- 
ence ! There is a time for every work and 
purpose under the sun : a time in which to 
withdraw from the business and amusements 
of the world, to commune with our own 
hearts, and with Him who is acquainted with 
all their most secret recesses, with Him who 
will be found of those who diligently seek 
him. There is a time — a day which he has 
called peculiarly his own; — then would this 
day he set apart to his service, and not de- 
voted to the pursuits or the pleasures of the 
world. Then, too, a portion of every day 
would be consecrated to Him, whose mer- 
cies are new every morning, and from whom 
cometh every good and perfect gift. W all 
things were applied to their proper use, much 
that is expended upon a vain appearance, 
or hoarded in the miser's coffers, would be 
ditiused among the poor and needj"^, would 
make the hearis of the widow and the orphan 



176 CONCLUSION. 

to rejoice; and much more would be devot- 
ed to the nobler ends of instructing the igno- 
rant, and propagating the Gospel of our Sa- 
viour in the world. If, too, the heart were 
kej)t in its proper place, we should find it fre- 
quently in Heaven, where its treasure would 
be; from the contem;.)lation of which it would 
learn to estimate things according to their iu- 
trifisick value, and cease to be captivated by 
that which moths may corrupt, and thieves 
break through to steal. 

Those who have sufficient strength of mind 
to dare to be singular, when worldly prudence 
requires it, would do well to raise their cou- 
rage to a higher pitch, and venture to be 
religious, even in the midst of irreligious 
connexions. The Apostle Paul exhorts the 
Corinthians to come out and be separate. 
This does not prohibit all intercourse with 
the world; for then, as he observes, we must 
needs go out of it ; but it should certainly de- 
ter us from compliance with its sinful cus- 



CONCLUSION. 177 

toms, and restrict the choice of our compa- 
nions to the few who also dare to be singular. 
Have any a jealous sense of the services 
and respect due to them froni their domes- 
ticks ? By an easy transition may such be 
reminded of the relation in which they stand 
to their supreme Master and Lord. Should 
they be blessed with faithful servants, giving 
them due honour, promoting their interest, 
and performing their services with willing 
minds ; this cheerful obedience may become 
a pattern for their own conduct towards a 
higher authority, and they may be stimulated 
to greater faithfulness and exertion in the 
service of their divine Master. Even the 
remissness and ingratitude of our servants 
may furnish us with a lesson ; and while we 
feel displeasure rising against them, we may 
ask ourselves, if there is not One who is 
punctual to His engagements, be our duties 
ever so remissly performed ; whose mercies 
are new every morning, and whose sun 

12 



ITS CONCLUSION. 

shineth on the just and on tine unjust : though 
finally He will reward every one according 
to his works ? Happy are those, who, at the 
end of their mortal career, can lie down in 
the grave and say : ' I have accomplished, as 
an hireling, my day,' — * I have finished the 
work that was siven me to do.' 

But if from the relation of master and ser- 
vant we may derive such instructive lessons, 
how much more impressive may they be 
rendered, by contemplating ourselves in the 
character of parents, whether we are provid- 
ing for the present or future wants of our 
children ; whether instructing or correcting 
them, we may be reminded of the methods 
of our heavenly Father with respect to us; 
who himself adopts this illustration, and says, 
that i( we, being evil, know how to give 
good gifts to our children, much more will 
He answer the prayers of those who call 
U|)on Him for superiour bUssings. — While 
we require implicit obedience to our dispo- 



CONCLUSION. ir9 

sal or commands, we are enforcing upon our- 
selves the duty and advantage of a meek 
submission and humble dependence upon 
the universal parent of mankind. Those 
Avho study their children's interest, by inur- 
ing them to plain food and clothing, may 
carry the same mode of reasoning a little 
higher, and be satisfied with that mediocrity 
of condition in which Providence may have 
placed them. Give me neither poverty nor 
riches, is a more comprehensive request, 
than the proud, the covetous, or the ambi- 
tious, are disposed to believe ; for it compri- 
ses the sum of earthly felicity. — But there 
have been those who, leaving this petition 
far behind, have learned in whatsoever state 
they were, therewith to be content : such, 
like well disciplined children, do not choose 
this or that; are not solicitous about what 
they shall eat, or what they shall drink, or 
wherewithal they shall be clothed : but they 
thankfully receive the allotment of their 



180 CONCLUSION. 

heavenly Father, who is too wise to err, and 
too good willingly to afflict or grieve his 
children. 

Hints for the sick chamber occupy a few 
of the former pages ; a view of human nature 
in that state of suffering debility, is calculat- 
ed to call forth every tender and sympathe- 
tick feeling; but here, as in most other 
cases, good may be extracted from evil, and 
improvement may be derived from scenes of 
distress When the whole head is sick, and 
the whole heart is faint ; when wounds and 
bruises render the body offensive or loath- 
some ; we are warranted by Scripture to re- 
gard it as an emblem of a diseased and irre- 
ligious soul : this is the metaphor by which 
those are described who live without God 
in the world. — Such, in whatever estimation 
they may be held for wisdom and sanity of 
mind, are indeed suffering a delirium of the 
most destructive nature ; they are harbouring 
a thousand extravagant fancies, and practis- 



CONCLUSION. 181 

in§ a succession of the grossest follies. The 
language of Scripture describes them as for- 
saking the fountain of living water, and 
hewing out to themselves cisterns, broken 
cisterns, that can hold no water. When 
urged by their own consciences, or by others, 
to the performance of religious duties, they 
fancy a lion in the way, and that they shall 
be slain in the streets ; they grope, as in 
darkness, at noon-day, and they call evil 
good and good evil. Perhaps while every 
means is used which skill or affection can 
devise for the recovery of the body, these 
more important symptoms are viewed with 
indifference, or treated with neglect ; these 
wounds are not closed, nor bound up, nor 
mollified with ointment ; yet there is balm 
in Gilead, there is a Physician there ; and 
He, who is skilful in removing this spiritual 
delirium, has left us every direction that we 
need. — Those unhappy patients might be re- 
minded, who, and where, and for what they 



182 CONCLUSION. 

are; reminded, too, what time of the day it 
is — if in the morning of life, they might be 
urged to insure its nllim»te prosperily, by 
devoting themselves to the service of their 
Creator, now in the season of youth, while 
the evil days come nof, nor the years draw 
nigh, in which they shall say, they have no 
pleasure in them. If life is in its meridian, 
a hint might be given, that many as bright a 
sun has gone down at noon. The aged might 
be warned, that it is the eleventh hour, and 
high time for them to awake out of sleep ; 
that now the time past must have been suffi- 
cient to have wrought the will of the Gen- 
tiles. And if such ideas have never occur- 
red, or been suggested before, in the sick 
chamber their importance is enhanced. When 
the world is receding from our view, what 
but real religion is likely to produce that 
meekness and patience which compose even 
the bodily frame ? what is there upon which 
the mind can rest, when, from pain and an- 



CONCLUSION. 183 

guish, the morning cry is, ' Would God it 
were even !' and the evening, ' Would God 
it were morning !' What consolation, when 
flesh and heart fail, can be devised, if God 
be not the strength of the heart, and the por- 
tion for ever ? In the sick chamber the se- 
verest measures are often prescribed, and the 
sharpest pains inflicted, to promote recovery ; 
yet it is there, too, that, after all have prov- 
ed inefifectual, the only means are withheld 
which could, in such hopeless circumstances, 
afford relief — withheld, from the cruel fear of 
exciting alarm t Thus many a one, totally 
unprepared for another world, is suffered to 
launch away, and to pass that gulf which 
will for ever prevent his return to afford 
those salutary warnings to his brethren, of 
which he had been deprived. 

Habits of observation are recommended 
in our temporal concerns ; but w hat ample 
field and inducement has the Christian to re- 
flect and observe ! Prosperity and adversity, 



184 CONCLUSION. 

whether sustained by himself or others, afford 
equal materials, and may alike be turned to 
good account. ' Whoso is wise, and will 
observe these things, even he shall see the 
loving kindness of the Lord.' He looks 
back, and the design of many a mysterious 
providence is unfolded. 

Hopes, blighted by a Father's care, 
Perchance to save him from despair : 
And fears, whose giant armies fled, 
Dispell'd by Faith's courageous tread. 

And thus, to him, tribulation worketh pa- 
tience; and patience, experience; and expe- 
rience, hope. To him these words of the 
Apostle are addressed : ' All things are yours, 
whether life or death, or things present, or 
^ things to come.' 

Whatever may be our habits and propen- 
sities now, we all hope to arrive at that ha- 
bitation, where we shall go no more out. 
And, as the church below is an emblem of 



CONCLUSION. 185 

that above, we should do well, as far as we 
are able, to preserve this part of the resem- 
blance. When, therefore, my dear reader, 
Providence or choice has cast your lot ia 
any particular society of Christians, where 
the gospel is faithfully preached, and those 
ordinances are administered which your 
judgment approves as the institutions of 
Heaven : ' Into whatsoever house ye enter, 
there abide, go not from house to bouse;' 
be not seduced by itching ears, by vain 
curiosity, or a fastidious spirit. If your do- 
mestick concerns would suffer from your fre- 
quent absence, the religious society to which 
you belong is injured in a proportionate de- 
gree by similar conduct. No love for your 
spiritual teachers ; no Christian fellowship 
among brethren, which is the cement of eve- 
ry church, could exist, if all were thus guilty : 
and yet all have an equal right. It is those 
who are planted in the house of the Lord, 
that flourish ia the courts of our God, while 



186 CONCLUSION. 

the most vigorous growth will droop and 
decay in repeated removal from one soil to 
another. Nor is ariy one too insignificant 
to be useful ; every pin of the tabernacle had 
its design, and could not be removed without 
endangering the whole. Consider yourself 
as one part of the church to which you he- 
long; and be as anxious to promote its inte- 
rests, to preserve order and regularity in all 
its members, yourself especially, as you are 
to maintain it in your household. A woman 
is not permitted to speak in the church, but 
she may render it as much service as many 
who do, by her constant attendance ; by the 
example of her chaste conversation, coupled 
with fear; and by that meek and quiet spirit, 
which, in the sight of Gou, is of great price. 
— Habits of constant and regular attendance 
have also the most beneficial effects upon 
the rising generation. Children who, in imi- 
tation of their parents, are accustomed to 
wander from place to place, will be in dan- 



CONCLUSION. 187 

ger, as they can possess no particular attach- 
ment to any, of frequenting none at all : hav- 
ing never been (aught to esteem their spiri- 
tual pastors very highly for their work's 
sake, it will not !)e strange, or uncommon, if 
in process of time they undervalue the work 
itself, and become indifferent about religion. 
To your husband I have addressed a few 
\Yord9 ; that being, with whom you must 
travel in company through all the intricate 
windings of this mortal life. — Whether you 
rise to an eminence, and find yourselves ex- 
alted above many ; or whether you descend 
into the vale, or traverse the rugged or dan- 
gerous road, you have sworn to travel toge- 
ther. The laws of God and man have unit- 
ed you in indissoluble bonds ; but there is an 
enemy who will one daj^ with relentless 
hand, cut them in sunder. You must part ! 
ah ! you must part ! And should you be the 
survivor, a severer trial cannot befall you, 
than when the endeared companion of so 



188 CONCLUGION. 

many interesting events, the participator iu 
every joy and every sorrow, the desire of 
your eyes, the better half of yourself, is taken 
away with a stroke ! Where real affection 
bas existed, fouuded upon esteem, it is a 
breach that is not soon or easily repaired. 
Yet there are consolations even here. That 
divine promise has frequently been applied 
as a cordial to the drooping spirits, ' Thy 
Maker is thy husband; the Lord of Hosts is 
his name :' and, ' Leave thy fatherless chil- 
dren, and let thy widows trust in Me ;' has 
been felt of greater value, in such circum- 
stances, than the most ample provision. But 
additional consolation may be derived from 
a retrospect of your own conduct; when the 
remembrance of past proofs of love, of en- 
dearments now for ever ceased, would rend 
your heart ; your sorrows may be mitigated, 
if you are able to re8ect ui»on a life of consis- 
tent affection, of faithful services, of tender 
attachment and unceasing solicitude to pro- 



co'ffCLUsioir. 189 

mote his happiness : and if, in the prospect 
of the parting scene, he could adopt the lan- 
guage of Christian affection, and say, 

' Whene'er it comes, raay'st thou he by, 
Support ray sinking frame, and teach me how to die : 

Banish desponding nature's gloom, 

Make me to hope a gentler doom, 

And (ix me all ou joys to come. 
The ghastly-form will have a pleasing air, 
And all things smile while heaven and thou art there.' 

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