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thousand pounds in the rent-roll. Public places now present themselves to her mind as the scenes where her wishes may have the fairest prospect of being realised. She enlarges to her husband on the propriety of doing justice to their daughter's attractions, and giving her the same chance which other ladies of her age enjoy of making a respectable conquest; dwells on the wonderful effect of sudden impressions; recounts various examples in which wealthy baronets and the eldest sons of peers have been captivated by the resistless power of female elegance in a ball-room, and forgets or passes over the wretchedness by which the marriage was in most instances succeeded; and drags him, unconvinced, from London to Bath, from Tunbridge to Weymouth, that the young woman may be corrupted into dissipation, folly, and misconduct, and exposed, as in a public market, to the inspection of bachelors of fashion. It would scarcely be practicable to invent a system more indelicate to the feelings of
the person for whose benefit it is professedly carried on; nor one whose effect, confidered in a matrimonial point of view, would have a greater tendency to betray her into a hasty engagement, and the unhappiness which a hasty engagement frequently forebodes. But in this plan, as in others, cunning not seldom overreaches itself. The jealousy of other mothers suspects the scheme; the quicklightedness of young men discerns it. When once it is discerned, its consequences are wholly opposite to those which it was intended to produce. The destined captive recoils from the net. The odium of the plot, instead of being confined, as justice commonly requires, to the mother, is extended to the daughter, and pursues her whithersoever she
In the intercourse of private families in the country, where similar schemes are not unfrequent, though conducted on a smaller scale ; the forward advances and studied attentions of the mother to young men of fortune whom she wishes to call her sons-in-law, are often
in the highest degree distressing to her daughters as well as offensive to the other parties; and in many cases actually prevent attachments, which would otherwise have taken place.
The adjustment of pecuniary transactions antecedent to marriage commonly belongs to the fathers of the young people, rather than to maternal care. But the opinion of the mother will, of course, have its weight. Let that weight ever be employed to counteract the operation of sordid principles ; and to promote the arrangement of all subordinate points on such a basis as may promise permanence to the reciprocal happiness of the two families, which are about to be connected.
Whèn matrimonial alliances introduce a mother to new sons and new daughters; let her study to conduct herself towards them in a manner befitting the ties of affinity, by which she is now united to thein. If she
harbours prejudices against them, if pride, jealousy, caprice, or any other unwarrantable emotion marks her behaviour towards them; the injustice of her conduct to the individuals themselves has this further accession of criminality, that it also wounds in the tenderest point the feelings of her own children.
The peculiar obligations of parent
and child are not wholly cancelled but by the stroke which separates the bands of mortality. When
put a period to authority and submission ; parental folicitude, filial reverence, and mutual affection survive. Let the mother exert herself during her life to draw closer and closer the links of benevolence and kindness. Let her counsel, never obtrusely offered or pressed, be at all times ready when it will be beneficial and acceptable. But let her not be dissatisfied, though the proceedings which she recommends should not appear the most advisable to her children, who are
now free agents. Let her share in their joy, and sympathise with their afflictions; “re
joice with them that rejoice, and weep “ with them that weep (0).” She may then justly hope that their love will never forget what she has done and what she has fuffered for them; and that the hand of filial gratitude will delight to smooth the path of her latter days.
() Romans, xii. 15.