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preferable to the distressing tediousness of total inaction.
Although, fortunately, in these United States, there are no hereditary ranks, that fix as it were by neverending entailment, the banefal disease of sloth, upon particular families; yet excessive wealth operates, not unfrequently, the like effects. After a gatherer comes a scatterer"-is a proverbial saying, wbich, in whatever country it originated, is no where, perhaps, more strikingly matter-of-fact, than in our own. Indeed nothing can be more natural than the process. The gatherer," if he have gathered a very large heap, is of course a man of great worldly prudence; but so far from being able to bequeath that quality to his children, the single circumstance of their being set up in the world with fortunes, has an almost irresistible tendency to render them imprudent and improvident. You cannot put the old head upon the young shoulders. You can hardly convince the rich-born youth, that considerable care and attention will be necessary on his part, merely to keep the fortune that falls to bim. There is more than an even chance that he will be either carelessly indolent, or prodigally dissipated; that he will either waste his time in idleness, or spend it in vain, if not vicious, pursuits.
The vanity of wealth, will alike affect his children and his childrens' children. They will dote much upon the circumstance of their springing from an opulent stock, and, by natural consequence, will feel themselves quite above the ordinary occupations of life. Meanwhile the family estate will have been divided and subdivided, till the share of each comes to be very small. A sort of stateliness, is, however, kept up in their narrow circumstances and even in their poverty. They preserve, with a sort of religious reverence, old pictures, little fragments of plate, or some precious memorial or other, of what once was. For the pride of family founded altogether upon wealth, seldom suffers much abatement by the ruin of that foundation. Thus it is that the needy descendants of a very rich family are in a worse condition by far, than most others of the sons and daughters of want; since the indolence of their habits and the magnificence of their notions, alike disable them for procuring a comfortable livelihood, and for enjoying the little they possess.
There is one kind of revolution that is perpetually progressing in this country ;-the revolution in fortunes. The rich families of the last age, all but a very few, are ntterly extinct as to fortune: and, on the other hand, the families, in general, that now figure away in the magnificence of wealth, are the founders of their own fortunes; not a few of them having emerged from obscurity, and some from the deepest shades of poverty. The revolutionary wheel is still turning, and, with a few turns more, it will turn down a great part of the present rich families, and will turn up, in their stead, an equal, or perhaps greater, number, from the poor and the middling classes. This course has, well nigh, as firm a fixture, as have the changes of day and night:
Of the lamentable species of helplessness occasioned by
Pride and false Shame.
LEARN your children to help themselves, is a practical maxim deserving more general notice than it ever yet has obtained, or peradventure ever will obtain, ia
this scornful and foolish world. The highest and most important part of the art of teaching is to learn the young mind to think for itself, and to exercise and exert its faculties of judgment and uriuerstanding, as well as of memory; for these faculties, grow and increase only by exercise. The less they are exereised in childhood, the more feeble they come to be in manhood. And besides, one who has been unaccustomed to the exertions of thought in the early years of life, commonly lacks all disposition to accustom himself to it afterwards ; it being a kind of labour which early habit makes pleasant, but which early neglect renders intolerably irksome.
And as children should be led to think for themselves, or to exert those faculties which pertain to the mind only ; so also should they be inured to the exercise of those mixed faculties that call forth the exertion of the mind and body conjointly. This class of exercises is of more easy performance, especially in childhood, than the other. It is altogether natural too ; and it tends to give vigour and alertness alike to the mental and the corporeal frame. If children be made to help themselves as soon and as much as they are able, it wonderfully conduces to the improvement of their faculties, and has at the same time an auspicious influence upon their dispositions. Whereas if they be accustomed to have every thing done for them by others that others can do, the rust of sloth and the canker of pride will be full apt to spoil whatever of excellence nature has bequeathed them
Childhood and youth, are periods of life which materially influence all its following periods. Whether these early years be passed in torpid indolence, or in well-directed industry, is a point on which greatly depends the worth or the worthlessness of human characters. What man or what woman that has a relish for
intellectual pleasure, but can trace that relish down to the days of childhood ? Where is the man who guides his affairs with discretion, or the woman that looketh well to the ways of her household," and yet was not in some measure imbued with industrious and provident dispositions in early life ? On the other hand, who that had been treated, till the age of twenty, like an helpless infant, and had every want supplied without being put to either mental or bodily exertion, was ever good for any thing afterwards ? I freely admit indeed that there are some honourable exceptions ; but they are like the few exceptions to a well established general rule.
It is the misfortune of high rank and great wealth, that the children of families so distinguished are often treated as helpless till they become so in reality. They must have waiters to do for them a multitude of little things which it would be greatly for their benefit to do for themselves. They must be served with such assiduity as to supersede almost the use of their own limbs. "They have feet, but they walk not; hands have they, but they use them not, except for putting their food and drink to their mouths. And are they happy ? No: it is of the nature of this kind of training up to render them discontented, peevish and querulous, all their lives, even though fortune should never forsake them. And if they chance to fall into poverty, they are wretched indeed,
-no less incapable than unwilling to earn a livelihood by industry.
But the sum of the mischief would be not near so great if it were confined altogether to families of high rank or great wealth ; for these are comparatively very few. It is the fevery appetence of aping the stateliness of rank and the pomp of wealth, that occasions the commonness of this perverted education and the huge mass of wretchedness which follows it
Madam is a branch of what had been called & good family. The estate is run out, and she is poor and dependant.-She retains, however, some precious relics of former splendour. With these she feeds her vanity, Not unfrequently she boasts, that never in all her life-time did she defile her hands with labour ; and she would swoon at the thought that one of her maiden daughters should descend to the business of a milliner, or that the other should marry a substantial tradesman.
Mrs. has no rich ancestry or great connections to boast of, and her worldly circumstances are but indifferent ; but the darling wish of her heart is the elevation of her children. Wherefore, she moils and toils day and night, gives herself no rest, impairs her constitution by overworking, for the goodly purpose of bringing up her daughters in genteel idleness, that so perchance they may obtain the notice of the better sort.
B-was, in his better days, a snug farmer of industrious habits, and was pretty well contented with his lot; though, from the beginning, he had rather an uppish turn, both he and his rib. In an evil hour he bappened to be made a militia captain. That connected him with the colonel of the regiment, and at length, after some wriggling for it, with the brigadier general, and, of course, with sundry other men of consequence ; so that, between his family and theirs, there was a free interchange of visits. The burden of these new expenses was too heavy for him, and he sunk under it. The reverse threw the good couple into an agony of grief and despair for their children: and, upon being Feminded that they were considerably grown, and could all earn their living, the captain and his lady made an, swer, that it was not the fear of want, either for themselves or theirs, that so stung their hearts, but the ag