Графични страници
PDF файл

of children who rush into the state of marriage with a criminal disregard to parental authority and feeling, than of parents who abuse their authority in the manner above mentioned.

It may perhaps be not impertinent to add here, that Giving in marriage implies Asking—at least for the most part. But not to touch upon this ticklish point myself, I will do the reader better justice by a quotation.

The author of a late work of great merit, entitled, “ Journal of a tour and Residence in Great Britain, during the years 1810 and 1811, by a French Traveller," gives the following lively description of one of the pictures on domestic subjects, which he saw in London,

6 You see a room occupied by a shoemaker and his family. He is at work, seated on a bench in the front of the picture ; shirt sleeves tucked up,—squared elbows,a shoe in one hand, on his closed knees,--a hammer in the other, hard at work ; his son by him, his back turned, works at the same trade. Behind them, at a table, the mother shells beans; the daughter, seated at the same table, is binding shoes. A child in a low chair, a bowl in his hand, eating carelessly, as if he had enough, and playing with the cat. In the middle of all this the door opens; a young man in his holiday dress, with a nose-gay at his button-hole, hat off, and scratching his head, with an awkward embarrassed air, advances a few steps, and is about to tell the object of his visit. The father stops short in the middle of his work, and half raising his head, shows a wrinkled fore. head,--care worn-a sharp and impatient eye,-and, altogether, a countenance ill calculated to encourage the gallant. The girl, without interrupting her work, but deeply blushing, uneasy, and anxious, casts a sideglance at what is going on. The mother looks complacently, and the young brother laughs in his sleeve with suppressed archness, while the child continues playing with the cat, without taking any concern with the scene, which is called, as may be imagined, The Asking in Marriage.”


Of useful industry, considered as a moral duty.

The fourth commandment in the sacred decalogue lays upon us two distinct obligations : it imposes labour no less expressly than it enjoins a holy rest. “ Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work."

Hence, it is a just and fair inference, that a life of voluntary idleness is a life of disobedience to the law and will of heaven. If, of your own choice your spend the six working days idly, you are as verily a transgressor of the moral law, as you would be in disregarding the day that is consecrated. And besides, we are the better fitted for the duties of the sabbath, by means of our industry in “ providing things honest” during the rest of the week ; whilst, on the other hand, he that idles away the six days of labour, is very ill prepared for the sacred day of rest. The idle body, who, nevertheless, appears occasionally devout, separates what God hath joined together, for he that said, “ Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy," hath al30 said, “ Six days shalt thou labour."

Well-directed industry, is a moral and christian duty; a scriptural duty, which none that are capable of it can dispense with, and be guiltless. Neither wealth, nor rank, nor sex, can excuse a person in good health, and of competent faculties, from all and every kind of useful labour, either of body or mind, or of both. Mere amusement is for little children. Employment, useful employment, is for men and women. And, indeed, as little is there granted us the liberty of doing no good at all with our faculties, as of employing them in doing evil and mischief.

Labour is either mental, or bodily, or mixed. There are none whose labour is a greater “ weariness of the flesh,” as well as of the nobler part of humanity, than men of close and remitless study ; and there are none, whose industry is more useful to inankind. The man of parts, who, in solitude, and peradventure in neglected poverty, employs discreetly, the faculties of his mind, to enlighten and instruct his fellow beings in their immortal, or even their mortal interests, is a benefactor to community, rather than a burthen. Nevertheless, he, even he, errs woefully, if he neglects to exercise his body. It is lamentable to see, how many men of study, how many promising youths, waste away their strength, impair their constitutions, and bring upon themselves incurable diseases and premature death, solely for the want of a proper mixture of bodily exercise with the strenuous labours of their minds.

In the proud and queasy times in which we live, manual labour of the useful kind is accounted a thing too vulgar for those of the better sort. Many a youn: gentleman would feel himself dishonoured by doing any thing called work ; and many a young lady would blush to be found employed in an occupation really useful ; even though in circumstances imperiously demanding their industry.

In this respect, the manners of society have suffered

a deplorable change. The time was, when labour was held in honour among even the rich and the noble ; when even ladies of the highest fortune and rank thought it not beneath them to work occasionally with their hands.

Near the conclusion of the last century but one, Queen Mary of England, who was joint sovereign with her husband the heroic William the Third," used frequently,” as history informs us, “ to employ some part of her time in needle work ; appointing one or other of her maids of honour to read something lively as well as instructive, to her, and to the rest, whilst they were busy with their needles."

The age next preceding that of Mary, furnishes at least one example in high life, that is still more remarkable. Sir Walter Raleigh, lodging at the house of a noble Duke, early in the morning overheard the Dutchess enquiring of her servants if the pigs had been fed ; and, with a significant smile, asking her, as he was going to the table, if her pigs had had their breakfast ; she archly replied, “ They have all been fed except the strange pig that I am now about to feed.”

The man, who, of all the American worthies, was “ first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen," was no less remarkable for industry than for his wisdom and integrity.

One of the biographers of Washington, remarks of him,“ his industry was unremitted, and his method so exact, that all the complicated business of his military command, and civil administration, was managed without confusion, and without hurry. It was the assemblage of these traits of character, so early visible in him, that recommended him when scarcely more than a boy, to an embassy of no ordinary importance, hazard, and difficulty.”*

Happy were it if the youths of America, would, in this respect, copy after the example of one whose memory they so delight to honour.

Few things are impossible to industry skilfully directed. By it, men of but middling talents rise sometimes to deserved eminence ; by it the man of small things" expands himself by little and little, till he comes at last to occupy a respectable space in society ; and by it the face of the living world is illumined and gladdened. What difficulties have been overcome ; what wonders have been wrought ; and what immense benefits have been procured, by the industrious application of the mental and corporeal powers of man !

On the other hand, no gifts of nature, or of fortune, can supersede the necessity for industry. Sloth is a rust, that eats up the finest ingredients of genius, and mars and consumes the greatest of fortunes. He that is slothful of mind, loseth his mind : instead of enlarging, it contracts and diminishes' as he increases in years. He that is slothful in business, will at last have neither business to do, nor any thing to sustain his declining age. In short, a downright slug, whether in high life or low, vegetates, rather than lives.

t's Life of Washington,


of the moral use of the Pillow-with reflections on Sleep.

« CONSULT THY PILLOW."_This short counsel contains " more than meets the eye." The pillow is the

« ПредишнаНапред »