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their works follow them; and yet, among their numerous engagements, they imbibe nothing of that modern spirit of dissipation which would render them unmindful of home. No: from their active benevolence, it might be supposed that they were continually in the school-room, the committee, or the cottages of the poor; but from their domestic order, method, and industry, it might be imagined that they never went abroad. Ask them the secret of this happy combination, they can scarcely tell you—perhaps are not at all aware that they do more than others; but a few days' residence with them would probably convince the observer, that their superiority results from the following simple particulars. They act from principle; they act by a plan; they rise early; they waste no odd minutes; they are not self-indulgent; they have learned of Him who could say, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish his work.” May such characters be multiplied in our day; and may this little book tend to diffuse the principles upon which such characters are formed! CHAPTER V.
THE YOUNG FEMALE IN HER DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL
It is a well-known saying of the excellent Philip Henry, “We are really, what we are relatively.” If the heart is the seat of good and holy principles, those principles will develope themselves in the right and conscientious discharge of every relative duty. It is impossible to sever the idea of a good man or woman from that of a good son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife, or whatever other domestic or social relation the individual may sustain.
The parental and filial relations are the origin of society: a household in which these relations subsist, is society in miniature; and society in its widest extent, and most multiplied ramifications, is but a family enlarged. It is in the domestic circle that individual character is developed and trained, and that fitness is acquired, and indications of fitness are given, for discharging well the more complicated duties of other relations that may be
hereafter sustained. The duties of the filial relation stand at the head of the second table of the decalogue, and are distinguished by a special promise annexed: “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
It was the saying of a judicious governess to a pupil just quitting her establishment, “Be assured, my young friend, that the order, comfort, and happiness of a family, very greatly depend upon the temper and conduct of the younger members of it, when they cease to be children ; I have seen the declining years of some kind parents completely imbittered by the pride, self-will, and inconsiderate conduct of their young people. When a young lady returns home, if she is not so good a daughter as she was before, whatever acquisitions she may have made at school, she had better never have been there.” Whether education have been carried on at school or at home, it must have been lamentably deficient, if it have failed to make its subject a proficient in the discharge of the duties of home ; in teaching to obey the first commandment with promise, “ Honour thy father and thy mother.” “ Honour" is the most comprehensive word that could have been selected : it includes reverence, love, and obedience. Parents should be treated with great reverence and gratitude, as the best friends and benefactors. Think, dear young people, how much of their own comfort they relinquished to provide for you, and promote your comfort, when you could do nothing for yourselves; and when you must have perished in the helplessness of infancy, but for their tender and assiduous care. Think how
willingly a father laboured for your support, how cheerfully a mother suffered her night's repose to be interrupted, and concentred all the pleasure of her days in the one absorbing concern of attention to your infant wants. Think with what ceaseless care and solicitude they watched the steps of your giddy childhood; with what anxiety, and perhaps self-denial, they have laboured to provide for your education, and fit you for your entrance into life! If they are pious parents, how often have they travailed again in birth, until Christ be formed in you! And what is the reward of all they have conferred upon you, and all they have endured for your sake? All they desire is to see you doing well for yourselves, and to share your grateful love and esteem; and shall they be disappointed? The wellinstructed young female will readily admit the sacredness of parental claims; and will perceive, among her duties to her parents, that their opinions should be received with deference, their feelings and their characters should be regarded with the greatest delicacy and respect, they should never be spoken to but with modesty and submission, nor ever spoken of but with tenderness and veneration.
Their instructions should be gratefully received and regarded; their commands (and their requests, however gently expressed, should have the force of commands) cheerfully obeyed; their counsel sought in every matter of importance, and not despised even in trifles. It is galling to a mother's feelings, when young people, not ill disposed, but thoughtless, whisper and smile in her presence, and refuse her a participation in their innocent mirth. It may be of very little consequence
whether or not she is informed of the bit of news that amuses them. Her opinion as to the material or make of the article about which they are consulting may be obsolete, or mistaken; yet if she chooses to make one with them, she ought to be respectfully and good-humouredly admitted to a share in their counsels; and a feeling of gratitude for her condescension should be excited, rather than that of sullenness and scorn at her interference. However trifling the inquiry may be, it would take no more words to answer it, and convince her that it is a trifle, than snappishly to reply, “It is of no consequence-it is not worth repeating ;” and it would be much more gratifying to her feelings.
Another feature of filial duty will be developed in attention to the little comforts and gratifications of parents. It is true, a father who is not disabled by lameness can reach his own slippers or his great coat; a mother who is not dim-sighted can make up her own cap; a servant, if ordered, can prepare the basin of broth or gruel, or draw the curtains, or set up the rush-light; but it will be incomparably more gratifying if these little attentions are rendered, unasked, by a beloved child. May it be permitted to the writer of these lines to say, that after a lapse of twenty-six years, a sensation of pleasure thrills through her fingers when she recollects daily tying on her father's neckcloth, and combing back her mother's silvery locks? These are, in a sense, undying pleasures. May every young reader be disposed to seek them while the precious opportunity lasts!
Conformity to their habits is what parents have a right to expect from children resident under