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management; and thus they became familiar with the price, quality, and proportions of articles of daily consumption, and with the method of performing household business. Such a knowledge and aptitude in common things, Mrs. Bourne justly considered quite as essential to the mistress of a family as to her servants, and as forming no inconsiderable part of the education of a young lady, in order to qualify her either to take the superintendence of servants, or to preserve her from helplessness if circumstances should throw her entirely on her own resources. Half an hour or an hour daily in alternate weeks, with an occasionally larger portion of assistance at busy times, was found amply sufficient to give the young people a valuable degree of knowledge and experience, and it by no means interfered with, or unfitted for more intellectual pursuits. They were instructed also in the materials and making of all kinds of wearing apparel and household linen. This initiated them into habits of dexterity, neatness, and economy; and the savings of their industry were consecrated to the pleasures of benevolence.
While some young persons are accustomed to expend their resources on personal decorations and gratifications, these worthy girls were brought to economize and restrict themselves, in order to originate and extend their means of doing good. It was early their motto, “None of us liveth to herself.” Hence time, and money, the ability to acquire or to economize, were each considered as a talent to be sacredly devoted and strictly accounted for. This conviction, while it suitably influenced and regulated their employments, and
even their recreations, by no means abridged their enjoyments. They were happy because they were constantly and usefully employed. Every day afforded some satisfactory retrospect ; mingled, indeed, with deep humiliation, on account of the many defects attendant even on the best obedience, but cheered by a well-grounded hope of acceptance in Christ, and a conscious desire of living to his glory.
As they advanced towards maturity, these young ladies became the active, but quiet and unostentatious conductors and agents in the Dorcas and visiting societies, and in the female department of the Sunday-schools, and other philanthropic and Christian institutions. When these things are entered into with proper views and motives, they naturally conduce to personal improvement as well as to benevolent usefulness. By observing the wants and habits of the poor, and by contributing to their comforts, those habits of thoughtfulness, consideration, and good management, are promoted, which form no mean part of the qualification for domestic life; while a contemplation of the spiritual necessities of our fellow-creatures, and sincere efforts to impart to them the instructions and consolations of the gospel, tend greatly to promote the power of religion in our own minds.
The parents of Fanny and Anna Bourne had the unspeakable comfort of witnessing the happy results of their conscientious and well-directed endeavours, in the amiable deportment, the genuine worth, and consistent piety of their beloved children. While they felt deeply conscious that the efficacious blessing descended from on high,—and therefore that not unto themselves, but to the free mercy of God belonged all the praise for their success,—they could not but rejoice to see that the blessing was imparted in the ordinary method of the Divine dispensation, which directs parents to train up their children in the way they should go, encouraged by the general assurance, that as they advance in life they shall not forsake it.
At a suitable age, with the entire approbation of her judicious parents, and with every reasonable prospect of happy usefulness in domestic life. Fanny Bourne was united in marriage to an intelligent and pious partner, and became the mother of a numerous family. Her sister Anna proved a valuable assistant to her, in occasionally sharing her domestic cares, especially in the work of nursing and instructing her children. Meanwhile Anna was herself exercised with affliction, first, in the sudden death of one to whom she was tenderly attached, and with whom she hoped to have shared the pleasures and the cares of life. Not long afterwards, Mr. Bourne fell into declining health, and for many months Anna shared with her beloved mother the delightful though mournful task of watching by his sick bed, and ministering to his comforts. Then, on her chiefly devolved the duty of consoling her mother's solitude and sharing her sorrows. These trials were not joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward, they yielded the peaceable fruits of righteousness to those who were exercised thereby. Anna Bourne, like many others, had the privilege of learning that it is good to bear the yoke in youth. After filling for several years an important sphere of usefulness, both
domestic and social, at her native home, Anna at length became the wife of a worthy minister, to whom she proved an invaluable blessing; not only as the solace and sweetener of his domestic hours, but also as his valuable and judicious helper in his labours of love among the young, the poor, and the sick of his flock.
Mrs. Bourne, in a good old age, happily divides her time between her beloved daughters; and, looking back to the important period of commencing their education, she rejoices with humble gratitude in its having been conducted in the fear of God, and with a view to fitting them for the intelligent, useful, and honourable discharge of the duties of future life.
THE YOUNG FEMALE STIMULATED TO SELF-IMPROVEMENT.
WHATEVER may have been the course of education pursued by parents and instructors, that young woman is indeed deplorably ignorant who does not feel conscious that she has yet much to learn; indeed, that she is but a mere beginner in the acquirement of useful knowledge. Perhaps her education has been confessedly very limited; her parents have not had it in their power to bestow much expense, nor even to spare her time for the express pursuit of learning. She has necessarily been employed in contributing towards the maintenance, or assisting in the management of the family. Perhaps, on the other hand, though years have been devoted to her education, and though she has been placed under able instructors, and has made considerable proficiency in the several branches of polite knowledge, she feels conscious of her practical ignorance and want of self-cultivation. Either case presents matter for serious concern and active exertion, but none for discouragement.