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Mechanical Arts or Handy-Crafts presuppose by the Way, that Man stands in Need of Three Temporal Things, Aliments, Houses and Cloathing, for the necessary Maintenance of this Life. Aliments are requir'd to restore the daily Consumption of radical Moisture, wasting away by natural Heat, as the Oyl does by the burning Week in the Lamp; still supplying fresh Recruits of moist Nourishment, either by Bread, Wine, Flesh or other Food, to support a Man's Being and Life in Proportion. Whence arose several common Trades of innumerable HandyCrafts-Men, without mentioning their Names ; to prepare for us the usual Provision of Vituals necessary for our daily Sustenance. The Use of Houses, in the next Place, is absolutely necessary for our private Retirement and Refuge, not to live. always in the publick Streets, open Fields or in Common; but to folace our selves in private, succour our Families, and keep our Goods under Covert, like sociable Creatures or sober Christians. Whence arose several laborious Devices of ingenious Archite&ts, without a Possibility of reciting them; to erect us stately Edifices, or convenient Buildings to dwell in ; for our Well Being, sheltering us from the Weather, and providing for the Welfare, Safety and Protection of our Lives in leparate Habitations. The Use of Cloathing is likewise of as indispensable Necessity to cover our Nakedness, to preserve the natural Heat of our Bodies, and keep them from external Cold, or catching worse Distem pers. Whence, arose several witty In. ventions of industrious Mechanicks, without Number; to make us Cloaths by an Art as old as fowing of Fig-Leaves together, and to provide us with warm well-wrought Garments or suitR 3
able able Apparel, for the better Preservation of our Healths, as well as Decency of our Perfons. Good Cloathing is as necessary, prudential and expedient as our daily Nutriment : and we are highly oblig'd, or originally beholden to the Handy-Crafts of the Distaff and useful Works of the Spindle, for that genteel Accomplishment. But afier All, it is the undeniable Duty of all Artificers, to avoid any Fraud or Deceit, as well as Negligence or Naughtiness in their vendible Wares and curious Manufactures. They are under the greatest Obligation still, to refer the chief End of their Labours more to the common Profit, Interest, and Service of the rest of Mankind, than their own private Gain or Ad. vantage. However, if we may believe the Poets, it is to the Wisdom of Minerva, that we owe the Invention of Spinning and Weaving. She foundout the Use of Oyl, as well as the Art of making and colouring of Cloth: so that many of the greatest Personages of Old did not disdain to submit their willing Hands, in some Measure, to incourage such useful Artifices and profitable Imployments; and why should most of our Mom derns utterly reject or neglect them in all Points of Proficiency in Trade: considering that they claim a Goddess for their Dire&tor ; and for the Authority, Goodness, or Establishment of their Manufactories.
HUMILITY intitles our virtuous Lady, by this Text, to the noblest Character and highest Encomium ; however disproportionable to her Dignity, or falling far short of her superlative Worth, both Humane and Divine. First, the walks humbly with her glorious God, and then fets her blessed Family at Work by her instructive Example, with Meckness, Patience, and
Long-suffering. She is not high-minded; but lowly to the last Degree of Love, Candour and Condescention. She News no imperious Pride, and discovers no insulting Haughtiness. Without this Virtue, she believes there can be no real Greatness, nor Perfection, acceptable to the · Author of it, and the Giver of that Grace. It puts her upon great Exploits, without Vanity; upon dangerous Hazards, without Fear; upon forlorn Hardships, without Despair; upon fortunate Attempts, without Discouragement ; and upon extreme Difficulties, without any Dejection of Mind, Disturbance of Thought, or Change of Temper. She is not humble out of a meer Contempt or Abjection of her self in Thought and Action ; but in a modest Pursuit of unaffected Honour and involuntary Glory : not for popular Oftentation, but as a never-failing Re. ward of the tacit Virtue it Self. She thinks all other Glory false and spurious, as well as vain and vicious. She affects no Honour voluntarily by humbling her self, but what her Works manifestly deserve, and consequently must be given her even against her Will. Her greatest Honour is readily to refuse it when it becomes due, and to despise the forward Payment of the Debt so justly contracted upon Honour. She values no secular Grandeur, Preferment or Riches, any more than gilded Bambles, or noily Rattles, in Comparison of Humility. She knows her self better than to be proud of her Virtue, or to magnify it into a Vice. When the compares the frequentest Notes with her Creator, The annihilates her self as an undeserving diminutive Creature : and resolves All at last into this single Point, that nothing but a perverse and depray'd Judgment can prize Earth before .
becomes obedies. By her great pleasures before
Heaven, or prefer temporal Pleasures before eternal Felicities. By her great Humiliation, the becomes obedient to Superiors, familiar with Equals, and courteous towards Inferiors : never wedded to her own Will, Humour, Genius, Singularity, or Inclination. She receives all Offences or Affronts with Patience, and gives none with Design, Pasion or Prejudice. She bears the vilest Indignities with a hearty Forgive. ness, or absolute Resignation to the sole Propri, etor of Revenge: and does all the good Offices in her Power for evil Onés, by her singular Grace of a general Pardon, and a particular Oblivion. She carries an universal Indemnity about her for all such little worthless Rebels against Virtue, Betrayers of Innocence, and Murderers of good Nature, as reproach her Humility. In short, she is silent, not talkative; loves Privacy and Retirement, not publick Concourses or intriguing Interviews; delights in secret Solitudes and peaceable Soliloquies, not in Court-Ceremonies or common Conferences of Amour : and contracts the Affairs of the whole World (as it were) into the narrow Compass of her own Bosom. Her own inoffensive Breast she takes to be her best. Confident. She is always true and faithful to her self; sedate and serious in her Thoughts; modest and circumspect in her A&ions ; grave and graceful in her Speech; plea. sant and delightful in her Countenance; discreet and prudent in her Carriage or Behaviour in Publick : infomuch that one may read the Humility of her Heart on the Outside of her Body,' Thus she stands ever well prepar'd for humbling her self, and submitting her useful Hands to help her Domesticks, by condescending to the :! + deti .... .. io. meanell
meaņest Offices of Virtue, Kindness, and Industry in her Houshold-Works.
IT is worth Observation, what true Pains such an industrious Trades Woman, as I may call her, takes to discharge the Duty of a faithful Mistress of her Houshold. For the better Riddance of her Work, she lays her Hands readily to any Thing that comes in her Way, as well as the Distaff and Spindle ; and will be sure to give it a Lift in the Family with her own Fingers, either to oblige her Husband, deserve her Children's good Word, or recommend her own prudent Conduct and Behaviour to the World. By this means, the makes one of the best Come mon-Wealth’s-Women, in a right Sense. ClothWorking was always justly esteem'd a commendable Imploy, as well as profitable ; especially when it is undertaken by proper Persons, for so laborious' a Province. I do not mean that Ladies of Quality are oblig'd to such servile Offices. But they might incourage them in orhers, more for the Promotion of Trade. However, nothing comes amiss to our generous handy Cloth Worker's Mind in the Text : nothing falls under her Reluctancy or Rezentment, but the Fear of giving Offence to the Neighbouring HouseWives Where the lives, and becoming their Enemy by a reputed Over-doing her Duty, to their Disgrace: But such idle Refle&tions as Theirs can prove only the Foil of her Virtues, and set them off with the brighter Glory. Such enví. ous Repruaches are charg’d too deep; and, like foul Guns, immediately recoil upon themselves in the Discharge.
I. A virtuous Wife need not be asham'd to handle the Distaff or hold it in Esteem. She reckons it no Disparagement for a Country