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a girl may be perfectly innocent, and yet become crimes when offered to, or received by a married woman. A mar. ried woman should never suffer a man to entertain her in a strain of gallantry. A pressure of the hand is an affront, and an attempt at a salute (except where the nearness of a relation authorizes such a liberty) is, and should be resented as an insult.
“ There is a decent gravity of manner that will at once excite admiration and respect, and yet exclude all improper familiarity ; nor can any thing be more ridiculous, than to see the mistress of a family, perhaps the mother of four or five children, affecting a giddy flirting carriage, that would be hardly excusable in a girl of sixteen. It may, in some instances, proceed from an innocent gayety of heart; but it hardly ever fails of degenerating into lenity and imprudence; always lays a woman open to insult, of which she cannot complain, because she evidently invited it ; and too often ends in the total loss of honour, happiness, and reputation. Be cheerful, condescending, and polite too all; but let there ever be that dignity in your manner, which may keep im. pertinent fools or designing villains at a proper distance.
“Pardon the length of this epistle, and believe it proceeds from a friend who loves you. Remember me affectionately to your dear sisters. Adieu. May every blessing be your portion here and hereafter!
FROM THE SAME, TO THE SAME, UPON THE BIRTH OF A
The news that you are mother of a daughter, my dear Gertrude, does, believe me, give as much satisfaction to my heart, as any sublunary pleasure possibly can. not, therefore, resist the desire I now feel of addressing you, in regard to this dear, this precious little charge, with which it has pleased Heaven to intrust you. May it ever be impressed on your mind, that the future happiness or misery of this child depends greatly on the treatment she receives du. ring her puerile years !
“Let not a too great fondness prompt you, by extreme indulgence, to enervate the faculties of her soul, or pervert her disposition, and thus render her totally unfit to bear the inconveniencies and crosses she must necessarily meet with in her passage through life. On the contrary, do not, by an ill-judged severity, drive her to mean subterfuges, false. hoods, and deceit, through fear of your anger. Many an amiable girl has been totally ruined by such treatment; it leads them to fear, but not love their parents; it prompts them to make companions of their servants ; and often ends in the perversion of their principles.
“Teach her to fear to disoblige you ; but let it be through fear of losing your affection, not from the apprehension of punishment. Do not be too anxious to have your child praised for an early progress in her education ; a young mind should not be loaded, it spoils the memory, and often occasions a dislike to study in more advanced life; besides children accustomed to hear themselves commended, are apt to think themselves sufficiently wise and accomplished, before their education is well begun.
“ Do not encourage in her a love of finery, or suffer her to be told she is handsome; they will both be very perni. cious to her future tranquillity.
“There is one thing which parents are very apt, not only to do themselves, but to suffer their servants to do the same, that is, when any little master visits the house nearly of miss's age, she is told, that he is her little husband, and that she must hold up her head and behave like a woman, or she will never be married. Thus is the idea of love and lovers introduced into her little heart, before she is capable of understanding what the word means. This is, to me, the most foolish conduct in the world, and nothing would offend
on, as having such ridiculous things said 10 any child, in whose education and future prospects I was at all concerned. Teach her the difference between right and wrong; and convince her reason, by pointing out the real way to promote her own happiness, and merit the regard and esteem of her friends.
“Do not introduce your girl too early into public circles; it will give her a taste for dissipation. In proper time let her partake, in moderation, of all the innocent amusements of the metropolis, so as to prevent the bad effects of curiosity ungratified ; but at the same time accustom her to find re. sources within herself, which may at all times enable her to banish that monster, ennui.
« Trust not the cultivation of her mental faculties, or the forming of her moral character, to any one but yourself. As she advances towards womanhood, make her your friend and companion; let the distance between mother and daughter be forgotten; and, by treating her with a degree of confidence, encourage her to make your bosom the repository of all her secrets, and be ready to apply to your better judgment to direct all her actions.
“I am certain there would not be half the imprudencies committed by girls in general, if they were not kept at such an awful distance by their mothers; that, fearing either ri
dicule or reproof, they dare not intrust them with their little plans and disappointments. Relying, therefore, on the ad: vice of some one as inexperienced as themselves, or to the suggestion of their own simple hearts, they involve themselves in troubles, which endanger their peace of mind, and ruin their reputation; but so it will ever be, whilst mothers forget they have ever been girls themselves, and make no allowance for the volatility of youth, and the innocent impulses of a heart unburdened by the cares of the world.
“There is yet another subject, which dwells still nearer my heart, the necessity of giving your child a proper sense of the high advantages of early piety. Example, my dear friend, must accompany and enforce your rational scriptural instructions, must teach her the true principles of the Christian religion. Let her see you in the act of devotion; let her curiosity be awakened, and then, as you answer her. questions, endeavour to lead by degrees to love, adore, and worship the Almighty Giver of all good. Convince her of her dependence on his bounty for food, raiment, and all the blessings of life. Teach her to place her whole confidence in his mercy, to receive even the smallest blessing with gratitude, and to bow under the heaviest affliction with pa. tience and humility.
“But above all things, mind that your example does not contradict your precept. What confidence can
a child place in the religion of its parent, when the parent lives in direct opposition to the precepts of that religion ?
“Our duty is plainly marked, and so easy, that, when we do not perform it, we take more pains to court misery, than would suffice to make us truly. happy. What can be more easily comprehended, even by the meanest understanding ? Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.' Love thy Creator above all things, and thy neighbour as thyself.' Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven.' And remember, that with the same measure you mete, the like shall be given you again.'
“God preserve and bless you! May peace reign in your heart, and true piety direct your actions! May you so pass through this transitory life, as not to dread the approach of the messenger, who shall convey you to eternal rest!
** And when, at last, death shall your frame destroy,