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passions, nor courage to gratify them, they murmur at their own enjoyments, and poison the bowl of pleasure by reflection on the cost.
Among these men there is often the vociferation of merriment, but very seldom the tranquillity of cheerfulness; they inflame their imaginations to a kind of momentary jollity, by the help of wine and riot; and consider it as the first business of the night to stupify recollection, and lay that reason asleep, which disturbs their gaiety, and calls upon them to retreat from ruin.
But this poor broken satisfaction is of short continuance, and must be expiated by a long series of misery and regret. In a short time the creditor grows impatient, the last acre is sold, the passions and appetites still continue their tyranny, with incessant calls for their usual gratifications; and the remainder of life passes away in vain repentance, or impotent desire.
ECONOMY NECESSARY TO THE FEMALE
ECONOMY is so important a part of a woman's character, so necessary to her own happiness, and so essential to her performing properly the duties of a wife and of a mother, that it ought to have the precedence of all other accomplishments, and take its rank next to the first duties of life. It is, moreover, an art as well as a virtue: and many well-meaning persons, from ignorance or from in
consideration, are strangely deficient in it. Indeed it is too often wholly neglected in a young woman's education, and she is sent from her father's house to govern a family without the least degree of that knowledge which should qualify her for it. This is the source of much inconvenience, for though experience and attention may supply by degrees the want of instruction, yet this requires time; the family in the mean time may get into habits, which are very difficult to alter: and what is worse, the husband's opinion of his wife's incapacity may be fixed too strongly, to suffer him ever to think justly of her gradual improvements. I would therefore earnestly advise you to make use of every opportunity you can find, for the laying in some store of knowledge on the subject, before you are called upon to the practice; by observing what passes before you, by consulting prudent and experienced mistresses of families, and by entering in a book a memorandum of every new piece of intelligence you acquire; you may afterwards compare these with more mature observations, and you can make additions and corrections as you see occasion. I hope it will not be long before your mother intrusts you with some part, at least, of the management of your father's house. Whilst you are under her eyes, your ignorance cannot do much harm, though the relief to her may not be near so considerable as the benefit to yourself. Economy consists of so many branches, some of which descend to such minutenesses, that it is impossible for me in writing to give you particular directions. The rude outlines may be perhaps
described, and I shall be happy if I can furnish you with any hint that may hereafter be usefully applied.
The first and greatest point is to lay out your general plan of living in a just proportion to your fortune and rank: if these two will not coincide, the last must certainly give way; for if you have right principles, you cannot fail of being wretched under the sense of the injustice, as well as danger, of spending beyond your income, and your distress will be continually increasing. No mortifications which you can suffer from retrenching in your appearance, can be comparable to this unhappiness. If you would enjoy the real comforts of affluence, you should lay your plan considerably within your income; not for the pleasure of amassing wealth, though where there is a growing family, it is an absolute duty to lay by something every year, but to provide for contingencies, and to have the power of indulging your choice in the disposal of the overplus, either in innocent pleasures, or to increase your funds for charity and generosity, which are in fact the true funds of pleasures. Mrs. Chapone.
CONTRIBUTION TO OUR CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS RECOMMENded.
You are thoroughly acquainted with the extensive nature and influence of these admirable designs, and possessed with a true sense of their beauty and usefulness. The pitiable persons, relieved in those several ways, are constantly under your eye
and observation; and therefore I do, in their behalf, appeal to your own knowledge, and very senses, which persuade more powerfully than any arguments. If the moving objects themselves, with which you familiarly converse, be not eloquent enough to raise compassion, mere words, I fear, will scarce be effectual. However, for the sake of those, who have not such affecting opportunities, and yet may be well inclined to works of mercy, somewhat I shall say of the several instances of charity.
There is a variety in the tempers even of good men, with relation to the different impressions they receive from different objects of charity. Some persons are more easily and sensibly touched by one sort of objects, and some by another: but there is no man, who, in the variety of our charities, may not meet with that which is best suited to his inclination, and which of all others he would most desire to promote and cherish. For here are the wants of grown men, and children; of the soldier, the seaman, and the artificer; of the diseased, the maimed, and the wounded; of distracted persons, and condemned criminals; of sturdy wandering beggars, and loose disorderly livers; nay of those who counterfeit wants of all kinds, while they really want nothing but due correction and hard labour. And surely scarce any man, who hath a heart capable of tenderness, can come and look on all these sad spectacles at once, without extending a merciful hand to relieve any of them.
Some may delight in building for the use of the poor; others, in feeding and clothing them, and in
taking care that manual arts be taught them: some in providing physic, discipline, or exercise, for their bodies; others, in procuring the improvement of their minds by useful knowledge: some may please themselves in redressing the mischiefs occasioned by the wicked poor; others, in preventing those mischiefs, by securing the innocence of children, and by imparting to them the invaluable blessing of a virtuous and pious education: finally, some may place their chief satisfaction in giving secretly what is to be distributed; others, in being the open and avowed instruments of making and inspecting such distributions. And whoever is particularly disposed to any one or more of these methods of beneficence, may, within the compass of our different schemes of charity, find room enough to exercise his Christian compassion. To go over them particularly—
Hast thou been educated in the fear of God, and a strict practice of virtue? Was thy tender age fenced and guarded every way from infection, by the care of wise parents and masters? And shall not a grateful relish of thy own great felicity, in that respect, render thee ready and eager to procure the same happiness for others who equally need it? Shall it not make thee the common guardian, as it were, of poor orphans, whose minds are left as unclothed and naked altogether, as their bodies; and who are exposed to all the temptations of ignorance, want, and idleness.
Art thou a true lover of thy country? zealous for its religious and civil interests? and a cheerful contributor to all those public expenses, which have been thought necessary to secure them