BOO KF'OR GIR LS.
The Baldwin Libray
T NoLd for AINs.
LONDON AND NEW YORK:
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
DUTY TO PARENTS ,. ... ... 1
TREATMENT OF CLERGYMEN . . . 10
BROTHERS AND SISTERS . 15
FRIENDS . . o 23
NEIGHBOURS .. .. . . 35
TEACHERS . . . . o . 46
STEPMOTHERS . .. . ... 55
SERVANTS . . . . . .. 65
DIVISION OF THE DAY . . . . 77
GOOD TEMPER . .. . .. .. 83
LANGUAGE o 89
DRESS . . o . . . 95
DUTY TO PARENTS.
PARENTS-THE INTENTION OF PARENTS-HOME-DISOBE-
-FORWARD BEHAVIOUR CONTRADICTION DOMESTIC
DUTIES-INATTENTION TO TRIFLES-CONFIDENCES.
My Father's name, my Father's name,
How hallowed and how dear !
That sound it fell like melody
Upon my listening ear.
What! though a stranger spoke his praise,
So exquisite it came,
At once I loved him as a friend,-
It was my Father's name.
And canst thou, Mother, for a moment think
That we, thy children, when old age shall shed
Its blanching honours on thy weary head,
Could from our best of duties ever shrink I
Sooner the sun from his high sphere shall sink,
Than we, ungrateful, leave thee in that day,
To pine in solitude thy life away,
Or shun thee, tottering on the grave's cold brink.
DUTY TO PARENTS.
Banish the thought 1-where'er our steps may roam
O'er smiling plains, or wastes without a tree,
Still will fond memory point our hearts to thee,
And paint the pleasures of thy peaceful home;
While duty bids us all thy griefs assuage,
And smooth the pillow of thy sinking age,
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my
For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add
So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the
sight of God and man.-PRovERBs iii. 1, 2, 4.
"Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be
long in the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
HAD the allwise Creator so willed it, he could
have created human beings at man and woman's
estate, instead of sending them into the world
as helpless infants; but by so doing, the happy
institution of families could never have been
known to us. Had people been created grown
men and women, there never could have been
the happy home, the indulgent father, the
loving patient mother, the brothers and sisters.
Dreary, dreary would have been the term of
years allotted to existence, without the dear
DUTY TO PARENTS.
delights of home: home so little prized while
possessed, and so deeply mourned when lost for
As it has pleased God to appoint that most
living things shall pass the early part of exis-
tence under the care of parents, it should be the
great aim of those endowed with souls to per-
form faithfully the filial duties so strongly com-
manded in the Book of God. It may be ob-
served among the lower animals, that those
possessed of a very small degree of intelligence
bestow little or no care on their offspring;
also, the more highly-organized brute is most
easily tamed and rendered obedient. The dog
will fetch and carry at his master's command,
the noble horse obeys at a single word, and in
the grazing counties, even the stupid sheep
gather home at the call of the shepherd. Dis-
obedience to the Great Parent drove Adam and
Eve from Paradise; and disobedience to earthly
parents drives happiness from many a home.
As monarchs over a kingdom, so are parents
over their family: the father and mother hold
trust from God, and for him; and must answer
one day for the way in which they have trained
the children given to them.
DUTY TO PARENTS.
Obedience to be of the right kind must be
prompt, cheerful, and unquestioning. Tardy
and unwilling fulfilment of parental commands
is only another form of disobedience. Cheerful,
because if not done from the heart it must be ill
done; and unquestioning-first, because it is
the parent's right to command and the child's
duty to obey; and secondly, because it is not ne-
cessary that the child should be made acquainted
with the reasons which influence the heads of
the family to particular courses of action.
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for
this is right," said the wise king of old. He
did not say, Children, obey your parents if you
are satisfied with their reasons for desiring you
to do anything."
When aged people are tried by the in-
gratitude of their children, they often l1ok
back with remorse on their treatment of
their own parents; but what avails remorse
when the opportunity for amendment has passed
away for ever!
The conduct of sons does much to make or
mar the happiness of the home circle; but a
double duty exists for the daughters: it is theirs
to minister in the house, making it a joyful
DUTY TO PARENTS. 5
dwelling-place for the beloved parents, and a
peaceful haven for brothers.
Happy are the children whose parents are
spared to them so long that some part of the
love and tenderness may be returned, which they
themselves received in helpless infancy.
Next to treating parents with respect is the
important point of speaking of them in a be-
coming manner, Many young people use slang
phrases without being aware of it, and young
ladies even, mistaking vulgarity for wit, may
sometimes be heard speaking of The old gen-
tleman and the old lady." Even in joke any-
thing of this kind is reprehensible; Respect is
due to age and experience, even should the aged
person be but a menial; and everything which
tends to lessen the dignity of the father and
mother in the eyes of others, cannot but be
followed by a train of evils.
In speaking of parents to others, much caution
should be used, and in particular, girls should
avoid the too common practice of complaining to
bosom friends of the restrictions laid on them by
their parents. Should a father refuse his
daughter money for a new ball dress, or a mother
decline to ask certain people to the house, it
6 DUTY TO PARENTS.
may be believed that such refusals are not with-
out good and weighty reasons; therefore,
"Father's stinginess," and "Mother's cross-
ness," should never form a subject of confidence
and debate between young people.
In the olden times young people were kept at
a great distance by their parents, who exacted
an amount of homage and obedience that would
astonish the youth of the present day.
Very old-fashioned indeed are these rules for
good behaviour. It is now the old people who
reply when spoken to; the younger portion of
the company generally contriving to keep all
conversation to themselves: and if an inhabi-
tant of another planet were suddenly dropped
into the midst of a holiday party, the conversa-
tion would lead him to suppose that on our globe
people became imbecile at forty years of age;
and that the concentrated wisdom, knowledge,
and understanding of all the world, was to be
found among the schoolboys and girls there
assembled. Well it would be if conceit stopped
at silliness; but too often do the young people
of the present day commit the fault of contra-
dicting their elders. The slightest mistake in
telling a story is sure to bring out the corrections
DUTY TO PARENTS.
of some one present, I assure you you are mis-
taken, it was four minutes and a half after twelve
o'clock, and not five minutes." Sevastopol is
the proper mode, not Sebastopol." It was
Friday, and not Saturday," &c. &c. Unpleasing
as such ill-bred habits are in rude schoolboys, it
becomes absolutely intolerable when young
ladies spend the time of a morning visit insinu-
ating, by their corrections and contradictions,
that their mother (with whom they have come)
is deliberately untruthful.
It may seem a harsh name to put on a practice,
so common, but nevertheless it is the simple
fact, that each correction or contradiction is an
imputation that the speaker is guilty of the
dreadful sin of lying.
The next rule in the old rhyme-
Do as you're bid,"
is nearly as obsolete as its predecessor, unless,
indeed, it may apply to the parents, who are but
too often mere puppets in the hands of their ill-
regulated, headstrong children; a state of things
not contemplated by Solomon when he wrote,
desiring the young to obey, and the old to'
8 DUTY TO PARENTS.
"The rod and reproof bring wisdom, but
a child left to himself bringeth his mother to
Our stately grandmothers, who required
young ladies to enter the room quietly, "shut
the door softly," and perform a deep obeisance
to the assembled company, would have cause
for astonishment could they behold the total re-
volution in manners now-a-days. Then, young
people remained standing in their fathers' and
mothers' presence until given permission to sit
Now young girls and boys occupy the most
comfortable seats in the room, to the exclusion
of their elders; and the old gentleman, who in
his youth did not dare to venture nearer to a fire
than the outer edge of the hearth-rug, now ge-
nerally sees the whole of his own fire occupied
by a son or grandson-or at least as much of it
as has not been poked out of the grate by some
It is indeed a privilege when a daughter is
able to lighten her mother's domestic cares;
and her best reward is when trust and confidence
are reposed in her.
Many girls who would cheerfully give up
DUTY TO PARENTS. 9
some great thing to please a mother, will not
inconvenience themselves in trifles; and it is by
inattention to these very trifles that the life of an
anxious parent is made so arduous. The happi-
ness of life is made up of little pleasures, and
the daughter who persistently attends to the
"little things for her mother's comfort, will
find herself at last, not only a beloved child, but
her mother's valued friend."
Many people are in the habit of discussing
private or confidential affairs in the presence of
their children; and, however unwise such a
practice may be, there are circumstances under
which it is unavoidable. It should be borne in
mind that although there may have been no in-
junctions to secresy given, yet all such conver-
sations should be considered as secrets by the
young people. The most deadly evils have
resulted from the repetition of family discus-
sions; and the mischief once done can never be
"A tale-bearer revealeth secrets, but he that
is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter."
TREATMENT OF CLERGYMEN.
CLERGYMEN LABOURERS FAULTFINDING ENDURANCE -
SYMPATHY SORROW JOY MACHINERY SOLITARY
EFFORTS TIMIDITY -TOIL PHYSICIANS REST WEL-
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And e'en his failings lean'd to virtue's side-
But in his duty prompt, at every call,
He watch'd and wept, he, prayed and felt for all;
And as a bird each fond endearment tries,
To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies,
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.
Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain by turns dismay'd
The reverend champion stood: at his control
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise
And his last faltering accents whisper'd praise.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn'd the venerable place ;
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway,
And fools who came to scoff remained to pray."
IT may be that many young people who read this
book will say, We know all about that, let us go
on to the next chapter." No, dear young reader,
you do not, and cannot know in youth what
TREATMENT OF CLERGYMEN.
your duties to the ministers of God are; in fact,
they are another and more intimate form of the
love and obedience you owe to your parents.
Doubtless the labourers who arrived at the
eleventh hour, fresh, hearty, inexperienced, and
self-opinionated, had many severe remarks to
make on those who had borne the labour and
heat of the day. In their eyes exhaustion may
have appeared laziness, illness only feigned, weak-
ness want of energy; and so it is with young
people-none are so ready to criticise, hasty to
rebuke, and unmerciful in judgment as they.
Nothing is more common than to hear young
ladies entertaining guests with complaints
against their clergyman, "Such a shocking bad
visitor !-actually left Betty Smith three days
without a visit !" "Refused to add to the school-
master's salary out of his own pocket," Goes
too much from home," "Preached so badly last
Sunday," Objected to Anthems as unfit for
a country congregation to join in," Objected
to the district visitors lecturing in the cottages,"
These are among the most trifling of the com-
plaints to be heard in any parish; or if the
clergyman be a Dissenter, he is accused of being
12 TREATMENT OF CLERGYMEN.
too much or too little like some other body of
professing Christians, whose views may happen to
differ from those of the faultfinders. Young
people little think what thorns their careless
words have power to plant in the path of the
careworn servant of God.
Be it remembered that his ears must be ever
open to receive tales of woe and tales of sorrow;
to grieve with the grief-stricken, to suffer with
the oppressed; to advise, suggest, condole, or
Almost always to partake of the sorrows, and
but seldom of the joys; for when the heavy cloud
of affliction rolls away, few cast a thought on the
man who was all in all to them in the bygone
dark day. Not that it is always so; for many
are the loving hearts and ready hands stretched
out to help the ministers of God; and many are
they who find their best happiness in helping to
do God's work in the right way.
It should always be borne in mind that as a
master is head of a family, so is a minister head
of his congregation, one master may prefer to do
most of his household work himself, employing
few servants; and in like way one clergyman
may feel himself acting more efficiently when
TREATMENT OF CLERGYMEN.
carrying out congregational arrangements with-
out the aid of ladies' committees or district
visitors. Another may be of such a turn of
mind that he likes to maintain a vast machinery
in his congregation, doing even the simplest
thing through the routine of committee meet-
ings, &c. In such cases young people should
carefully bear in mind that each man is con-
scientiously doing his work fin the way he feels
himself best qualified. Many public singers who
sing without nervousness to a crowded assembly,
would lose voice and courage it requested to sing
a song in a private room to two people; and,
again, many shy and timid people .Aho cannot
command any eloquence or agreeability in general
society, are the life of their domestic circle.
Avoid all fault-finding-help when you can,
and be watchful for opportunities to help, and if
you cannot help, do not hinder.
To clergymen and physicians comes no day
of rest: during the six working days of the
week they have their regular occupation; joy,
sorrow, care, family annoyances, perhaps pecu-
niary troubles, exactly in the same proportion
as the laity; but when the Sabbath of rest
comes to the latter, the clergyman and the
14 TREATMENT OF CLERGYMEN.
physician must work on, doing the work of their
Master, the Great Physician of souls and bodies.
Those who are resting their bodies and having
their souls refreshed on the day of rest, should
be very patient and forbearing with the omissions
of those who rest not. The physician may for-
get to inquire about some trifling symptom, and
the clergyman may read the wrong collect for
the day, and who is guiltless of mistakes ? Re-
marks on such things as these should be for-
bidden at the Sabbath dinner-table: anything
which lessens respect for the pastor is bad-bad
for the parents, bad for the children, bad for the
servants, and happy it is for the household where
the aged servant of God turns his steps for a
little rest. As they treat God's servant so will
the Lord reward them.
"I do remember him. His saintly voice,
So duly lifted in the house of God,
Comes with the far-off wing of infant years,
Like solemn music.
Often have we hush'd
The shrillest echo of our holiday,
Turning our mirth to reverence as he passed,
And eager to record one favouring smile
Or word paternal."
BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS HELP PETTY ANNOYANCES -
AMUSEMENTS-INFLUENCE-CHILDISH TROUBLES ME-
DIATION-TRAINING- SELFISHNESS DECEPTION DE-
ONE of England's most distinguished men,
when complimented by his fellow-countrymen
on his success in life, replied in the following
Gentlemen, I owe all my success in life to
my elder sister."
It might naturally be inferred that this sister
had been a person of great attainments, or
perhaps of large fortune; but such was not the
case. She was only the eldest of a large poor
family, who had so much difficulty in paying for
the education of the boys, that the girls were
obliged to be content with such mere rudiments
as would in these days of progress be considered
as equal to no education at all.
In the large public school where this boy at-
tended, his slowness to acquire knowledge was
16 BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
mistaken for stupidity and inattention; and day
by day he grew more heartless and desponding,
and consequently less fit to master the daily in-
His parents, like many others, considered that
if he attended school regularly and they paid the
bills punctually, the boy must of necessity pro-
gress in the same degree as other boys of his
age and standing; and this mistaken estimate
of things might have continued until the poor
lad became hopelessly stultified, had not his
sister's affection suggested a remedy. Knowing
nothing herself, slie could only help at first by
cheering words, patient listening, and constant
sympathy. Then she helped him to blunder
through the Latin Grammar, and knowing
scarcely anything of arithmetic, was the first of
the two to discover that algebra could be learned
and understood. And years after it would have
been difficult to believe that one of England's
brightest lights of science had as a boy been
months trying to remember which was the pro-
position in Euclid and which the corollary.
Even in the most favourable cases, sisters have
much to endure from brothers; boys rushing in
headlong from play, too frequently forget that
BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
the convenience of those indoors should be first
considered, and dirty feet mark the carpets,
doors are violently shut, work-boxes displaced,
and perhaps they even end by sprawling on the
sofas with their heads plunged into the hand-
some worked cushions. Strange as it may at
first sight appear, these annoyances are in most
cases to be attributed to the ladies of the family
themselves. Little girls entrusted with the care
and amusement of a baby-brother for an hour
now and then, are prone to fall into one of two
mistakes. The one is to keep baby quiet" by
permitting him to drag and pull about everything
in the room as he pleases. The other is to deny
him all objects of amusement by way of main-
taining discipline. The baby who is kept
"quiet" by the restlessness of pulling every-
thing from the right place into the wrong, will
probably develop into one of those boys who,
finding a work-box open, snip the thread and
sewing silk into small pieces, try to cut pencils
with fine steel scissors, draw the wires in and
out of knitting, and so on. In the other case,
the boy when grown up will probably seek for
and carry out his own amusement regardless of
every one else's comfort and convenience.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
The influence of elder sisters over younger
brothers and sisters is scarcely rated as high as
it deserves, but this influence can only be esta-
blished by the highest principles, and maintained
by perfect good temper.
Little children are keenly sensible of acts of
injustice, and although mistakes in the manage-
ment of them must often occur from want of
judgment, it is quite unpardonable that wrong
should be done them from loss of temper on the
part of those who are bound to teach as much by
example as by precept.
There are many childish troubles in which
the sympathy of an elder sister acts like a magic
charm, and her mediation in infantine quarrels
is often of such value as to banish the baneful
habit from the nursery altogether.
The elder sister's place in the family is a link
between the parents and the little children. It
should be her pleasure to see justice impartially
administered, to redress little wrongs, to quell
rising rebellion, and to sympathize fully in all
the juvenile joys and sorrows. It is by these
means that the child's love and confidence will
be gained; and should an offence of sufficient
magnitude be committed to require that comrn-
BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
plaint should be laid before the mother, the very
infrequency of such an occurrence will give double
weight to the punishment. It is no doubt
very tiresome to have children perpetually
asking questions and demanding assistance,
but while every help should be given them that
they require, there is not the slightest occasion
to indulge them until they become domestic
tyrants. If questions asked at the wrong time
are not answered, they will soon learn to wait
the convenient time; and if they receive help
in their employment only when they really
require it, they will soon become self-reliant.
It could scarcely be expected that young girls,
themselves so inexperienced, can at the first
essay discriminate between necessary and unne-
cessary compliance with childish behests; but
"experience teaches," and those who have to
deal with children must bear in mind that their
characters are as different as their faces; no
two alike, and so one set of rules cannot by any
possibility be made available for all.
A gardener may have in his greenhouse two
plants of the same species, which he wishes to
grow exactly alike, but which are dissimilar in
appearance; one being thick ani bushy, the
20 BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
other tall, slight, and pale. He places the de-
licate-looking plant in the free air, and within
reach of the sunbeams, so that it soon becomes
robust. The stunted plant he waters freely, and
puts into the warmest part of the greenhouse,
where the light comes from the top only, and
very speedily it starts into growth, and in time
resembles its differently-treated companion.
An unselfish child may be so lavishly gene-
rous as to be always a prey to greedy compa-
nions; but while it would be unwise to check
the generous impulses of the one, every care
should be taken to train the grasping child into
habits of judicious giving.
Little children will often play happily for
hours at "a feast," the only eatable thing being
but one solitary sweetmeat or a few crumbs of
biscuit. A selfish child would probably despatch
the sweetmeat at a mouthful, rendering the
other little creatures envious and disappointed
for the whole of the day; but one person being
greedy is no reason why the rest are to suffer,
and the training should be directed so as to
teach him to find happiness in sharing his pos-
sessions with his brothers and sisters.
It is a common idea with people that to feed
BROTHERS AND SISTERS. 21
and clothe children, and teach them lessons, is
all that is necessary, while those who look
deeper than the surface know well that book-
learning is a very secondary thing indeed.
Training a child may begin at a very early age,
as a child's reasoning powers develop long
before it has utterance of speech. A baby who
cries violently when it wishes to get possession
of any glittering object, and is never gratified
unless when in good temper, will soon learn tc
connect crying in its little mind with disap-
pointment, and will in time cease to make its
requests in such disagreeable form; and one
such step gained, the succeeding efforts at train-
ing become easier and easier.
Never deceive a child, even in the smallest
matter : let a child once find itself to have been
deceived, and you have lost its confidence for ever.
Many little ones have a love of throwing theii
toys into the fireplace or out of window;
and in such cases do not hide the toys away
anywhere, but place them out of reach, and in
sight, as often as the fault is committed, until
they have of themselves discovered that wilful
waste makes woful want.'"
Some people think it necessary to divest their
22 BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
sitting-rooms of everything except indispensable
furniture, for fear of the children destroying all
the embellishments. This plan is both foolish
and unnecessary; for let the elder children be
taught that such things are never to be played
with, and the little ones will follow the example
of their elder brothers and sisters.
It is unnecessary to give a baby a silver spoon
to rap with on the table, because the posses-
sion of a short stick would afford it equal
amusement; and those who lend their watches
as playthings, prove themselves to be as devoid of
sense as the unreasoning infant to whom the
sacrifice is made.
"Ah what would the world be to us
If the children were no more ?
We should dread the desert behind us
Worse than the dark before.
What the leaves are to the forest,
With light and air for food,
Ere their sweet and tender juices
Have been hardened into wood,-
That to the world are children ;
Through them it feels the glow
Of a brighter and sunnier climate
Than reaches the trunks below.
For what are all our contrivings,
And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses
And the gladness of your looks ?"
FRIENDS-EARLY FRIENDSHIPS-BIBLE FRIENDSHIPS- PRE-
SERVATION OF FRIENDSHIP-FAMILY FRIENDS-PARENTS'
FRIENDS-CHOICE OF FRIENDS-TUNSUI'IABLE FRIENDS-
ADVICE OF FRIENDS-LETTERS-RUDENhSS TO FRIENDS-
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SUPERIOR EXCELLENCE IN FRIENDS
-ATTENTION TO FRIENDS.
AN eccentric old lady used to say, We could
live without our relations, but not without
our friends." She did not mean that relations
could not be her friends, but only wished
to express that a friend in the strict sense of
the word, was such an invaluable possession that
no number of relations could be compensation
for the loss of such an one. Friendships formed
in early life are often lasting until death, and
are generally less easily broken than those made
in later years.
People as they grow old become every day
fonder of looking back. Young people, who
imagine all brightness to lie in the future, ought
to bear in mind that should their lives be spared
till they reach advanced age, they too will look
longingly for the presence of the friend who has
gone with them, side by side, step by step,
through the journey of life, from childhood to
old age. So strong do these ties become some.
times, that old people not infrequently estimate
the faults of old friends as more admirable gifts
than the perfections of new acquaintances.
There is scarcely a chapter in the Bible which
does not speak of friendship. The fifteenth
chapter of St. John's Gospel alone is sufficient
evidence of our Saviour's estimation of the bond.
Verse 12. This is my commandment, That ye love one
another as I have loved you.
13. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay
down his life for his friends.
14. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command i you.
15. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant
knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you
friends ; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have
made known unto you.
Friends once made should not be lightly lost.
If a friend loveth at all times," every word or
action should be guarded against which might
wound the feelings of one who has such a claim
on our gratitude. A small thorn often causes a
deep wound, and the people who love best are
those whose very affections make them more
susceptible than others of more selfish natures.
Few families are so poor in affection as to have
no friends; and these old and tried "family
friends" have a strong claim on the respect and
gratitude of the younger members. Solomon says,
" Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, for-
sake not ;" and it too frequently happens that it
is the father's friend" who is first neglected,
first forgotten, when death has removed that
father. Old people who have reached the age
when new ties of affection cannot be formed,
will often transfer their interests and affections
to their friends' children for "their fathers'
sake;" and deep must be the pain felt when
they see, as is too often the case, a mere suffe-
rance of acquaintanceship instead of the warm
welcome of old.
The friends of departed parents should be held
as a precious legacy. Old age brings many
cares and troubles-they increase as time wears
on, while friends drop off and pleasures grow
fewer every day. Some who were once rich,
may now be poor; others may sit beside a child-
less hearth, the last survivor of a once large
family; others may be racked with pain and
disease; but all aged people, of every rank in
life, derive pleasure from the attentions of the
Much has been written on the subject of
choosing friends, as so much of the formation of
character depends on association with others.
But as it is quite impossible that young people
should be capable of estimating character
thoroughly at the age at which early friend-
ships begin, the only thing possible is to avoid
intimacy with such as show symptoms of deceit
Sometimes a girl chooses for her companion a
person older in years, and of totally different
temperament; others, again, are only happy with
associates who feel and think exactly like them-
selves. Perhaps there is no subject on which
tastes differ more; but young and single-minded
people are so apt to be dazzled by the brilliant
qualities of those more clever than themselves,
that they frequently mistake the glitter of deceit
for the gold of ability.
A girl who will deceive her parents in the
smallest trifle, will of course deceive her friend
when convenient. A girl who tells an untruth to
her teacher, will continue to use untruths to her
acquaintances whenever it suits her purpose.
And the person who confides to one dear friend
the secret of another dear friend, receiving a
secret in return, will most likely have told it before
night in strict confidence to the very person
from whom it was intended to be kept.
One who secretly reads books forbidden by
her parents, who keeps up acquaintanceships
objected to, who prevaricates when required to
answer questions, who skilfully evades the per-
formance of allotted duties-such a one taken
as a friend will prove a foe, for Who can touch
pitch and not be defiled ?" A piece of rock
angled acutely will soon become a smooth round
pebble after some months of tossing among other
round stones on the sea beach.
Nothing in the world is standing still, and
people who are not improving daily must be
A man that hath friends must prove himself
friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh
'closer than a brother."
There are times when the advice of a friend
is very valuable. A brother or a sister may feel
puzzled as to what advice should be given; and
then it often happens that a friend who has the
interests of the family at heart, but who is unin-
fluenced by the circumstances surrounding them,
may see and point out a wise course of action
which has not suggested itself to those under
Miss Sarah Tytler, in her "Papers for
Thoughtful Girls," thus speaks.
The end of true friendship is to go on hand-
in-hand,-each raising the other, each support-
ing the other, ever upwards and onwards to the
brightness and the peace of the better home in
the many mansions of the Father's house."
Much progress in worth has been accomplished
under the shelter and countenance of a friend.
"Freely ye have received, freely give," be
willing in a secondary sense to spend and be
spent" for your friends; don't meanly grudge
your love and pains, and cautiously weigh every
grain of their return. Bestow thorough respect
and sympathy; lively, considerate, affectionate
attention in health; devoted care and self-abne-
gation in sickness-and without doubt or denial,
be you wedded wife or solitary spinster, you will
aot fail in any circumstances to have and hold
a tender and true friend.
One pleasant bond between parted friends, is
the interchange of letters; and often when sensi-
tive natures are concerned there will be the
pouring out of soul on paper which they shrink
from saying in words when face to face. To
know the true value of a letter from a friend,
the receiver must be lonely and cheerless in the
land of the stranger-soul thirsty, spirit weary,
and then, like waters in a dry barren land, comes
the wellspring of affectionate remembrance,
not to be bought with gold, and more priceless
than any jewels.
In the matter of correspondence, girls are
often very faulty, and cannot be made to under-
stand that to delay a reply to a letter of any
consequence, is as unpardonable rudeness as not
to answer when spoken to. "Never lose a
friend for the sake of a letter" is a wise old say-
ing; but it often happens that friends, if not
actually lost, are alienated by the neglect with
which their letters are treated. In trouble or
anxiety they write to the one from whom they
expect sympathy; and having exposed their in-
most feelings, look anxiously day by day for
the reply which is to be so soothing.
In the meanwhile, the friend who has received
the letter is truly grieved and concerned; feeling
quite as deeply as the writer may have looked
for, but from indolence or procrastination-those
garrotters of time-day by day passes; the
answering letter is not written, and those who
have looked in vain for it, have added to their
first troubles the painful sting of thinking that
they have revealed their most private feelings to
one who cannot sympathize.
Some young people who imagine themselves
bound by close ties of friendship, if separated
for a time indulge in extravagance of corre-
spondence, and when such is the case, it is but
too often a vehicle for details of family matters,
or the affairs of friends with which the writers
have, or should have, no kind of concern. And
while these silly effusions are being interchanged
as quickly as the respective writers can pen them,
more sensible, or more important letters, are ac-
There is, perhaps, no time when girls are
guilty of more breaches of good manners and
good habits, than when a number of them are
assembled on a visit at some hospitable country
If strangers to each other, they are all on
their guard, and practise tolerably well the little
courtesies of life; but woe be to the unlucky
girl who finds herself the only stranger intro-
duced among a band of intimates: in such a
case, total neglect is about the greatest boon she
can look for. Should she be from a city, and
they country ladies, they will combine to keep
her in the background, on account of presumed
superiority of accomplishments to be had in a
town life. But should she be a country clergy-
man's or doctor's daughter, the solitary one
among a clique of town young ladies, she will
find herself considered as of no importance
whatever. The city young lady must find her-
self sadly at a loss to understand the ceaseless
babble on local affairs, and between the whisper-
ing in corners of some of the "friends," the
retirement of others to talk secrets comfortably
in other rooms, or the consciousness that the
letter-writing portion of the band are scribbling
her pen-and-ink portrait in no flattering terms,
the position of the solitary girl is not an en-
viable one. The country girl, however nicely
dressed, cannot fail to observe the contemptuous
looks bestowed on what she, when leaving home,
considered quite a magnificent array of apparel;
and no amount of courtesy or kindness on her
part will preserve her from their confidential
strictures on her, should the least ignorance
appear of any of the rules of etiquette, which
being their rules, they imagine are those of the
The little meannesses practised by girls among
each other, would be incredible were they not
so universal. In this respect girls are sadly in-
ferior to boys; for let boys be ever so jealous or
envious of a schoolfellow's superior attainments,
or greater success, they are willing to acknow-
ledge that it is so. They may hate each other
with a bitter hatred, but for all that will honestly
admit that he is a clever fellow, or a hard-work-
Sad to say, girls are very deficient in such
nobility of mind, or if they give reluctant praise,
qualify it immediately after. How delightfully
Miss A. played Mendelssohn's Andante in E !"
"Oh yes! very; but then she can play no
other composer's music, and she practises so
"Miss B.'s water-colour sketch of the water-
fall is very masterly." "Oh yes beautiful!
I wish I could draw as well; but then, do
you know, it ought to be well done, this is the
sixth time she has done it," and so on. Then
there .ie the young girls who carry their
music to their rooms every night, fearful that
some other girl may surreptitiously learn any of
the treasures contained in the portfolio ; forget-
ting that the cheap rate of published music in
these days, permits of musicians adding to their
stock at a low price, without being under an obli-
gation to any one. Others who cannot sing or play
without the printed music before their eyes, will
forego the pleasure of showing off in their best
song, rather than allow a rival singer or player
to catch a glimpse of a novelty: and again,
there are those whose good memories make them
independent of such aid, who can never be got
to recollect the names of their favourite pieces,
in order to prevent, if possible, others from pro
curing the same.
The same spirit may be seen to pervade ,
thousand other things; trifles each of them in
themselves, but very far removed from being
trifles when they are the blemishes which dis
figure the beauty of the womanly character. To
"prove one's self friendly to a friend," does
not mean to keep that friend waiting half an
hour for an appointment, or to give her the
second best seat in the room after one's self; to
make her the last reader of the interesting book
after strangers have been served first, or the guest
asked at the eleventh hour, to her great incon-
venience, when others have received due notice.
These, and a multitude of other things, girls
may easily perceive and correct in themselves,
if self-improvement be their object.
NEIGHBOURS-DUTIES-GREAT EFFORTS-SMALL EFFORTS-
HOME DUTIES-KINDNESS TO THE NEEDY-SYMPATHY--
PATIENT LISTENING INTIMACIES TALE-BEARING-
VIOLATION OF CONFIDENCE-TA'ITLING-GOSSIP.
"These six things doth the Lord hate, yea, seven are an
abomination unto him. .. A false witness that
speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among his
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin : but he
that refraineth his lips is wise."
"A tale-bearer revealeth secrets : but he that is of a faith.
ful spirit concealeth the matter."
He that covereth a transgression seeketh love : but he
that repeateth a matter separateth very friends."
My duty towards my Neighbour, is to love him as my-
self, and to do to all men as I would they should do unto me :
To love, honour, and succour my father and mother : To
honour and obey the Queen, and all that are put in authority
under her : To submit myself to all my governors, teachers,
spiritual pastors, and masters : To order myself lowly and
reverently to all my betters : To hurt nobody by word nor
deed: To be true and just in all my dealing: To bear no
malice nor hatred in my heart : To keep my hands from
picking and stealing, and my tongue from evil speaking, lying,
and slandering: To keep my body in temperance, soberness, and
chastity : Not to covet nor desire other men's goods ; but to
learn and labour truly to get mine own living, and to do my
duty in that state of life unto which it shall please God to call
To serve not only those less favoured than our-
selves, but all people of every degree, whether we
know them, or whether we know them not.
In the old fable of the lion and the mouse, it
was a prettily conceived idea to make the little
mouse gnaw through the meshes of the net, and
so set the noble captive at liberty; but this
after all was only an act of gratitude, a quality
common to many of the lower animals, and
generally exhibited by them to a greater extent
than by human beings.
How few love their neighbour as they would
wish that neighbour to love them. How few
speak of their neighbours in terms which they
would like those neighbours to hear. How few
are there who in anywise fulfil God's law in the
The more ostentatious duties to neighbours are
'o actively practised in these days, that no com-
nent on them is required.
Ragged schools, district visiting, mothers'
meetings, missionary societies at home and
abroad, clothing clubs, provident clubs, soup
kitchens, &c., &c., have each of them their advo-
cates, and are no doubt well and self-denyingly
worked. But there are many parents who ques-
tion, and with good reason too, how far it may
be right that young girls should be allowed to
take very active part in public work.
It seems to be the fashion of the day to give
young girls the utmost prominence in society,
and in matters of religion and benevolence to
entrust them with work which would puzzle
the abilities of old veterans in such things. It
has always been remarked that those persons
who have led very irregular lives themselves,
make the sternest and most rigid heads of fami-
lies ; and it is therefore not unnatural to suppose
that some such course of reasoning will cause a
re-action in the management of the young ladies
of the next generation.
In the days of our grandmothers-to whom
the science of district-visiting was unknown, ex-
cept as a scripture-reader's business-they would
have been astonished had they been told that
"duty to our neighbours" required that their
daughters should go through the lanes of large
towns, hearing, seeing, and learning much that
is not, nor cannot be, amended by being made
known to these feeble instruments; and can
have no effect but the one of lowering that tone
of mind which can scarcely be kept too high.
These young people, who, thanks to the usages
of the time, are neglecting to cultivate the
flower garden of home, that they may try to
clean out the slough of Despond with a feather,
will probably, when wives and mothers them-
selves, sedulously strive to keep their daughters
from similar efforts and experiences.
But girls who wish to be useful, and imagine
themselves set aside from work, because for-
bidden to participate in demonstrative efforts,
will find, on examination, that the sphere of
silent, quiet usefulness is illimitable.
Home duties, however manifold, must indeed
be indifferently performed, if there is no time to
spare for little kindnesses to others. It requires
neither time nor thought to give money to cha-
rities, if the loss of that sum will not be felt; and
it cannot be called fulfilment of a duty to give
away something to the poor, because we no
longer require it ourselves. Home duties to
our neighbours are of a very different kind, and
often require more self-denial in the perfor-
mancq of them than greater efforts.
It is the "little things" through life which
are the great difficulties. Little troubles are hard
to bear, from their number perhaps; little vexa-
tions perturb the spirit, because small things
seem not worth striving against. Little duties
are set aside as of so little importance, and
little kindnesses are neglected, because they seem
too small to be of use.
A poor workwoman who lives many miles
from a shop, and who breaks her last needle
when finishing a piece of work in a great hurry,
would be more benefited by the loan of one
needle then, than by the gift of a large box full
when she had no longer any occasion for them.
The gift of one penny postage stamp might be
a greater charity to a poor man in immediate
need of it, than the gift of a shilling to pur-
chase stamps with. And a morselof old linen for
a bad wound may be of more value to the re-
cipient than six or seven new cotton shirts.
Kindness does not consist altogether in
giving or in doing; saying and hearing are
very important things as well. If people cannot
relieve the wants of the poor, they can at least
listen patiently to the story of their sorrows,
and in return speak a kind or sympathizing
word. "A word in season how good it is,"
and a kind word is often healing medicine to a
It is not only the poor who demand the duty
of patient listening.
Some solitary old neighbour who has no one to
exchange ideas with may be led into forgetful-
ness by the accidental remark of some young
visitor, and talk with animation and at great
length on some subject quite uninteresting to
the hearers. And however wearying such elo-
quence may be, it cannot be so great a trouble
for the young to listen, as it is a pleasure for
the old person to recal old pleasures so vividly.
"Molly," said a clergyman one day to an
aged bedridden woman, I cannot understand
how it is that all of you old people think my
eldest daughter talks so much better than my
second. I know that in company my eldest
girl is not one to talk much, while my second is
the life of the company."
Ah, sir," said Molly, I can easily under-
stand it. Healthy gay young people of all
ranks like to be amused by hearing others talk;
but sick old people like to hear themselves talk,
and to have patient listeners. Miss Emily flashes
in like a sunbeam, all life and spirits; and
when the poor grumbling creatures begin to tell
her of their aches and pains, she cries out, 'Why,
dame, you told me all that yesterday, every
word; do te llme something new to-morrow.'
And indeed, sir, the luxuries she has
brought and left with them do not console the
ungrateful creatures for the stopping of their
talk. Miss Emily runs through the almshouses
every day, and on the contrary Miss S. visits us
seldom oftener than once a week; and for all
that she comes so seldom, and Miss Emily so
often, nobody ever tells their private heart-
troubles to Miss Emily; they are all kept for
Miss S. Then, sir, Miss S. has a way of making
the old people talk on the subjects they like
best; and that pleases them so much that when
she goes away they all say she is the nicest
talker ever they heard, although she perhaps has
not said half-a-dozen words. Dear sir, a kind
listener is a great comforter to an old person."
Young girls are generally admitted to more
intimacy in their acquaintances' houses than
either grown people or boys. The elder people
are always treated with a certain degree of
ormality, as respectful to their age and position
in society. Boys, when staying at friends' houses,
are generally out of doors most of the day, and
whatever knowledge they may acquire of stable
or farming matters, they observe little more of
the domestic arrangements than whether there
is much or little to eat, or if punctuality is
expected from the guests or not.
With young girls the case is quite different.
They are all day and every day in the midst of
the family circle, and no caution on the part of
the mistress of the house can prevent the girl-
guests from seeing and hearing much of family
concerns, and methods of management.
Few families in middle life are so wealthy as
to be able to dispense with small economies, and
in each household it will be seen that there are
favourite or special methods of curtailing certain
expenses. Mrs. A. probably has her point of
economy in coals, and permits no excess in fires,
although oil and candles may be used freely.
Then Mrs. B. likes to have furnace fires at all
times and seasons, but being no needlewoman
herself, will not allow lights to be brought until
a late hour of the evening. Mrs. C. may choose
her daughters to economize in the washing bill;
while Mrs. D. may centre her efforts on the
suppression of some small table luxury. Did
each of these families know the peculiarities of
each other, each one of them would be sure to find
fault with all the rest. The Misses B., with their
large fires, would sneer at the small fires and
light rooms of Mrs. A.; while the Misses C., in
their coloured petticoats, would doubtless rejoice
at the plentiful repast afforded by their own
table, in preference to the ostentatious and
stinted arrangements of Mrs. D.
All such plans are right and proper, because
the mistress of a house has a perfect right to
manage details in whatever way is most con-
venient to herself; but it is commonly the case
that each lady considers her own plan as the only
just and practicable one, and those of her neigh-
bours as foolish or stingy.
Although it is not a very serious evil to be
spoken of as "stingy," people in general dislike
to be made the subject of their neighbours'
animadversions. Some have a great pleasure in
detailing domestic minutim to their unhappy
listeners; but those who choose to be silent to
the public on their home affairs, have a right to
feel aggrieved when others insist oil divulging
such things for them.
Boys but seldom are guilty of exposing their
friends' family weaknesses. To them "Brown's
father is so hospitable," or "Brown's mother
sends her son such fine cakes." Not so with
girls. A girl who has gone from a visit at Mr.
Brown's to pass a week at Mrs. Smith's, has seen
things with very different eyes, and the Smiths
are entertained with anecdotes of Mr. Brown's
squabbles with the butcher, and Mrs. Brown's
methods of scrimping the servants. Kind Mr.
and Mrs. Brown have good cause to feel hurt
when they hear in the course of time what
colouring has been given, on the one hand, to a
slight objection to a gross overcharge, and on the
other, to a necessary check put upon wanton
waste of food.
It is by such silly talking as this that petty
squabbling seems to take up its abode in small
neighborhoods; and the evil will always exist
when young people forget that a guest for the
time being is one of the family, to partake of its
interests, and to further its pleasures; but when
the guest ceases to be an inmate, the obligation
of silence still remains, the secrets of the family
having become by participation the visitor's
Oh that mine eye might closed be
To what becomes me not to see !
That deafness might possess mine ear
To what concerns me not to hear !
That truth my tongue might closely tie
From ever speaking foolishly !
That no vain thought might ever rest,
Or be conceived within my breast!
That by each deed, each word, each thought,
Glory may to my God be brought."
TEACHERS-VOLUNTARY TEACHING-DAILY TEACHING-INDIF-
FERENCE TO ADVANTAGES -IGNORANCE -INDOLENCE -
BAD HEALTH PROCRASTINATION INDIFFERENCE -
REVERSES-WASTE OF TIME-GENEROSITY.
"And 'midst that cherish'd imagery I see,
Revered instructor, many a trace of thee.
A plant of feeble stem thou would'st not mock,
Rude as the flowers that clothe the Alpine rock;
Nor blight its tendrils with a causeless pang,
Nor scorn it, though from lowly bed it sprang;
But watch'd its rooting with a florist's care,
Raised its wan blossoms to a genial air,
And o'er its narrow leaves and bending head
Pure dews of knowledge and of virtue shed.
Yet more than what I speak to thee I owe,
And richer gifts than strains so weak can show;
Thy warning voice allur'd my listening youth
To seek the path of piety and truth."
"TEACHING must be very easy," is often said by
young people. Dear young friends, have you
ever tried it ? Perhaps some of you have never
even tried it so far as to initiate a friend into
the mysteries of a new stitch in crochet; or
others of you, who are ragged-school teachers
or Sunday-school teachers, think that your ex-
perience qualifies you to give a decided opinion
on teaching of every kind.
These charitable works engaged in by young
ladies are often carried on very energetically;
perhaps too much so for the comfort of the home
circle; but as fitness for the task is seldom ex-
amined into, as the work is a voluntary one, and
the term of continuance optional, such teaching
can only be looked on as a sort of game or form of
amusement, discontinued at the player's pleasure.
Far different is the case when it is a highly
accomplished teacher who from day to day, week
to week, and from one long year to another,
must continue the same round of duties. Quick
pupils and slow pupils, careful and careless,
sulky or sullen, all must receive the same share
of unwearying attention; and most probably a
different form of words has had to be used to
convey the same idea to each one of the whole
Someyoung peoplearesoindifferentto the value
of education, that they consider their personal
attendance at classes is sufficient for all purposes,
so that attention and hard work may be dispensed
with; and many parents who have not time, or
perhaps ability, to inquire into the progress of
their daughters' education, think that because
large sums of money are paid to competent
teachers, the pupils must of necessity have
derived all the advantage that could be from the
How far this assertion is true may be proved
any day in almost any assemblage of girls : of
all the hundreds who return each year to their
parents, after a long residence at expensive schools,
how few are capable of doing any one thing
moderately well! Ask one to play a simple
piece of music at sight. She has not had lessons
lately." Can she play at sight ? Yes, she has
learned music scientifically." Ask her again to
play an old waltz a note lower. She cannot, as
she did not learn it that way." Ask another,
who has spent years in learning drawing, why
she has left one unfinished. She "is waiting
for more lessons." Another has not read French
for several months, and therefore cannot under-
take to translate a newspaper paragraph for
some old friend; and perhaps out of half-a-dozen
young ladies, five of them spell so badly that it
would disgrace a national school child of nine
The small number of girls who can write a
note correctly would surprise those who have
given little attention to the subject; and the
following instances of bad spelling and bad
grammar are all taken from the actual letters of
so many living writers, all of them ladies by
birth, and educated at great expense:-
"How are the Brown's?"
"Mamma sends you some vegeateables."
"Can you produce your receipt?"
"My aunt dipparted to-day."
"We aprehend danger."
"What a disappointment !"
That the fault does not lie with the teacher is
evident from the fact, that in most cases it is the
same master or professor who teaches the same
branch of learning at boys' schools as well as
at girls'; but for such mistakes as these, boys
would receive a flogging, and the girls, with
equal ability to receive and retain instruction,
hear the reproof and think no more of the matter.
Young people who are tired, sleepy, have head-
aches, or toothaches, or any malady real or imagi-
nary, think it quite sufficient excuse for inat-
tention during a lesson, or for want of prepara-
tion, but how few of these ever think that the
teacher, being but human, is in no degree exempt
from sorrow or sickness, and may perhaps be
enduring great pain of mind and body while
striving conscientiously to do the dreary day's
work ? A very excellent Christian lady once went
as governess to a country family of rank. She
was very plain in appearance, and although her
salary was a good one, her dress was always poor
and shabby in the extreme. For ten years she
laboured patiently and uncomplainingly among
her wayward pupils. Sneers at her unfashionable
raiment she seemed not to see; remarks, and often
unkind ones, on her repulsive appearance she
seemed not to hear; and the look of suffering on
her face had so long been familiar to her pupils,
that no one observed how the lines of pain were
deepening day by day. One pleasant Christmas
time, when the old Hall resounded with mirth
and laughter, the pale governess announced to
the lady of the house that the time was come
when she must go away. For the first time did
the young people suppose that such a thing was
possible, and many were the objections made and
obstacles raised. Reluctantly did the governess
give her reasons for leaving: and then for the
first time did the thoughtless people know that
their patient friend had long known herself to
be afflicted with an incurable disease, and that
all the shabby dress and small economies had
been the result of an effort to save as much money
as would enable her to die in lodgings of her
own, and to be a burden on no one.
The family physician was hastily summoned,
and he called in further aid, and then the young
people learned to their inexpressible grief that
what might have worked a cure years before
was impossible now; and that it was too late to
do anything more than provide comforts for
the very few weeks that remained to their old
friend in this world.
In a very few weeks indeed she was at rest;
and during the long lives to which most of the
family were spared, they were haunted by the
sad reflection that by their thoughtless folly
and unkind jokes a sensitive and suffering
woman had been made so reserved that help
had come too late.
Too late" is a short sentence, easily written
and easily spoken, but what volumes are con-
tained in those two words Of all the beautiful
parables of the New Testament none is so daily
and hourly illustrated by our own example
as that of the wise and foolish virgins. We have
time and opportunity, warning and example,
lamps and oil for our lamps, and yet day by
day we go on as did the foolish virgins, until the
door of opportunity is shut, and it is too late.
None can foresee what their lot in after life may
be. A commercial crisis, a railway accident, the
falling of a house, a fire, may make beggars of
rich men's daughters. Men of great wealth and
high position have forgotten God, and committed
crimes which made themselves felons, and their
innocent families not only beggars, but branded
with the disgrace of being a felon's family."
In almost all such cases the members of the
ruined families must work in order to live:
but how few of them have lived so as to be able to
work ? Too late then to retrieve the lost time or
to recall bygone opportunities: even when it may
be possible to overtake lost time by returning
again to hard study, what can be done by a worn
out, harassed, and dejected woman, oppressed
with care and sorrow at home, and looking de.
spondently into a long dark future of toil ?
Were the case to be reversed, and persons
elevated from a lower position to a higher eleva-
tion in society, a lady will fill it all the better
from having had every advantage of education:
for it would be difficult to show a less womanly
woman than a lady of high position who is an
People, women especially, who know nothing
are prone to imagine that they know everything,
and are almost invariably arrogant and dicta-
torial; while one need only open a scientific
work by any of the great writers of the age to
see with admiration and surprise how modestly
they put forth their magnificent theories and
Never waste a teacher's time." If you must
waste time, let it be your own; but every
minute of a teacher's time is so much money
of which you deprive him or her. Five
minutes a day is not much, but then five
minutes of each working day of the week makes
half an hour, a space of time sufficient to receive
much valuable instruction in.
Pupils have very little idea of the generous
spirit which exists in teachers. A rich lady
might think it very strange were she asked
to pay for drawing lessons for the nursery
governess who takes charge of her children to
their drawing class; when perhaps the drawing
master, to whom every minute is money, cheer-
fully devotes time and materials to help on his
fellow-labourer to a little more knowledge.
A bad teacher may become a better one, for
man is but a learner from the cradle to the grave.
A good teacher is a pearl beyond price, and should
Le valued accordingly; and instructors reap their
best reward from the success of their pupils.
STEPMOTHERS--DIFFICULTIES OF THE POSITION-SERVANTS'
INFLUENCE ON CHILDREN-GIRLS' CARE OF A FATHER-
SICKNESS--PROVOCATIONS- DISUNION FROM TRIFLING
CAUSES HUFFS SMALL OFFENCES ADVICE FROM A
STEPMOTHER LIBERTY OF ACTION- UNITY HABIT -
Thus, though abroad, perchance, I might appear
Harsh and austere;
To those who on my leisure would intrude,
Reserved and rude ;
Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be,
Like the high leaves upon the holly tree.
And should my youth, as youth is apt, I know,
Some harshness show,
All vain asperities, I day by day,
Would wear away;
Till the smooth temper of my age should be
Like the high leaves upon the holly tree."
MANY novels and stories have been written on
this difficult subject, some of which have been
greatly admired, and most of them have awak-
ened interest in the reading public.
It has so long been the custom to portray
second wives as the tormentors of their husbands'
children, that young people in general regard
the word stepmother as synonymous with a
A beggar raised suddenly to the elevation
of a throne, will soon learn to comport her-
self according to her new station; a queen re-
duced to the station of the beggar may, in an
incredibly short space of time, reduce her ideas
and accommodate herself to the wearying
troubles of every-day poverty. But difficult as
such struggling with changes would be, it must
of necessity fall short of that which is the lot of
a woman who marries a widower with a large
All women are endowed by God with mothers'
hearts, and there are very few cases where a
woman who becomes a stepmother does not
yearn to fill a mother's place to those who have
been deprived of their parent.
Wise married people often tell us that the
first year of married life is by no means the
term of ecstatic bliss that novel writers would
have us believe; there is so much to bear and
to forbear, so many new duties, so many new
claims, that it is both an arduous and an anxious
Family cares increase gradually, by which
time the heads of the house have settled into a
comfortable state of things, and remedies for
bad servants, &c., are more easily found than
at first; and if the housekeeping be not more
masterly, perhaps it has become such a matter
of course that it is no longer a grievance.
It should be considered that a woman marry-
ing a widower comes in for all the troubles
consequent on beginning married life, aggravated
Most men in such circumstances seem to think
that when they are married again, everything
will go on as it did in former years, forgetting
that such a mode of life is perfectly new to the
wife just brought home. If his house has been
kept to perfection during his term of widowhood,
he probably expects that it will at once become
more perfect still; and if disorder has reigned
supreme, he will most likely look for as sudden
a transformation as could be effected by an
enchanter's wand. Having pleased himself in
the choice of a wife, he generally assumes that
all others regard his new acquisition with equal
satisfaction, while in all probability all the mem-
bers of his household are her covert enemies.
Servants who have for some time executed
their work according to the easy dictates of their
own fancy, do not relish the introduction of a
mistress whose authority is called out by the dis.
cover of delinquencies; and even should she be
slow to grasp the reins of government, and then
hold them with a lax hand, her conduct in either
case will dissatisfy the malcontents. Servants are
almost sure in these cases to poison children's
minds with grumbling over the new government.
"Your poor mamma would not have oppressed
a poor servant so," or, "There were no such
slip-slop ways in your poor mamma's time,"
&c. &c., until the children, naturally prejudiced
by popular clamour, and aided to a worse state
by servants, resent all kindness offered by their
stepmother, and in time alienate her affections.
If girls nearly grown up were asked to take a
solemn vow never to marry or leave their father,
how indignant they would be, and yet they
fancy themselves aggrieved when that father
provides himself with a suitable companion for
his declining years.
It must be acknowledged that men often
make a very unwise choice of wives, but that does
not make it the less their right to place whom
they like at the head of their own household.
In no case should children imagine themselves
injured by their father's marriage. Girls of
tender years may be an amusement to a father,
but must always be a charge and responsibility,
and by the time they have reached years of dis.
creation, they generally form new ties and new
homes for themselves. It is not to be expected
that a man can find pleasure in the society of
his young sons, whose inexperience and crude
ideas only change for the better when it is time
for them to go out and battle with the world.
Even in cases where sons continue to reside
at home, it is an unnatural state of things when
it is not a woman who attends to the details of
Sickness is not peculiar to any time of life,
but as age advances, its inroads are more severe,
and the sick old person requires a very different
kind of nursing from that which suits a very
young person. When no better can be had, a
daughter will of course devote herself, heart and
mind, to the care of her father in illness, but as
the Lord took a rib out of Adam and therewith
formed woman, so is a wife the natural companion
for a man in his old age, and the only proper
nurse in sickness.
As most girls naturally look forward to having
a home of their own one day, would they not
show more wisdom by endeavouring to live
peaceably in their father's house while they con-
tinue in it? Most stepmothers (even selfish
ones) do not like to disturb their own comfort,
by making complaints to husbands of their
children, although they must often have sufficient
provocation, and when stepmothers are thus
forbearing, surely the children ought to avoid
offence as much as possible.
Domestic disturbances often arise from the
most trifling causes in ill regulated families; the
one being helped before the other, or even the
dimensions of an egg, have been enough to
destroy the harmony of the breakfast table.
Should it unfortunately be the case that the new
head of the household is one prone to take
offence and difficult to please, it becomes the
more necessary to guard every word and action,
striving prayerfully to be guided so as to act
becomingly to one set in authority.
Girls who ill treat and speak ill of their father's
wife, do a wrong which recoils on themselves.
"With what measure they mete, it shall be
meted unto them again," and the discomfort
they provide for others, they must expect in re-
turn themselves. Again, young girls often think
it dignified to be easily offended, and some
silly creatures spend a great part of their time
quarrelling with their friends. Of course such
dispositions as these will find enough employ-
ment for their favourite recreation when there
is a stepmother in the case; and by dint of
nourishing small causes of dissatisfaction, seiz-
ing on small annoyances, and brooding comfort-
ably over them, they soon believe themselves
to be the most oppressed of human beings
The warning counsel or kind advice which
from a mother would be a matter of course, and
for which, coming from a friend, grateful thanks
would be given, is in most cases considered as
an offence when given by a stepmother. The in-
justice of taking offence when none is meant
ought to be self-evident; and a little reflection
ought to convince grown-up step-daughters,
that a stepmother who will take the trouble
to advise them, must have their good seriously
Most people are self-sufficient enough to
think that their way of doing everything is the
best way, and some go so far as to think thab
no other way can be right. It is generally
young people who are most dogmatic, and cer-
tainly they are more ready to dictate rules for
society in general than are elder people. A
certain amount of this spirit is desirable in
every one, as otherwise the heads of families
would be sadly swayed about by each new
opinion; but while young and old equally
possess the idea that their way is the right way,
it is the prerogative of the heads of the house
only to exercise it.
If a man's wife is to be mistress of his house,
she must be allowed to be mistress after her own
fashion. If it be her way to put covers on sofas,
or to take them off, or if it be her way to pre-
fer a Rockingham teapot to a silver one-these
things are mere differences of taste, and can
only be objectionable when the comfort of the
family is seriously affected by them. There are
so few people with whom it is impossible to live
at peace, that it is worth a great effort to
accommodate on both sides, when a new bead
is introduced into a house. In such cases
human beings are very like new machinery, and
require very much the same treatment. The
most skilful engineers fail to construct a steam-
engine which will work to perfection at first;
even the man most intimately acquainted with
every peculiarity of its construction, regulates
the speed of its first movements to the lowest
possible rate. Sometimes the water apparatus
proves faulty, or one portion of the wheels and
cranks is too strong for the rest; or perhaps the
parts heat, or stand still, and it requires days or
even weeks of patient toil to remove the little
faults. Even when finished under the most
successful circumstances, machines work stiffly
and slowly at first; and it is only by the friction
caused by work that, in technical language, they
are said to have worked into gear."
It would save much distress and disunion
in families, did young people suspend judg-
ment until they have had time and opportunity
to see the change in family matters with un-
prejudiced eye. Time heals many wounds, and
time causes forgetfulness of old troubles. Habit
is all-powerful with many people, and to the
young it is almost as easy to acquire new habits
as to wear new clothes.
Soft answers and kind actions are the best
oil to smooth the troubled waters of domestic
annoyances. And it has happened not unfre-
quently that persons who had a mutual dislike
to each other when first obliged to live in the
same house, by the exercise of kindly feelings,
and drawn together by a common interest,
ended by becoming sincere friends.
SERVANTS' FAULTS MISTRESSES YOUNG LADIES- SER-
VANTS' TROUBLES DRESS GIFTS -- EXTRAVAGANCE -
MISAPPLIED PRESENTS-FAMILIARITY-GOSSIP-- CONFI-
It is not well amid thy race to move,
And shut thy heart to sympathy and love;
It is not well to scorn inferior minds,
And pass them by as though they were but hinds.
Pride may become thee as the veil a nun,
But ah! they love thee not whom thou dost shun."
MUCH has been said and written in the present
day on the degeneracy of the race of servants;
their inefficiency, ingratitude, love of dress, and
want of attachment to their employers as com-
pared with the servants of former years: all of
which is doubtless very true, and very much to
be lamented. But perhaps people scarcely stop
to consider how much this evil is aggravated, if
not entirely caused, by the complainers themselves.
In the olden times a lady who was not a good
housekeeper was looked on with an amount of
horror, difficult to comprehend in these days,
when young ladies seem to consider that every
other kind of accomplishment should be acquired
first. Many parents do not wish their daugh-
ters to take an active part in domestic concerns,
and in many cases where a large establishment
is kept up, the young ladies would be as wrong
to take a practical share in household labours
as they would be to avoid doing so, were their
circumstances such as to necessitate the keeping
of one servant only to do the work of the
Good mistresses do not necessarily make good
servants; as in servants, like everything else,
the servant may not afford capability to be
improved. But bad mistresses make bad ser-
vants ;" and the most orderly, punctual, careful
servant in the world, will soon become tae very
reverse should she be placed in a household
where disorder reigns.
It is a constant complaint among servants
that in a large family the young ladies give so
much trouble." Cause for this too often just
complaint could not exist were girls only a little
more careful and considerate; while they areo
not required to work, perhaps not even ex.
pected to see that any part of it is well done,
they ought to be careful not to make work.
An orderly, cheerful, active housemaid, whose
business it is to set the drawing-room to rights
before dinner, hurries in the instant the last
loiterer has obeyed the summons of the dressing
bell-she has but few minutes to do it in, as
two of the young ladies require her assistance in
Hours would scarcely repair the day's da-
mages. Some have been making lovely" paper
mats, and the minute clippings have strewn the
carpet like snow of many colours; some one has
been painting, and numerous cakes of water-
colour adhere strongly to the highly-polished
table. The sofas littered with fancy needlework;
the piano groaning under the weight of tossed
music; and worst of all, the fire out, or nearly so,
because the "lovely" mat makers had forgotten to
ring for coals. It is not unlikely that the water-
colour painter may have dried a wash" at the
fire, and have let the superfluous moisture
drain to the polished steel fender, thereby caus-
ing a stain of red rust almost impossible to
remove. To relight the fire and restore the
bars and grate to proper condition, would in it
self demand as much time as the unfortunate
housemaid has got to bestow on many con
flicting duties; so that it is not to be wondered
at that during the rest of the evening, each
and every one of the family has a grievance to
complain of. Strangers arriving to dinner do
not like to shiver in evening dress in a half
warmed room; the elders of the family look
with dismay at the sullied grate and rusty
fender; while the real culprits, searching through
chaotic heaps of music and books for something
required, lament over the marks of the negligent
housemaid's thumb in Rogers' "Italy," and won-
der how it happens that housemaids are always
so careless." It cannot therefore be wondered
at that servants in such situations become really
careless, neglectful of the property entrusted
to their care, and in time indifferent to the pre-
servation of the good character they started in
life with, and on which their future welfare de-
It is often said in the present day that the
modern race of servants dress better than their
mistresses. Perhaps it would be more correct
to say that they dress worse; for anything
which detaches them from their proper sphere
of action without fitting them to occupy a
higher position in life, can only be looked on
as a wrong done to society in general. The
cheapness of showy articles of dress is a great
temptation to young inexperienced servants, who
squander their money on frippery, forgetting,
or not knowing, that what the station in life of
the mistress demands as right and proper, is
the very reverse of right in a servant.
Ladies would not be justified in adopting the
plain attire which should be the dress of every
working servant; were they to do so, trade and
manufactures would stand still, and thousands of
deserving and industrious artisans suffer from
want of employment. But unseemly as it would
appear for persons of an upper class to adopt the
dress of a lower, the matter assumes a more
serious aspect when it is the lower class, with
smaller means, who emulate the extravagance
of the upper. One serious root of the evil is a
habit which prevails to a sad extent among
ladies-namely, giving old finery to servants.
They say It is only a bonnet, or only an old
dark silk dress," but in almost every case their
unsuitable gifts are the beginning of expense to
the recipient. New trimming perhaps for the
gown, and a new shawl or cloak to wear with
it, then a parasol to shade the bonnet, and so
on, until the purchase of unsuitable raiment
becomes almost a necessity. If a suitable pre-
sent cannot be given, do not give a present at
all; and if no better use can be found for soiled
flowers, soiled ribbons, and such things, they
ought to be put into the fire. This last is an
extreme measure, and need seldom be resorted
to, as everything is of use when used in the
right way. A very large family of young
people had for their friend a lady who lived in
a manufacturing seaport town, from which emi-
gration was going on continually to every part
of the globe. This lady's acquaintance with
the wants of the poor was but too inti-
mate; so the custom of her young friends was
to put everything found torn, soiled, or dilapi-
dated into a great box, which when full was
despatched to their friend, to be used according
to her taste and discretion. Such articles as
could be used in their then state were laid
aside, other things ripped up to be re-made,
some sent to the dyers, and the rubbish sorted
up into two parcels: one to be given to poor
women who dressed dolls for sale, and the other,
containing everything useless and unsuitable,
was sold to one of those people who purchased
such things. By such a system of manage-
ment as this, nothing was lost, and nothing
misapplied; and many an emigrant, even of a
higher class than the regular poor, left England
with wants supplied and comforts added, and
all resulting from proper management of what
under other circumstances would have been
either thrown away or disposed of injudi-
Familiarity with servants is as reprehensible
as harshness is unnecessary; and all directions
that girls can have to give to their attendants
may be said mildly and in few words; leaving
the correction of faults and shortcomings to
the heads of the house, to whom the guidance
of all the machinery properly belongs. But by
avoidance of familiarity is not meant careless un-
observance of the trials, sorrows, or sickness of
the domestics. They have their days of deep
grief and trouble in the same degree as their
masters and mistresses; and perhaps have
reason to feel their burden of sorrow heavier,
as they can but seldom be present with their
own families in time of calamity.
It may not be easy to draw the line of dis-
tinction between proper interest in servants
and gossip; to the latter of which young ladies'
attendants are very prone. Young girls who
are fond of gossiping stories, sometimes try to
excuse themselves on the pretence that the
maid only furnishes them with facts relating to
poor or needy people.
But no lady should derive her information
from such a source. From the circumstances
in which the class of persons from amongst
whom servants are taken live, there must be a
certainn amount of coarseness of mind, or even at
best an absence of refined ideas, which makes
them unfit to be their mistresses' informants on
From their narrow education they are gene-
rally prejudiced; and are often most envious,
jealous, and vindictive towards those who ap-
pear to enjoy the goodwill of the master and
mistress. There are many faithful and conscien-
tious servants who are an honour to their
lass and treasures to their employers; but even
.hose should be firmly discouraged when they
presume to repeat the gossip of the servants'
hall. The mischief that an unprincipled woman
servant may do, when she becomes a sort of half-
confidant of the young ladies, is incalculable.
A cunning woman will soon prejudice her em-
ployer against any of those she may wish to
supplant. Even the fear of losing an article of
dress, by its being given to a fellow-servant, in-
stead of to herself, may be enough to make her
whisper insinuations sufficient to destroy the
other servant's character.
There is one point of intercourse with servants
which must be touched on. Happily for us the
fault is not a common one, but still the thing
exists, and must be spoken of gravely, as befits
a serious matter.
Those who read newspapers may often learn
with pain that young ladies, in an apparently
respectable situation in life, have debased them.
selves and their sex by eloping with servant
men. Sometimes it is a lady with her foot-
man, and again it is a young lady and her
father's coachman. Society lifts up its hands in
horror, exclaiming How sad how unfor-
tunate!" And the delicate and the refined
women who hear of it shudder, and feel over-
come with shame, that one of themselves should
have so degraded herself. Others say, The
girl who could do so must have had a low,
coarse mind;" and so the subject is dismissed-
at least, the result of the matter is-and the
root of the disease remains untouched. Were
the past lives of these wretched young women
examined into, in nine cases out often it could be
proved that early association with unprincipled
servants laid the foundation of the wrong
course. A vain girl, who does not seek God's
guidance in her daily walk, is sadly open to
flattery. Unscrupulous people who see this
weak point easily gain influence by ministering
to it; after a time weak doses of flattery cease
to stimulate, and failing to find inordinate ad-
miration in the upper classes, it becomes wel-
come from the lower ones. When girls sink
so low as to permit a lady's-maid to carry from
the servants' hall the fine speeches she professes
to have heard from Mr. So-and-so's servant, that
"his master has made about her young lady,"
the state of affairs is bad indeed. Some wretched
fools, unworthy of the name of English
maidens," have even allowed themselves to be
drawn into clandestine correspondence with
gentlemen, making the servants the medium of
the letters, until they have found themselves
enveloped in a network of difficulties from which
they cannot escape. The only remedy in such a
case would be, a full confession to friends; but
this plan, so easy to the upright and honour-
able, seems to be impossible to those who have
made deceit their study. Dread of discovery,
and perhaps a course of extortion from the
abettors, complete the load which is to fall down
and crush the poor victim of vanity; and in
desperate cases the woman marries the servant,
to avert the disclosures that he might make of
her conduct with others of a higher grade in
It is a melancholy state of things when such
subjects as these must be dilated on to those
who are young, and it is hoped pure-minded:
but when in almost every house in England a
tale may be perused having for its heroine one
who married a low groom, and then, supposing
him to be dead, married an honourable gentle-
man-who, after that low ruffian's death, was re-
married to her most generous indulgent husband,
and ended her days happily-then indeed it is
time that a woman should lift up a warning
voice to women.
Who can touch pitch, and not be defiled ?"
The bloom may not be restored on the peach:
and the purity of a woman's mind, once sullied,
can never be restored. The appearance may be
as of modesty and innocence, but underneath the
surface lies the canker.
DIVISION OF THE DAY.
DIVISION OF THE DAY-LARGE FAMILIES-EARLY RISING-
PUNCTUALITY HURRY -PROCRASTINATION-PRAYER-
EXERCISE-AMUSEMENTS-WASTE OF TIME-WASTE OF
TIME OF OTHERS-SELF-EXAMINATION.
"I love to rise ere gleams the tardy light,
Winter's pale dawn ; and as warm fires illume,
And cheerful tapers shine around the room,
Through misty windows bend my musing sight,
Where, round the dusky lawn, the mansions white,
With shutters closed, peer faintly through the gloom,
That slow recedes ; while yon grey spires assume,
Rising from their dark pile, an added height
By indistinctness given. Then to decree
The grateful thoughts to God, ere they unfold
To friendship or the muse, or seek with glee
Wisdom's rich page. Oh, hours more worth than gold,
By whose blest use we lengthen life, and, free
From drear decays of age, outlive the old."
A PROPER division of the day, so as to find
time for everything, is an easy matter when a
person has only her own comfort and convenience
to consider: but the case is widely different
when it is the various members of a large family,
DIVISION OF THE DAY.
who, as parts of a great machine, cannot work on
solitary principles without deranging the comfort
of a whole household.
Almost all writers for the young lay down
rules for the division of the day which find
favour in the sight of many: but no plan can
be a good one which interferes with a parent's
comfort, or causes the neglect of any domestic
duty. Early-rising ceases to be meritorious if
by so doing a weary sufferer in the same bed be
disturbed after a wakeful night; and no excel-
lence in music is worth the cost of disturbing
old or sick people by practising before breakfast.
A mother, governess, or nurse, may have had
a weary night in a nursery full of sick little
children, and when in the morning a little help
from the elder girls might be of comfort and
rest to the weary bodies and minds of all parties,
it can only be considered as a positive wrong to
pursue the usual study to which that hour is
These remarks are not intended to apply to
girls of the age when education is regularly
pursued in the schoolroom or under masters;
but to those who, freed from such restrictions,
continue to study at home at their own pleasure.
DIVISION OF THE DAY. 79
There is no better method of insuring time at
command than by observing strict punctuality,
and to be punctual is easier than most people
think; in fact, nothing more is necessary than
to combat the first feeling of putting off the
execution of anything. Never allow yourself
to say, even in thought, Time enough. Do a
thing, and it will be done; do it at once, and it
is twice done. It is easy to wait five minutes
for a train to start; but you cannot overtake it
if only one minute late. A fruitful cause of
accidents is from people being in a hurry."
Running hastily down stairs, they stumble
or fall; by walking too rapidly, blood-vessels
have been burst; houses built in a hurry not
unfrequently fall down before completed. A
minute too late has cost many a one his life;
and it is seldom possible to be in a hurry, or to
be too late, if people would only begin in time.
An amiable, easy-going, but very punctual
family, took an orphan cousin to live with them,
and for the first few months endeavoured to,
induce Ellen to be as exact as themselves.
During this period their politeness was gradually
doing themselves an injury. At first they
waited family prayers for her, and then some of
80 DIVISION OF THE DAY.
the cousins lingered behind to hasten Ellen's
movements; by degrees the hour for prayer
became later and later, until the servants ceased
to be ready in time, assuring each other that
"Miss Ellen would not be down for another
half-hour;" and so the unnoticed evil went on
spreading until Ellen had attained her majority,
and she and her kind uncle were summoned to
London to meet her trustees, and receive the
statement of her property. In vain her aunt
urged the selection of a travelling dress the
night before: time enough in the morning"
was Ellen's reply. But when the morning came,
it was dark and cold; she rose too late, could not
find her warm muffles, and so caused her uncle
and self to be one minute late for the train.
Nothing more could be done until the next day
at the same hour, and in the meantime the
guardian having waited for them in vain, set
out for his own home, intending to return to
London next day; but the train he was in met
with an accident, he was killed, and it was only
after several years of trouble and expense that
some portions of Ellen's property were recovered.
The day is indeed badly begun, and must end
;2l, where prayer is not the putting on of
DIVISION OF THE DAY.
armour" for the day, thankfulness for mer-
cies past, and petitions for mercies to come.
A prayer to be watched and guarded from
evil-speaking, lying, and slandering; by which
are meant the unkind word and harsh judgment,
exaggeration, prevarication, or even the mys-
terious nod or smile which may lead any one
to an ungenerous estimate of another: a prayer
for patience, gentleness, meekness, longsuffering,
and to be given the spirit of a peacemaker :-
then, and not until then, is the foundation for
the work of the day properly laid.
Some portion of every day ought to be re-
served for exercise, without which no one can
hope to continue in health; but even exercise
requires to be kept within proper bounds, as it
is quite possible to overdo it. Girls who would
be hurt if stigmatized as disobedient, do not
hesitate to make a thousand excuses for remain-
ing indoors when disinclined to walk out; and
again, consider it no harm to walk immense dis-
tances (more than their parents approve of)
when pleasant companions are to be had.
Archery is a very agreeable amusement, but
may be the cause of anxiety to parents, if little
children are running about. Croquet, delight-
DIVISION OF THE DAY.
ful as it may be, and a pleasant outdoor recrea-
tion, should never be allowed to trespass on the
hours which belong by right to a duty. It is
not unusual to see luncheon or dinner wait half
an hour or an hour while croquet players finish
out a tedious game, but, unless under special
circumstances, such a course should not be in-
dulged in, as it defrauds each member of the
household of so much valuable time.
Young people who are amusing themselves
only seldom consider how far their heedless
ways may waste the time of the busier members
of the family. In the case of the croquet
players who think nothing of the half hour
dinner has been kept back, there may perhaps
be a father, mother, governess, four children,
and four or five servants inconvenienced, and,
allowing half an hour to each of them, the waste
of time is eoual to six whole hours.
GOOD TEMPER -COURTESY AMIABILITY- CHEERFULNESS -
CIVILITY CULTIVATION OF TEMPER PATIENCE BAD
"There's not a cheaper thing on earth,
Nor yet one half so dear :
'Tis worth more than distinguished birth,
Or thousands gained a year.
It lends the day a new delight,-
'Tis virtue's firmest shield ;
And adds more beauty to the night
Than all the stars may yield.
It maketh poverty content,
To sorrow whispers peace;
It is a gift from Heaven sent
For mortals to increase.
It meets you with a smile at morn-
It lulls you to repose ;
A flower for peer and peasant born-
An everlasting rose.
A charm to banish grief away-
To snatch from brow the care;
Turns tears to smiles, makes dulness gay,
Spreads gladness everywhere.
And yet 'tis cheap as summer dew,
That gems the lily's breast;
A talisman for love, as true
As ever man possessed.
What may this wondrous spirit be,
With power unheard before-
This charm-this bright divinity ?
Good temper-nothing more !
Good temper! 'tis the choicest gift
That woman homeward brings,
And can the poorest peasant lift
To bliss unknown to kings."
"The works of the Spirit are these-love, joy, peace, long-
suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."
"A very mine of jewels, which, when set as a crown,
adorns the wearer, and is of more value than the diadems of
a thousand earthly monarchs."
"Good temper and courtesy must always go hand in hand,
for loss of temper cannot be, without giving undeserved pain
to some one else."
"Ill-tempered people are always selfish; for their ebulli.
tions of temper under slight annoyances prove that it is their
selfish desire to have everything in the world go on in exact
conformity with their wishes, which makes them angry when
slight opposition arises."
IT is not uncommon to hear people spoken of as
amiable or good-tempered, when perhaps they
are in reality only indolent or apathetic. Such
people are generally admired by slight acquain.
tances, but are seldom to be found among the
number of those who make friends and retain
them. Apathy is only another form of selfish-
GOOD TEMPER. 85
ness; and it may be observed that those who
are most indifferent about the annoyances of
others, are the most intemperate when vexations
become their own share.
Some are naturally endowed with cheerful,
buoyant dispositions, and over them the little
troubles of life pass almost unfelt; others, of
more sensitive and desponding turn of mind,
suffer severely from small causes, and not un-
frequently have their powers of endurance tested
by the superabundant cheerfulness of the others.
High spirits and good temper do not always
go together; and often the most beautiful ex-
amples of patience, forbearance, and sweetness
of temper, are displayed by those who are suffer-
ing acute bodily pain.
It is the easiest thing in the world to display
fortitude and magnanimity under great mis-
fortunes, as the admiration such conduct excites
ministers so much to vanity as almost to prove
a balm; but the nettle-stings and rose-thorns of
every-day life require a very prayer-watchful
One may observe, even in a short journey, what
a valuable thing good temper is to the posses-
sors. Civil people always meet with civility in
return, and courtesy begets courtesy. The
passengers in a crowded railway carriage will
not trouble themselves to clear their mufflings
off an unoccupied seat, to accommodate a gentle-
man who is scolding a porter violently on the
platform; nor will gentlemen go to the assis-
tance of a helpless elderly lady, who is heard
speaking sharply to her maid. Fortunately,
good temper is very contagious, and like
" leaven which leaveneth the whole lump."
The introduction of a good-tempered person
among irritable people often infects them all
with a more cheerful spirit.
The cultivation of temper should begin in the
nursery, where unfortunately it is in most cases
so little attended to, that the weed of ill-temper
has time to take deep root before anything is
done to check it. Babies slap their nurses'
faces, and no one thinks of showing displeasure
by holding down their little hands. Little
children who cannot speak, cry and get into
passions when thwarted in their wishes. Older
children show naughty tempers to the nurses who
delay to dress them; and instead of nipping the
evil in the bud, it is lazily asserted that the
children will have sense by-and-by. Many
people have very good sense, great talents, and
agreeable qualities; but from the lack of good
temper, they are avoided and disliked, instead
of holding the place in the estimation of others
that they are otherwise entitled to.
If Sir Isaac Newton had been like most
people, he would probably have punished the
poor unconscious little dog that destroyed his
papers with a blow; but like the great and good
man that he was, he only said, Diamond, Dia-
mond, thou little knowest what thou hast done !"
Few of us are called on for such an exercise
of good temper and forbearance, but all meet
with ever-recurring trials of temper in small
things. Rain may prevent an expedition, or
may spoil the enjoyment of one; but fretting
and fuming will not stop the rain, nor dry wet
clothes, while good temper, if it cannot suggest
a remedy for the evil, will not fail to lessen the
Ill-tempered people are always suffering from
what are often wrongly called accidents. It
would be much more correct to say, "They
gather the fruits of temper." Some people are
very cross if they come down-stairs and find the
fire only just lighted, and while making fierce
88 GOOD TEMPER.
attacks on it with the poker, instead of exercising
a little patience, only put it out, and if they
blacken their hands at an inconvenient time,
blame the fire and not themselves for it.
Others who angrily slam doors and shut
windows left open by careless servants at wrong
times, sometimes shut in their own fingers or
dresses ; or, if they dart irritably across a room,
need not be surprised if they find little tables
or light chairs fall in their wake by accident."
Lesson-books flung down may upset ink-bottles
or water-jugs; and, besides the serious annoyance
caused to the family at large by such exhibitions,
it may be relied on as a fact, that more valuable
property is destroyed by the unchecked exercise
of ill-regulated temper, than by any other means
in the world, a fire not excepted.
CHOICE OF LANGUAGE-SLANG-CARELESSNESS IN LANGUAGE
EARLY HABITS INACCURACY EXAGGERATION -
FOREIGN PHRASES-PEDANTRY- ACCURACY.
IN the preceding pages attention has been fre-
quently drawn to the necessity of speaking in a
respectful and becoming manner to persons of
all stations in life, but much remains to be said
on the choice of language for every-day use.
During the last few years, slang has made
such unaccountable inroads into society, that it
seems impossible to form an idea of when the
tide of evil is to stop, or to what mass of con-
fusion the English language will eventually be
reduced. Even the highest classes are to be
heard making use of perverted words; and
whether it be from mistaking folly for wit, or
unconsciously adopting the language of those
around them, the evil seems to gain stronger
root each day. Few indeed are free from some
slight taint of the colloquial epidemic. a melan-
choly illustration of how far evil communica-
tions have power to corrupt good manners. Even
those who sedulously strive to keep themselves
unstained with this pitch of conversation,
unconsciously acquire the milder forms of speech
The literature of the day has much to answer
for in this matter. Even a presumedly high
class of writers permit their heroes to converse
in a jargon of slang which must be quite unin-
telligible to an educated foreigner, and could not
be translated into any known language.
The reading public has lately shown a decided
partiality for tales of college and schoolboy
life, and, with few exceptions, these are com-
pounded of slang scraps of the Latin grammar,
and descriptions of athletic games. The pe-
riodicals are seldom without one or more tales
where the language often puzzles old-fashioned
people; and the newspapers have become so
infected also, that to read such a piece of
gentlemanly writing and pure English as Lieut.
Maury's Letter to the Times at the commence-
ment of the American war, was like hearing a
voice from the dead.
The more nearly a woman resembles a man,
the less she is to be admired. The unwomanly
fashions of dress now prevalent are bad enough,
but will, like all fashions, change soon, pass into
obscurity, and be forgotten. Not so, unwomanly
language, for a word used at first in sport
becomes in time a thing of course, and is at the
last so fixed a habit that scarcely any efforts to
get rid of it are effectual.
Very old people, on the verge of second child-
hood, invariably return to the habits, phraseology,
and pronunciation of their early days. This is
more perceptible when it is the case of risen or
self-made men and women. Let the middle
portion of their existence have been as refined
and luxurious as possible, the vulgar or careless
habits of childhood will reappear in semi-dotage.
What would be thought by young ladies
were they now to hear a stately, educated, aris-
tocratic grandmother, or great-grandmother,
maunder from her chair by the fireside to the
most select of the visitors about grandsons who
disobeyed their governors and so came to grief;
and that the young party who remonstrated
with the old gentleman upon her seedy bonnet
was shut up pretty quick; and that in her (the
grandmother's) opinion the governor was a
jolly brick to stop the supplies, and decline the
advance of tin. And yet young ladies who do
not scruple to use such words as these in con-
versation with their brothers, may find them-
selves at some future day very much encumbered
by this objectionable habit.
A very eminent barrister was observed to have
a strong antipathy to female witnesses, and on
being asked the cause of his objection said, that
between their use of strong language, and habit
of jumping at conclusions, it was almost im-
possible to collect facts from their evidence.
This accusation is but too well founded. An
"immense crowd" is often only a dozen people.
"Thousands of spectators" would not number
hundreds. To walk four or five miles" is
perhaps but three; and "ever so long," or
" ever so much," may mean anything or nothing.
Next to the avoidance of slang phrases, the most
important point is strict accuracy in speaking
and writing. People complain very unjustly
of the poverty of the English language, and try
to persuade themselves and others that foreign
languages are superior in quality and quantity.
This assertion would not gain a moment's belief
were the grumblers not too lazy to learn their
own language before attempting to acquire
Those who will take the trouble to study this
neglected branch of education will find the
English language very much more than sufficient
for all their wants; and while it is possible to
make the most fastidious choice of words for
every purpose, about two hundred of them are
made to express every want, emotion, or situa-
tion, of the greater number of English people.
A pedantic style of conversation is not to bt
admired in a lady. The besb language always
appears simple, because it is truthful and ex-
pressive, and the use of unnecessarily long words
only makes the speaker ridiculous. A lady
once describing the character of another,
spoke of "her idiosyncrasy being that of pos-
session," and had proceeded a long way further
in her delineation before the puzzled listener
had comprehended that the person under discus-
sion was "very selfish."
The use of foreign phrases in conversation is
not necessary, and there are times when the
practice is a rudeness. The world contains
numbers of solidly educated people who are
unacquainted with the modern languages as
spoken, and are therefore unnecessarily puzzled
when such phrases are made the staple of con-
It has been urged that there are some words
in the French language which cannot be rendered
in English; and as one of these is ennui, it should
be borne in mind that ennui is only a disease of
the intellect, caused by indolence, apathy, selfish-
ness, and absence of cultivated mental powers,
and no English girl should permit her mind to
be in such a barren state as to make the word
necessary for her vocabulary, nor should she ever
permit her personal appearance to be in such a
state as to cause any one to speak of her as being
en deshabille, in the sense in which English people
understand the word.
But the best language in the world will be of
no avail if used at the wrong time or for the