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Letter to a Young Lady on her Marriage. 395 thousand fold! Such an act of heroism in my son is of more worth than a thousand cherry-trees, though blossomed with silver, and their fruit of gold.”
FROM A LETTER FROM J. BOWDLER, ESQ. TO A YOUNG LADY ON HER APPROACHING MARRIAGE.
You have had the "great" advantage of a Christian education, and I have great satisfaction in hoping that your intended husband is also a real Christian. If so, he will admit the propriety of my first maxim.
Let God have no rival in your heart. Consider God's excellence, and your infinite obligations to him for your creation, redemption, preservation, for all you are, and all you have; and you must see the propriety of suffering nothing to interfere with your duty to Him—in particular, let neither business nor pleasure induce you to violate his holy day, or to absent yourself from his public worship. If possible, prevail on your husband to accompany you, and teach this duty to your family.
2. Let your husband have no human rival in your affection or confidence, none; no, not even your father, your mother, or your favourite friend. You must leave your father and mother and cleave to your husband, and he must be your favourite friend. I mean not, that you are to neglect your other friends : but, while you continue to cherish them with kindness and affection, let them clearly perceive that another now possesses the first place in your heart, and that any attempt to rival him, or criticise his conduct, will lower them in your esteem, and, if persisted in, put an end to all connection between you and them. Conceal nothing from him.
3. Make your husband's happiness your own
study his disposition, his temper, his inclinations, his amusements; and let it be your constant endeavour to conform yourself to them : accustom yourself to be pleased with what pleases him, and to find your happiness in promoting his.
4. Do not raise your expectations too high. This life was intended to be a state of trial, not of “ mixed enjoyment.", However passion or affection may now present him, time will shew you your intended partner such as he is, a fallen creature like yourself, full of frailties, errors, and imperfections. To bear with them is no less your interest than your duty.
5. On each return of your wedding-day, read attentively this paper, and the whole form of the solemnization of matrimony. Let no one persuade you that
any human power can dissolve that contract; or that you ought to govern, who promised to obey.
6. Good people are more liable to differ about trifles, than about more important concerns. Be on your guard against this, in particular, if at any time you perceive your husband's temper moved, be careful not to add fuel to the flame, but rather abate it by a soft answer, and the utmost kindness.
7. Let it be your constant care to make home pleasing to your husband. To this, nothing will contribute more essentially than cheerfulness, neatness, and decorum.
8. Most wives wish to become mothers, and this wish, like many others, is innocent, if coupled with cheerful submission to the will of God. If you have no children, be content-if you should be a joyful mother, be thankful; but remember, that He who gave you a child, may see fit to take it away; and probably will do so, if you suffer yourself to doat on it, or, having more than
Excitement to Industry.
EXCITEMENT TO INDUSTRY, AND EN
COURAGEMENT TO MOTHERS.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor. ;
SIR, ALTHOUGH the biographical statement I am about to make, may not, perhaps, strictly come within the objects of your publication, with reference to Cottagers, yet, as I think it may have a tendency to encourage the rising generation in general habits of industry and attention to the concerns in which they may happen to be first placed in the early part of life, I submit it to you for insertion.
I am now past seventy years of age. When my mother, who was a descendant of archbishop Tillotson, died, I was about four years old ; and, in the year after, my father also died, to whose funeral, although so young, I well remember being taken. By the will of my great uncle, I became placed under the guardianship of a most amiable lady, (who was the daughter of his wife by a former marriage,) and of a most worthy man, then a resident in London. The means of providing for me, which my guardians had from my great uncle, and from his brother, my great grand father, were but small; (and my father had not been able to make any provision for me.) But small as it was, they had me educated at suitable day-schools, till I was of sufficient age to be sent to a grammar boarding school in the country, where I obtained as much knowledge as my preceptor could give ; and, I am vain enough to think, much more. At the age of about fifteen, I was placed as an articled clerk to a most highly respectable solicitor in the city, who was clerk of one of the companies; and who having, by the influence of my great grand-father and great uncle, been elected clerk of that company, in grateful acknowledgment of their kindness, took me without a fee. I lodged and boarded in his house, and lived with him and his family during the period of my clerkship in the most pleasant manner that any person could wish : and indeed, so careful was he of my morals, that I was his constant visitor on Sundays at his country residence, when he and his family were there; and, by this means, I was prevented from getting into improper society on that day, which, I am sorry to say, is now too sadly prophaned. The gratitude I felt, for being thus taken by the hand and kindly treated, was such, that I endeavoured to repay it by extreme diligence, in not only being in the office two hours sooner, but, frequently, more hours later, than those required in the ordinary course of business. At length the term of my articles arrived ; I underwent (for then it was one) the ordeal of admission as an attorney and solicitor, and continued for a short time in the employment of my master, as a clerk, upon a liberal salary; when finding that an offer of marriage to one of his daughters failed of success, and, consequently, that the chance of a partnership with him was not to be expected, I retired from his employ, and commenced my office of business, as it happened, in the very house in which he had himself served his own clerkship with an uncle. Before I thus started for myself, I was taken up, as the phrase is, by three or four respectable clients, who had witnessed, and been pleased by, my attention to their business, and who never forsook me. To them all am I grateful. A short time passed, when I had the happiness to be introduced to a most highly respectable family, one of whose daughters honoured me with her choice, and married me. We had very many children; all of whom, except four, now living, have been taken to a better state, as well as their dear mother. Several of them
On Cruelty and Unkindness. 999 lived to an age to have given vexation and trouble, had their tempers inclined them to do so; but of not one of them can I call to mind the expression of any unpleasant feelings, or a single instance of petulance or unkindness. Of the four who are left to me in my advanced years, there appears to be, by God's grace, so religious and moral a principle of conduct implanted in them, that I do not think that either my boys or my girls would be, on any consideration whatever, induced to swerve from the path of the strict rule of right. This, I am willing to trust, is attributable, under God, to the parental instruction and example of their dear mother; it would be impertinent in me to arrogate any to myself. To all parents, therefore, let me urge the advice of the wise man:
child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
To those who know me, and who may read this article, what is said with respect to archbishop Tillotson will be understood : and I cannot help remarking, what has frequently forced itself on my own observation, that similarity of mind, as well as bodily likenesses, are constantly discoverable in descendants, for many generations; and in my family I have, to my mind, a convincing proof. - 14th July, 1827.
ON CRUELTY AND UNKINDNESS. " To do as we would be done by," is a rule which is taken from the Holy Scriptures, and which should serve as a direction to every man who calls himself a Christian. It applies not only to our conduct towards our fellow men, but even towards every
animal of creation. If this spirit did really prevail amongst us; if we were always as considerate of the interest and the feelings of others, as we are of our own,