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neat as Mary Wilkins's,—and I don't know whether it is not neater. But why does not Tom Simson delight in coming home? Why his
wife plagues him to death with her over-neatness. She has been told that cleanliness is a good thing,—and she seems to think that it is the only thing,—that nothing else is worth thinking of. So when Tom comes in, weary and tired, after working all day for his family, instead of being received with a cheerful countenance, and that feeling of hearty welcome with which the gude wife, in the Scotch ballad, listens for her husband's return,
“ His very foot bas music in't,
When he comes up the stair ;"
Dame Simson, the moment she hears her husband's foot, is afraid that his dirty shoes should spoil her clean floor :-and the fear of this is her first salutation. Then, he is sure to lay his hat, or his coat, or his tools, in some wrong place. And when he has got to his meal, she is still full of her warnings and cautions. “ Take care, dear, and don't drop that bit of butter, it will stain the floor.” “ See, Thomas, where you are dropping your crumbs.” “ Pray, love, cut that loaf straight." “Mind you don't spill your beer, the cloth is a clean one to night.” And one or other of these directions come over every night, so that the poor man has little or no liberty, or comfort, in his own house. And yet Sarah does not do all this with any intention of teazing her husband, for she is fond of him, and is what is commonly called a good wife. These little matters are well worth attending to. They make a great deal of difference in people's comforts. Simson's wife really does clean her house that she may have it neat for her husband, in hopes of pleasing him; but then she undoes all the good of this, by her over anxiety, which seems as if all was done for her own sake, and not for his. If she On Gardening
181 would consider a little, she would be careful not to put a check on her husband by such silly anxiety about trifles. The husband himself, should also try to avoid giving trouble, or vexing his wife, but it is next to impossible to be always so on the watch, as to help disturbing a person who thinks cleanliness to be every thing.
The following verses were given to us by a friend, who suggested that they would make a good daily exercise for children. They would, indeed, be useful to persons of any age.
Did I this morn devontly pray,
April. Now we must be very busy, sowing seeds, whether of vegetables or flowers; also transplant lettuces, cabbage plants, &c. &c.-and, if you have any trees to move, you must make haste now, before hot and dry weather comes, which is very unfavourable for this sort of work. Sow lettuce, and carrots, and parsnips; also beans and peas to succeed others; put in mustard and cress every week. You may still set potatoes.
Take good care to weed your garden well, and have it very clean and neat, and sweep the walks well. Don't
to the alehouse at all; for the weeds will be growing fast whilst you are there; look well after them, and don't let a single one live in your garden. Sam Sloven pretended to have a bed of onions, but Sam went every evening to the Blue Boar,-and his weeds soon got a head of his onions.
I hope you have finished pruning your fruit trees; if not, don't waste another day. Shelter the blossoms of
your trees against any cold winds or morning frosts.
Rub off any irregular or foreright shoots that are coming on your wall trees ;—this is easily done when the shoots are tender, and it will save you a great deal of trouble afterwards.--I need not, however, say any more about gardening just now, as my readers have already, at different times, had pretty full directions. It is useful, however, now and then, to remind them what time of year it is.
DIALOGUE ON KNITTING.
Mary Jones.-Why, neighbour, how can you go on wasting your time over that old stocking ? 'Tis above a week ago since I saw you had begun the heel, and now you have not done half the foot.
Sarah Brown.—I have been very busy in other ways all the week, and have not had many odd minutes to spare, and 'tis only at those times that I
Dialogue on Knitting.
183 take up my knitting, or in the evening when I can-' not see to do any other work.
M. J.-Well, I reckon, 'tis all time thrown away, for you can buy a good pair of stockings for half-acrown, and your's will not cost you much less.
S. B.-Aye, but how much longer these will last than those that are woven, and besides, when the feet are worn out, I can put on new ones, which is a great saving; and my husband says he finds them much warmer as well as stronger than wove ones, and I know my children have had no chilblains all the winter, and most of the neighbours have been suffering sadly.
M. J. I don't think that's so much owing to your warm stockings, as to your keeping your girls at home, after school hours, instead of letting them loiter about in the street, and slide with the idle boys till they get chilled, and then they come in, and put their hands and feet almost into the fire, and can hardly get any warmth in them then.
S. B.-Yes, that is a sure way to get chilblains, and 'tis well if girls don't get something worse by being allowed to saunter about in that manner;-I mean, habits of idleness. But what makes me so particular about Jane and Susan's coming home from school as fast as they can, is, that, when so many children are let loose all at once, they learn to be very riotous and rude, and may perhaps forget all the good they have learnt in school. Now, my girls are pleased to come and tell me what they have been reading about, and many a useful thing have I learnt myself in that way, besides that they are so much more likely to remember and profit by it, when they have taken pains to repeat it to me. But there, I see my husband and son coming home to dinner, and I must go and take up the potatoes.
M.J.-Just let me look at your stockings first; why you really have done a great piece in this short
time that we have been talking, and yet you seemed never to look at
work. S. B.-Yes, that is the great advantage of knitting : it requires so little attention, and can be taken up
odd moment. M.J.-Well, I think I must get a set of needles, they only cost a penny. I learnt to knit at school, and I think I shall soon be able to do the stitch again, with a little practice *.
THE TELL-TALE PARROT.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, Your readers I hope would see the duty of endeavouring always to act rightly, from higher motives than “ to be seen of men,” but to the young, and to those whose principles are not steady, it may be useful to shew, in what an unlooked-for manner, faults are sometimes detected, " for a bird of the air may carry the voice, and that which hath wings may tell the matter."
An old lady had a Parrot, which she had kept above twenty-seven years, and which talked so well that it was a very great favourite. At this time she took a young girl into her service, and, whenever she went out, she gave strict orders that the house might not be left. However, one evening, when the old lady was gone to drink tea with a neighbour, the girl set off to take a walk with one of her idle companions, and did not return till just before the
* There is a little penny book published on knitting, which our Correspondent recommends.