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children, she is also a fit person to sit at their table, or enjoy occasionally the society of their visitors.
But some cause for that cold and unfriendly distance which wounds the feelings of many a young person, who little expected the reverses which have placed ber in the situation she now fills, may be found in the line of conduct, which of late years, has been too common among the lower orders of tradespeople. I refer to the custom of petty shopkeepers of bringing up their daughters as gover
All the evil consequences of this mistaken practice would open a field too wide for the limits of my present communication. The subject is, however, of importance, and if you will permit me, I may return to it in a future letter. The only bad effect to which I will at present allow myself to refer, is that of having increased the number of superficial pretenders, and diminished the respectability of the profession.
I name this as an evil, but I would repeat, and I do maintain, that, let the origin of a young woman be what it may,-let the situation of her parents and relatives be what it may, if she is admitted into a gentleman's house as superintendent of the education of his daughters, she ought to be treated with the friendly confidence, the kind forbearance and indulgence which that situation requires.
At the same time let not any lady in the capacity of governess expect too much. Every situation in life--every station--every condition, has its peculiar trials, disadvantages, and difficulties. There is some thorn in the softest earth-built nest. This peculiarly the object of my letter. The end of our existence ought not to be to please ourselves; and in
proportion as we are conformed to the image of Him, who came down from heaven, " not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him,”-it will not be. When a young woman enters upon a new situation, let her not “ seek her own, but the things which are Jesus Christ's.” Instead of thinking of her own interests and comforts, let her first desire be to promote the glory of God by studying the welfare of those committed to her care. No Christian lives to himself, or dies to himself; and the more we go out of ourselves--the less we think of our own comfort and happiness, the greater measure of real, solid happiness, do we attain. This may seem paradoxical, but it has been proved to be true, and that too, not merely by reasoning, but by the experience of thousands.
The part of governesses has been ably pleaded ; the situation of those who engage governesses ought also to be taken into consideration. A governess ought not, I think, ever to stipulate for unlimited access to the evening circle ; and she ought, as well for her own comfort, as for the comfort of those with whom she resides, to use the privilege of joining the society of the parents with discretion. There are many cases in which we do not wish for the presence of our dearest friends. In the great majority of instances in the case of almost all professional men, the evening is, commonly speaking, the only time that the parents can employ in free intercourse with each other, and it is very hard that they should then be fettered by the presence of a third person. Voltaire has said the great secret of writing well consists in knowing when to leave off ; and among the varied accomplishments required in a governess, few are of more importance than to know when to go, and when to stay. Madame de Stäel tells us to seize the moment which precedes ennui, but this is not precisely what I mean. Solomon's precept—" Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house, lest he be weary of thee,” falls more within what should be enforced on every young woman entering the world as governess. Right feeling, and common sense, though they are never included in advertisements, and seldom form a subject for inquiry, rank in my estimation, next to religious principle.
But I must beware lest you should think that I require to be personally reminded of the maxims which I have myself quoted. I have not forgotten the charge to brevity, that rests upon all your correspondents, and I will only add, that I am, Madam, Sincerely your well-wisher,
From Sprague on Christian Intercourse.'
Christian intercourse is often perverted to purposes of censoriousness. A censorious spirit is always an unlovely feature in the human character; but it is especially so in the character of a Christian : nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that scarcely any unballowed temper prevails more extensively than this, among the professed disciples of the benevolent Redeemer. Wherever this spirit exists, it will be found that the individuals concerned censure their fellow-professors for some fault from which they suppose themselves at least tolerably free, if not bright examples of the opposite virtue. It will be found, for instance, where persons are together who regard themselves as somewhat distinguished for spirituality and zeal, that they will be exceedingly prone to censure others for worldliness and religious apathy: and not improbably will condemn some as possessing these qualities, who differ from themselves in nothing except that their zeal is more pure and less boisterous. On the other hand, where Christians are together who are unduly afraid of excitement, and who wish to be known, first of all, as the staunch advocates of order, they will not improbably speak with undue severity of their more zealous brethren; and may perhaps represent them as completely given up to fanaticism, when the prevailing influence under which they are acting, is that of earnest and elevated piety.
MATERIALS FOR THINKING.
1.-ON THE BIBLE.
There are some points connected with this volume which is so emphatically and appropriately styled THE BOOK, which are not often brought forward, and which, consequently, escape the observation of many. ! One of these is, its completeness.
No work of man is complete. Especially is this the case with those books which treat of the history of mankind. Excepting in those cases in which the subject chosen is a mere episode,-every production of the kind is either deficient at the beginning, or at the end. Either the writer was unable to penetrate the darkness of tradition, or of entire oblivion, as to the origin of his subject; or he is obliged to break off his narrative at the time present, confessing that of the future he can know nothing.
Contemplate the Bible in this point of view. When we take it up, it appears to present a collection, or rather a bundle of unconnected writings, of different ages, and bearing the superscriptions of a variety of authors. Some of its stories appear to have been written by Moses, at a very distant period ; a period, in fact, of which no other literary relique remains. Then we have some writings