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ments in the metropolis. The introduction of cards, takes off the air of pedantry which is supposed to pervade a pure conversazione, while the introduction of conversation at card parties, sets aside the character of gaming, which might be attached to a party met solely for the purposes of play. Many of our ablest men of science and in literature, are fond of whist, and would willingly go to such a mixed party, although they would hesitate to attend one purely conversational, or convened solely for card-playing.
Such are the forms of visiting in London and its immediate neighbourhood. Perhaps in other parts of the kingdom there may be, in some few particulars, a difference in form, but I do not apprehend that to be the case in any essential points. But it is now time to dress for dinner, and I am afraid this conversation is not closed before you are completely tired of its minuteness in detail.
MRS. B. The subjects upon which I intend to turn our conversation to-day, may not, on the first view, appear to you of much importance; yet I do not believe you will find, after a little consideration, the time ill spent which we may devote to them. Want of judgment and reflection on some of the points to which I allude, have frequently occasioned inconvenience and anxiety; and in some instances within my recollection, have even led to impropriety and meanness of conduct highly censurable.
MRS. L.-I suppose it is of economy you propose to speak. That is a subject which wears too sober an aspect, to be much courted by the young and the gay; and I own that hitherto I have very little considered it, or encouraged the habit of attending to its precepts. I am, however, aware that my negligence on this point can no longer escape with impunity; for I find already that the claims on my purse are much increased in my new sphere of action. Perhaps, too, a feeling of regret, that I am as yet so complete a novice in many things which are become essential to my comfort,
makes me enter upon this topic with more willingness than I once thought it could ever command from me.
MRS. B.-A nearer view of the subject will, I am persuaded, diminish its sombre aspect. It is not parsimony, but the just appropriation of income, according to the rank, style, and fortune of every individual, that I desire to enforce. Economy, in this light, is a virtue as worthy to be practised by the affluent, as by those in limited circumstances. Whenever I hear of the rich acting with the littleness of the poor, of their being compelled, not only to restrain every generous impulse, but to delay the payment of their just debts, frequently to the detriment of honest and laborious people, I cannot but lament their neglect of this virtue, the observance of which could not fail to prevent these inconveniences, and increase the comfort and cheerfulness of general society; while it would add lustre to the rank and character of the great. If those who have limited incomes do not make economy their rule, by adapting their habits to their fortunes, and by a judicious arrangement of their expenses, numberless must be the inconveniences and trials they are doomed to undergo. Necessity will, indeed, teach them a hard lesson, which the practice of economy might have spared them. Extravagance is certainly a levelling principle, which renders all its votaries alike needy; while economy, if it have not the power of alchymy, at least confers a twofold value on every possession. MRS. L. I have hitherto considered economy as a mean quality, unworthy my attention, or as
requisite only among the humble orders of the community; but this notion, you will tell me, has its origin from misapprehension of the term economy.
MRS. B.-Your remark is very true. The species of economy which is of general use, is a judicious adaptation of expenditure to income (as I have before remarked), and not the constant struggle to diminish expenses, and to save in every iota. When necessity requires this kind of economy, she teaches it at the same time experimentally, which is more effectual than any theoretical lesson. But when inclination alone prompts the vigilant effort to save, a narrow and avaricious spirit is betrayed, which should be checked as early as possible, lest it should in later life be visible in all the ugliness of parsimony.
We will suppose that the necessary expenditure of an establishment, suitable to the rank and circumstances of every newly-married couple, has been ascertained, as in your case; and that such regulations have been laid down as may tend to keep it within its proper bounds; then, the next point to be investigated is the extent to which personal expenses and tastes may proceed.
MRS. L. Will favour me with your opinion on dress, which appears to me to be generally too much studied before marriage, and too little afterwards?
MRS. B. I am afraid your remark cannot be considered as unjust, though I am inclined to think that negligence in dress is a less common failing in these days than it was half a century ago. The want of mental arrangement, of which it is
a disgusting proof, is not in the present day left to the counteracting influence of vanity alone, but to the regular and systematic education, which almost every one now receives.
MRS. L. But I think I have observed that some who possess superior talents and acquirements have been very inattentive to the minor duties of life, and have apparently imagined themselves free to omit those observances which, in my opinion, form the propriety of the female character. How can you reconcile this remark to the assertion which you have just made respecting the effect of modern education, in giving order and regulation to the mind?
MRS. B. We must not condemn a system because all do not profit by it equally, although it is true that talents and acquirements lose half their value, when they cause a neglect of any quality by which the comfort or well-doing of a domestic circle may be promoted. Accomplishments may claim some share of time and attention for the purpose of ornamenting and refining social life, but they should never engross the mind so much as to render impossible or distasteful the fulfilment of every branch of duty, whether of great or of little importance.
Do you not think that a husband has reason to complain, if his wife become negligent of her personal appearance?
Certainly; and she is deserving of censure if her aim to please him, as her husband, be less than that which she exerted to secure him as her lover. That effort which was an act of inclination