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MRS. L. Are you an advocate for small-pox inoculation after vaccination?
MRS. B. I believe it to be too severe a test. Consider how much more virulent a disease it is likely to be, when the poison by which it is communicated is inserted into the veins and mingled with the blood, than when the infection is conveyed only by natural means; especially, if it is a fact, (and that it is so, medical men have had sufficient experience,) that after vaccination the formidable nature of small-pox taken accidentally is so greatly subdued.
MRS. L.-The remarks of your medical friend have strengthened the opinions I had previously entertained on the subject of vaccination. Indeed there scarcely appears to be a choice between vaccination and inoculation for small-pox, since the good of society demands that every probable means be employed, by which a scourge, such as the small-pox, may be, if not exterminated, diminished in prevalence and power: and our duty to our offspring equally requires us not to refuse even the probability of securing them from a loathsome disease, the effects of which sometimes remain in the constitution through life.
MRS. B. Your opinions appear to me to be just. Uncertainty attends the administering of every remedy for disease, and that the antidote for small-pox shares this uncertainty, is no more a reason why it should be abandoned and disused, than for the entire neglect of many a useful medicine which may sometimes fail in its desired effects. Employ, then, with reasonable hopes, the means of
prevention which have been so wonderfully discovered to us. If a failure follow vaccination, you have still gained an advantage over the more formidable disease, by having bestowed a power on the constitution to modify and disarm it of a great portion of its malignity. And now farewell,
it is time for us to separate.
STRUCTION OF CHILDREN. MUCH TIME SAVED BY SKETCHING OUT A REGULAR PLAN FOR THE BUSINESS OF THE DAY.
MRS. B.-Perhaps you will consider it as of little use to talk to you of the value of time, or to remind you how irrecoverably each moment flies away; that we are all approaching with rapid steps, the period at which we must account for the neglect and abuse of the term of years allotted to each of us in this world; and that every day has duties prescribed, which can only be well fulfilled by the appropriate regulation of our time. So hackneyed are such reflections, that although we may acquiesce in their truth, yet, we rarely allow them to influence our conduct. On the contrary, we
permit days and years to escape unheeded, and employed to little purpose either to ourselves or to others. The fleeting nature of time, and our finite existence on earth, we acknowledge to be awful subjects for contemplation, but, alas! how transitory, and, often, how useless is the impression which the thoughts of these truths occasion on our hearts!
Notwithstanding all this, I will not be deterred from pointing out to you, as forcibly as I can, some of the advantages to be obtained by economising time. I have heard those who have passed the meridian of life declare, that the chief cause for regret and remorse which their retrospections afforded them, sprung more from the conviction of having spent the best part of their time in an unprofitable manner, than from any recollections of actual misconduct. The remembrance of our errors may be softened by many circumstances, particularly, when they have been followed by the atonement of repentance and amendment; but, for loss of time, repentance generally comes too late. It is not in the power of youth justly to estimate time. In that season of health and vigour, when the greater part of life, judging by human foresight, lies before us, we can scarcely persuade ourselves that our existence is not for an eternity; at least the unwelcome truth is only acknowledged at a later period, when our faculties begin to be impaired, or when the powers of our minds are enfeebled by indisposition. Then it is that we exclaim at the shortness of life, and on the vain use we have made of it and then, when we would strive to
redeem lost time, we discover the attempt to be impossible. Our intellectual powers appear to us spell-bound, and unable to grant us the aid which at an earlier season, we might have claimed. Memory has lost its tenacity, and judgment its clearness and decision; and unavailing regret is the only fruit of time wasted and talents misapplied. This regret, I am afraid, is the portion of the many, while the few only can look back with entire satisfaction on their past lives, having the consciousness that they have neither hidden the talents entrusted to them, nor employed them in any manner injurious to society nor to themselves.
I hope, my young friend, that such pleasurable retrospections will one day be yours; but they must be purchased, even now, by the abandonment of every indolent habit and frivolous pursuit. This at first may be irksome to you; but you will, in the end, discover that you have secured the substance, and given up only the shadow of enjoyment. Vapid, joyless, and splenetic is the close of that life, of which the commencement has been unprofitably employed, while cheerfulness and serenity generally mark the old age of a well-spent youth.
MRS. L.-I am convinced of the truth of your remarks; and, although I may not be able to regulate my time as advantageously as I desire, yet I still wish to form a plan, and to pursue it with as few deviations as circumstances will permit. Tell me, therefore, how you would dispose of the morning.
MRS. B. The morning is the best part of the day for the discharge of every employment con