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usual with those of her own rank; but certainly not in a way. .which would render her able to lead a solitary life cheerfully. At the time she was in the habit of expressing this humble wish, she had passed the meridian of life, and although not actually an invalid, yet she was not strong enough to mingle in the gay world. She, therefore, retired to her country seat, to live in comparative privacy. Thus, by necessity, banished from general society, she was completely at a loss for amusement suitable to her state and present situation. She was without any resource to kill time. In reading she had never delighted: she had long abandoned every accomplishment, and she had never known how to use the needle at any period of her life; so that from the time of the commencement of her retirement till her death, she dragged on a miserable existence; wandering with a dull, vapid, and discontented spirit, about her spacious and splendid apartments, or driving through the park, in her coroneted carriage, a daily, monotonous round.
In planning out the occupation of your time, you must not omit to devote some portion of it to brisk and active exercises. As labour sweetens rest, so should exercise give a zest to your sedentary employments. Indeed health cannot be preserved for any length of time without it, and no other acquisition can compensate for the loss of health. The period of the day in which exercise should be taken, depends upon the time of the year and the state of the weather; and, in making your arrangements for the day, these must regulate the hours of walking and of riding. In unsettled wea
ther, the first favourable moment that occurs should not be neglected, for this important duty: and a duty it is, as health is greatly dependent upon it, and upon health is dependent the discharge of every other obligation.
Morning visits may be paid between the hours of two and five, and the newly-married woman should be careful not to neglect paying these as soon as they are due. Towards a new acquaintance it is considered almost as a slight to defer returning her visit beyond the usual time, unless family occurrences absolutely cause the delay.
The various exhibitions with which the town is full at some seasons of the year may, in general, be viewed more conveniently during the afternoon of the day than at an earlier period. It is the most fashionable time, also, for seeing sights, which, with the young and the gay, is an additional reason why
it is the best time to devote to that
purpose. Yet even in these requisite and agreeable occupations, the woman who has passed her morning in useful needle-work, in household arrangements, and perhaps in studies which would not disgrace the stronger sex, would regret to fritter away many hours, if what she had to accomplish could be performed in one. The practice, which almost from time immemorial has chiefly characterised the female sex as frivolous and even selfish, is that of entering a shop, more for the purpose of looking over every material displayed there, than of making a necessary purchase. To ask for a variety of articles, to criticise, abuse, or praise them, and then to quit the shop, without purchasing any thing,
seems to be the delight of many women, while it is considered as the privilege of all. Disgraceful custom! which establishes a kind of right to treat those with meanness and selfishness who dare not offend us which hinges on a principle of impertinence, the slightest shadow of which would not be endured by our equals: and which tempts many a female purchaser into extravagance, wearies the patience of the tradesman, and excites contempt and and disapprobation almost universal.
Equally reprehensible is the practice of bargaining, as it is a means of corruption to the shopkeeper. I make it a rule never to employ a tradesman who will take a second price: a man who does so, confesses that he has asked more than the just value of his goods. I fancy, too, that a bargain seldom answers; it is far from being economical to buy things the value of which is depreciated; and the remark of a friend of mine with regard to cheap goods, is just: "I cannnot afford," says he, "to purchase them."
It is now time to take our hour's exercise before dinner: after recommending it so strongly to you, I must not myself lead you to think that I neglect to practise what I have approved in theory.
EVENING AT HOME, WITHOUT COMPANY,
VERSATION -WORK AMUSEMENT.
MRS. L. The manner in which I have seen some families pass their evenings at home, when they are not engaged with company, has often appeared to me to be dull, uninteresting, and frivolous. I have beheld the father, mother, and children, scarcely keeping up a languid conversation; one lounging in an easy chair; another turning over, listlessly, the leaves of a magazine; and all yawning responsively, until the wished-for hour of bed arrived. If these people were to be seen only at such times, they would be ranked in a very low scale of existence, appearing rather to vegetate than to live. But see them, again, the next evening in company, and you can hardly credit your senses, which show you the reverse of the family picture you had before contemplated. The father is, now, all intelligence and animation; the mother brilliant, and the daughters all smiles and good humour. Is there not something wrong in the habits of individuals who require
such excitation to rouse into exertion their talents, social qualities, and, apparently, their powers of enjoyment?
MRS. B.-In such a family party as you describe, the taste for rational pursuits has not been cultivated, so as to act as a counterbalance to the love of pleasure and variety, which is natural to youth. I am afraid that you will think I cast too heavy a censure on the wife and mother, when I accuse her of being the original cause of this defect among them. All the pursuits and arrangements of her family, within the house, are peculiarly under her jurisdiction: here she should direct and control, always, however, seeking the support and approbation of her measures from her husband, or yielding to his judgment, when he sees any reason to object rather than The approve. case is rare in which a woman very does not possess sufficient power to govern her family; but not so rare is the abuse or the neglect of that power. The habits, pursuits, and inclinations of her husband are, generally, influenced by hers; her children are still more the subjects of her government: and, according as she regulates them, so, in all probability, will they grow up:—either listless, idle, self-indulgent, and indifferent to the comforts of others; or active in body, energetic in mind, and seeking pleasure in mental employment, and from gratifying others rather than themselves. Where the latter disposition prevails, you will not be liable to encounter dulness in the family circle; but rather gaiety and animation, springing from ease, freedom of thought, confidence in one another, and from a common interest in every topic of conversation.