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patient to impart to the whole circle in which they move. Such women are dangerous in proportion as they are insinuating: like the Circean cup, their noxious qualities are not discovered until the poison has touched the vitals.
CONDUCT TO RELATIONS;
ADVICE FROM; WHEN
AND HOW TO BE RECEIVED; WHEN TO BE REJECTED. THE GOOD OPINION OF RELATIONS ESSENTIAL TO HAPPINESS.
MRS. L.-The proper attention to be paid to the claims of relationship, presents a subject for consideration of great moment to the newly-married female: for peace and good-will cannot be destroyed amongst relations without a serious interruption to happiness. A family feud is like an incurable wound. How is this to be avoided?
MRS. B.- The first year of a woman's married life, is not always most free from vexations and troubles. She carries into one family the prejudices and the habits of another, which sometimes prove so different, as to cause the task of assimilating herself, in her new character, to those with whom she is henceforth to dwell, to be both painful and difficult. If she be solicitous to promote unanimity between her new connections and herself, she will, perhaps, examine, how far she can yield to their prejudices, and in what degree she ought to maintain her own. By yielding a little, she makes, at least, her road smoother, if she do not thereby lay the foundation
of esteem and affection, not to be shaken for the future, by any trifling cause.
As the happiness of the husband is liable to interruption, and his temper to be tried, by the petty umbrages and irritations between his wife and his relations, it is her duty, and assuredly the best mode of securing her own happiness, to endeavour to please them, so as to engage their affections if possible. A determination to be pleased herself, is half-way towards pleasing them; and this may be shown by her willingness to discover their agreeable traits of character, rather than with the critical penetration of ill-humour, to mark their weaknesses and errors. By pleasing manners at first, she may secure herself a favourable reception into her husband's family; and, in time, when she has proved her worth, her footing amongst them will be on a surer foundation.
MRS. L. It happens not unfrequently, that a husband has kept house before his marriage, and has had his domestic affairs managed by a maiden sister; and circumstances may exist to render her continuance in the family requisite. How is the young married lady to act in such a case?
MRS. B. No situation in which a young married female can be placed, demands greater circumspection. In assuming the entire management of her household, which should be immediately done on entering into it, she must yield, at first, in many things, to the guidance of its former ruler; and even where reform is necessary, and her own opinion differs from that of her sister-in-law, the change must be effected by degrees, and with much
delicacy. Her predecessor may look with a jealous eye upon all her transactions; and, unless she be a woman of more than common prudence and amiable dispositions, she will not fail to notice the failures, which she sees, or supposes she sees, in the management of the family. Every young mistress of a family should endeavour to act independently, by degrees; and as soon as this can be done, the less counsel she takes, and the more she treats her sister-in-law as a visitor only in the family, the greater will be the probability of preserving her esteem, and securing the general comfort of the household.
Suppose her predecessor to be the mother of her husband.
MRS. B. Still greater delicacy would then be requisite, in the attempt to obtain independence. The opinions and feelings of the mother of her husband should not be treated either with indifference or contempt, though it might be necessary to make a firm, but a modest resistance to some of her prejudices and habits. Good sense and good temper united may effect wonders under the difficulties which may attend such an inmate; and, indeed, under any circumstances, they are the only means by which a permanent state of order and comfort in a family can be established.
MRS. L. What influence should a lady allow her own relations to have in the regulation of her family affairs? For instance; it occasionally happens that a mother, or a sister, spends some months with a lady immediately after her marriage; and it is next to impossible that they should avoid some
interference in directing her plans, and in forming her arrangements.
MRS. B. Matrimonial uneasiness has, sometimes, been occasioned, by the undue influence maintained over the mind of the wife by the members of her own family. It would be unnatural, if they did not retain a part of the influence, which early habit has given; but something materially wrong must exist, both in the wife, and in her relations, when this influence acts upon her, so as to induce her to oppose, in any way, the comfort of her husband. The parent, in giving away his daughter at the altar, yielded up his right of control over her, never to be exerted again in opposition to the husband, unless some point of peculiar importance to the welfare of both seem to demand it. MRS. L. Suppose misunderstandings arise between a husband and his wife, for you know, my dear madam, such things do occur, can a woman be blamed for appealing to her own relations?
MRS. B. Interference on the part of relations, in the case of matrimonial disputes, is extremely injudicious; the effect of such disputes, would frequently be but momentary and slight, if all interference were avoided. Indeed, it displays a deficiency of sense, and is a melancholy sacrifice of selfesteem, in a wife, to communicate to others the failings of her husband, or the subjects of their disagreement. It destroys the mutual trust which must exist, or the married state cannot be happy. Let, then, every woman beware, before she exposes her husband's failings; let her rather screen them from observation, with the same care with