« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
a family; yet they will wish to cultivate in them a habitual love to home-a relish for its sober duties; and to see them duly sensible of a stated round of useful engagements, such as will not leave them the sport of every invitation which the capricious and pleasure-loving may present. It is much to the honour and advantage of a young person, not to be able to accept an invitation until she has made arrangements for filling up her post during her absence. She who can be engaged in parties of pleasure day after day, and in frequent visits of weeks or months, without being missed at home, proves herself to be a person of little value; while she who, in her occasional absence, feels a conscientious concern for the discharge of her domestic duties, and discovers a cheerful readiness to return to them with new vigour and alacrity, proves that in her case recreation has had its proper use ; and gives a fair promise that her sphere, whatever it may be, will be faithfully and discreetly filled. Her presence will be appreciated, and her absence felt by the little circle in which she moves; and whenever she finally leaves it, a real loss will be sustained : she will not have been disgraced in society as either a cipher or a blot.
The Orphan.-A young female sustaining this affecting and interesting character, will stand in need of especial discretion and sweetness of spirit in her intercourse with her guardians, their families, and society in general.
In the first place, it may be proper to remind such a young person of the respect and deference due to those in whose hands her parents have chosen to entrust the charge of her interests. It is not
uncommon for young persons under such circumstances, to misinterpret the conduct, spurn the control, and thwart the endeavours of those who, without sustaining the parental relation towards them, are endowed with parental authority. The disposition to do so is not unfrequently fostered by the injudicious influence of young companions or old servants. Even the officious, though perhaps well-meant inquiry after her comforts, indulgences, or restrictions; and the sigh—"Ah! it would not have been so if your poor dear papa and mamma had been alive !" are quite enough to set the leaven of discontent and rebellion fermenting in the bosom-to weaken respect and attachment—to render irksome to both parties the period of subjection-and to produce shyness and alienation in after years.
Be assured, my young friend, it is not only due to the memory of your parents, but it will also in no small degree conduce to your own present and future advantage, that you should, as far as possible, coincide in the choice your parents have made, that you should cherish kindly and respectful feelings towards your guardians, as persons really and disinterestedly concerned for your welfare, and that you should transfer to them the dutiful obedience which you
could willingly have rendered to your parents. If you were left in a state of orphanage in infancy, it is impossible for you to appreciate the obligations under which you are laid ; you will never understand it, until you have proved by experience the care and attention required to bring up and provide for a child from its infancy; and when you can imagine all this care and atten
tion to be rendered to a child not your own. If you were old enough to recollect your parents, and the endearments and indulgences of home, forbear to murmur or to make invidious comparisons to the disparagement of your friends, and to your own disquietude, until your judgment is more matured, and you are capable of making due allowance for change of circumstances.
It is possible you may live to see that your parents erred through excessive fondness, and that you have son to be thankful for being brought under stricter discipline. It is also possible that you may live to see more of your own failings and imperfections than you now perceive, and you will then be disposed rather to wonder at the kindness and forbearance you have experienced, than to complain of any thing of an opposite character.
In every situation and relation in human life, it is well not to look for too much. More than half our disappointments result from our having raised groundless expectations, and advanced unfounded claims. Humility is the parent of contentment. This sentiment wrought into the mind of the young person in the circumstances now supposed, will be incomparably more valuable than all the wishing-caps, lamps of fortune, and philosopher's stones, that ever excited wonder and desire in the readers of romance.
Cherish, my friend, sober and humble views of yourself and your claims, and then every act of kindness you receive will come as an unexpected and undeserved favour, and you will not be disposed hastily to perceive any thing like neglect or unkindness.
While statedly or occasionally an inmate in the
house of your guardians, you will exercise delicacy, propriety, and good feeling towards those around; you will avoid giving unnecessary trouble to the servants; especially, you will not treat them with supercilious airs, which would be, if possible, more galling from you than from one of the family. You will so arrange your visits, walks, and visitors, as to prevent interference with the rules and habits of the household. Towards the young people of the family you will cherish a sisterly regard and good-will
, never allowing a feeling of jealousy to arise from any expressions of strong affection on the part of their parents towards them. It is perfectly natural and right that such dispositions should exist; and it would be much to be wondered at, if they did not on some occasions discover themselves. be conscious of superior abilities, education, or fortune, you will carefully avoid any thing like ungenerous display or mortifying comparison. Should it be otherwise in the latter respect, and you are receiving rather than conferring obligations, you will guard against an encroaching disposition ; you will be moderate and careful in your requirements; and you will endeavour to render yourself so useful to the family, that it shall be impossible for any member of it to look upon you as a burden.
It is possible that you may acquire a considerable degree of influence with the parents ; perhaps, from being rather older, and having in some degree assisted them in bringing up their children. The young people, also, may
up to you with affection and confidence. The attachment thus
arising is perfectly legitimate and honourable to both parties ; but take care that it is not suffered to degenerate or to be abused. Never be you found, on the one hand, as a mischief-maker, detailing and exaggerating every trifle, or exciting among the family, discord and suspicion ; nor, on the other, betraying the confidence of the parents, by promoting, encouraging, or conniying at any thing in their family which they would disapprove, and which ought not to be concealed from them.
It may with propriety be recommended to you to cultivate such habits and acquirements as will, if necessary, prove sources of independence This is especially desirable if you have been cast on precarious kindness. Your guardians or friends may be wearied out, they may have outlived that ardour of friendship towards individuals so long removed, which first induced them to take charge of you; or through the vicissitudes of fortune they may not always be able, without injury to their own family, to render you the assistance they would wish. In any of these cases it would be desirable and honourable for you to be able to go forth and maintain yourself, grateful for past favours, and still cherishing that warmth of friendship, which would in all probability be lost, should you longer remain dependent.
In every important movement of life, it is desirable that you should seek the counsel and concurrence of those who have sustained towards you the character of parents. Even though you may have arrived at the age which liberates you from any legal subjection to them, it will still be