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It must, however, be acknowledged, that there are exceptions among those, who, apparently, have all done for them in this respect, which duty could dictate. But these are exceptions, as much as the few who take a virtuous, decent course, whose morals are neglected. Concerning such it may be said, either there is some radical, though occult defect in their education, which breaks down their spirits, and pushes them headlong into vice; or their natural disposition to those disgraceful vices, is stronger and harder to be subdued, than in others. Parents who fear God, may be very defective in point of government, and though they seem to take great pains, and impose restraints, yet these may be improperly imposed, or may exceed the bounds of reason. It is in vain to suppose that children will be men in understanding, and that they should be allowed no indulgences peculiar to their age and taste. It is certain children ought to be indulged in such diversions as are reasonable. Such as are held in, by too tight a rein, seeing others enjoy their diversions, and supposing the enjoyment is great, repine, and grow impatient of restraint, and whenever they can seize the bit, or part the rein, like an ungovernable steed, they run with impetuous fury over the road of untried, and even unlawful gratifications. Yet let the rein be held with a moderate, but even hand, and allow time to pluck the herbage of innocent delights, and it will strongly tend to guard against the ungovernable impetuosity, which usually follows a breaking loose from the rigid violence of restraint. The scriptures are also in my favor ; they expressly command, to train up a child in the way he
I perceive, said Mr. Antiworks, you are a work-monger, or at least you would teach children to help the Saviour do his work ; but I can assure you I have no such views. Parents may as well teach their children to swear as to pray, as to any good it will do them.
You must answer for your own opinion, said Charles ; but I confess I should be frightened for the condition of church and state, if it were to prevail.
Were I, said Mr. Antiworks, to see my ideas prevail, I should heartily rejoice, for then should I expect to see the growth of true faith.
I see, said Charles, it is in vain to reason with you, so I must leave you, praying God to convince you of your error.
They had just withdrawn from the tea-table, the same
evening, when Mr. Loquelator came în; who, without waite ing for any introduction, began as follows:
Your very humble servant, sir; I'm glad to see you all It's very fine weather-Crops will be very good this yearDo you know how beef sells in market? I hear it is very low-Foreign markets they say are good-We've good news from Europe to-day ; Bonaparte is defeated, and I'm glad on't– The British always did succeed, and I hope always will-Don't you think parson Winder disputed me about reJigion 'tother day? And what do you think I telled him ? Says I, I think you're a man-made minister. Well, says I, we must judge according to the fruit, says I-Well, upon my word, he went off as mad as ever you see a fellow.
But, said the Gen. I cannot have men slandered in my housema
I beg your pardon, sir, said he, but you can't think what a laughable sight it was, to see the Deacon drunk ’tother day
But do I not tell you, replied the Gen. that there must be no such evil reports in my house
But, sir, it's as true as the gospel-True or not, I shall. hear no such conversation-But truly, sir, it was lamentable to see how angry the Col. got the other day, and swore likeStop, Mr. Loquelator, I cannot have my friends pained with such conversation—These your friends, sir ? Where are they from? What are their names ? I'm sorry to offend them But I wish you'd all been at meeting last Sunday, I know you'd lik'd our minister, he preached a capital sarmont. Says I to my wife, when I come home, that's a sarmont worth a hearing. That ignorant feller that bawls and scolds over yonder, could'nt make such a sarmont in ten years—But do I not tell you, said the Gen. that I can have nothing disrespectful said of any person, and especially of a minister of the gospel, in my house-You know now Gen. he's as ignorant as my Tom-If it is so, it is of no use to speak of it here. Don't you think Madison is under French influence? I do not wish, said the Gen. to express my opinion at present, nor will I hear our government vilified.
Can you not find better subjects of conversation ? O yes sir, I can talk of religion with any man; I talked two hours ' with a great minister, 'tother day. And, says he, I think you're a very good christian. O dear, says 1, I do'nt know, I think sometimes I'm the biggest sinner, says 1, in the world, O says he, that's a great mark of a christian; the greatest
says he, always feel themselves the greatest sinners, says he. O dear, how glad I am, says I-Why, I'll tell you, I never heard such conversation in my life I can tell you, I was a kind of legalist before, and if I sinned a little, I felt so guilty I thought I could'nt be a christian; but now I take all such feelings to be marks of great light and humility-Don't you think they be, Mr. I don't know wbat your name is
I do not, said Mr. P. but would rather have the love of God shed abroad, affording peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost; or the spirit of his Son sent forth into my heart, crying Abba Father, to give me evidence of being a child of God; then all the guill you boast of-I see sir, we shan't agree about religion, so good night.
It is a pity, said Charles, when he had gone, that Mr. Lo quelator should not take for his motto two passages of scripture-The one is, “ be swift to hear, and slow to speak.” The other is, “ in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin; but he that refraineth his lips-is wise.”
Such contrasts, said Prudentia, ought to make us more highly prize a rational and profitable conversation.
Yes, my dear, said Mr. P. and make us detest the vices of the heart, and incessantly guard against those from which such loquacity springs.
Perhaps, said Mrs. Americus, I am inclined to converse too little, and am not, therefore, a fit judge of the folly of what we have witnessed this evening ; but to me it appears so offensive, that it is almost beyond endurance.
He often calls here, said the Gen. and his conversation is frivolous, incoherent, and scandalous; and yet he thinks himself a great christian.
I perceive, said Charles, he thinks his own conversation very interesting, so that he wishes to engross it all to himself.
This, said Mr. P. is the reigning character of men of his class.
THE next day Charles and Prudentia rode out in the post-chaise, with a servant to attend them on horseback. The conversation turned on the different dispositions and abilities of wives. I have observed some, said Charles, who
are in the constant habit of saying, my horse, my cows, my house, &c.
Their husbands dare not make any bargain without consulting them, and obtaining their consent. If they are humored according to their own dispositions, they may be kept in tolerable good nature; but if crossed, a thunderstorm and hurricane are hardly more dreadful, than the storm of passionate words with which they assail their husbands. They laugh at St. Paul for teaching that wives should be subject to their own husbands; boast their want of subjection, and prove it by insult and imperious contempt.
I am far from thinking, said Prudentia, that wives ought to be made underlings and slaves ; and it is equally foreign from my opinion, that they should assume a superiority, and imperiously dictate the business of their husbands. Each may have their peculiar province, and should be allowed to conduct their own affairs. Yet in all the great concerns of the family and the estate, they may certainly consult each other with propriety, to the great increase of confidence and affection. Thus a suitable equality may subsist between them, and all these unhappy consequences be avoided, which result from an intrusive line of conduct..
Your views, replied Charles, are certainly congenial with my own; and should I ever enter the married state, I hope to have a person united with me of the same views.
Prudentia blushed assent; for she had secretly, but mod. estly, fostered the same passion, which Charles for sometime had wished to express ; a passion which he had suppressed through a fear it would not be accepted and returned.
After some moments of silence, Charles ventured to go on with another branch of the same discourse. How is it, said he, that some women treat their husbands with the coldest iudifference, or with peevishness and ill nature? They show no affection, or vent their jealousies in language as bitter as wormwood and gall.
It is acknowledged, said Prudentia, that women are too often of this description; and, that they are wholly in the fault. They have husbands, wbo discharge the duties of their relation with fidelity ; but all will not avail; they will not return their kindness ; and pretend as a reason, that their busbands love some other women better, or they shall die and their husbands have a second marriage, or, though they treat them kindly, it is only from principle of duty ; not from affection. When the temper is thus soured, nothing can
please, every thing is wrongly construed and wrongly returned.
But I feel myself bound in duty to do justice to my own sex, and must say, the above mentioned faults are not always chargeable on the wife. The husband sometimes is so negligent in providing for his house, that he gives his wife just cause of suspicion ; and if she has not Christian patience to support and guard her temper, she may repay the neglect with petulance or cold affections. Or the husband may have the address so to manage his outward deportment, as to conceal from others his want of kindness ; but, in secret, be ever dealing in reproaches, and vexing her soul with language as unkind as it is undeserved.
But though the fault in this case is principally on the husband's side, yet the practice of which some, in this situation, are guilty, is truly detestable. They seem to take pleasure in uncovering and exposing to public view, all the faults of their husbands; and by magnifying and misrepresenting them, I will not say, there are no rare instances, when an afflicted wife may not unbosom herself to a very confidential friend; such as a pious and prudent mother, or perhaps to a sister, or some other persoa of like character. But to be whispering the faults of her husband in all companies and to all characters of people, is an imprudence which admits of no
It may easily be allowed, said Charles, that if we take society at large, there may be as many faulty husbands as wives ; but as a single man, and intending to commence a matrimonial life, when my age and circumstances shall render it prudent; (if I can meet with a person who commands my affections, by a just return of her own, and by proving that she will be both a wife and companion ;) it may well be supposed, I have more narrowly observed the failings, as well as virtues of your sex, than of my own.
Prudentia felt the force of these remarks, and secretly applauded his conduct; but a bashful modesty forced her to conceal, what Charles would have thought of great worth to know. In all their conversations, however, they tried to read the language of each other's hearts, in the words of the lips, mocious of the countenance, or the turn and glances of the eye. Imagination and hope sometimes painted their prospects in rainbow colors ; but at others, the depse vapors of fear obscured or effaced the gay coloring, and nothing was