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seen but the black and stormy cloud. Charles had many times resolved to disclose his heart fully on the subject of his future wishes ; while Prudentia had a kind of trembling expectation of hearing such proposals. But a timidity grounded on her family descent, her refined education, preeminent rank in society, &c. had hindered him from avowing a flame, which he felt it difficult to smother, and which he feared would burst out in spite of all bis efforts to the contrary. He found however, he must quit her company entirely, or involuntarily declare the feelings of his heart.
These thoughts, for some moments, occupied their minds, while they remained silent; and Charles, at length, was on the point of breaking the silence, by expressing the unadulterated feelings of his heart, that he might know whether he could hope, in future, to realize his wishes.
But at that moment, Prudentia renewed the conversation, by saying : I have often pilied those men who get wives, that do little else but visit and talk. Such never fail to shame and trouble a sensible man, by their imprudent, childish, and unreasonable conversation. Nor is it a less affliction to have bis household affairs neglected.
A woman of this description resides in our own neighborhood. It is common for her to make three or four visits a day, where she is perpetually gabbling. In the morning her house is left unswept, her dishes unwashed on the table, her beds appear as if the pigs had just crept out of them; and when her husband comes from the field at noon, it is not uncommon to find her gone, and every thing about the house in the condition he left it in the morning, and himself forced to cook his own dinner. If he finds fault, he is sure to have reproaches enough, to last him a month.
I could name other things and other persons, but I fear lest I should be too censorious, and, appear as though I designed to exalt my own character by eclipsing that of others. This, however, is far from my intention, and perhaps the offence I take at such defects is not so much owing to the goodness of my heart, as to the force of my education.
I see no impropriety, said Charles, in seeing the faults of other people, if at the same time we feel our own ; but if we blunt our feelings against what is wrong in ourselves; and have no sensibility but for the faults of others; we want that charity which hopeth all things, and that self-knowledge which is required for a due regulation of our passions. If I regulate
of parents of low circumstances, and married to a man not above her own rank in point of estate, yet she has the faculty of making every thing increase, which passes through her hands. She yearly calculates the amount of her income, and regulates the expenses of her table and clothing accordingly. A plain commendable neatness, proportioned to her circumstances, is visible in her dress, and that of her children, at home and abroad. A garment is never bought for them, if she can manufacture it with ber own hands ; por laid aside, as useless, while it can be made decent by washing and mending.
Her family are not glutted to-day and starved to-morrow, But the most ordinary food gains a relish, if she is the cook ; and the fragments are always gathered up, that nothing may be lost. Her husband, though a kind, affectionate man, was educated to a business of small profit, and not able, therefore, to grow rich, though blest with such a wife. But they are happily united in their turn of thought, and seem to live to add to each other's felicity.
The pictures you have given, said Prudentia, are by no means fancied, and are such as might be useful to society, were they to be made public.
They may be, said Charles, for I give them a place in my diary.
I am not without a hope, replied Prudentia, but a view of them may serve as a lesson to me. Though I have been favored with the best of mothers, and though she has taken unwearied pains to educate me, yet I still see much to learn, and find instruction from the failings of others.
ABOUT this time Charles received a letter from an uncle, his father's brother; an extract of which is here subjoined.
I hear you are from home, and are closely observing the chiaracters and manners of various classes of human society. I wish to know whether you have seen, or undertaken to describe the character of a drunken woman? Since I heard of your present manner
of life, I have ten times resolved to send you a picture, drawn tom an original, in my neighborhood ; but after making various attempts, I am utterly dissatisfied, and can only give you the outlines, hoping that with the help of some artist, you will be enabled to fill it up to the life. It is confessed by the greatest adepts at painting, in this place, that there is in this character, such a mixture of folly and madness, such a want of modesty and decent behavior, such a total eclipse of beauty, delicacy, and all the softer and attractive charms of human nature ; that no colorings now in use, can give any just ideas of the degradation and infamy of such a woman, though ever so artfully mixed, or skibe fully laid on the canvass.
I have, therefore, been thinking of getting up a carioature, of the following description.–Begin by painting a woman wallowing in a puddle, and the contents of her stomach pouring out of ber mouth, by which she besmears her face. Let a bottle, filled with spirit, stand by, and represent her reaching after it, with a look of eagerness, and shameless delight. If I could make the picture talk, it should say to the bottle, o, how I love you, my heart's delight-you're better to me than husband and children ;-how nicely I feel, when I can get rumdo give me that bottle, I'm a dry. Go on, then, to paint a great number of both sexes standing near her the females turning away their heads with shame and disgust, and their hands upon their eyes ; the men, some grinning with contempt, others with their mouths stretched in loud laughter, and others with a look of pity and sorrow at her degraded, fallen condition.-To complete the whole, let her husband and children be drawn at a little distance, with eyes red with weeping, and looks of shame, mortification, and anguish, and daring not to look up, lest they shall be reproached by the surrounding multitude.
If you can add any thing to the above, you may certainly do it with safety, for here exaggeration is impossible. I have thought that a drunken man might be drawn with the head and fore legs of a hog ; but I know of no beast by which the character of a drunken woman may be represented. If
my assistance in drawing characters will be of any use to
you, I am at your command. Write to me the success and please ure of your undertaking.
Charles returned an answer, requesting his uncle would favor him with such characters as he might think proper to draw. Aecordingly he furnished a number, in several letters ; the substance of which may be found in the remaining, part of this chapter.
To my Nephew, C. Observator.
Mr. Formalo has been a member of the church for thirty years. As soon as the sun sets on Saturday night, all business is laid aside. He puts on a long face, and knits his eyebrows with a kind of religious frown; and calling his family about him, begins to read sermons, which
he continues till bed time, when he prayers,
to bed. The same exercise is renewed in the morning, till it is time to dress for meeting. He boasts he has never been absent from the house of God, one sabbath, in twenty years. As soon as the darkness of evening begins to frown on the world, the smile of release from the restraints of the sabbath, is lighted up in his countenance.
Not long since, he was getting hay on the other side of the river.When the sun went down on Saturday night, he had just got to the further shore with a load of hay. He instantly ordered his cattle taken off, and ferried over the river, and all went directly home, to commence the work of sabbath day religion. On the day following, he was, as usual, at public worship. Just as sermon began in the afternoon, a cloud rose in the west, and it began to thunder. He began to think of his hay, and discovered much uneasiness, by getting from his seat, looking out at the window, to watch the cloud ; it however passed by, without rain. By sun-set his oxen were in the yard, the yoke on their necks, and he, with his boys, driving off to get home their hay which had been left. He says
his prayers with great exactness, night and morning ; but when they are said, nothing more is heard of religion for the week.
Partialus is a Christian, much of the same character ; only he says his prayer but three times in a week, He is se taken up with the business of the world, no time can be found for religious duties, from Monday morning to Saturday night.
Inebrius is different from both though he appears a saint of the first order on the sabbath, yet in the interval, he is often found at the tavern, and ale-houses, drinking and talking of religion--telling of good sermons and good meetings--or in the streets, pitching quoits or dollars, for his beloved spirit of West India piety-aud he has been known to stop for breath, and take a second draught at the sacramental cup ; so much is he in love with what he calls the wine of the kingdom, and the blessed effects which, he says, it has on his pious heart. Oct. 1814.
My much respected Nephew,
Although I have been somewhat ironical in my preceding characters, yet I think you will not suspect me of being pleased with vice, or laughing at persons really religious. Were I of this disposition, ! could not be so depraved as to injure your feelings ; knowing, as I do, your regard for real Christianity. And be assured, I highly esteem the religion of the gospel, and the true professors of it ; nor have I any other design than to expose false professors in their own dress, that they may see and be ashamed.
Litigatious and Oppositio were members of the same religious community-falling into a quarrel one day, as they were at work, they fell on each other with their fists, without mercy. In the midst of the battle, the bell rung for prayer. As if disarmed in a moment, they both dropped on their knees, muttered over their forms, and instantly after renewed the battle. Such was their fellowship-such their brotherly affection.
Two neighbors had been long at variance
one of them was taken sick. Supposing himself nigh to death, sent for the other. When he came in, the sick man said — Neighbor, we have been wrong ; I am about to leave the world, and cannot die in peace, without being reconciled. I know I have wronged you, and am sorry for it. llis neighbor, who had been the least in the fault, joyfully forgave him, making his own confession at the same time. When the work of rę. conciliation was completed, he turned to leave him ; but just then, the sick man called up his remaining strength, and cries out--Mind ye, neighbor, if I get well, all this goes for nothing.
Such are the pangs of thousands, which extort confessions of re, pentance, and resolutions for amendment of life--but when they get well, they go for nothing.'
Superstitio was at sea in a violent storm -and fearing lest he should go to the bottom, began to pray to the Virgin Mary for deliverance ; promising, if she would set him on shore, to burn her a wax candle as big ashis body. A fellow sailor standing by, said, Where will you get all your wax? Hold your tongue, whispered the other ; if I once get on shore, I will not burn her a tallow candle as big as my little finger.
This is a just picture, said Charles, of many resolutions made in time of distress, as well as the base reserve of the heart, at the time they are made.
Pilferus and his wife went to confess their sins for the benefit of pardon. Among other crimes, they confessed stealing part of a stack of hay. Just as the priest was about to pronounce the sentence of absolution, the wife says-pardon, if you please, the stealing the rest of the stack, for we are determined to take it the first opportunity.
That men should pray for pardon, with a fixed resolution to repeat their crimes is strange, but not more strange than true. I could add others, but these must suffice for the present letter. In the mean while, I subscribe myself your affectionate uncle, Dec, 1814.
An anonymous letter conveyed to Charles the following real character.
Uncle Jonathan is a man great in schemes, and often imagines himself growing rich, while he counts over the profit of what he intends to undertake ; but none of his schemes are ever carried into successful execution.
When he first set out in life, he made a few baskets, which he sold at great profit. This raised his ideas, and he began his calculation.---His imagination soon made a thousand dollars worth of baskets, and the money lay glistening before his eyes. But after feasting his imagination a while, he found he must actually go to the work. The ash of the swamps fell like men's heads in the French revolution ; and enough Was soon brought to the spot to employ ten men for twelve months. Journeymen were employed, sellers sent out, and things went on briskly three weeks ; at the end of which time some of the sellers returned with a part of their stock, a part they had trusted, and had received