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will fetch money : though his wife scolds him every day for the want of better wood. His wheat and corn are sold, while he feeds at home on barley, oats, and potatoes. Every thing about the house discovers the same parsimony. He buys not tea and coffee because they cost money; his wife must burn her fingers with the fire year after year, because he has not money to buy a pair of tongs.
There was once a talk of house-breakers; and he was alarmed for the safety of his money. He lay sleepless whole nights to guard it. One night his wife getting to sleep through long wakefulness, he waked her with some warmth of spirit, and said: How can you sleep, my dear, when our money is in such danger!
Prudence is a duty common to all, and prodigality is certainly to be avoided; but who can see a man sit down and eat what belongs to dogs and hogs, for no other reason, but he will fill his strong box, and not execrate the practise and despise the wretch. He must descend to the grave, and all his treasures be left to he knows not whom; perhaps to some licentious prodigal, who will dissipate them in much less time, than they were gathered.
O shame! O inconsistency! O covetousness---wordly spirit, what doest thou! Thou blindest the eyes of thousands ! Deceived by thee, they heap up treasure on earth, and seek bo inheritance among the saints in light.
An aged widow in this village, a few days ago was giving some directions respecting her farm. Among other things she spoke of fencing it. I have, said she, chesnut enough to fence it once, and when that is rotten, there is stone enough to wall it, and that will, probably, last me my life time.
It would seem, that such lovers of the world forget they are mortal. Such instances of a wordly mind, divide the thoughts of a sober man between ridicule and lamentation. When he confines his views to the person and disposition, he would be inclined to split his sides with laughter. Has such a person ever thought of three score years and ten ?
What shall one say when he thinks of an immortal old woman ! One already bowing beneath the weight of years, living as long as chesnut rails and stones last ! Surely he who believes not in the immortality of the soul, nor in accountability to God, will laugh---must, and may laugh ; and a sober man could hardly be blamed for joining in the laughter, especially if there could be any prospect of laughing such an old wretch out of her folly.
But when one takes into view the state of such a personi as set forth in scripture, he cannot but lament her sad state with unaffected sorrow. To see her on the verge of the grave, with no thoughts of death, just ready to go into the presence of her judge, with no thought or preparation for that awful event, we cannot be accused of childish passion, though we weep. I am yours, with respect,
It being now some days since Charles received Prudentia's favor, he thought proper to answer it.
MY DEAR PRUDENTIA,
You will not take it amiss, if I address you in the lan. guage, and under the title of fond affection. Though I am an enemy to romantic and extravagant love, yet stoicism is a state of soul I cannot indulge, when writing to one for whom I have so strong a predilection; and that predilection Counded on the most rational and virtuous principles. Were I to express nothing but passion, you might justly suspect me were 1 to affect indifference, I should criminate myself. While, therefore, I prune every extraneous feeling and expression, I ought not to blush, when I tell you, that my chaste affections have grown with a luxuriance and strength, which no object can wither or weaken ; and which will be rendered more fruitful by that sweet bondage I so ardently anticipate.
I know it is not in man to direct his steps, and that happie ness does not depend on any outward circumstance ; yet blessings, sanctified of God, and enjoyed with gospel tempers and views, must increase our enjoyment. Such, I trust, shall be our condition, when a gracious Providence shall permit the consummation of our wishes. It will surely be so, if we withdraw not our affections from the God we now love. He who has opened to us the prospect, will sanctify the completion of it, and make it contribute to our present and future felicity. But as God has said, he will be enquireil
of to do all these things for us, let us be instant in prayer, that he may be uppermost in all our thoughts, and that all things else may be considered subordinate good, and be enjoyed in reference to him.
Write to me, at Diligent Grove, and believe me to be, what I profess, your partial admirer, and undeviating friend,
A letter from Charles' father, comes in order for this place.
MY DEAR SON,
On the subject of your future marriage, concerning which you hinted, I think it proper to give you some advice. I need not repeat what I said the night before your departure ; to that you will direct your attention for the general government of your conduct. But there are several things on which I wish to speak freely.
Do not think of commencing a married life, without some provision made for a family. Should you do this, it may expose you and your companion to great trials. The expense of a family is not easily defrayed. Many incidental expenses are never seen, till the moment circumstances call for them.
But you will not suppose I write thus, to deter you from entering the married state. I am desirous that you should marry, and to the very person you named ; if she and her parents consent to such proposals as you are able to make. It is, therefore, to prevent a hasty step, and the difficulty which is likely to follow. There will certainly be no difficulty of providing for a family, if the foundation be first laid, and you build thereon, under the blessing of Divine Providence. Were my situation as it once, was, I would mast gladly assist you to begin life ; but as I am now situated, it will be impossible to afford you much assistance.
That you may feel the force of the above remarks, I shall subjoin the character of a hasty couple :
Hastitio and Hurrina were bent on marrying immediately. Their parents were poor, but they were prudent, and advised them to defer their marriage, and make some provision with which to begin the world. But no arguments could prevail with them to make a week's delay. Hastitio seemed to think if he could get a wife, all his wants would be supplied. He was married, and soon found he wanted every thing but a wife.
His land was to be paid for-his house to be built-the furniture to be purchased ; and they must have bread to eat, and clothes to wear. Of these things they had hardly thought, and made no accurate calculation. The consequence was, they plunged into debt, and executed every thing to a disadvantage.
Though the condition of Prudentia is unlike that of Hurrina, yet this furnishes a strong argument why you should provide beforehand, some foundation, on which to build for future subsistence. To neglect this, might tempt and distress one of the best of women; which must wound your own heart, while any sincere regard for her remains.
Be faithful in all the duties of the married relation ; and especially, shew the utmost kindness and attention when your wife is the subject of any bodily or mental affliction.. To neglect her then, is a cruelty which wants a name. It is enough for her to bear what Providence inficts, without being tortured with your neglect. She will need all your sympathies, all your kindness, all your assistance. Pay them cheerfully ; for such actions will sweeten your own temper, and render your mutual love perpetual.
Neglectius has an amiable wife, who is always treated with too much coldness ; but when she falls sick, he is sure to look and talk suurly. He tells her how much she costs him for doctors, nurses, &c. If the doctor orders her wine, to restore a feeble state of body, he talks of the expense, and dans not get it, or gets it very lothly. He is often heard to say, if you were not sick so much, and were a help to me, as other women are to their husbands, I could get rich.'
I need hardly tell you, that such unkind language is, to her, a source of the most pungent sorrow. She weeps in sę. cret, but never returns the evil, by upbraiding him. . On the contrary, her language and behavior are kind.
I could say other things, but another time may be more proper; you will, therefore, believe this a fresh mark of the love of an affectionate father.
A second letter from Prudentia, gave a fresh pleasure to Charles. She wrote as follows:
The liberty of language' and ' titles' you took in your last, may, perhaps, give me the privilege of writing with less
reserve than formerly. Conscious as I am, that your professions are from the heart, and merit a just return, I cannot be 80 base, as to attempt a concealment of what I may justly declare ; nor yet can I throw off all reserve, and divest myself of that modesty which should be held as one of the pre-eminent virtues of my sex. If I, therefore, reiterate the word • predilection, it will be no more than the honest sentiment of my heart; but it will not be inferred from hence, that I assume the right of making proposals, or even go one step beyond yielding to the solicitation of the only person who has, or ever shall have the exclusive right of making proposals, and of having them accepted.
Notwithstanding the pleasing anticipations which lie before us, I rejoice to find your heart still placed on the important concerns of eternity, thither I feel mine directed ; nor do I desire that the prospect, or completion of which you speak, should, for a moment, call off our attention from such momentous concerns. Indeed, if Providence designs it as a favor, we should rather make it a means of gratitude and diligence, than allow it to cause the least remissness in any thing which tends to the glory of God, or the good of men.
With these views, it is believed, we shall always so conduct, as to adorn our profession, and mutually assist each other towards our heavenly state. Thus living, we shall not have lived in vain--and that we may not, is the prayer of the person who is ready to return every act of friendship.
Charles having been some months from home, and not having written to either of his brothers or sisters, thought proper to address a letter to his eldest sister.
You may have some cause to accuse me of negligence, that I have not written to you before. But I have several times written to our kind father, and have therein expressed the fraternal affection I owe to you, and the rest of my dear brothers and sisters. My time has also been much taken op in forming new acquaintances, and making reflections on what has passed under my view; hence, I beg you will do me the favor to believe, that my love remains unimpaired.
I have lately met with a letter, which I have the liberty