Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

effect. Therefore, my dear child, to my constant care for you, do not add the sorrow of my seeing it the cause of your behaving worse, than if I had been less tender to you. Before we put you to your master, we had a very pleasing character of him from all his neighbors, ana those who had any dealings with him. As Mr. James, who is now out of his time, gives him the best of characters, and declares your mistress to be a woman of great prudence and good conduct, I know not how to think they would in any respect use you ill. Consider, my dear, you must not, in any other wonan than myself, expect to find a fond and perhaps par ciul mother; for the little failings which I could not see in you, will con spicuously appear to other persons. My affection for you would make nie wish you to be always with me; but as that would be inconsistent with your future welfare, and as you must certainly be a gainer from the situation you are now in, let a desire to promote my happiness as well as your own, make every seeming difficulty light. I have desired your uncle to interpose in this matter,

and he will write to you soon. He has... promised to see justice done you, provided your complaints are founded on reason. Believe me, my dear child, Your affectionate mother.

LETTER 32.
From a Father to a Son, on his negligence in his affairs.
DEAR JAMES,

You cannot imagine what a concern your carelessness and indifferent management of your affairs give me. Remissness is inexcusable in all men, but in none so much as in a man of business, the soul of which is industry, diligence and punctuality.

Let me beg you to shake off the idle habits you have contracted ; quit unprofi able company, and unseasonable recreations, and apply to your coinpting house with diligence. It may not yet be too late to retrieve your affairs. Inspect therefore, your gains, and cast up what proportion they bear to your expenses; and then see which of the latter you can, and which you cannot contract. Consider, that when once a man suffers himself to go backward in the world, it must be an uncommon spirit of industry that retrieves him, and puts him forward again.

Reflect, Í bescech you, before it be too late, upon the inconveniences which an impoverished trader is put to, for the remainder of his life which too may happen to be the prime part of it; the indignities he likely to suffer from those whose money he has unthinkingly squandered, the contempt he will meet with from all, not excepting the idle companions of his folly; the injustice he does his family, in depriving his chil dren, not only of the power of raising themselves, but of living tolerably, and how, on the contrary, from being born to a creditable expectation, he sinks them into the lowest class of mankind, and exposes them to most dangerous temptations. What has not such a father to answer for! and all this for the sake of indulging himself in an idle, careless, thought less habit, that cannot afford the least satisfaction, beyond the present hour, if in that; and which must be attended with deep remorse, when he begins to reflect. Think seriously of these things, and in time resolve a 1 such a course as may bring credit to yourself, justice to all yop

deal witn, peace and pleasure to your own minc, comfort to your family: and which will give at the same time the highest satisfaction to

Your careful and loving father.

LETTER 33.

The Son's grateful answer. HONORED SIR, ! I return you my sincere thanks for your seasonable reproof and advice I have indeed too much indulged myself in an idle, careless habit; ani had already begun to feel the evil consequences of it, when I received your letter, in the insults of a creditor or two, from wlion I expected kinder treatment. But, indeed, they wanted but their own, so I could only blame myself, who had brought their rouglı usage upon ine.

Yow letter cars so seasonable upon this, that I hope it will not want the desired effect; and as I think it is not yet too late, I ain resolved to take another course with myself and my affairs, that I may avoid the ill consequences you so judiciously forewarn me of, and give to my family and friends the pleasure they so well deserve at my hands ; and particularly chat satisfaction to so good a father, which is owing to him by his

Most dutiful son.

LETTER 34. From an aged Lady in the country, to her Niece in New York,

cautioning her against keeping company with a Gentleman of a

bad character. DEAR NIECE,

The sincere lore and affection which I now have for your indulgent father, and ever had for your virtuous mother, when she was alive, togetber with the tender regard for your future happiness and welfare, ba ve prevailed on me rather to inform by letter than by word of mouth, concerning what I have heard of your unguarded conduct, and the too great freedoms you jake with Mr. Lovelace. You have been seen with him at the Theatre, Columbia, Mount Vernon, and Vauxhall Gardens. Do not imagine, neice, that I write this from a principle of ill pature ; it is on purpose to save you from ruin ! for let me tell you, your familiarity with him gives me no small concern, as his character is extremely bad, and, as he has acted in the most ungenerous manner to two or three virtuous young ladies of my acquaintance, who entertained too favorable an opinion of his honor. It is possible, as you have no great fortune to expect, and as he has an uncle from whom he expects a consid. erable estate, that you may be tempted to imagine his address an offer to your advantage; but that is greatly to be questioned; for I have heard that he is deep in debt, as also that he is privately engaged to a rich old widow in the Jerseys. In short, my dear, lie is a perfect lib. ertine, and is ever boasting of favors from our weak sex, whose fond. ness and frailty are the constant topics of his railing and ridicule.

Let me prevail on you, dear niece, to avoid his company as you would that of a madman; for, notwithstanding I still hope you are strictly virtuous, yet your good ugine may be irreparably lost by such open acta af imprudence. I have no other motive but an unaffected zeal for you interest and welfare. I slatter myself you will not be offended with the liberty were taken, by

Your sincere friend, and affectionate aunt.

I am,

LETTER 35.

The young Lady's Answer. HONORED MADAM,

I received your letter, and when I consider your reasons for writing, I thankfully acknowledge you my friend. It is true, I have been at those public places you mention, along with Mr. Lovelace, but was ig. norant of liis real character. He did make me proposals of marriage, but I told him I would do nothing without my father's consent. He came to visit me this morning, wlien I told him, that a regard for my reputation, obliged me never to see him any more noreven to correspond with him by letter, and you may depend on my adhering to that resolution. In the meantime, I return you a thousand thanks for your friendly advice. I an sensible every young woman ought to be careful of her reputation, and constantly avoid the company of libertines. To con. vince you of my sincerity, I shall leave New-York in abont six weeks, and will call and see you after I have been at my father's.

honored madam, your affectionate piece.

LETTER 36.
From a Sailor at New-York, to his Wife in Albany.
DEAR BETTY,

We are just returned from a cruise against the Algerines, where we have given them such a drubbing that I believe the infidels will soon be glad to make peace with us. We have sunk two, and taken three of their vessels, wherein is great treasure; but it will be sometime before we receive our prize money. However, I have six months wages duc, and I have sent you an order by which you will receive it at the pay office. We shall sail again in a few days. Do not be uneasy for me, my dear, as I hope the war will soon be over, and I shall have the pleasure, once more, to see you in New-York, there to spend the re mainder of my days.

I am your loving husband till death.

LETTER 37. From a young Woman, a scrvant in New York, to her Parents,

desiring their consent to marry. HONORED FATHER AND MOTHER,

I have sent this to inform you, that one Mr. Blanchard, a young man, a cabinet maker, has paid his addresses to me and now offers me marriage; I told him I would do nothing without your consent, and therefore, have sent this by Mr. Odlin, your neighbor, who called on me, and will inform you particularly of his circumstances.

The young man has been set up in bus.ness about two years, and is very regular and sober. Most people in the neighborhood esteem him, and his business is daily increasing. I think I could live extremely happy with him, but do not choose to give him my proniise, until I have frst heard from from you ; whatever answer you send, shall be obeyed by

Your affectionate daughter.

LETTER 38.

The Parents' Annoer. DEAR CHILD,

We received your letter by Mr. Odlin, and the character he gives of the young man is so agreeable that we have no objection to your rar. rying him; begging that you will seriously consider the duties of that important state before it is too late to repent. Consider well with your. self, that according to your conduct to each other, you must be happy or miserable as long as you live. There are many occurrences in life, iv which the best of men's tempers may be ruffled, on account of losses or disappointments; if your husband should at any time be so, endeavor to make him as easy as possible. Be careful of every thing he comunits to you; and never affect to appear superior to your station ; for althougb your circumstances may be easy, yet, whilst in trade, you will find a continual want of money for many different purposes. 'It is possible some of your more polite neighbors may despise you for a while, but they will be forced in the end to acknowledge, that your conduct was consislent with the duties of a married staie. But, above all, remember your duty to God, and then you may cheerfully look for a blessing on your honest endeavor. May God direct you in every thing for the best, is the sincere prayer of

Your loving father and mother.

LETTER 33. From a Father to a Daughter, in dislike of her intentions to murry

at too early an age. DEAR LUCRETIA,

I was greatly surprised at the letter you sent me last week. I was willing to believe I saw in you for your years, so much of your late dear mother's temper, prudence, and a virtuous disposition, that I refused several advantageous offers of changing my own condition, purely for your sake: and will you now convince me so early that I have no return to expect from

you, but that the moment a young fellow throws himself in your way you have nothing else to do, but to give notice to provide a fortune for you ? and that you intend to be of no further use and service to me ? this, in plain English, is the meaning of your notification. For ! suppose your young man does not intend to marry you without a fortune. And can you then think, that a father has nothing to do, but to confer benefits on his children, without being entitled to expect any returu from them ?

To be sure, I had proposed at a proper time, to find a husband for you; but I thought I had yet three or four years to come. For, consider, Lucretia, you are not fully sixteen years of age; and a wife, believe me, ought to have some better qualifications than an agreeable person, to preserve a liusband's esteem, though it often is enough to attract a lover's notice.

Hlave you experience enough, think you, discreetly to conduct the affairs of a family? I thought you as yet not quite capable to manage my house; and I am sure my judgment always took a bias in your favor.

Besides, let me tell you, I have great exceptions to the person, and think him by no means the man I would choose for your husband. For wbich, if it be not too late, I will give you good reasons.

On the whole, you must expect if you marry without my consent, to live without my assistance. Think it not hard : your disappointment cannot be greater than mine, if you will proceed. I have never used violent measures with you on any occasion, and shall not on this. But yet I earnestly hope you will not hurry yourself to destruction, and me perhaps to the grave, by an action which a little consideration may so easily prevent.

I am your afflicted father

LETTER 40. From an elder to a younger Brother, cautioning him in the chorce

of a wife. DEAR WILLIAM,

Your interest is more the object of my thoughts, than you, perhaps, imagine. I feel it to be my duty to advise you for your good, and par. ticularly in a point that may be so material to your whole life as that of love. Miss Folsom is amiable on many accounts; her features are reg. ular, her wit sprightly, her deportinent genteel, and her voice, I nad alorost said, ravishing. Yet do I greatly fear, with all these endowments, she will not make the wise you ought to wish for. Her airy tlights, and gay behaviour are pleasing as a partner in conversation ; but will they be equally agreeable in a partner for life? What now charms you, charms all others. Though she is delightful in company, are you satisfied she will be as agreeable when alone with you, or when she has not an opportunity of figuring away in company? She now sees nobody but whom she chooses to see; if she should be a wife it is more than probable that she may not like restraints; and can you approve of a diffuse conversation in one you desire to yourself? Think not, brother, that I have any interested motive for this advice, for I assure you I have not. I am not your rival; nor do I desire the lady you seem so fond of. As very few prudent matches are made by young gentlemen of your age, I caution you against thinking of a young woman who may be a suitable companion to a gentleinan whose station and choice lead him into much company

and

gay life; but to men whose circumstances require a more rctired way of life, it is obvious a woman, whose talents lie principally in conversation, can never for that reason only, justify a young gentleman for choosing her for a wife. Shut not your ears to reason, forget not yoursell, and be sure to remember that the pleasure of an hour or two, and that of twenty or thirty years, or a whole life, must arise from very different sources. I am, dear brother, yours, most affectionately.

LETI ER 41. From a Daughter to her Father, pleading for her Sister, who had

married without his consent. HONORED SIR,

The kind indulgence you have always shown to your children, makes

« AnteriorContinuar »