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extricated; yet from which it is necessary that she should be extricated, if she is to lead a life useful to others, ultimately comfortable to herself, and calculated to obtain the approbation of Heaven.
The risk to which a young woman is exposed of contracting a habit of excessive fondness for amusements, depends not only on the particular propensities of her mind, but also on the place and situation in which she principally resides. To the daughter of a country gentleman, the paternal mansion, insulated in its park, or admitting no contiguous habitations except the neighbouring hamlet, seldom furnishes the opportunity of access to a perpetual circle of amusements. Visitors are not always to be found in the drawing-room; the card-table cannot always be filled up; the county town affords a ball but once in a month; and domestic circumstances perversely arise to obstruct regularity of attendance. Suppose then a young woman thus situated to labour
under the heavy disadvantage of not having had her mind directed by education to proper objects. Finding herself obliged to procure, by her own efforts, the entertainment which she is frequently without the means of obtaining from others, she is excited to some degree of useful exertion. Family conversation, needle-work, a book, even a book that is not a novel, in a word, any occupation is found preferable to the tediousness of a constant want of employ
Thus the foundation of some domestic habits is laid: or, if the habits were previously in existence, they are strengthened, or, at least, are preserved from being obliterated. She who is fixed in a country town, where society is always within reach, and something in the way of petty amusement is ever going forward, or may easily be set on foot, may, with greater facility, contract a habit of flying from a companion, who, if insipid and unpleasing to her, will be, of all companions, the most infipid and unpleasing, herself. But it is in the metro
ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF TIME.
o occupy the mind with useful employments is among the best methods of guarding it from surrendering itfelf to dissipation. To occupy it with such employments regularly, is among the best methods of leading it to love them. Young women sometimes complain, and more frequently the complaint is made for them, that they have nothing to do. Yet few complaints are urged with less foundation. To prescribe to a young person of the female sex the precisę occupations to which she should devote her time, is impossible. It would lie to attempt to limit, by inapplicable rules, what must vary according to circumstances which cannot previously be ascertained. Differences in point of health, of intellect, of taste, and a thousand nameless particularities of family occurrences and local situ
ation, claim, in each individual cafe, to be taken into the account. Some general reflections, however, may be offered.
I advert not yet to the occupations which flow from the duties of matrimonial life. When, to the rational employments open to all women, the entire superintendence of domestic economy is added; when parental cares and duties press forward to assume the high rank in a mother's breast to which they are entitled; to complain of the difficulty of finding proper
occupying time, would be a lamentation which nothing but politeness could preserve from being received by the auditor with a smile. But in what manner, I hear it replied, are they, who are not wives and mothers, to busy themselves ? Even at present young women in general, notwithstanding all their efforts to quicken and enliven the flowpaced hours, appear, if we may judge from their countenances and their language, not unfrequently to feel themselves unsuccessful. If dress then, and what is called dissipation,
are not to be allowed to fill fo large a space in the courfe of female life as they now overspread; and your desire to curtail them in the exercise of this branch of their eftablished prerogative is, by no means, equivocal ; how are well-bred women to fupport themfelves in the fingle state through the dismal vacuity that feems to await them? This question it may be sufficient to anfwer by another. If young and well-bred women are not accustomed, in their single ftate, regularly to affigna large proportion of their hours to ferious and instructive occupations; what prospect, what hope is there, that, when married, they will assume habits to which they have ever been strangers, and exchange idleness and volatility for steadiness and exertion?
To every woman, whether single or married, the habit of regularly allotting to improving books a portion of each day, and, as far as may be practicable, at stated hours, cannot be too strongly recommended, I use the term improving in a large sense ;