Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

in the highest degree distressing to her daughters as well as offensive to the other parties; and in many cases actually prevent attachments, which would otherwise have taken place.

The adjustment of pecuniary transactions antecedent to marriage commonly belongs to the fathers of the young people, rather than to maternal care. But the opinion of the mother will, of course, have its weight. Let that weight ever be employed to counteract the operation of sordid principles; and to promote the arrangement of all subordinate points on such a basis as may promise permanence to the reciprocal happiness of the two families, which are about to be connected.

When matrimonial alliances introduce a mother to new sons and new daughters; let her study to conduct herself towards them in a manner befitting the ties of affinity, by which she is now united to thein. If she

harbours

harbours prejudices against them, if pride, jealousy, caprice, or any other unwarrantable emotion marks her behaviour towards them; the injustice of her conduct to the individuals themselves has this further accession of criminality, that it also wounds in the tenderest point the feelings of her own children.

The peculiar obligations of parent

and child are not wholly cancelled but by the stroke which separates the bands of mortality. When years have put a period to authority and submission ; parental folicitude, filial reverence, and mutual affection survive. Let the mother exert herself during her life to draw closer and closer the links of benevolence and kindness. Let her counsel, never obtrusely offered or pressed, be at all times ready when it will be beneficial and acceptable. But let her not be dissatisfied, though the proceedings which the recommends should not appear the most advisable to her children, who are

now free agents. Let her share in their joy, and sympathise with their afflictions; “re

joice with them that rejoice, and weep “ with them that weep (0).” She may then justly hope that their love will never forget what she has done and what she has fuffered for them; and that the hand of filial gratitude will delight to smooth the path of her latter days.

[ocr errors]

() Romans, xii. 15.

CHAP. XV.

FURTHER REMARKS ON THE DUTIES

BELONGING TO THE MIDDLE PE-
RIOD OF LIFE.

AMONG the duties appertaining to the female sex in the middle period of life, those which are peculiar to the wife and to the mother hold the principal rank, and form the larger proportion. They have already been discussed at sufficient length. It may not, however, be unprofitable to subjoin some farther remarks, partly referring to the conduct of married women during that period, and partly to the fituation of individuals, who have remained single.

So engaging are the attractions, fo impressive is the force of beauty, that women, distinguished by personal charms, are not

permitted

permitted long to continue unconscious of being the objects of general attention. Admired and flattered, pursued with assiduities, singled out from their associates at every scene of public resort, they perceive themselves universally treated with marked and peculiar preference. To those in whom harmony of form and brilliancy of complexion are not conspicuous, youth itself, graced with unaffected fimplicity, or at least rendered interesting by sprightliness and animation, is capable of ensuring no inconsiderable portion of regard. As youth and beauty wear away, the homage which had been paid to them is gradually withdrawn. They who had heretofore been treated as the idols of public and private circles, and had forgotten to anticipate the termination of their empire, are suddenly awakened from their dream, and constrained to rest satisfied with the common notice shewn to their station, and the respect which they may have acquired by their virtues. To descend from eminence

« AnteriorContinuar »