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up. There was no particular contrivance for the servants to go to Church on a Sunday, no family prayer, and very little opportunity for being alone to attend to her own prayers. If she could have met with a fellow-servant with the same wishes as herself, she might have found some comfort: but there was none such, and the person who slept in the same room with her was of a disposition very different from hers. This was HANNAH RANDALL.
This Hannah Randall had been brought up quite differently from Mary Simmons. Her parents sent her to school, indeed, but they did not seem to care whether she learned any thing or not. They took no pains to bring her up in a devout and Christian manner; they" cared for none of these things" themselves. They went to Church, to be sure, now and then, but it was not with any right feeling that they went, and they might, therefore, almost as well have stayed away. They were glad that this foolish girl of theirs should shew off her bonnets, and flounces, and ribbons, and therefore, encouraged her in all her follies. If there was a wake, or a fair, or a frolic, Hannah Randall was sure to be there; in short, she got into such idle and loose habits, and was so fond of gadding and gossiping about, and bringing home a parcel of loose companions like herself, that even her parents were at length quite weary of having her at home. She accordingly looked out for a place, and she was taken as a servant into a very orderly and religious family in the neighbourhood, the master and mistress of which knew something of Hannah, and were in hopes that, by taking her into their house, they might be the means of keeping her out of mischief, and of doing her some good. She was, however, soon tired of this place; the regular habits of the family did not at all suit her notions. She was called in with the rest of the servants, to family prayers night and morning, but this did not suit her at all; she was
quite out of her element. The other servants in this family, from the good instructions and examples of the master and mistress, were all very steady, and found great comfort and happiness in the religious advantages which they enjoyed: but these things did not suit Hannah, and she soon left her place: and, after some time, she engaged herself in the family where Mary Simmons now lived. But, as she would never try to learn any good when she had the opportunity, so now she tried all she could to tempt Mary Simmons from the right path of religion and duty. She ridiculed her when she attempted to read the Bible, or to say her prayers: she tried to laugh her out of all those honest and conscientious scruples to which Mary knew that her duty obliged her. Mary made it her aim to do her duty to her master and mistress, as much in their absence, as in their presence; she knew that it was wrong to neglect their wishes, or to waste their time, or to consume their property. All these things Mary did from Christian motives; she knew that those who believed in Christ, were to be careful to maintain good works: that they who named the name of Christ should depart from iniquity; and that she ought to obey her earthly master, because she was commanded to do so by her heavenly Master-" not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ; with good will, doing service as to the Lord, and not to man." Now all this was quite contrary to the ways of Hannah Randall, and therefore, these two could not be companions. Moreover, Mary was careful, and frugal, and plain in her dress, and studious to lay by some of her wages, that she might have something in store either for herself in the time of trouble, or for the assistance of her aged parents, if they should require it. But Hannah was thoughtless and extravagant, fond of dress and finery; had generally an empty pocket, and of course laid by nothing. She could not help seeing that Mary's plan was the right one, but, instead of
imitating her, she only envied and abused her: so that Mary found no peace here; she saw that she could gain no good for herself, and that there was little chance of doing any good to others. She therefore, resolved to leave the place, and she happily heard of another situation; where, though the wages where somewhat less, the habits of the family were just such as she thought right. It was a Christian family, and GOD'S BLESSING was upon the house!!
All this happened about ten years ago.-The rest of my story is very short. Mary has been all these ten years in this same good family. Her piety and uprightness have encouraged her to strive to do her duty, and have comforted her in the discharge of it: whilst her prudence and care have enabled her to lay by a provision in case of need. It is reported, that a very industrious tradesman in the village, of excellent character, wishes to make her his wife; but I must not spread this report, as I am not certain that it is true.
Poor Hannah Randall's fate was very different. She formed an acquaintance with a footman in the family. They were obliged to be married: they had both been extravagant; both very thoughtless: they married very young: they had no money: he is a bad husband, she is a bad wife: they have tried first one plan and then another; but they have never yet got into any settled way of living. They have six children, all in rags. If he gets a job of work, and earns a little money, she is such a bad manager, that it seems to turn to no account. In short, they are the most ragged, slovenly, wretched family in the place
a constant burden to the parish, and a constant disgrace to it. So much for bad education; early ribbons, and curls, and flounces; early marriages; and early wakes, fairs, feasts, and frolickings.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
I HAVE now for nearly two years taken in your very useful and interesting magazine, which I lend to such of my neighbours, as I think are likely to be benefited by it, whether rich or poor; and please myself with having the power of doing so much good, at so easy a rate. Your paper, on the ill consequences of Fairs, in a late Number, led me to reflect on another subject, which has often occupied my mind, and which I shall be obliged to you to enlarge on when you have leisure, as I know you can do it much better than I can, and I have not the courage to appear in print myself*. What I mean is, the mischief done by Strolling Players, when they are admitted into a country town. I have long thought of it, but never so much as when I was lately on a visit in the North, near to a town which I am told was at one time very prosperous, and where many of the inhabi tants made good fortunes by a manufactory, which has, however, lately suffered much from the change of the times.
Notwithstanding this, we heard that the barn where the Players announced their performances, was generally full, and that the wives and daughters of these distressed manufacturers appeared in elegant dresses, and spent more money, perhaps, than their husbands and fathers got in a week. But the greatest evil of all is, the effect on the morals of the inhabitants. The ruin of many a poor girl is generally the consequence of these visits of the players. Yet we heard that many persons allowed their servants to make parties to the Play, from whence they
* Volumnia must appear in print. Ev.
could not return till twelve o'clock at night. Now, sir, as I conclude that this must be from not con sidering the mischief which might follow, I shall be much obliged to you to enlarge upon it, in any way you may think proper, which will entitle you to the thanks of all right-minded people.
From your Constant Reader,
We think proper to leave the subject in our Correspondent's own hands. We have ourselves, however, seen the evil to a very fearful extent.-ED.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
I HAD addressed a few lines to you, on the subject of the very frequent distressing occurrences resulting from mistaking Oxalic Acid for Epsom Salts, but I find that the New Times of this day contains a letter on the same subject, which I forward to you, instead of my own observations, not doubting but you will think the matter of sufficient importance to give it the very wide circulation which your Visitor has the means of doing..
I inclose a slip of Litmus paper, which has been dipped in a very weak solution of Oxalic Acid, and even that will show you how easily the difference may be distinguished.
I remain, Sir, your sincere friend,
Sussex, Oct. 23, 1822.
"To the Editor of the New Times.
"SIR,-The numerous fatal instances of mistaking Oxalie acid for Epsom Salts, induces me to offer the following as a convenient and infallible test to distinguish the two articles: