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"E'en in the happiest choice, where favoring Heaven
When once you enter the matrimonial state, gentle lady, prepare for the various trials of temper which each day will produce. Your husband perhaps does, or says, something provoking; your servants do, or say, something provoking;-or some valuable article is injured by their negligence; -a handsome piece of China or glass is broken;-a tiresome visitor comes in at a most mal-apropos moment, and breaks in some matter of consequence. But remember the great Solomon's words: "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." Prov. xvi: 32. By the expression ruleth his spirit, the inspired writer's views on the subject are evidently wide and extensive. He alludes to those infirmities of temper and disposition which so often corrode our peace, and make us unamiable and uncomfortable to ourselves and those around us. When the risings of discontent, peevishness, envy, anger, resentment, or any evil passion, disturb or threaten to take possession of our hearts, then is the man that ruleth his spirit superior in the eyes of the eastern monarch to the hero returning from the battle or the siege, crowned with laurels, and covered with glory! I cannot dismiss this subject without remarking, the very sweet and engaging point of view in which persons appear to me when I see them pliably yielding their own will to the will of another. A late writer makes the following excellent remark: "Great actions are so often performed from little motives of vanity, self-complacency, and the like, that I am apt to think more highly of the person whom I observe checking a reply to a petulant speech, or even submitting to the judgment of another in stirring the fire, than of one who gives away thousands !"
Let your husband be dearer and of more consequence to you than any other human being; and have no hesitation in confessing those feelings to him. Leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and cleave only to him. It is expressly the will of God; for of course the command applies to woman in the same degree as to man. What is any one to you in comparison of your husband? Whom have you a legal claim on. gentle lady? Your husband only. Whose home have you a lawful right to?-whose purse have you a lawful claim on?-Your husband's only. In whose house do you feel the sweets of independence? and in whose house can you proudly look round you, and say, "I reign as mistress here?"Your husband's, and your husband's only. Turn then, gentle lady, to your husband: let his interest, his comforts, his wishes, all be yours; and without hesitation give up for his sake all the world besides. There is an old Irish saying, and, like the generality of
Irish sayings, expressive and true, the translation of which is as follows: "He must be a very good-for-nothing, indifferent husband, whose bosom is not the best pillow a woman ever laid her head on."
Endeavor to make your husband's habitation alluring and delightful to him. Let it be to him a sanctuary to which his heart may always turn from the ills and anxieties of life. Make it a repose from his cares, a shelter from the world, a home not for his person only, but for his heart. He may meet with pleasure in other houses, but let him find happiness in his own. Should he be dejected, soothe him; should he be silent and thoughtful, or even peevish, make allowances for the defects of human nature, and, by your sweetness, gentleness, and good humor, urge him continually to think, though he may not say it, "This woman is indeed a comfort to me. I cannot but love her, and requite such gentleness and affection as they deserve."
I know not two female attractions so captivating to men as delicacy and modesty. Let not the familiar intercourse which marriage produces, banish such powerful charms. On the contrary, this very familiarity should be your strongest excitement in endeavoring to preserve them; and, believe me, the modesty so pleasing in the bride, may always, in a great degree, be supported by the wife.
"If possible, let your husband suppose you think him a good husband, and it will be a strong stimulus to his being so. As long as he thinks he possesses the character, he will take some pains to deserve it: but when he has once lost the name, he will be very apt to abandon the reality altogether." I remember at one time being acquainted with a lady who was married to a very worthy man. Attentive to all her comforts and wishes, he was just what the world calls a very good husband; and yet his manner to his wife was cold and comfortless, and he was constantly giving her heart, though never her reason, cause to complain of him. But she was a woman of excellent sense, and never upbraided him. On the contrary, he had every cause for supposing she thought him the best husband in the world; and the consequence was, that instead of the jarring and discord which would have been inevitably produced had she been in the habit of finding fault with him, their lives passed on in uninterrupted peace.
I know not any attraction which renders a woman at all times so agreeable to her husband, as cheerfulness or good humor. It possesses the powers ascribed to magic: it gives charms where charms are not; and imparts beauty to the plainest face. Men are naturally more thoughtful and more difficult to amuse and please than Full of cares and business, what a relaxation to a man is the cheerful countenance and pleasant voice of the gentle mistress of his home! On the contrary, a gloomy, dissatisfied manner is an antidote to affection; and though a man may not seem to notice it, it is chilling and repulsive to his feelings, and he will be very
apt to seek elsewhere for those smiles and that cheerfulness which he finds not in his own house.
In the article of dress, study your husband's taste, and endeavor to wear what he thinks becomes you best. The opinion of others on this subject is of very little consequence, if he approves.
Make yourself as useful to him as you can, and let him see you employed as much as possible in economical avocations.
At dinner, endeavor to have his favorite dish dressed and served up in the manner he likes best. In observing such trifles as these, believe me, gentle lady, you study your own comfort just as much as his.
Perhaps your husband may occasionally bring home an unexpected guest to dinner. This is not at all times convenient. But beware, gentle lady, beware of frowns. Your fare at dinner may be scanty, but make up for the deficiency by smiles and good humor. It is an old remark, "Cheerfulness in the host is always the surest and most agreeable mode of welcome to the guest." Perhaps, too, unreasonable visitors may intrude, or some one not particularly welcome may come to spend a few days with you. Trifling as these circumstances may be, they require a command of feeling and temper; but remember, as you journey on, inclination must be continually sacrificed; and recollect also, that the true spirit of hospitality lies, (as an old writer remarks,) not in giving great dinners and sumptuous entertainments, but in receiving with kindness and cheerfulness those who come to you, and those who want your assistance.
Endeavor to feel pleased with your husband's bachelor friends. It always vexes and disappoints a man when his wife finds fault with his favorites-the favorites and companions of his youth, and probably those to whom he is bound not only by the ties of friendship, but by the cords of gratitude.
THE CHRISTIAN'S CONFIDENCE.
When the pangs of death assail me,
BY THE EDITOR.
"The Child is Father to the Man."
EVERY thing is beautiful in its place. All things are unlovely when they are out of place and out of season. God shows his adherence to this principle in all His works, in the world around. The same order He has introduced into human society; indeed He has constructed society according to this order; and we find it in the family, in the state, and in the church. He has assigned a place to husbands and wives, to parents and children, to rulers and subjects, to ministers and members. When this order is observed, and each one stands and acts in his sphere, there is harmony, energy, efficiency, and success. Where this order is violated there is confusion, weakness, and failure.
Society at present seems to suffer from a spirit which would reverse the divine order in these things. There is a restlessness in the different members of society to be active out of their own proper sphere, and to overlook the duties which belong to it.
This spirit has taken hold, especially in towns, even of little boys and girls. Boys would be men, and little girls would be young ladies. There is a certain humble deference and modest reserve, which belongs properly to childhood, and which gives it great beauty and attractiveness. It is not easy to describe it; but every one knows what it is, and how well it becomes children. Children who possess it are easily governed, docile, and kind. They are amiable towards their parents, and courteous toward all with whom they are brought in contact; and when they grow up in that spirit they become, among the young, ornaments and favorites. Every one must, however, have observed that a spirit, where all this is absent, reigns to a great extent at present in the ranks of childhood. There is, in many instances, boldness, assurance, and forwardness; and this, if it progresses in the same direction, soon grows into rudeness, impertinence, and impudence. How many sad examples of this degeneracy meet us almost every day! We need hardly say that where this spirit prevails, all that is lovely in childhood is lost; and a course is entered upon which must, if not arrested, end in ruin.
If we should say that this evil is, to a great extent, the result of a lack of discipline on the part of parents, we should speak the truth, and yet not all the truth. It is owing to this, in part; but chiefly it betrays a lack of a true christian spirit in the family. Where the lovely spirit of piety does not reign in the family it cannot reign in the hearts of children. Instead of being molded by the mild and gentle influences of home, they will be molded by
the coarseness and rudeness of the street. The rough spirit of outdoor freedom will soon make them impatient to parental restraint and discipline, even when it is attempted to exercise it. They will imbibe a spirit of independence, which pleases nature, and this will soon gain supremacy over every gentler influence. The rude words and conduct which pass between them and their companions will soon be used to repel every attempt at the exercise of parental authority; and parents find too late that their own influence over their children is lost, hopelessly lost.
The case of such children becomes almost hopeless. This spirit of boldness, when it is found in childhood, is scarcely ever lost in youth. The rude boy, soon becomes the swaggering youth; and dead to all the finer feelings, he soon learns to take pride in his own shame. Is not this dreadful picture realized in the case of hundreds. When their habits are once fixed, reformation becomes almost hopeless. Can an Ethiopian change his skin, and a leopard his spots, then shall they learn to do well who have been accustomed to do evil.
Let parents be awake in time, to the true interests of their children. Prompt action in training the boy may save the man. Ease and carelessness on the part of parents have been the ruin of many children. It is heavenly wisdom which says: Train up a child in the way it should go, and when it is old it will not depart from it. Let God have the little boys and girls, and He will have the young men and women.
MOTHER, HOME AND HEAVEN.
In the holy hush of night, Mother,
In floating robes and trembling light,
I felt a soft kiss on my brow,
Like that which you had given—
It whispered me of by-gone hours,
When last you parted, bathed in tears,
And how we talked 'neath the moon's clear light
On that fair, cloudless even-
My Mother, Home and Heaven.
And I will strive, my Mother dear,
To keep my childhood's trust;
I'll kneel upon the sacred mound
That I may soar, when death shall come,