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The habits of industry, says an elegant female writer, cannot be too early, ivo sedulously formed. Let not the sprightly and the brilliant reject industry as a plebian quality ; as a quality to be exercised only by those who have their bread to earn, or their fortune to make It is the quality to which the immortal Newton modesily ascribed his own vast attainments; who, when he was asked by what means he had been enabled to make that successful progress which struck mankind with wonder, replied, that it was not so much owing to any superior strength of genius, as to an habit of patient thinking, laborious attention, and close application. Industry is the sturdy and hard-working pioneer, who, by persevering labour, removes obstructions, overcomes difficulties, clears intricacies, and then facilitates the march and aids the victories of genius.
Useful Females. It is said of the wife of the learned Budæus, that, so far from drawing him from his studies, she was sedulous to animate him when he languished. Ever at his side, and ever assiduous, ever with some useful book in her hand, she acknowledged herself to be a most happy woman. Budæus was not insensible of his singular felici. ty: he called her the faithful companion, not of his life only, but of his studies.
We owe, it is said, to the wife of Judge Croke, and her superiority of soul; we owe to the virtue of this woman, and her disregard of selfish considerations, in comparison of the honour and duty of her husband, the immortal decision in the case of ship-money; a decision which fixed one of the bulwarks of our constitution; a decision of more durable and certain worth than a thousand tri. umphs. She told her husband, who had resolved to give his opinion for this new claim of prerogative, that “She hoped he would do nothing against his conscience, for fear of any danger or prejudice to him or his family ; and that she would be contented to suffer want or any misery with him, rather than be an occasion for him to do or say any thing against his judgment or conscience.is Vide Whitelock’s Memorials, 25. Macaulay, vol. xi. p. 226, 227. .
We owe to the virtue of another admirable woman (Queen of Edward III) that one of the most illustrious of kings did not, at the siege of Calais, eclipse the lustre of his conquest by a cruelty which would for ever have been a disgrace to our annals. The king, having turned the siege into a blockade, was greatly incensed at their obsti, nate resistance, which had detained him eleven months under their walls. At length however, he consented to grant their lives to all the garrison and inhabitants, except six of the principal burgesses, who should deliver to him the keys of the city with ropes about their necks. When these terms were made known to the people of Calais, they were plunged into the deepest distress; and, after all the miseries they had suffered, they could not think without horror of giving up six of their fellow citizens to certain death. In this extremi. ty, when the whole people were drowned in tears, and uncertain what to do, Eustace De Pierre, one of the richest merchants in the place, stepped forth, and voluntarily offered himself to be one of these six devoted victims. His noble example was soon' imitated by five others of the most wealthy citizens. These true patriots, bare footed and bare headed, with ropes about their necks, were attended to the gates by the whole inhabi. tants, with tears, blessings, and prayers,
for their safety. When they were brought into Edward's presence they laid the keys of the city at his feet, and falling on their knees, implored his mercy in such moving strains, that all the noble spectators melted into tears. The king's resentment was so strong for the many toils and losses he had suffered in this tedious siege, that he was in some danger of forgetting his usual humanity; when the queen, falling upon her knees before him, earnestly begged and obtained their lives. This great and good princess. conducted these virtuous citizens, whose lives she had saved, to her own aparte ment, entertained them honourably, and dismissed them with presents.
It is said of Queen Mary II, that she ordered good books to be laid in the places of attendance, that persons might not be idle while they were in their turns of service. She gave her minutes of leisure to architecture and gardening, and since it employed many hands, she said, she hoped it would be forgiven her.
How peculiarly useful may females be in a domestic state! In many cases, observes one, the opinion of the wife may be preferable to that of our own. Their judgment may be less clouded by interest; they stand back from the objects we are too near; they are cool and calm ; we, by being in the scene, are ruffled and inflamed. An eminent minister a few years ago, in a publication, declared to the world, that he had never, in: any particular business, acted contrary to the suggestions of his wife, without having reason af. terwards to repent of it.
Let me press upon my fair readers to study plans of usefulness, both as to the body and the mind, so that their families, their neighbours, their friends, their country, may be the better for them. “ While others are weightly engaged in catching a fashion, or adjusting a curl, let the object of your cultivation be the understanding, the memory, the will, the affections, the conscience. Let no part of this internal creation be unadorned; let it sparkle with the diamonds of wisdom, of prudence, of humility, of gentleness. These ornaments alone will confer dignity, and prepare for usefulness.”
It would be a pleasant summer amusement, says Mrs. H. Moore, for our young ladies of fortune, if they were to preside at such spinning feasts as are instituted at Nunheam, for the promotion of virtue and industry in their own sex. Pleasurable aniversaries of this kind would serve to combine in the minds of the poor two ideas which ought never to be separated, but which they are not very forward to unite, -that the great wish is to make them happy as well as good.
It would be a noble employment, observes the above-mentioned author, and well becoming the tenderness of their sex, if ladies were to consider the superintendance of the poor as their immediate office. They are peculiarly fitted for it; for, from their own habit of life, they are more inti. mately acquainted with domestic wants than the other sex ; and in certain instances of sickness and suffering peculiar to themselves they should be
expected to have more sympathy, and they have obviously more leisure. There is a certain religious society distinguished by simplicity of dress, manners, and language, whose poor are, perhaps, taken better care of than any other; and one reason may be, that they are immediately under the inspection of the women.
« Do you know,” says an ingenious writer, " what we must admire in you? It is not your dress : we could make a beast fine with trappings. It is not your abilities: it would not be your abi. lities, if you had such powers as angels have ; for, indeed, what but a fine creature is Gabriel to us? a fine speculation, more beautiful than the rainbow to look at; but what is it to us? What we admire, and what we ought to admire, in man, is that collection of fine feelings which make him a human creature, social and useful. Sympathy and fellow feeling, tenderness of heart and pity for the wretched, compassion for your neighbours and reverence for your God, the melting eye, the soothing tone, the silver features, the ingenious devices, the rapid actions of a soul all penetrated with reason and religion, these are the qualities we admire in you. O, I love the soul that must and will do good, the kind creature that runs to the sick bed, I might rather say bedstead, of a poor neighbour, wipes away the moisture of a fever, smoothes the clothes, beats up the pillow, fills the pitcher, sets it within reach, administers only a cup of cold water; but, in the true spirit of a disciple of Christ, becomes a fellow worker with Christ in the administration of happiness to mankind. Peace be with that good soul! She also must come in due time into the condition of