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THE FIRST SERVANT.
(Continued from page 119.) ORDER was not so quickly restored in the nursery : for steel fenders and grates, into which the rust has eaten, may be more easily polished, and the grease may be extracted from the carpet, and the mahogany furniture which has become dull and scratched, may be made smooth and bright, and broken china, and lost brushes, and knives, &c. &c., may be replaced much more easily than children can be restored to a state of subordination, obedience, and harmony. Even this, however, was in some degree effected. They became comparatively manageable, and the parents coinparatively satisfied and comfortable. But then, with all these improvements, a mischievous impression was made on all parties to the disparagement of the female head of the family, who, unquestionably, ought to be the centre of domestic comfort and good management. Sarab herself felt that she was a person of far more consequence in the house than her mistress, and she grew more and more assuming
The children felt that Sarah exercised more authority than their mother ; that the mother might be disobeyed with impunity, but Sarah must not-indeed the authority of Sarah was sometimes called in to bolster up that of the mother-and no young person was ever suffered to entertain a disparaging opinion of a mother, but it proved a real injury to his or her own character through future life. The husband perceived it, and insensibly acquired a habit of applying to, and depending upon the servant rather than the wife for little domestic comforts and attention. The wife perceived it ; she felt herself degraded and slighted; but instead of being roused to persevering exertion, to regain her forfeited ascendancy, by becoming what she ought to be, she suffered herslf to sink in supine despondency and habitual discontent, giving vent to her feelings in angry but unavailing reprimands of her children, in ungraceful altercations with her servant, and in jealous reproaches of her husband. She often said, that from the time that Sarah returned to her service she had never known a day's domestic happi. ness. She might have said, that domestic happiness was forfeited in her first yielding to supineness, reclining on an able servant, and relaxing or failing to employ her own strenuous efforts to improve herself, and fill her proper office with fidelity, diligence, acceptance, and success.
The young mistress, who, at first starting, proposes to take a young servant, and train her to her own habits, ought already to have had some experience in domestic life, to be methodical in her arrangements, vigilant in her superintendance, and firm in her requirements. Where this is the case, a young mistress and a young servant may prove great acquisitions to each other, and much domestic order, economy, and comfort, be the happy result.
In very early life, Mary had been initiated by a judicious mother in habits of domestic usefulness and order, and by the death of that mother the whole charge of domestic management had devolved on herself and a younger sister. The neatness, economy, and good taste, conspicuous through the arrangements of the family, were highly creditable to the young housekeepers, and greatly promoted the comfort of the bereaved father. They were thus also deriving ob
servation and experience, which would eminently qualify them for discharging similar duties in houses of their own.
In prospect of her marriage with a worthy young minister of limited income, Mary considered it her duty to prepare for conducting domestic expenditure on the most economical plan, and hoped that, by personal activity and superintendance, she might be able to manage with a young girl, at low wages ; one who, not having been out in service, would not have acquired high notions of spurning at the frugality and vigilance which she felt it incumbent on her to exercise. Accordingly, she selected a girl whom she had long known as a diligent and well behaved Sunday-scholar. This girl was remarkably clean and neat in her dress, the eldest daughter of honest, industrious, aud thrifty parents, and had long been accustomed to manage the house and the younger children during the occasional absence of her mother.
(To be continued.)
LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF NATURE.
“ HERE the furze,
With their shrill notes, cheer the extensive heath." Within a short distance of my home is a piece of broken ground, now gorgeously clothed with this brilliant flower, and the slopes, hung with living
gold, are almost painful to the eye when viewed in the sun. The golden baskets,” loading the air with perfume, hang thickly on the spring branches : here has the free wild bird her dwelling, and the hard-worked beast enjoys a Sabbath day's repose, cropping a scanty meal from the short herbage that grows between the broad patches of furze. This plant generally adorns our commons and waste spots, where its rich hues attract but little attention, and its fragrant breath wins but small regard. Yet I know not that earth has a more glorious sight to offer than the blossomed furze,-in England certáinly not, and one can hardly wonder at the enthusiasm with which the Swedish botanist is said to have greeted this flower when it first met his gaze, and who' broke forth into the language of thanksgiving, that he had been permitted to behold so glorious a sight. For myself, I marvel rather at the coldness and insensibility evinced by so many to the beauties of creation. Here is a sight of surpassing splendor, displaying in perfection the wonder-working hand of the great Creator. Yet, from some, shall we hear no exclamation of delight at its loveliness, no word of praise recording a sense of the bounty that spread this " field of cloth of gold.” Language is lavished in abundance to extol some imperfect production of man! and the fête, or brilliant assembly, is spoken of with animation in lengthened phrase, whilst many an inviting spectacle of nature fails to attract beholders, or obtains but a transient glance.—How industrious is man in the pursuit of this world's wealth ; whilst the vast treasury of nature is unexplored, her riches unsought, though, for the spirit that uses them aright, they can supply a contentment which gold and
silver will never procure! well may the Poet exclaim
“ The world is too much with us, late and soon,
We have given our hearts away; a sordid boon !” We cannot doubt, that the sense of beauty—which sense, given to us alone of all the animated kingdom, -is designed no less for our profit than for our pleasure. The cultivation of this taste is therefore a duty, and will be found to open a source of inexhaustible benefit and delight. Where the eye has been taught to seek for beauty, the mind accustomed to refer all to the author of beauty, and the soul tutored to dwell upon his infinite love and wisdom, how great is the enjoyment afforded by each country
from the lowly weed, the stately tree, the trim parterre, or the uncultivated waste! Thus, from contemplating the beauty of the golden furze, I have been led to enforce the general duty of attention to the gifts of nature, and constant consideration of the bounty of God--and trust that my readers will not have found according to Goldsmith's description,the “ Blossomed furze unprofitably gay.”
No troubled looks her grief bespoke,
No tear bedimmed her eye,
That caused her agony.