Page images
PDF
EPUB

and as father used to say he was a good child, but had no genius, I thought it was of no use to leave off drawing to teach him : but he wanted a kite ; and he tried, and tried, till at last he made this pretty one, which I will keep for his sake : and then father said, “Well, I declare the boy has really a genius for kite-making.' I suppose, in general, people call a taste, or just having a liking for things, having a genius ; but if they think that will do, they are sadly mistaken; I know that by myself. Why, mother, do

you know I have been drawing your face and the baby's with pencil only, for many weeks, but I would not waste paint on it till I was quite sure of doing good ; because many a time, when I have seen father waste things, you have looked so sad, and given such deep sighs when nobody beard you but me.'

“ Yes, my child, our Father who is in Heaven heard them; and in teaching you to feel for your mother, proved that the sorrowful sighing of an humble heart ascended not to his mercy-seat in vain : let this be ever your comfort, my child; and in every exertion you make for yourself, remember, that although success may not crown your endeavours, though ever so well exerted (which is sometimes, though not frequently, the case), that you have an unfailing friend in heaven, who can render your sufferings the means of blessedness, and who never fails to help those who put their trust in him.”

H

MRS. HOFLAND,

The sequel may be told in a few words : Lewis was cast into prison for debt; was liberated by great exertions on the part of his wife and son ; again he rose into a state of comfort and respectability ; but by imprudence, versatility, and that infatuation which he imputed to genius, and deemed inseparable from it, ere long sunk into indigence and misery. At length, from the effects of a cold, caught while wandering about the streets one wet and stormy night, to avoid an arrest, he died in the very prime of his life, and the zenith of talents, addicted to no vice, capable of every virtue, and possessing powers that might have secured not only the comforts of independence, but the acquisition of wealth and fame.

Ludovico was received as an apprentice, without fee, by an eminent engraver, who had become acquainted with his previous history and good conduct. By degrees he rose to eminence in his profession, ever remembering the painful lessons of his childhood, and deeply impressed with this truth,—that talents are of little value, unless accompanied by industry, punctuality, and integrity.

Poor Mrs. Lewis, after living some years as governess in a family, was, by a train of happy circumstances, comfortably settled with her daughter, now a blooming and graceful girl, in a small, but neat and pleasant dwelling, in Somer's town.

address to ¥oung Ladies.

BY MRS. L. H. SIGOURNEY.

Will you permit me, my dear young friends, to speak to you freely as to daughters ? You doubtless need no argument to convince you of the excellence of industry. We will devote a few thoughts only to those branches of it which belong peculiarly to our own sex. It is one of our privileges, that we have such a variety of interesting employments. Time need never hang upon our hands, who have it continually in our power to combine amusement with utility. If we leave any vacancy for ennui to creep in, it must surely be our own fault.

Needle-work, in all its countless forms of use, elegance, and ornament, has been the appropriate occupation of women. From the shades where its simple process was to unite the fig-leaf, to the days when the most exquisite tissues of embroidery rivalled nature's pencil, it has been their duty and their resource.

The most delicate efforts of the needle claim a high rank among feminine accomplishments. But its necessary departments should be thoroughly understood. The numerous modifieations of mending are not beneath the notice of the most refined young lady. To keep her own wardrobe perfectly in order, she doubtless considers her duty. A just regard to economy, a wish to add to the comfort of all around, and a desire to aid in the relief of the poor, will induce her to become expert in those inventions by which the various articles o apparel are repaired, altered, or renovated. A very sensible, rational self-complacency arises from the power of making “auld clajths look amaist as well as new."

I regret that the quiet employment of knitting has become so nearly obsolete. In many parts of Europe it continues a favourite branch of female occupation. It is so among the classic shades of Greece; and Russell, in his tour in Germany, speaking of the Saxon ladies, says, “ They are models of industry, whether at home or abroad; knitting and needlework know no interruption. A lady would think little of forgetting her fan ; but could not spend half an hour without her implements of industry." Knitting is adapted to those little intervals of time when it would be scarcely convenient to collect the more complicated apparatus of needle-work. It is the friend of twilight, that sweet season of reflection so happily described by a Scottish writer, as that brief period " when the shuttle stands still before the lamp is lighted.” Neither are the productions of the knitting-needles so valueless as those who take no part in them are disposed to pronounce. Yet, if there are any who consider so humble a branch of economy unworthy their regard, they may still be induced to patronize it for the sake of the comfort it administers unto the poor.

Their laborious occupations and limited leisure often preclude their attention to this employment; and a pair of thick stockings in winter will be usually found a most acceptable gift to their shuddering little ones. Knitting seems to have a native affinity with social feeling; it leaves the thoughts at liberty for conversation, and yet imparts just enough of the serene and selfsatisfied sensation of industry, to promote good humour, and prepare for the pleasant interchange of sympathy.

I recollect in my early days, sometimes seeing a number of most respectable elderly ladies, collected for an afternoon visit, all knitting, all happy, all discussing the various topics of neighbourly concerns, with friendly interest and delight. I saw benevolent smiles beaming from their faces, and formed a fancied union between knitting and contentment, which perchance is not yet broken. I observed that the fabrics which they wrought, to protect the feet of their household, were often composed of yarn, manufactured by their own hands. And here permit me to advert to that almost forgotten utensil, the large spinning-wheel. From the universal yet gentle exercise it affords the limbs, the chest, and the whole frame, it is altogether the best mode of domestic calisthenics which has hitherto been devised. It is

« PreviousContinue »