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while there is little or no pains taken with them at home? How can parents expect a teacher to correct a selfish, and covetous, and ill natured disposition in their children, while they are indulged in every idle whim at home by themselves? My dear Mrs. Jones, before I had a family of my own, I taught school for a number of years. I found, from my own experience, that those parents who felt the least responsibility for the improvement of their children at home, and took the least pains to form their habits and manners, to make them respectful, affectionate, and condescending, were always the most difficult to satisfy and please. The experience I then acquired has led me to take pains with my own little flock, and I find I need not wait till they are grown, before I see and taste the fruits of my labors. Every day I am more than compensated for the care and labor I have bestowed upon their education, and I never find myself so happy as when in their society; and what is most grateful to a mother's heart, all my feelings of affection are fully reciprocated by them.

My dear Mrs. Smith, this conversation will put you in possession of a secret I no longer wish to conceal from one on whose candor I can so fully rely. I have, for some time, been sensible of the amazing difference there is between your children and mine. It was this conviction that brought me to your house this morning. I fear my children are already beyond a mother's influence. I fear I shall never know the sweet comforts of domestic life, while I have no one to censure or blame but myself. My poor, poor children! I need your advice, but I have already trespassed upon your time.

Permit me to request the favor of resuming the painful subject of my present grief and anxiety at a future time.

PERSONAL VANITY.

Vanity is a sin peculiar to no class. It is common both to the ignorant and the learned, the poor and the rich, the clown and the gentleman, the Christian and the infidel. It is confined to no sex, no rank, no condition. It displays itself in the cottage, in the palace, in the kitchen, in the parlour, in the house, in the streets, in the ball-room, in the sanctuary, in the hall of legislation, and in the pulpit.

There is scarcely a sin, upon the black catalogue of human guilt, so subtle and specious, so endless in its arts and variations. But whatever be its form or color, the motive determines its character. " A bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit.”

A desire to attract the gaze or applause of mortals, must always be sinful; and especially when it arises from those providential distinctions which exist among mankind. One of these is elegance of person. By this I mean, a beautiful countenance, a graceful form, polished manners, or any of those personal accomplishments with which the hand of God adorns some more than others. Strange as it may seem, these are often the occasion of great self complacency and pride. These are the dainty offal on which vanity loves to feed and fatten. These are the idol at whose shrine millions worship. But how foolish and wicked.

Let me not be thought to undervalue or despise that beauty of person which the Almighty has imparted to any mortal. It is his work, and wherever I see

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR.

it, I can contemplate it with the same admiration with which I contemplate the exquisite texture and colored variety of the lily, or gaze upon the splendor and magnitude of the heavenly orbs. But the world is full of beautiful and splendid objects; and wherein has an elegant man or woman more occasion to be vain than thousands of the animal or feathered tribes? It is not because they have intelligence to discern their personal attractions. It is not because these are superior to the decorations bestowed upon other beings. Solomon, in all his glory, did not outshine the flower of the field.

The proper employment of reason, on the subject of personal beauty, so far from creating vanity, would lead to self abasement. It would teach us that in that splendid form, lies a heart, perhaps, at enmity with God. What a reflection! and yet it is sober truth. Yes, that accomplished lady, whose personal charms are so attractive, is—what? It may be a sepulchre, beautiful without, but, within, full of every vile and hateful passion! Let the shell be broken, and how would appear the immortal spirit? How does it appear to the eye of God who sees through flesh and blood as we see through mirrors? The truth is, an angel form is often the temple of devils. O, it ought rather to humble, that so much exquisite workmanship has been expended upon a habitation from which the artist himself, the Lord of glory, is expelled, and every filthy reptile on earth and in hell, allowed free admission and egress.

Another cause of vanity is splendid attire. I pronounce no phillipic against dress. On this subject I have only to say, let every one dress in such a manner as not to excite the attention, the gaze, and remarks of others. A poor woman in rich attire is an object of curiosity. A rich woman in rags is no less

There is a medium, and when we step upon it we incommode no one, excite no attention, create no envy, no disgust.

But this happy medium will not answer for those whose object is, by dress, to command attention and applause. Nothing short of an extreme in fashion, or something near it, will serve their end. Now, this is vanity. If not, what is it? Is it comfort? No. Is it to keep up distinctions in society? not prepared to level all distinctions, and to say the poor and the rich shall live in the same style. But this distinction can be maintained, so far as it is proper and necessary, without excess and extravagance. If it cannot, let it be annihilated Of the two evils, I choose the least.

But why should an attire, however rich and splendid, cherish and flatter pride ? Man, in his best estate, is altogether vanity; a poor, frail, dying mortal, whose glory is all borrowed and evanescent. He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down; he fleeth as a shadow and continueth not. And what is more, he is a miserable sinner, and, unless clothed with the righteousness of Christ, will be naked and wretched for ever.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR.

MADAM--I have had the pleasure of perusing the prospectus and first number of the Mother's Magazine. I consider the appeal it makes to the class for whom it is intended, irresistible. Of all social relations and responsibilities, those of a mother are surely pre-eminent. Feeling deeply sensible of this, I

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF TEACHERS.

29

look upon one who steps forward in so noble an enterprize as yours, deserving the gratitude and patronage of every mother, according to her ability.

Although the mother of a family almost reared to maturity, I can still look for aid from a work like yours. It may admonish me of many failures and errors ; but their consequences are not entirely irrevocable. If I have not been to my daughters all I might have been, I may yet urge upon them the sacred obligations which the relation of parents will devolve upon them, and thus another generation may retrieve what their predecessors have forfeited.

Your work excites in me so warm an interest, that I shall esteem it a privilege to be instrumental in circulating it, or in aiding it in any

other
way.

Education has always been, to me, a subject of peculiar interest. If the thoughts and reflections which have been gathered from books or observation, may yield any hints worthy your notice, I should be happy to throw some mites into your treasury; and it will be a pleasant service, to enlist others better qualified for the task.

I would not presume to offer any thing as a critic or adviser, as I judge you need neither ; but I observe that the stand you take, appears to me most judicious. Although your Magazine exhibits a decidedly religious character, yet it proposes not to be exclusively so. Whatever is wise and good, will fall in with what is religious, and many such things may be drawn from writers noi professedly religious. Mrs. Hamilton, the Edgeworths, and some others, belong to that class; and I think, among our own countrywomen, Miss Sedgwick

may be considered as ranking with them. If you should esteem it worth your time and attention to notice this communication, it may possibly lead to an occasional interchange of ideas. But I would wish, madam, that you should distinctly understand, that ambition for any degree of literary distinction or notoriety, forms not the slightest motive to this overture. I have all my life pursued a private walk, and now would be as unwilling, as I am unqualified, for taking a more conspicuous station. If I can do any good in this little sphere, without being made known to any other than yourself, I shall be amply rewarded for all the labor I

may

be able to bestow on the object.

should think of giving this, as a testimonial of a mother, a place in one of your numbers, I hope that any part of it, which might excite inquiry respecting the writer, may be omitted. With sentiments of high respect and best wishes,

I subscribe myself yours, &c.

If you

For the Mother's Magazine. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF TEACHERS. The burning of the Richmond Theatre occurred, as is well known, in the year 1811. An interesting account of this truly tragic scene is contained in Dunlap's History of the American Stage; and among other incidents which are there related of this sorrowful event, the following is deeply affecting :

my father was leading me home," said Mr. HP,"we saw Mr. G-, exhausted by previous exertion, leaning on a fence, and looking at

6 As

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THE RESPONSIBILITY OF TEACHERS.

the scene of ruin--for all was now one black mass of smoking desolation• Thank God! ejaculated Mr. G-, • Thank God! I prohibited Nancy from coming to the house to-night! she is safe!!

Nancy was his only daughter, just springing into womanhood, still at the boarding school of Mrs. G-n, and as beautiful and lovely a girl as imagination can picture.

“ Mrs. G-n, and the boarders, had made up a party for the Theatre that evening, and Nancy G— asked her father's permission to accompany them. He refused; but unfortunately added his reason—- The house will be crowded, and you will occupy a seat that would otherwise be paid for. On these words hung the fate of youth, innocence, and beauty. I will pay for your ticket,' said the kind instructress, we will not leave you behind.' The teacher and the pupil were buried in the ruins on which the father gazed, and over which he returned thanks for the safety of his child. He went home and learned the truth."

I have made the foregoing extract from the history alluded to, not for the , .pose of discussing the question, whether a parent can, with propriety, in any case, perinit his child to attend a theatre, but for the sake of a few observations on another topic, viz. the responsibility of female teachers to whom

may be entrusted the care and education of young ladies. For the time being, they sustain the important relation of parents. Nay, they are, if possible, more responsibly and delicately situated, being bound not to follow precisely their own judgment in relation to the proper course of those entrusted to their care, but, as nearly as may be, the probable wishes of their parents. I say probable, for I consider it beyond debate, that when a parent has marked out a line of conduct for his daughter, the governess who takes charge of her is solemnly bound, especially if she be beforehand apprized of it, to use her influence and authority to see it followed, provided it does not infringe upon the rights of conscience, or the well established laws of civility; but if this be conceded, the position which I have taken must be correct, that so far as the parent's probable wishes are understood, so far the duty of the governess is plain and decisive.

In respect to the particular conduct of Mrs. G-n, to which Mr. Dunlap alludes, I would speak with caution and delicacy. She is no more ; and kindness would demand that no needless reflections should be cast upon the unfortunate dead. Yet I perceive no injustice in taking occasion, from what I conceive to have been an error of her judgment, to convey a seasonable admonition for the benefit of the living. It is apparent that kindness, and that alone, prompted the governess to the determination not to leave her “ lovely pupil” behind. But in this, did she not obviously transcend her just authority? The father, had prohibited his daughter from the house that night. He had assigned a reason for this. True, it scemed as if the crowded house, &c. aside, and he would have been willing to have had her gone. But was not this enough? He had assigned a reason. It might, or it might not, have been thought a good one by the governess. But the fact that a prohibition had been given, was quite sufficient, and it was incompetent for any earthly tribunal to set in judgment upon the justice of the reason, by which that prohibition was fortified.

À SOUND MIND IN A SOUND BODY.

31

What would have been the reflection of Miss G-, in regard to her father's prohibition, contrasted with the consent of her governess? Possibly, that her father could find it in his heart to refuse what her kind teacher could not, and as young persons are prone to look upon those who administer to their present enjoyment, as their best friends, the father might have suffered a diminution in the affectionate confidence of his daughter.

If there is any one evil peculiar to boarding schools, perhaps that of seldom, if ever, enjoying the privilege of being left alone, is the greatest. What a hindrance to moral and mental culture must be the opinion, that, in order to be happy, young persons must always be in the company of others. Where this opinion is entertained, and acted upon, farewell to all well directed efforts to acquire knowledge, the possession of which would soon teach, that the highest resources of enjoyment are to be found within ourselves, or are to be derived from the perusal of useful books.

G.

A SOUND MIND IN A SOUND BODY.

How many

No part of a mother's care, is probably of greater importance than the physical education of her offspring.

While it is allowed by all, that moral culture is of infinitely greater importance (if either must be neglected) than physical education; as much, not only of the foundation, but superstructure of the latter, must be the work of mothers; that its importance, as far as they are concerned, is outweighed by no other duty. The elements of moral culture lie, undoubtedly, within their province, and a most powerful influence may be exerted by them; but the physical frame must be almost entirely developed under their eye, or be suffered to dwindle into feebleness or disease from their inattention. youth, before they can be considered as independent of a mother's care, have acquired a robust constitution, or have deposited within them the seeds of decrepitude, and premature old age, disappointing the expectations of fond parents, and robbing their country of its ornaments and defenders. It is admitted among men of science, that a good physical education, so far fortifies the body, as to cure diseases considered, in some degree, hereditary; gives to the organs a much greater aptitude to execute the movements required by our wants or vicissitudes: causes superior strength and extension upon the faculties of the mind, and produces a more perfect equilibrium in the sensations, with juster ideas, and more elevated moral feelings. Whether the youth of this country are so educated, or not, is a matter of vital importance, affecting their liberties, and the best interests of moral, mental, and physical improvement. It is believed that in this respect the American people

, as a whole, are inferior to Á many of the nations of the old world. The American traveller may congratu. late himself upon finding that the mass of people in no country of Europe, are superior, or even equal to his own countrymen in general information ; but he will see the effects of physical education, of a more severe and masculine character than that adopted by his country, in the glow of health more generally diffused, and in that patience of the minor inconveniences of life, of which the habits of Europeans teach them the practice, which, cheerfully endured, are the principal sources of health. The frequent poverty and straightened circum

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