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The following Article, written by a Lady formerly residing at Soham, and address
ed to a female domestic on her quitting service, we hope will prove interesting to some of our readers. The person to whom this kind advice was given had just married a respectable labouring man; she still resides in this town, and, if we may judge from the manner in which she has brought up her family, there can be no doubt but that she has profited by the lessons which it contains.
As my recent and perilous illness, in which you so kindly attended me, prohibits me the unlimited use of speech, I purpose to employ some of my leisure moments, when tired of reading and other amusements, in writing out a few rules for economy which may be of service to you in the new mode of life into which you have just entered. The change to you must be so great a one from having every thing so amply provided for you without your being the least aware of the expense of such a provision ; and it is so many years since you have left your parents' cottage that you can scarcely bring yourself to the methods necessary to make your expenditure answer to the small means your own industry added to that of your husband shall provide for your support.
The sweet and pleasing reflection, however, that you are now enjoying your own liberty after having been so many years at the command of others, and that whatever little you possess, is the fruit of your honest labour and provident frugality, will afford a gratification to your minds, and give a relish to your simple viands, superior to what any other situation imparts. To preserve this feeling in its most fervent and primitive glow, which, if once suffered to fade away, is scarcely, if ever, to be restored, should be your most earnest endeavour, and to assist you in the accomplishment of so desirable an end as the establishing your future independence on the basis of your own industry and frugality, would be to me an unspeakable satisfaction. To every inhabitant of this happy country, independence ought to be the first earthly object. By independence, I do not mean a state that exempts you from being indebted to the assistance of others (for we are all, however raised above want by our rank in life, dependent on each other for a thousand attentions, as you have so lately had a proof of in myself) but the independence that should lead us to use our own most strenuous endeavours for our support whilst we are blest with health and strength, and then if those should fail, we should feel no hesitation in applying for the support so liberally provided by our charitable country, for those who really require it. Of this more hereafter.
To you who have been so fortunate as to have received an education superior to most in your rank of life, and who have a capacity to understand, and principles to appreciate my meaning, I shall take a view of economy in a higher light than it is in general beheld, but in the light in which it has ever appeared to me to be most necessary to consider it. When I look around me on the vast creation, so beautiful in all its parts, so wonderful in all its movements ! so orderly, so strictly economical in the most minute particle, that even the clear water which allays my thirst, is filled with living animals! the clod of earth which I pick up and cast carelessly from me, is a world to myriads of moving creatures, formed with veins and muscles, and every thing necessary to life ; when I consider that not an atom was made in vain, but, as Sturm observes, “ the smallest particle of the first leaves of the creation at this moment exist, and fertilize the earth” and that all which it produces returns again to it for that beneficent purpose; when, I repeat, I reflect on all this, I am struck with astonishment, that man, dependent, helpless man, who cannot of himself “add one cubit to his stature,” can be so lavish of the gifts of his bountiful Creator, and wantonly squander them away, when a very slight degree of reflection would convince him that even he himself might in a short time be thankful for what he now thoughtlessly destroys. When He, who was Lord of All, and could so easily feed the five thousand with the five loaves and two small fishes, thought it necessary to say “gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost” shall man presume to disregard, and waste any portion of what he cannot increase by his own means, even in the most minute degree. These reflections have impressed most strongly on my own mind the conviction, that ALL WASTE IS SIN! and when to others I have appeared to be acting from a parsimonious habit, I have been actuated by, I hope and trust, a much higher principle.
It has never surprised me to observe, that servants in a large family, should be regardless of what they either do not know, or at least never reflect on, the value of the article they destroy, but that a poor labouring person, who literally earns the little he possesses “by the sweat of his brow” should not of that little be careful of every atom that may be of service to him, has, I own, often astonished
It is a frequent remark, that the poor are by no means so economical as the rich ; and from the few observations I have been enabled to make, I believe it to be too generally the case. Why it is so, is to me most unaccountable. It might be reasonably supposed that they could not want a more efficient teacher than necessity, to enforce on their minds the advantage of making the most of all that they possess; but if any other is requisite, most desirable would it be to have lectures on that art in the schools instituted for the instruction of the poor, blessed institutions, whieh cannot be too highly appreciated by those to whom they are appropriated, for by them they are taught the way to everlasting life, not to trifle away their invaluable hours over useless books that at best can but amuse, and too frequently enervate the mind, and unfit it for its proper avocations, (and by doing so, let it ever be remembered, that they are doubly losers, as during those hours they might have earned an addition to their little income) not to indulge in speculations incompatible with their situation, is this excellent education given them which they could not otherwise have obtained; but to learn their duty in whatever state of life they may be placed, and to practice it. This is the grand object of these institutions, and this they must further by their own endeavours, or be doubly reprehensible. Here they are taught from that Book beyond all price, that “ifany will not work, neither shall he eat.” That we should not be “slothful in business,”: but “ labour, working with our hands,” not only for our own support, but that we might have to give to him that needeth” as Paul laboured that he might be “chargeable to no man,” and worked at his useful occupation with those of his own profession. Shall any therefore refuse to labour, and to make the most of the time allotted them? Shall any who shall read that “the poor man is honoured for his skill” not exercise that skill to the best advantage? All have some talents given them, and for what? to be “ laid by in a napkin?” Recollect the fate of the “slothful servant” and risk not the penalty. Most justly does Miss Talbot remark in her excellent Reflections (a work that ought to be in every persons hands who can afford the trifling sum at which it is published ) that most merciful as well as just was the sentence of perpetual toil pronounced on man for his first transgression.
To be continued.
A few miles to the south of Edinburgh stand the ruins of this once magnificent castle. Its situation is one of extreme beauty and seclusion. Embosomed in a deep glen, amidst the most luxuriant shades, it presents itself to view on a peninsulated rock, accessible only by a 'bridge of stupendous elevation. It was once the seat of the Sinclairs, one of whom was Oliver, the unfortunate fa. vourite of James V., and the innocent cause of the loss of the battle of Solway Moss, from the stubborn pride of the Scotch nobility, which would not bend
No. 2. Vol. I.
to his command. On the height above is the highly decorated Chapel of Roslyn, an edifice of exquisite beauty, founded by William St. Clare, prince of Orkney, in 1446; and, at a short distance, are some very remarkable caves, supposed to have been constructed by the Picts. The brave Alexander Ramsay made these caves his residence for a considerable time, in 1341, where all the gallant youths of Scotland resorted to him, to learn the art of war; and, with him, made frequent excursions to the English borders. c2
OUR LETTER BOX.
The Editors do not wish to be considered responsible for all the sentiments
of their Correspondents.
To the Editor of the Soham Magazine. SIR,
UNDERSTANDING from the prospectus of your Periodical, that it will have for its principal object the dissemination of truth, in articles of local interest connected with our town and neighbourhood, I hail with delight the appearance of such a praiseworthy medium, a medium long wanted, and one, which if carried out with spirit, must assuredly do much good; and I trust I shall not be considered as trespassing on your pages, if I can prevail upon you to insert a few lines in favour of a Society, lately formed in this place, for the “Diffusion of General and Useful Knowledge amongst all Classes
Intellectual improvement, an object worthy the attention of even the humblest individual, has been much neglected in our town, and, concerning many subjects, which might be known as sources of pleasure and profit, and the causes of national advancement, lamentable ignorance prevails.
In the present age, commercial speculations and business engagements occupy the attention and engross the thoughts of the greater portion of the community. The merchant and his clerks are intent upon the acquisition of wealth, the enlargements of establishments, and the increase of trade. The farmer drives his plough, harvests his grain, sells his produce, and finds his mind fully employed in seeking the means most likely to increase his possessions. The artisan toils in his shop, his head and hands are completely occupied in the production of articles useful or ornamental, or in the more pleasing occupation of waiting upon his friends and customers. But, amid these various engagements, the noblest part of humanity is either comparatively inactive, or is occupied with subjects little calculated to develop its all but un
The great thing that is needed is a habit of inquiry and investigation; a state of mind which is not satisfied with the fact that a thing is so, but which advances a step farther, and asks Why it is so ? a mind which is disposed to push its researches until it either gains the desired knowledge, or rests satisfied that the solution of the problem is beyond the powers of human intellect.
The present age affords innumerable facilities for the acquisition of knowledge, both general and useful, and for the advancement of intellectual character. The press, like a perennial spring, is sending forth the streams of literature; books are now within the reach of ALL, not only the trashy sentiments published daily in “cheap editions,” but tho writings of the giants of literature, men of the most profound learning and intellect are brought to us on terms to which the most limited means cannot object. Associations for the diffusion of useful knowledge, Mechanics’ Institutions, and Literary Societies are formed; and many a young man, by the application of his winter evenings, has, by returning spring, found himself introduced into a new intellectual world.
Let me persuade such of my townsmen and readers as are at present members of the “Soham Association for the Diffusion of General and Useful Knowledge,” to use their efforts to promote its prosperity by inducing others to join it. The terms of admission are so low as to render it available to all. The long and dreary winter evenings have arrived; a comfortable Reading Room is proprovided, where books of reference and good society may always be found; there is also at present a small Library of useful and entertaining books for general circulation; besides which, Lectures on interesting subjects are occasionally given.
Should the suggestions here thrown out, induce any persons, more especially any of my young friends in Soham and its Neighbourhood, to become members of an Institution, which, in my belief, is calculated to be of lasting benefit to the rising generation, I shall have reason to be thankful for the means you have afforded me of bringing before them this subject.
I am, 'Sir, Soham.
Your obedient Servant,
At the battle of Crescy, John, King of Bohemia, though blind, served as a volunteer in the French army, and was killed in action. His crest was three ostrich feathers with the motto “ Ich Dien," “I serve,” which was assumed by Edward the Black Prince, son to King Edward the Third, in memorial of this great victory. It has ever since been adopted by the heirs to the Crown of England.
RICHARD the First, of England, defeated the French at Gisors, in the department of Eure and late province of Normandy, in A. D. 1198. This monarch's parole for the day was
“ Dieu et mon Droit," which has almost ever since continued the motto of the Royal Arms of England,