It is not, however, merely because refinements of speech and grace of manners are pleasing to the sense, that our young friends are recommended to cultivate and practice them. Outward refinement of any kind reacts as it were on the character and makes it more sweet and gentle and lovable, and these are qualities that attract and draw about the possessor a host of kind friends.
The moment a girl hides a secret from her mother, or has received a letter she dare not let her mother read, or has a friend of whom her mother does not know, she is in danger.
A secret is not a good thing for a girl to have. The fewer secrets that lie in the hearts of women at any age, the better. It is almost a test of purity. She who has none of her own is best and happiest.
In girlhood, hide nothing from your mother; do nothing that, if discovered by your mother, would make you blush. When you are married, never conceal anything from your husband. Never allow yourself to write a letter that he may not know all about, or to receive one which you are not quite willing that he should read.
Have no mysteries whatever. Tell those who are about you, where you go, and what you do,—those who have the right to know, I mean, of course.
A little secretiveness has set many a scandal afloat; and much as is said about women who tell too much, they are a great deal better off than the woman who tells too little.
The girl who frankly says to her mother, “I have been there, I met so-and-so. Such and such remarks were made, and this or that was done,” will be sure to receive good advice and sympathy.
If all was right, no fault will be found. If the mother knows as the result of her greater experience, that something was improper or unsuitable, she will, if she is a Christian mother, kindly advise her daughter accordingly.
You may not always know, girls, just what is right or what is wrong,—for you are yet young and inexperienced. You can not be blamed for making little mistakes, but you will not be likely to go very far wrong, if from the first, you have no secrets from your mother.
To thy father and thy mother Honor, love, and reverence pay; This command, before all other, Must a Christian child obey.
Help me, Lord, in this sweet duty; Guide me in Thy steps divine; Show me all the joy and beauty Of obedience such as thine.
Teach me how to please and gladden Those who toil and care for me; Many a grief their heart must sadden, Let me still their comfort be.
* * * * *
“Who is she?”
“Couldn’t say. She is a stranger here, I think.”
“Yes, she lives in that little house down by the bridge, you know, girls, that tiny bit of a house covered with that white rose.”