Friends and Neighbors eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about Friends and Neighbors.
often thought, since her death, that it was her object to turn my life into that channel to which it has since been devoted, but I do not know.  I had never thought of the work that has since occupied me at the time of her death, but I can see now how cautiously and gradually she led me among the poor, and taught me to sympathize with their sufferings, and gave me, little by little, a clue to the evils that had sprung up in the management of our public charities.  She was called from her family in the prime of life, but they who come after her do assuredly rise up and call her blessed.  She has left a fine family, who will not soon forget, the instructions of their mother.”

“Ah! yes, there it is, Mrs. Walters.  A woman’s sphere, after all, is at home.  One may do a great deal of good in public, no doubt, as you have done; but don’t you think that, while you have devoted yourself so untiringly to other affairs, you have been obliged to neglect your own family in order to gain time for this?  One cannot live two lives at once, you know.”

“No, madam, certainly we cannot live two lives at once, but we can glean a much larger harvest from the one which is, bestowed upon us than we are accustomed to think.  I do not, by any means, think that I have ever neglected my own family in the performance of other duties, and I trust my children are proving, by their hearty co-operation with me, that I am not mistaken.  Our first duty, certainly is at home, and I determined, at the outset, that nothing should call me from the performance of this first charge.  I do not think anything can excuse a mother from devoting a large portion of her life in personal attention to the children God has given her.  But I can assure you that, to those things which I have done of which the world could take cognisance, I have given far less time than I used once to devote to dress and amusement, I found, by systematizing everything, that my time was more than doubled; and, certainly, I was far better fitted to attend properly to my own family, when my eyes, were opened to the responsibilities of life, than when my thoughts were wholly occupied by fashion and display.”

ANTIDOTE FOR MELANCHOLY.

“AH, friend K——­, good-morning to you; I’m really happy to see you looking so cheerful.  Pray, to what unusual circumstance may we be indebted for this happy, smiling face of yours, this morning?” (Our friend K——­had been, unfortunately, of a, very desponding and somewhat of a choleric turn of mind, previously.)

“Really, is the change so perceptible, then?  Well, my dear sir, you shall have the secret; for, happy as I appear—­and be assured, my appearances are by no means deceptive, for I never felt more happy in my life—­it will still give me pleasure to inform you, and won’t take long, either.  It is simply this; I have made a whole family happy!”

“Indeed!  Why, you have discovered a truly valuable:  recipe for blues, then, which may be used ad libitum, eh, K——?”

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Friends and Neighbors from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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