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receive him as the partner of your heart. Has he disappointed you in something you looked forward to at the time, whether of ornament or furniture, or of any conveniency? Never evince discontent or sourness, but receive his explanation or apology with cheerfulness and a hopeful smile. Does he, when you are housekeeper, invite company without informing you of it, or bring home with him a friend? Whatever may be your repast, or however scanty t may be, receive them with a pleasing countenance; adorn your table with welcome and happy looks, give to your husband and to your company a hearty reception; for this will more than compensate for every other deficiency; it will evince love for your husband, good sense in yourself, and that politeness of manners which acts as the most powerful charm! It will, in short, add to the plainest fare, a zest superior to all that the richest luxury can boast.
As your husband's success in business will greatly depend upon his popularity, and as the manners of a wife have no little influence in extending or lessening the respect and esteem of others for her husband, you should take care to be affable and polite to the poorest as well as the richest. A reserved haughtiness is a sure indication of a weak mind or an unfeeling heart.
With respect to your servants, teach them by your conduct and conversation to look up to you and to love you, while you expect from them a reasonable discharge of their particular duties. Never tease yourself or them by scolding; it has no other effect than to render them discontented and impertinent. Admonish them with a calm firmness.
Cultivate your mind by the use of those books which instruct, rather than of those which merely amuse, or of such as are fitted for both purposes at one and the same time. Do not devote much of your time to pure novel reading; there are works of the kind which may be useful in improving the fancy, and in giving a refined tone to the moral sensibilities; but an indiscriminate or constant reading of such books must vitiate the taste, and produce a disrelish for substantial food and intellectual training of the highest order. Most plays are of a kindred cast, they are not friendly to the delicacy which is one of the principal ornaments of the female character. History, Geography, Poetry, Moral Essays, Biography, Travels, select branches of Science, Sermons, and other well-written religious publications, will not fail to enlarge your understanding, to render you a more agreeable companion, and to exalt your virtue. A woman devoid of rational and devout ideas of religion, has no security for her virtue ; it is sacrificed to her passions, whose voice, not that of God, is her only governing principle. Besides, in those hours of calamity to which families must lay their account with, where will she find support, if it be not in her just reflections upon that all-ruling Pro
vidence which governs the universe, and whose designs and laws have been so impressively made known to man, in all that concerns the well-being of our race now and hereafter.
Mutual politeness between the most intimate friends is essential to that harmony, which should never be once broken, interrupted, or impaired. How important then must it be between man and wife! The more warm the attachment, the less will either party bear to be slighted, or treated with the smallest degree of rudeness or inattention. This politeness, then, if it be not in itself a virtue, is at least the means of giving to real goodness a new lustre it is the means too of preventing discontent, suspicion, and even fallings out; it is, in fact, the oil of intercourse, removing asperities, and lending to everything a pleasing movement.
I will only add, with regard to matrimonial happiness, that it does not depend upon wealth; no, it is not to be found in wealth, but in minds properly-tempered and suited to our respective situations. Competency is necessary; all beyond that point is ideal. Do not suppose, however, that I would not advise your husband to augment his property by all honest methods. I would wish to see him engaged actively in such a pursuit, because a sedulous employment, in obtaining some laudable end, is essential to happiness. In the attainment of a fortune, by honourable means, a man derives particular satisfaction in self-applause, as well as from the increasing estimation in which he is held by those around him.
In the management of your domestic concerns, let prudence and a wise economy prevail. Let neatness, order, and judgment be seen in all your different departments. Unite liberality with a just frugality, and always reserve something for the hand of Charity. Your servants, in particular, will have a strong claim upon your kind consideration;-let them be well fed, well treated, and humanely nursed in sickness.
VERITABLE HISTORY OF THEODORA.*
THERE was once in the kingdom of Tunis a Hungarian merchant, the richest that ever was in the world. One day, passing on the great square, he saw a young Christian girl for sale, who was from the countries of Spain;
*This Spanish romance is of high antiquity, and but little known even in Spain. The author is entirely unknown, but it is attributed to a learned monk of the 15th century. As a tale it possesses all the beautiful simplicity that characterises the Spanish romanceros of olden times, and it is rendered peculiarly interesting by exhibiting a true picture of the theology, philosophy, and natural history taught in the middle ages.
seeing her so pretty, he bought her of the Moor who had her for sale. By her gentle manners and disposition he recognised that she must be the daughter of some gentle blood. He therefore had her taught to read and write as well as everything else to which she could attain, and so well did she give herself to virtue and wisdom, that she surpassed in science and in music all the men and all the women who then existed. And as all things in this life are changing, it was the will of Heaven to send such a reverse on the merchant, that several vessels belonging to him, laden with very precious merchandise, were all lost at sea. So that he found himself so completely ruined in a foreign land, that he knew not what remedy to apply for the very great poverty into which he had fallen. Finding himself, therefore, in such misery that nothing was left to maintain him withal, he decided to say to the damoiselle, "You already know that such a terrible reverse has overtaken me that of all the treasures I possessed, I have nothing left to sell or to engage (pledge); this has doubtless happened on account of the great sins I have committed, but in truth there is now nothing left if it is not you; that is why, my daughter and sennora, it is a forced thing that I should sell you. God knows how much it costs me, but I have already seen that I cannot do otherwise. I now, therefore, supplicate you, my child, to give me advice as to what in your judgment it appears to you I ought to do. From your great learning, I have such confidence in you, that I do not doubt you will find in your mind some means of extricating me from my dreadful embarrassment."
And the damoiselle Theodora, when she heard her master thus speak was in great sorrow and chagrin. She cast her eyes on the ground and began to weep, remaining a long time without speaking, and thinking from the bottom of her heart.
And after she had well examined in private what means of relief she could give her master, who had brought her up, and had expended so much money of his treasure in having her taught all she knew, she raised her head and said, "Take courage, my master, give yourself no more trouble about anything in the world, but have good faith in the mercy of our blessed Saviour, for he will succour you and give you an excellent way of getting out of the difficulty and poverty in which you now are. Think no more of it. God, repeat, can remedy all this. Immediately go forth to the jeweller's, bring me a rich female dress, and get some high coloured stuffs for yourself. I must appear in full dress to-day, and after that I am clothed with these fine things, you must conduct me to the King Miramolin Almanzor, and you will say to him that you want to sell me. He will ask you what you want for my person,-then answer him in this way - My lord, I come to
your highness, for I am in great necessity; but if you will buy this damoiselle, I will sell her at a fair price. And if the king ask you what price you require for me, tell him you must have ten thousand doubloons of good red gold. If he be astonished at the sum you ask, reply in this manner: 'My lord, be not surprised at the price I demand for this damoiselle, in truth she is worth much more.""
After the merchant had heard these words, and the advice given him by the damoiselle, he began to think he was on the good road to be saved. He went to the dealers in precious things, and he addressed himself to a very great friend named Mahoma, who sold all kinds of merchandize,--fine linens, silks, jewels, and spices. To him he related the sad situation to which his sins had brought him.
And Mahoma, pitying him, thus spoke: "In truth, my worthy friend, my heart is broken, and the tears come into my eyes for the great trouble you are in ; see all I possess, and know for certain that no part shall be refused you. Whatever you require I will give you with frank good will, and may it please Heaven that thou and thy damoiselle may experience advantage and happiness."
"Friend!" said the merchant to him, "you must know I want robes of fine colours, and elegant head ornaments to dress the damoiselle; and then, friend, I propose to conduct her to the king."
And after that the merchant had thus given his reasons, the jeweller gave him stuffs and ornaments as beautiful as he required.
The merchant on receiving them returned thanks to God, and said in his heart,-" If it is Thy will, the thing has well commenced.”
He returned to the house, gave the damoiselle the rich stuffs and jewellery, and she rejoiced in seeing them; for she was beautiful, and their richness greatly enhanced her charms. She said to her master, "Rejoice and make merry; if it please Heaven this will become the foundation of our fortune.”
She then dressed herself in these fine things, and one would think they had been cut to her measure. She adjusted the jewels in the best way she possibly could, and when the damoiselle Theodora was thus dressed, she appeared the most graceful and the most lovely being that could be found in the world.
The merchant sat forward to the palace of the king Miramolin Almanzor, who was well pleased to look upon the marvellous beauty of ladies and damoiselles.
How the merchant conducted the damoiselle before the king in his alcaçar (palace in Arabic). What he the king said to him, and the reply he the merchant made the king.
History relates that the merchant conducted the damoiselle Theodora to the king's alcaçar. He spoke to the doorkeeper, supplicating admittance, because he wished to speak with the king. The porter instantly opened the door, telling him he was welcome. The merchant then retired with the damoiselle into the room where was the king, whom he saluted, as he did all that were present; and after having prostrated himself to the ground, he approached nearer and kissed the king's hand; and the king said to him :-"Answer me, friend, what are thy wishes, and what dost thou want of me?"
The merchant then replied :-" I have brought your highness this damoiselle, to know if it would please you to buy her."
The king replied, that he would do so, but that he should declare what he wanted.
And the merchant answered, that he demanded ten thousand doubloons of good red gold.
And the king marvelled greatly that so large a sum should be asked of him. "Friend," said he, "you must be out of your mind, or it must be imagined that the damoiselle has boasted of things she cannot perform."
"My lord," answered the merchant, "do not regard the high price I have asked as wonderful. You must know that she is in possession of many sciences, that there is no wise man who can conquer her. I have expended my treasures to enable her to acquire all that was to be taught. She has studied all written matters,-she knows everything in this lower world that can be known by the wise and learned-men or women."
And the king, on hearing these words, began addressing the damoiselle. He desired her to withdraw the mantle that fell over her eyes, and ordered that the veil which covered her face should be taken off. The damoiselle did as she was commanded, and Miramolin then beheld a more surprising beauty than any he had ever seen before during his life. He asked her name, and she with great humility and reverence, answered him: "Very illustrious lord, I am called the damoiselle Theodora."
"Be pleased to inform me which is the science you have learned among all the sciences of this lower universe."
The damoiselle replied: "Your royal highness shall know that the first thing I have learned is the seven liberal arts; next, the art of astrology;