This is the final part in this series. It seems to be in the form of an analogy.

After reading this, do you feel motivated to raise your children well? And to marry them to someone who has been raised with similar values?



from The American Frugal Housewife
by Mrs. Lydia Maria Child
published in 1832

Perhaps some will think the evils of which I have been speaking are confined principally to the rich; but I am convinced they extend to all classes of people.

All manual employment is considered degrading; and those who are compelled to do it, try to conceal it.

A few years since, very respectable young men at our colleges, cut their own wood, and blacked their own shoes. Now, how few, even of the sons of plain farmers and industrious mechanics, have moral courage enough to do without a servant; yet when they leave college, and come out into the battle of life, they must do without servants; and in these times it will be fortunate if one half of them get what is called ‘a decent living,’ even by rigid economy and patient toil.

Yet I would not [like] that servile and laborious employment should be forced upon the young. I would merely have each one educated according to his probable situation in life; and be taught that whatever is his duty, is honorable; and that no merely external circumstance can in reality injure true dignity of character.

I would not cramp a boy’s energies by compelling him always to cut wood, or draw water; but I would teach him not to be ashamed, should his companions happen to find him doing either one or the other.

A few days since, I asked a grocer’s lad to bring home some articles I had just purchased at his master’s. The bundle was large; he was visibly reluctant to take it; and wished very much that I should send for it. This, however, was impossible; and he subdued his pride; but when I asked him to take back an empty bottle which belonged to the store, he, with a mortified look, begged me to do it up neatly in a paper, that it might look like a small package.

Is this boy likely to be happier for cherishing a foolish pride, which will forever be jarring against his duties? Is he in reality one whit more respectable than the industrious lad who sweeps stores, or carries bottles, without troubling himself with the idea that all the world is observing his little unimportant self? For, in relation to the rest of the world, each individual is unimportant; and he alone is wise who forms his habits according to his own wants, his own prospects, and his own principles.

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The end of Education of Daughters

text source : Project Gutenberg
image source: WP Clipart