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per rule or measure for the designation of your expences; for I have always found, notwithstanding my utmost care, that my expences have always greatly exceeded my calculation of all that I thought could require expence: this is so certainly true, that I hope you will believe my experience, rather than venture being convinced by your own; and the rather, because it will be some shaine to be forced to alter your course of living, but no man will censure your first beginning, which you may encrease when you please with bonour. Some prudent men have divided their estates into three parts; one they allowed for accidents and losses; and of the two-thirds computed to be the clear product, one third they allotted for their expences, and the other one-third for unforeseen occasions, and the growing uses of their family. But I will say, that if you do not design your expences to be less by at least
per annum, than your receipts, you will soon be in debt, instead of laying up for your family, which yet will be your wisdom and your duty; and the most likely time for this is when you are young: I know that young men have many innocent temptations to expence, more than old men have ; but they should consider, that as their families increase, their necessary and unavoidable expences increase too; and though as their children grow, the parent's desire to provide for them, will grow too, yet their ability to make that provision will be less. So true is the saying of the wise man in this sense also, • If thou hast gaihered nothing in thy youth, how canst thou find any thing in thine age?'
But I must not onnit one item of expence, which I hope you never will ornit, which is alms. The rich are God's stewards, and if he has made them to differ, it is not for for their own sakes, though they may make their wealth turn greatly, to their own advantage, for infinite are the blessings promised (Ecc. xxxv. 12.) to the charitable man ; not that you must think to corrupt with gifts, for such he will not receive. But it is certainly the best usury, it will be amply repaid here, and it is laying up treasure in heaven (Matt. xxv. 35.), and will be that account which will be required at the last day. But this is a subject of which I have writ some thoughts, and there
say no more here; but only that you will do well to set apart some proportion for this use, which will render the application of it more easy; not that you should strictly tie yourself to that sum, let the occasion
be never so urgent, but that you should never give less. There can be no good come to him that giveth no alms. (Ecc. xii. 8.)
Take account of your expences once every week ; this will be of great advantage, for tradesmen will sell cheap to you, whose bills always swell by delay; your servants, who have the expending of your money, will be more cautious not to run into any exiravagance or needless expences, or if they do, that damage will be small that is soon stopped, and it is easier done at the first, for a long continuance will make them expect it as a kind of due by custom, which at first they knew was a fault.
It will not be enough to know what your estate annually produces, it is necessary you should know the lands and tenants which yield those rents: Mr. Armstrong is so knowing in all my affairs, and so prudent and faithful in the management of them, that you may think your own care less needful ; but quite contrary, you must begin immediately while there is one who can and will truly inform you of all matters : it is a kind of trade, and a very honourable one, which your grandfather used to style the gentleman's calling; and be assured if you are too great to look after your estate, your estate will soon be too little to support you; and therefore, though you may safely and blindly trust him, yet you should often go with him to see your estate every where, to be informed of the value of each farm, and the circumstances of each tenant; for if he dies before you are thus acquainted with your estate and tenants, they will conclude you are ignorant and may be imposed upon, and they will not fail to profit by it, by asking abatements of rent, when rather than lose their farms they would even give more, and yet you may be afraid of having lands thrown into your hands, which you know not how to manage or to let, and therefore will comply with them. This was my case when I first came home, aud had the care of my father's estate, then in great disorder, for I was forced to abate rents in some of the very best farms, lest I should lose the best tenants, and I have never been able to advance them again, though I know they are honestly worth the old rent. Besides, you can hardly hope for so honest and able a man, as he is, to succeed him; but if you should be so happy as to find such another, it requires some time even for such a man to learn and understand your business. I believe he will tell you he found it so,
and that it was of great use to him, that I went with him and could instruct him; and this you must be able to do to every new steward, or he must learn at your great charge and damage, and with all his care they may be imposed upon; and when he has learnt, if he be not strictly honest, he
may take a kind of fine of your tenants for letling them your farms; and most stewards think those gratuities almost honest perquisites uf their places.
Your other servants may think there are perquisites belonging to them too, being often allowed in great families, as poundage and vails. But never allow these things, for every shilling that a tradesman gives your servant costs you two, and never do you make it the interest of your servants to waste and spoil, as it really becomes by allowing vails. Such tradesmen, as brewer, baker, &c. as always allow in their bills poundage, you will find in Mr. A.'s account, that he has deducted it; but always charged himself with it as debtor to me.
These things may seem trifles, but pray never think any thing little, for he that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little. (Ecc. xix. 1.)
I have for some years extremely desired to see you married, and it is no small trouble to me that I have not succeeded in it: this is a matter of the last importance to you and me too, for upon it depends your own happiness and the honour of my family, which I have many reasons to wish, if it so please God, may spring from you. I have so often talked with you on this subject, that you already know my sentiments, and by what measures you should make your choice, however, I will here remind you of some few things.
As nothing should tempt you to a deformed woman, so neither should you yield to the charms of beauty, which before it fades, as it soon will, will soon appear to you less lovely, though, perhaps, very attractive of others, which without her strict virtue and great discretion
may be uneasy to you.
While the great and necessary burden, which I have charged, remains upon my estate, a great fortune may appear very desirable: I do not object to it that many families have been ruined by it, for I wish you could get such a woman, if in other respects, also, she be desirable, otherwise you sell yourself to a state worse than slaver, and your family to contempt: but your conduct upon á
late occasion satisfies ine, that you need no arguments against such a folly.
A woman of a loose and too free and open a behaviour may be virtuous, but is often censured as if she were not so; she is spreading a net for others, and is often taken in it herself, for she exposes herself to great temptations ; but a wife should not only be chaste, but be thought so too, otherwise be certainly suffers the reproach, and if ever he comes to think amiss of her bimself, as must be expected, he is most miserable.
But let the conduct of the young woman be never so strict and well guarded, let the reputation of her modesty be never so well established, if she be the daughter of a lewd woman, let no beauty, fortune, nor even supposed and unsuspected virtue, induce you to marry; for if you could be assured of her chastity, you cannot be eased of your fears for your children : I need not quote to you examples; there are many, and one eminent one which you know.
Ul-nature or folly are unanswerable objections, whether in the person herself or in her family; the one spoils all the joys of marriage, and may sprout up in your children, and make them become plagues to you, who in nature and religion are justly counted blessings, and folly cannot be repaired by any the greatest fortune, for, besides the contempt, no estate can so fully provide for younger children but that they must in a great degree help themselves, and if they will have fortunes, they must endeavour, by God's blessing, to make them; and a man of good sense, improved by labour, and industry, and virtue, will scarce want an opportunity for it; and this necessity for their own endeavours is a good, means to secure their virtue, as it prevents that idleness which is the root of most of the fashionable vices.
There are some bodily diseases that are hereditary in families, or if originally in the woman will be so, that are terrible, and surely there is no price adequate to bealth : such as the king's-evil
, and consumption, wbich are infectious, and will be dangerous to yourself; but these, as is also an inveterate gout, will be a certain indelible taint of your posterity.
But, after all your care and enquiry, some of these things may escape your notice, or, notwithstanding such
potice, there may be some other so valuable circumstances as may tempt you to think this or that objection little or compensated by them, and you may, by such a choice, be very miserable, and the more so by the bitter reflection that it
was your own wilful fault. And therefore it ought to be your daily prayer to God to direct and over-rule all your thoughts to what he knows to be fittest for you; and in your most eager wishes commit your ways to him, and he will bring it to pass, it or something that is better for you; fora wicked woman is given as a portion to a wicked man, but a godly woman is given to him that feareth the Lord. Eccl. xxvi. 23.
Whenever you marry, remember to make a will imme.. diately ; for your personal estate, especially the books and manuscripts, should not be left to the act for distribution of intestates' estates. Besides, you may leave your wise with child, which may be a daughter, and perhaps not provided for by the marriage settlement. However, if you do not appoint the guardianship of your child or children, the mother will have it, which in many respects may be inconvenient.
You see by my will I have directed that my family should be kept together for some little time, that you and your mother may have opportunity to consider in what method to settle your course of living: I do not prescribe; but what seems to me most expedient is, that until you marry, you should live together-not she with ,
with her; that is, that you should not en-. gage in housekeeping, which may raise men's expectations of your living at as great expence as I have done; but that it appear to be, as it were, only your mother's family, which need not be so numerous as mine, nor can the like expence be expected from a widow. But then, most certainly, the expence will be greater than any allowance you can make to her, if it be measured by you barely and strictly as boarding for yourself and servants, though you should (as you ought) bear all the charge of repairs of your garden, &c.; and therefore my meaning is, in effect, to avoid the appearance of your keeping house: but you must not suffer your mother to be brought by this into any streights or uneasiness; but my further meaning is, that your sisters (and brothers, if any stay at home) should contribute some part of their allowance towards this expence; for 'tis not fit they should spend all in
Vol. X. Churchm. Mag. for Jan. 1806, C. cloaths,