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CONDUCT TOWARDS RELATIONS.
And when I see thee hang thy head,
Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.Fifth Commandment (Exodus, xx. 12).
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.-Proverbs, xv. 17.
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation ; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. Matthew, xii. 25.
We counteract the design of Nature, and consequently of the Author of Nature, when we do not endeavour to contribute as much as in us lies to the ease and happiness of our near relations, with which our own is often essentially interwoven. “ Is it not strange (says an ingenious writer) that some should be so delicate as not to bear a disagreeable picture in the house, and yet force every face they see about them to wear a gloom of uneasiness and discontent ?” Yet this is no uncommon character.-SEED.
Whatever brawls disturb the street,
There should be peace at home;
Quarrels should never come.
And 'tis a shameful sight,
Fall out, and chide, and fight.-WATTS.
CONDUCT TOWARDS INFERIORS AND
DIFFERENT degrees of importance are attached to men, in proportion as their occupation may require much or little ability or education. Thus lawyers and physicians, who are generally men of considerable talent and good education, are thought more important than traders, who do not require nearly so much of either to carry on their business : traders, again, are deemed more important than labourers, whose duties call for little besides bodily strength. Amongst traders and manufacturers, the possession of much wealth also gives importance, for it enables them to employ many men, and enter upon transactions of great consequence. Another class of men, who live on the rents of their lands, are considered as of still higher importance than any of these; they are called landlords or land-proprietors. There are also some who acquire importance from being ministers of religion, or magistrates, or judges, or from the exercise of other important public duties.
Thus ranks are introduced amongst men. Some are said to be of higher station than others; and
every one has therefore his superiors, his inferiors, and his equals.
It is proper for the inferior to yield respect to the superior, especially if the superiority arises from ability or virtue, or from high public office. But this respect is not to be servile, or for the purpose of flattering the superior. Every person, however humble, owes a respect to himself, which should forbid fawning and cringing to others.
It is proper for the superior, while exacting no improper degree of homage from his inferiors, to treat them with kindness. They are his brethren as men, and each has some degree of importance from his own station. Thus a respect is due from the superior to the inferior, as well as from the inferior to the superior. A contemptuous behaviour in any one towards those whom he thinks his inferiors, only shows that he is not altogether worthy of the place he occupies ;
ALPTIONSO, KING OF SICILY AND NAPLES.
and, on the other hand, nothing so strongly betrays a vulgar and envious mind, as to be constantly railing without provocation at persons in an exalted station.
A servant engages to do the work of a master or mistress for a certain time, at a certain rate of wages; and it is the duty of the servant to do that work, and to behave respectfully to the master or mistress. On the other hand, the master or mistress ought to treat the servant with civility and kindness. When a servant is thus treated, he is almost sure to do his work more willingly and well than if his master behave in a rude and overbearing manner. Servants, under such circumstances, usually become much attached to their masters and mistresses, and at length perform their duties rather through love than for the sake of wages. In some instances, they have risked their lives in behalf of kind masters and mistresses.
In most civilised countries, servants are only bound to their masters for a year, or some shorter period; and when that period is expired, they are as free as the master. But in some countries there are servants of a kind called slaves, generally negroes from Africa, or whose parents were of that country. These are considered as the property of their masters, just as animals are with us. They can be sold from one master to another. Their children, if they have any, also become slaves. They are obliged to do whatever their master orders them to do, as long as they live, or until they can by some means earn as much money as to purchase their freedom. It must be clear to all right-thinking persons, that no one has a title to keep another as a slave; but if any one does, in defiance of natural justice, keep slaves, he ought at least to soften their hard lot by every kindness in his
power. Even a slave may become attached and faithful to a generous master.
ALPHONSO, KING OF SICILY AND NAPLES. Alphonso, king of Sicily and Naples, was remarkable for kindness and condescension to his subjects.
In the course of his military operations in Sicily, he was obliged to halt with his army on the banks of a river, which an enemy prevented him from crossing. Here the army was detained a whole day, without provisions. Towards evening, a soldier brought him a piece of bread and cheese and a radish, which to most persons so situated would have been a welcome present. But Alphonso, thanking the soldier, refused his offer, saying, he could not feast while so many men as good and brave as himself were fasting.
At another time, Alphonso, in travelling privately through Campania, came up to a muleteer, whose beast had stuck in the mud, nor was he able with all his strength to draw it out. The poor man had sought assistance from every one that passed, but in vain. He now sought assistance from the king, not knowing who he was. Alphonso instantly dismounted from his
horse, and, setting himself to help the man, soon freed the mule, and brought it upon safe ground. The muleteer, learning that it was the king who had assisted him, fell on his knees and asked his pardon; but Alphonso assured him that he had committed no offence. This goodness of the king was the means of reconciling many who had formerly opposed him.
UNDUE RESERVE OF A MASTER REBUKED. When Mr Anson the traveller arrived at home from the East, the servant who had accompanied him came to ask his dismissal. On the reason being demanded, he said he had nothing to complain of, but that, through all their common toils and dangers, his master had never addressed a word to him but in the way of command.
Lady Emily Butler and Miss Ponsonby, two Irish ladies of rank, lived in a cottage in Wales, attended by one servant named Mary Carryl, who had accompanied them from their native country. Mary was faithful and affectionate to her two mistresses, and spent her whole life, from a girl, in their service. They were much attached to Mary, whom they regarded rather as a friend than as a servant. When all three became old, the two ladies caused a tombstone with three sides to be raised in Llangollen church-yard; each side being intended in proper time to receive an inscription. Mary dying first, was buried at this spot, and
GENEROUS SELF-DEVOTION OF A SERVANT.
her mistresses testified their regard for her in an epitaph which they caused to be put upon one side of the stone. They themselves also dying in the course of a few years, were buried close beside Mary Carryl, and their epitaphs were inscribed on the remaining sides of the stone. Thus were three persons different in rank, but united by kindly service and mutual respect, laid together at last in the grave, on a footing of perfect equality.
King George III. had a female servant who had lived so long in his family, and served him so faithfully, that at her death he caused a monument to be erected over her grave near St George's Chapel in Windsor, with an affectionate inscription to her memory.
PLANCUS AND HIS SLAVES.
When Octavius, Lepidus, and Antonius, attained supreme power at Rome, Plancus, who had once been consul, was obliged to fly for his life. His slaves were seized and put to the torture, but refused to discover him. New torments being prepared, Plancus could no longer think of saving himself at the expense of such faithful servants: he came from his hiding-place, and offered to submit to the swords of those sent to take his life. An example so noble, of mutual affection between a master and his slaves, procured a pardon for Plancus, and made all the world say that Plancus only was worthy of so good servants, and they only were worthy of so good a master.
GENEROUS SELF-DEVOTION OF A SERVANT. In the winter of the year 1776, the Count and Countess Podotsky being on their way from Vienna to Cracow, the wolves, which are very numerous in the Carpathian mountains, and, when the cold is very severe, are more bold and savage
than usual, came down in hordes, and pursued the carriage between the towns of Osweik and Zator, the latter of which is only a few leagues from Cracow. Of two servants, one was sent before to bespeak post-horses; the other, whom the count particularly esteemed for his fidelity, seeing the wolves come near and nearer, begged his master to permit him to leave them his horse, by which their rage would