Now it came to pass that as thy servant sat alone and at night watching the dying embers of his cabin fire, behold the latch of his cabin door was softly lifted, and before him stood - an angel! clothed in female apparel. As in duty bound, I immediately arose from my only stool, and invited her to be seated: this she gracefully declined; but, placing her white and beautiful fingers upon the bosom of my woolen shirt, in a voice of musical distinctness she thus addressed me, "Young man, hast thou courage?" I was almost speechless, for I felt what little I possessed fast oozing away, and I modestly answered that I had none to boast of, yet "dare do all that may become a man." "It is enough, " she replied, "I therefore commission thee to give the following:


I. Thou shalt not "put on airs" of self-importance, nor indulge in day-dreams of extravagance, nor allow thy vanity and love of dress to turn thy head, and unfit thee for the sober duties of life, or make thee MERELY an expensive toy and walking advertisement of the latest fashions.

II. Thou shalt not believe thyself to be an angel - all but the wings, - nor over-estimate thine own and under-estimate thy husband's value; because the scarcity of thy sex leads men to bow, almost in worship, to silk or calico made into woman's garments.. Neither shalt thou be intoxicated by the personal attractions and flattering attentions of men with finger-rings, fine apparel and prancing horses; nor by the glittering equipage and wonderful promises of the unprincipled and gay gallant - lest thy weakness and folly tempt thee to prefer him to thy husband, and soon under the plea of "incompatibility of temper," or other phantom of the imagination - thou become dissatisfied, and in the end "seek a separation," or "pray for a divorce," to gratify thy vain desires, or cover thy sin.

III. Thou shalt not consider it fashionable, cleanly, or economical, to sweep the streets with one-hundred-dollar dresses - when at home thou considered thyself fortunate to get calico; nor to promenade muddy sidewalks in long satin robes and bedraggled underclothes; nor to wear jewels and flowers on thy head, while thy feet go "flipety-click" in buskin shoes run down at the heel, and discover to strangers the holes in thy stockings.

IV. Thou shalt not starve thyself and family twenty-nine days out of thirty, to feast thy circle and give a party; nor by the purchase of expensive gee-gaws and finery keep thyself and husband poor; nor run up bills for frills and furbeloes, while the dry goods merchant and thy husband are at their wits' end how to pay their way; nor spend hard earnings foolably; nor lose a half day shopping, to invest four bits. Neither shalt thou devour all thy savings at cotillion parties and balls; nor waste thy substance by improvidence or neglect.

V. Thou shalt not fret, nor sulk, nor faint, nor fly into hysterics because thine unfortunate husband cannot buy for thee "that beautiful moon, made of such nice green cheese," and a riding dress to match; nor quit his business at any moment, and take you out a riding to - Paradise. Neither shalt thou ride or walk with other men, nor associate with profligates and spendthrifts in the ball room, or by the way-side, in preference to thy husband; nor, under the excuse of saving his purse, treat him as a simpleton, or slave, to stay at home and nurse the children, or follow thee - at a proper distance - to await thy pleasure, or carry thy lap-dog.

VI. Thou shalt not accept presents of Cashmere shawls, specimen shawl pins, embroidered elastics, diamond rings, or other baubles, as the price of thy husband's and thine own dishonor - supposing they will bring thee happiness; for - after thou hast forsaken honor, husband, children and home - as ministers of retribution they will dog thy footsteps, and haunt thy sleep with withering memories of the happy past, and shut for ever out the angel images of innocence and love, that hovered around thy parents' dwelling and in thy husband's home; while thy poor abandoned children, the objects of charity and pity, wander as outcasts, and he that was thy husband perish in sorrow and the gutter - a miserable drunkard, or a broken-hearted, premature, old man.

VII. Thou shalt not substitute sour looks for pickles; nor a fiery temper for stove-wood; nor cross words for kindlings; nor trifling talk for light bread; nor tart language for dessert; nor excuses for anything. Neither shalt thou serve up cold looks or cold meats for breakfast, nor scoldings and hard potatoes for dinner, nor what remains of the other two meals for supper - no, not even on washing days. Neither shalt thou allow hard feelings or unwashed dishes to accumulate; nor withhold either secrets or shirt buttons from the bosom of thy husband; and NEVER omit LITTLE KINDNESSES of any kind.

VIII. Thou shalt not neglect to make thy person and thy home attractive - that when thy husband cometh from his daily toll, or business care, thy cheering looks of loving welcome may greet his footsteps at the cottage door, and charm him into forgetfulness of all but thee. And should he be unfortunate - as many are - thou shalt not increase his sorrows - as many do - by weeping and repining; but, with all thy noblest sympathy and womanly love, seek to lift the heavy burden from his manly heart; and thus renewed, again to dare the rugged and slippery steep that leads to fortune and success, believing "there's no such word as fall," while thou art near to cheer him on, and share with him the victory.

IX. Thou shalt not seek to break up friendships and injure character by fabricating slander. Neither shalt thou indulge in insinuating innuendoes; nor use half-spoken and surmising sentences, nor suspicious and knowing or upturned looks, that seem to say, "Oh, my; if you but knew what I know:" (yet what you don't know would make a very large book, pre-haps.) Neither shalt thou go about with thy gadding-needle, gossip-thread, and scandal-basket of evil speaking, with which to mend the character and manners of thy neighbors for when thy handy-work is returned unto thee - as it will be - magnified, and twisted, and changed, thou wilt reply in anger, "I never said it," yet will not be believed, but henceforth be considered a busy-body and a mischief-maker - and thy FRIENDS shall say of thee, "It's just what I expected."

X. Thou shalt not give these commandments a revengeful interpretation; nor curl thy lip in insulted contempt, nor flash fire from the corners of thine eyes. Neither shalt thou allow thy fingernails to be drawn inwards, in imaginary and Amazonian hieroglyphics and scratches upon the frontspiece of thy servant; but, instead thereof, thou shalt speak a kind word for him to thine unmarried sister, and present him with "a piece of a plate," or "a leather medal," with which to commemorate to posterity his good intentions Yet thou shalt not take pleasure in thinking "Won't these suit Mrs. So-and-So?" but examine carefully where they speak unto thee, that peradventure by their admonition and by reading twice a week the last chapter of Proverbs and the fifth chapter of Ephesians, thou mayest profit thereby, and thy children by they example, and thy childrens' children after thee, rise up to call thee blessed.


To Unmarried Ladies. Thou shalt not become weary of waiting for thy lover's return; nor expect him at thy side before his purse is full; nor forsake him because he is poor; nor marry another because he is rich - (for here the rich become poor and the poor become rich.) Neither shalt thou hesitate - if thou lovest him - when he sendeth for thee; yet, let her remain who, if a room is not carpeted, or a dinner needs cooking, or a shirt requires washing, expects to drown irrecoverably in briny tears, or die immediately in agonizing spasms, because she "never soiled her fingers before, and now - it is so provoking!" - poor thing. Moreover, whisper ye to the wives at home, that they "cut up no capers," while, uncheered and alone - frequently against hope - their husbands toil unremittingly on from weary month to month, without ere murmuring thought of what they suffer or forego for the dear ones, far, far away. AMEN. So mote it be. FORTY-NINE.