Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/710

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
688
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

probably those which are rather risqué. She can converse, perhaps, in two or three different modern languages. As a general rule her French can scarcely be understood by the foreign attachés at Newport. The girl is absolutely unequipped for real life, and the man of sense, who has passed the boyish age and is looking for a partner for life, knows this. Possibly this is one cause why there are comparatively few marriages in our best society. What man is less likely to seek as wife a woman who knows something about the care and value of money? It is strange that a father should be so blinded to the best interests of his daughter. Is it because he considers her intellect so far below that of his son that he makes no effort to instruct her in regard to the care of money? The only thing she knows about money is how to spend it—generally on herself, for clothes and jewels. Perhaps on the first of the month, when the bills for his daughter's extravagance pour in on him, he is vexed; but if his fortune is large, and it is no inconvenience for him to pay them, he generally does so without a murmur. "Let her have a good time while she is young," he soliloquizes.

But stop a moment and consider. What you sow you reap is as true in this material concern as in the world of agriculture. The fond parent by his indulgence and neglect is sowing the seeds of extravagance, perhaps those of want. Years hence she may reap the fruit of his ill-judged kindness in fostering habits of reckless expenditure.

In a few years the father dies; his property is divided; the daughter receives her share. If she is married to a good business man who has time to take charge of her fortune, possibly, during her husband's lifetime, the difficulty is bridged over. But the chances are she may not be married, or again the man she has selected as husband may be worthless as a business man. It is not to be expected that a brother (even if she is fortunate enough to possess one), however kind, will overburden himself with the manifold details of looking after the property of a sister. He has his own interests, which demand his attention. He thinks his duty accomplished when he has chosen a man to look after his sister's affairs whom he believes to be reliable. The person whom he has appointed as guardian over his sister's interests may have an honest and high character, but that is no guarantee that in a moment of weakness he may not yield to the temptation of abusing the trust. He knows the woman is absolutely ignorant of how her affairs are being conducted, and in all probability would not be the wiser if he appropriated some of her fortune to his own uses. Her very ignorance is his security. Who can not recall several such cases? If each day for half an hour the father had instructed his child in the essentials of business—how to