Never should a wife display her best conduct, her accomplishments, her smiles, and her best nature, exclusively away from home.
Be careful in your purchases. Let your husband know what you buy, and that you have wisely expended your money.
Let no wife devote a large portion of her time to society-work which shall keep her away from home daytimes and evenings, without the full concurrence of her husband.
Beware of entrusting the confidence of your household to outside parties. The moment you discuss the faults of your husband with another, that moment an element of discord has been admitted which will one day rend your family circle.
If in moderate circumstances, do not be over ambitious to make an expensive display in your rooms. With your own work you can embellish at a cheap price, and yet very handsomely, if you have taste. Let the adornings of your private rooms be largely the work of your own hands.
Beware of bickering about little things. Your husband returns from his labors with his mind absorbed in business. In his dealings with his employes, he is in the habit of giving commands and of being obeyed. In his absent-mindedness, he does not realize, possibly, the change from his business to his home, and the same dictatorial spirit may possess him in the domestic circle. Should such be the case, avoid all disputes. What matters it where a picture hangs, or a flower-vase may sit. Make the home so charming and so wisely-ordered that your husband will gladly be relieved of its care, and will willingly yield up its entire management to yourself.
Be always very careful of your conduct and language. A husband is largely restrained by the chastity, purity and refinement of his wife.
A lowering of dignity, a looseness of expression and vulgarity of words, may greatly lower the standard of the husband's purity of speech and morals.
Whatever may have been the cares of the day, greet your husband with a smile when he returns. Make your personal appearance just as beautiful as possible. Your dress may be made of calico, but it should be neat. Let him enter rooms so attractive and sunny that all the recollections of his home, when away from the same, shall attract him back.
Be careful that you do not estimate your husband solely by his ability to make display. The nature of his employment, in comparison with others, may not be favorable for fine show, but that should matter not. The superior qualities of mind and heart alone will bring permanent happiness.
To have a cheerful, pleasant home awaiting the husband, is not all. He may bring a guest whom he desires to favorably impress, and upon you will devolve the duty of entertaining the visitor so agreeably that the husband shall take pride in you. A man does not alone require that his wife be a good housekeeper. She must be more; in conversational talent and general accomplishment she must be a companion.
A very grave responsibility has the man assumed in his marriage. Doting parents have confided to his care the welfare of a loved daughter, and a trusting woman has risked all her future happiness in his keeping. Largely will it depend upon him whether her pathway shall be strewn with thorns or roses.
Let your wife understand fully your business. In nearly every case she will be found a most valuable adviser when she understands all your circumstances.
Do not be dictatorial in the family circle. The home is the wife's province. It is her natural field of labor. It is her right to govern and direct its interior management. You would not expect her to come to your shop, your office, your store or your farm, to give orders how your work should be conducted; neither should you interfere with the duties which legitimately belong to her.
If a dispute arises, dismiss the subject with a kind word, and do not seek to carry your point by discussion. It is a glorious achievement to master one's own temper. You may discover that you are in error, and if your wife is wrong, she will gladly, in her cooler moments, acknowledge the fault.
Having confided to the wife all your business affairs, determine with her what your income will be in the coming year. Afterwards ascertain what your household expenses will necessarily be, and then set aside a weekly sum, which should regularly and invariably be paid the wife at a stated time. Let this sum be even more than enough, so that the wife can pay all bills, and have the satisfaction besides of accumulating a fund of her own, with which she can exercise a spirit of independence in the bestowal of charity, the purchase of a gift, or any article she may desire. You may be sure that the wife will very seldom use the money unwisely, if the husband gives her his entire confidence.
Your wife, possibly, is inexperienced; perhaps she is delicate in health, also, and matters that would be of little concern to you may weigh heavily upon her. She needs, therefore, your tenderest approval, your sympathy and gentle advice. When her efforts are crowned with success, be sure that you give her praise. Few husbands realize how happy the wife is made by the knowledge that her efforts and her merits are appreciated. There are times, also, when the wife's variable condition of health will be likely to make her cross and petulant; the husband must overlook all this, even if the wife is at times unreasonable.
Endeavor to so regulate your household affairs that all the faculties of the mind shall have due cultivation. There should be a time for labor, and a time for recreation. There should be cultivation of the social nature, and there should be attention given to the spiritual. The wife should not be required to lead a life of drudgery. Matters should be so regulated that she may early finish her labors of the day; and the good husband will so control his business that he may be able to accompany his wife to various places of amusement and entertainment. Thus the intellectual will be provided for, and the social qualities be kept continually exercised.
Only the bridegroom is congratulated at the wedding; it is he who is supposed to have won the prize. Acquaintances of both should speak to the bride first; but if acquainted with but one, they will address that one first, when introductions will take place.
At the wedding breakfast or supper the bride sits by the side of her husband, in the center of the table, at the side; her father and mother occupy the foot and head of the table, and do the honors of the occasion, as at the dinner-party.
The festivities of the occasion being over, and the hour of departure having arrived, the guests disperse, it being etiquette for them to make a formal call on the mother of the bride in the succeeding two weeks.