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cular; and Aatter myself, by my proficiency, to merit your approbation, so far that you shall not repent of your indulgence. With ny duty to you, my love to my brothers and sisters, and respects to all friends, I subscribe myself,
Your dutiful and affectionate Daughter
A Letter on Arithmetie, written by Dr. Johnson,
to a young Lady. DEAREST Miss SOPHY, BY an absence from home, and for one reason and another, I owe a great number of letters, and I assure you, that I sit down to write your's first. Why you should think yourself not a favorite, I cannot guess; iny favour will, I am afraid, never be worth much; but be its value more or less, you are never likely to lose it, and less likely, if you continue your studies with the same diligence as you have begun them.
Your proficience in arithmetic is not only to be commended, but adınired. Your master does not, I suppose, come very often, nor stay very long; yet your advance in the seience of numbers is greater than is commonly made by those who, for so many weeks as you have been learning, spend six hours a day in the writing school.
Never think, my sweet, that you have arithmetic enough; when you have exhausted your master, buy books. Nothing amuses more harmlessly than computation, and nothing is oftener applicable to real business or speculative inquiries. "A thousand stories, which the ignorant tell and believe, die away at once, when the computist takes them in his gripe. I hope you will cultivate in yourself a disposition to numerical inquiries; they will give you
entertainment in solitude, by the practice; and reputation in public, by the effect. If
you can borrow Wilkin's Real Character, a folio, which the bookseller can perhaps let you have, you will have a very curious calculation, which you are qualified to consider, to shew that Noah's ark was capable of holding all the known animals of the world, with provision for all the time in which the earth was under water. Let me hear from you soon again.
I am, yours, &c.
From a young Gentleman to his Guardian, ac
quainting him that he has begun to learn Geography.
DEAR SIR, BY the advice of my master I have lately augmented my course of studies by beginning to learn geography; and I find it very entertaining, as it promises both pleasure and profit. Even the newspapers, which are left at the school for our perusal, cannot be read with satisfaction without a knowledge of this science; an article of intelligence from either of the Indies would conīvey but little information to the reader, unless he was previously acquainted with the nature and situation of the country: and if this were the only advantage to be derived from it, the trouble bestowed in acquiring it would be sufficiently repaid. Its use in reading histories, travels, &c. must be infinite; and, without a knowledge of this valuable science, even common conversation would frequently be insipid. My stating thus the value of geography, is not done under a supposition that I am conveying information to you; but merely to shew that I am
sensible of its advantages. Several young gentlemen engaged in this study, have entered into a subscription to purchase a pair of globes, as being indispensible requisites to facilitate their improvement; and I trust to that liberality I have so often experienced at your hands, for a supply adequate to my share of the expence, which is
I cannot conclude this letter without repeating my thanks to you for so well supplying the place of parents, whose fond attentions I was so unhappy as to lose in early life; and to assure you that I shall never fail to make the best and only return. in my power for your kindness to me that of an implicit obedience to your commands, and a grateful remembrance of your goodness to Your affectionate and obliged Ward,
and humble Servant.
From a young Lady to her Father, requesting leave
to learn to dance.. DEAR PAPA, I HAVE a favor to request, which, as it much concerns my present happiness, occasions a timidiaty I never remember to have felt before, when ad. dressing you; it is, that you would permit me to join the rest of the young ladies of my age, in receiving instructions from the dancing master. Your indulgence in this particular, will not render me inattentive to the other branches of education, but induce me to attend to them with greater assiduity : but though I earnestly wish to attain this polite accomplishment, if you do not approve of it, I shall bid adieu to the idea, and regret having made a request which you deem improper ; being fully convinced that your foodness for me would
to withhold nothing from me, which could contri-
I remain, dear Papa,
Lord Chesterfield to his Son, on Modesty.
MY DEAR CHILD, IF it is possible to be too modest, you are ; and you deserve more than you require. An amber headed cane, and a pair of buckles, are a recompence so far from being adequate to your deserts, that I shall add something more. Modesty is a very good quality, and which generally accompanies true morals: it engages and captivates the minds of people; as on the other hand, nothing is more shocking and disgustfal, than presumption and impudence. We cannot like a man who is always commending and speaking well of himself, and who is the hero of his own story: On the contrary, a man who endeavours to conceal his own merit; who sets that of other people in its true light; who speaks but little of himself, and with modesty : such a man makes a favourable impression upon the understanding of his hearers, and acquires their love and esteem.
There is, however, a great difference between modesty, and an awkward bashfulness; which is as ridiculous as true modesty is commendable. It is as absurd to be a simpleton, as to be an impudent fellow; and one ought to know how to come into a room, speak to people, and answer them, without being out of countenance, or without embarrassment. The English are generally apt to be
bashful; and have not those easy, free, and at the same time polite manners, which the French have. A méan fellow, or a country bumpkin, is ashamed when he comes into good company: he appears embarrassed, does not know what to do with his hands, is disconcerted when spoken to, answers with difficulty, and alınost stammers: whereas a gentleman, who is used to the world, comes into company with a graceful and proper assurance, speaks even to people he does not know, without embarrassment, and in a natural and easy manner. This is called usage of the world, and good breeding; a most necessary and important knowledge in the intercourse of life. It frequently happens that a man with a great deal of sense, but with little usage of the world, is not so well received as one of inferior parts, but with a gentleman-like behaviour.
These are matters worthy your attention ; reAect on them, and unite modesty to a polite and easy assurance.
From a Brother at home, to his Sister abroad on a
visit, complaining of her not writing. DEAR SISTER, I WRITE to inform you how unkind we all take it, of you, that you do not write oftener, to inform us of your health, employments, and diversions in the country.
You cannot be insensible how much you are beloved by us all here, and how materially wc regard every circumstance that relates to you. Judge then for yourself if you do right to omit giving us the only satisfaction absence affords to true friends, which is, often hearing from each