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the spending your time in a more profitable and agreeable mavner than most of your sex generally do, it will give me a pleasure equal at least to that you will receive.
It were to be wished that the female part of the human creation, on' whom Nature has poured out so many charms with so lavishu hand, would pay some regard to the cultivating their minds and improving their understanding. It is easily accomplished. Would they bestow a fourth part of the time they throw away on the trifles and gewgaws of dress, in reading proper books, it would perfectly answer their purpose:
Not that I am against the ladies adorning their persons ; let them be set off with all the .ornainents that art and nature can conspire to produee for their embellishment, but let it be with reuson and good sense, not oaprice and humour; or there is good sense in dress, as in all things else. Strange doctrine to some! but I am sure, Madam, you know there is You practise it.
The first rule to be laid down to any onė wbo Teads to improve, is never to read but with attenition: As the abstruse parts of learning are not necessary to the accomplishinent of one of your sex, a small degree of it will suffice. I would throw the subjects, of which the ladies ought not to be wholly ignorant, under the following heads':
POETRY. The first employs the memory, the second the judgment, and the third the imagination.
Whenever you undertake to read History, make a small abstract of the memorable events, and set down in what year they happened. If you entertain yourself with the life of a famous person, do the same by his most remarkable actions, with the G2
·addition of the year and the place he was born at and died. You will find these great helps to your memory, as they will lead you to renember what you do not write down, by a sort of chain that links the whole history together.
Books on Morality deserve an exact reading. There are none in our language more useful and entertaining than the Spectators, Tatlers, and Guardians. They are the standards of the English tongue, and as such should be read over and over again; for as we imperceptibly slide into the manner and habits of those persons with whom we most frequently converse; so reading being as it were a silent conversation, 'we insensibly write and talk in the style of the authors we have the most often read, and who have left the deepest impressions on our mind. Now, in order to retain what you read on the various subjects that fall under the head of Morality, I would advise you to mark, with a pencil, whatever you find worth remembering. 'If a passage should strike you, mark it down in the margin ; if an expression, draw a line under it; if a whole paper in the fore-mentioned books, or any others, which are written in the same loose and unconnected manner, make, an asterisk over the first line. By these means you will select the most valuable, and they will sink decper in your memory than the rest, on repeated reading, by being distinguished from them.
The last article is Poetry.. The way of distinguishing good Poetry from bad, is to turn it out of verse into prose, and see whether the thought is natural, and the words adapted to it; or whether they are not too big and sounding, or too low and inean, for the sense they would convey: This rule will prevent you from being imposed on by' bombast and fustian, which with many passes for sublime ; for sinooth verses, which run ott'the ear with
an easy cadence and harmonious turn, very oftenimpose nonsense on the world, and are like your fine dressed beaux, who pass for fine gentlemen. Divest: both from their outward ornaments, and people are surprised they could have been so easily deluded.
I have now, Madam, given a few rules, and those such only as are really necessary. I could have added more; but these will be sufficient to enable you to read without burdening your memory, and yet with another view, besides that of barely kils ling time, 'as too many are accustomed to do.
The task you have imposed on me, is a strong proof of your knowing the true value of time, and always having improved it to the best advantage, were there no other; and that there are other proofs, those who have the pleasure of being acquainted with
As for my part, Madam, you have done me too much honor, by singling me out from all your acquaintance on this occasion, to say any thing that would not look like flattery; you yourself would think it so, were I to do you the common justice all your friends allow you ; I must therefore be silent on this head, and only say, that I shall think myself well rewarded in return, if you will believe me to be, with the utmost sincerity, as I really am,
you can tell.
Mr. Pope to the Hon. Robert Digby, on the
proper Way of keeping Christmas. DEAR ROBERT, IT is now the season to wish you a good end of one year, and a happy beginning of another : but
both these you know how to make yourself, by only continuing such a life as you have been long accustomed to lead. As for good works, they are things I dare not name, either to those that do them, or to those that do them not: the first are too modest, and the latter too selfish, to bear the mention of what are become either too old fashioned, or too private, to constitute any part of the vanity or reputation of the present age. However, it were to be wished people would now and then look uponi good works as they do upon old wardrobes, merely in case any of them should by chance come into fashion again ; as ancient fardingales revive in modern hooped petticoats.
Threy tell me, that at Coleshill certain antiquated charities, and obsolete devotions, are yet subsisting: that a thing called christian cheerfulness (not in compatible with Christmas pies and plum broth) whereof frequent is the mention in old sermons and almanacks, is really kept alive and in practice : that feeding the hungry, and giving alms to the poor, do yet make a part of good house-keeping, in a latitude not more remote from London than fourscere miles: and lastly, that prayers and roastbeef actually make some people as happy as licentiousness and a bottle. But here in town, I assure you, men, women and children have done with these things. Charity not only begins, but ends at home. Instead of the four cardinal virtues, now reign four courtly ones: we have cunning for prudence, rapine for justice, time-serving for fortitude, and luxury for temperance. Whatever you may fancy where you live in a state of ignorance, and see nothing but quiet, religion, and good humour, the case is just as I tell you where people understand the world, and know how to live with credit
I wish that Heaven would open the eyes of men, and make them sensible which of these is right'; whether, upon a due.conviction, we are to quit faction, and ganring, and high feeding, and all manner of luxury, and to take to your country way? or you to leave prayers, and almsgiving, and reading, and exercise, and come into our
measures ? I wish (I say) that this matter were as clear to all men; as it is to
Your affectionate, &c.
Dr. Szeift to a young Lady on her Marriage.
MADAM. 3 THE hurry and impertinence of receiving and paying visits on account of your marriage being "Now over, you are beginning to enter into a course of life where you will want much advice to divert you froin falling into many errors, fopperies, and follies, to which your sex are subject. I have always borne an intire friendship to your father and "mother; and the person they have chosen for your husband hath beeis, for some years past, my particular favourite: I have long wished you might come together, because I hoped, from the goodness of your disposition, and by following the counsel of wise friends, you might, in time,
make yourself worthy of him. Your parents were so far in the right, that they did not introduce you much into the world, whereby you avoided many wrong steps, which others have taken, and have fewer ill impressions to be removed ; but they failed, as is generally the case, in too much neglecting to cultivate your mind, without which it is impossible to acquire or preserve the friendship and esteem of a wise man, who soon grows weary of acting the