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what has been already said, a man's own heart is so degenerate as to be unable to direct him, all the instruction in the world will be of little service.
am, &c; &c.
On Friendship. Str, A REAL friend is undoubtedly one of the greatest blessings which fate can throw into the lot of a mortal: but false appearances are so frequent in society, that it behoves a man to be cautious in making his choice; for intimacies that are suddenly contracted, are generally productive of disappointments that give a lasting uneasiness. Loquacious people, and such as practise a forward complacency, I would have you always regard as dangerous : such persons frequently make it a principal part of their amusement, to creep into the confidence of the unwary, that they may make themselves merry by rehearsing the secrets they bave, leech-like, extorted from the bosom of credulity. Let a friend, before you place any material reliance' on him, be well chosen, and thoroughly tried. In making your choice, be not hasty, nor think of including a number of friends in your scheme; one good one is as much as can be expected, and let that one be selected from those who seem not over-forward to thrust themselves into your acquaintance. Be not so sanguine as to expect him to be wholly faultless ;- but, taking his conduct in one general view, if you find his integrity fair, you may venture to proceed ; meet his advances half-way, and put him to a fair trial. If he proves to be one, who, merely to shew the superiority of his judgment, is constantly railing, with strained severity, at every trifling error of the judgment or slip of the tongue, things of little
moment, and probably originating in the frailty of our nature; or, if he is over-fuent in his praises of what may seem a meritorious' action, thereby feeding your vanity so that he may raise a laugh at your expence when your back is turned'; in both cases, you may drop all thoughts of ever making hün sincere ; and, the sooner you rid yourself of such an intimacy, the better. It is in one whose conduct is diametrically opposite to that depicted above, that you are to expect á steady and valuable friend.
Your own conduct is, likewise, to be considered: This must be actuated by the principle which förms our duty to our neighbour; you inust make yourself as serviceable to him, as you would have him be to you, or you cannot look for any permanenee in his attachment. · To
expect to meet with disinterested friendship in man, is as ridiculous 'as that chymical delusion, the philosopher's stone: Where the interest is mutual, there, and there only, the affection will be mutual' also. For, as Mr. Pope justly observes,
-- True self-love, and social are the same." While meditating on friendship, love naturally presents itself to the eye of discussion ; and I shall conclude this epistle with one observation, which appears to me to include the whole of that general passion in one view. When a true friendship subsists between two persons, were it possible for either party to change his or her sex to the opposite one, that friendship would be instantly converted into love ; and the person who knows what sincerity is in one case, will easily comprehend. what it must be in the other.
“ Let friendship only take one lighter shade, And be in lovely woman's form.display'd,
With ev'ry grace, and each contingent part
I am, your's, &c.
Against a sudden' Intimaty with one of a short
Acquaintance. DEAR I AM just setting out for and have not leisure to say so much as I wish concorning what I now write to you. I hear that Mr. B. and you have lately, and very suddenly, contracted suchi an intimacy, that you are scarcely ever asunder; and, as I know his morals are not the best in the world, I fear he will, if he has not already, let you see, that he knows better what he is doing in seeking your acquaintance, than you do in cultivating his.
I am far from wishing to control you in any necessary or innocent liberty, or to prescribe too much in your choice of a friend ; nor am I against your being complaisant to strangers; but you must not think every man, whose conversation is agreeable, fit to be immediately treated as a friend. Hastily contracted friendships, of all others, promise the least duration or satisfaction ;, as they commonly arise from design on one side, and cre: dulity on the other. True friendship 'must be tric effect of long and inụtual estcem and knowledge ;
and must be cemented by an equality of years,' a similitude of maunors, and, nearly, a parity in circumstances and degree. Generally speaking, openness to strangers carries strong marks of intdiscretion along with it, and frequently ends in repentance.
For these reasons, I wish you would be on your guard, and proceed cautiously in this new alliance, Mr. B. has sufficient vivacity and humour to please any man of a light turn; but I think him fitter for the tea table than the closet. He is smart, but very superficial ; and treats all serious subjects with a contempt too natural to bad minds. I know more young men than ape, of whose good opinion he has taken advantage and made them wiser than he found them, though at the expence of. their own experience.
The caution I here give you, is the pure effect of my experience in life, some knowledge of your new associate, and my affection for you. The use you make of it will determine whether you merit this concern from
Your affectionate Friend, &c.
On Education. DEAR EDWARD, IT requires no considerable erudition to discover; that Education is the principal ingredient in the composition of a gentleman ; and that a man bred up in ignorance is as much inferior as to what he ought to be, as he is superior to the brutes. The cultivation of the mind is, therefore, of the great est importance; and no time can be so fit for it as the morning of our days, ere the heart is contaminated by the cares and disquietudes of the world: In the search after knowledge, it is necessary to
adopt a regular mode of study; for, hy passing bastiły from one branch of science to another, you will gain only a superficial, instead of a substantial knowledge. The morning is certainly the most proper part of the day for study; because the mind is, then, in its greatest vigor, and the nerves are not rendered fanguid by the heat of the meridian sun, nor the comprehension clouded by the lumes of digestion. Nor would I have you confuse yourself with endeavouring to run over a great number of volumes: let your selection be small, bex welk chosen, and react but little, but let that Hitele be read with attention. As you xre not intendo ed for any of the learned professions, I see no necessity for your learring any of the foreign languages, more especially throse which are derinmmated the dead languages; for all foreign works of eminence, both antient and modern, are to be found translated into English. A thorough grárrrmatical knowledge of your native tongue, and of history in general, especially that of your own coumry, seem to be absolutely necessary to every man who intends to be useful, or even only ornamental, in society'; and geography, and such other sciences as open our eyes to the grandeur of Omnipotence in the construction of the universe, seem also necessary; for it is by them that the mind is renekered capable of the most refined enjoyment, and the heart opened for the reception of all the noblest sensations. Draving and painting will also afford you a rational amusement, nor should dancing and fencing be vrholly excluded. Not that I wish you to make a practice either of fighting duels or visiting ball and assembly-rooms : but by the one you will learn a genteel carriage; and the other will enable you the better to stand in your own defence, when any lawless attack is made on your person or property. Such are, in briet,