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Pamela (Vol. II.) by Samuel Richardson

Part 11 out of 11

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trust to.

We have just now heard that his father, who has been long ill, is
dead. So now, he is a lord indeed! He flutters and starts about most
strangely, I warrant, and is wholly employed in giving directions as
to his mourning equipage.--And now there will be no holding him in, I
doubt; except his new title has so much virtue in it, as to make him a
wiser and better man.

He will now have a seat in the House of Peers of Great Britain; but I
hope, for the nation's sake, he will not find many more like himself
there!--For, to me, that is one of the most venerable assemblies in
the world; and it appears the more so, since I have been abroad; for
an English gentleman is respected, if he be any thing of a man,
above a foreign nobleman; and an English nobleman above some petty

If our travelling gentry duly considered this distinction in their
favour, they would, for the honour of their country, as well as for
their own credit, behave in a better manner, in their foreign tours,
than, I am sorry to say, some of them do. But what can one expect from
the unlicked cubs (pardon the term) sent abroad with only stature, to
make them look like men, and equipage to attract respect, without one
other qualification to enforce it?

Here let me close this, with a few tears, to the memory of my dear
Mrs. Jervis, my other mother, my friend, my adviser, my protectress,
in my single state; and my faithful second and partaker in the
comforts of my higher life, and better fortunes!

What would I have given to have been present, as it seems, she so
earnestly wished, to close her dying eyes! I should have done it with
the piety and the concern of a truly affectionate daughter. But that
melancholy happiness was denied to us both; for, as I told you in
the letter on the occasion, the dear good woman (who is now in the
possession of her blessed reward, and rejoicing in God's mercies) was
no more, when the news reached me, so far off as Heidelburgh, of her
last illness and wishes.

I cannot forbear, every time I enter her parlour (where I used to see,
with so much delight, the good woman sitting, always employed in
some useful or pious work), shedding a tear to her memory; and in my
Sabbath duties, missing _her_, I miss half a dozen friends, methinks;
and I sigh in remembrance of her; and can only recover that cheerful
frame, which the performance of those duties always gave me, by
reflecting, that she is now reaping the reward of that sincere piety,
which used to edify and encourage us all.

The servants we brought home, and those we left behind, melt in tears
at the name of Mrs. Jervis. Mr. Longman, too, lamented the loss of
her, in the most moving strain. And all I can do now, in honour of her
memory and her merit, is to be a friend to those she loved most, as
I have already begun to be, and none of them shall suffer in those
concerns that can be answered, now she is gone. For the loss of so
excellent a friend and relation, is loss enough to all who knew her,
and claimed kindred with her.

Poor worthy Jonathan, too, ('tis almost a misery to have so soft,
so susceptible an heart as I have, or to have such good servants and
friends as one cannot lose without such emotions as I feel for the
loss of them!) his silver hairs, which I have beheld with so much
delight, and thought I had a father in presence, when I saw them
adorning so honest and comely a face, are now laid low!--Forgive
me, he was not a common servant; neither are _any_ of ours so: but
Jonathan excelled all that excelled in his class!-I am told, that
these two worthy folks died within two days of one another: on which
occasion I could not help saying to myself, in the words of David over
Saul and his son Jonathan, the name-sake of our worthy butler--"_They
were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their deaths they were
not divided._"

I might have continued on in the words of the royal lamenter; for,
surely, never did one fellow-servant love another in my maiden state,
nor servant love a mistress in my exalted condition, better than
Jonathan loved me! I could see in his eyes a glistening pleasure,
whenever I passed by him: if at such times I spoke to him, as I seldom
failed to do, with a--"_God bless you too!_" in answer to his repeated
blessings, he had a kind of rejuvenescence (may I say?) visibly
running through his whole frame: and, now and then, if I laid my hands
upon his folded ones, as I passed him on a Sunday morning or evening,
praying for me, with a--"_How do you, my worthy old acquaintance?_"
his heart would spring to his lips in a kind of rapture, and his eyes
would run over.

O my beloved friend! how the loss of these two worthies of my family
oppresses me at times!

Mr. B. likewise shewed a generous concern on the occasion: and when
all the servants welcomed us in a body, on our return--"Methinks
my dear," said he, "I miss your Mrs. Jervis, and honest Jonathan." A
starting tear, and--"They are happy, dear honest souls!" and a sigh,
were the tribute I paid to their memories, on their beloved master's
so kindly repeating their names.

Who knows, had I been here--But away, too painful reflections--They
lived to a good old age, and fell like fruit fully ripe: they _died
the death of the righteous_; I must follow them in time, God knows how
soon; and, _Oh! that my latter end may be like theirs!_

Once more, forgive me, my dear friend, this small tribute to their
memories: and believe, that I am not so ungrateful for God's mercies,
as to let the loss of these dear good folks lessen with me the joy and
delight I have still left me, in the health and the love of the best
of husbands, and good men; in the children, charming as ever mother
could boast of--charming, I mean, principally, in the dawning beauties
of their minds, and in the pleasure their towardliness of nature gives
me; including, as I always do, my dear Miss Goodwin, and have reason
to do, from her dutiful love of me, and observation of all I say to
her; in the preservation to me of the best and worthiest of parents,
hearty, though aged as they are; in the love and friendship of good
Lord and Lady Davers, and my excellent friend Lady G.; not forgetting
even worthy Mr. Longman. God preserve all these to me, as I am truly
thankful for his mercies!--And then, notwithstanding my affecting
losses, as above, who will be so happy as I? That you, my dear Lady
G. may long continue so, likewise in the love of a worthy husband, and
the delights of an increasing hopeful family, which will make you some
amends for the heavy losses you also have sustained, in the two last
years of an affectionate father, and a most worthy mother, and, in
Mrs. Jones, of a good neighbour, prays _your ever affectionate friend
and servant_,


* * * * *



You will excuse my long silence, when I shall tell you the occasions
of it. In the first place, I was obliged to pay a dutiful visit to
Kent, where my good father was taken ill of a fever, and my mother of
an ague; and think. Madam, how this must affect me, at their time of

Mr. B. kindly accompanied me, apprehending that his presence would
be necessary, if the recovery of them both, in which I thankfully
rejoice, had not happened; especially as a circumstance I am, I think,
always in, added more weight to his apprehensions.

I had hardly returned from Kent to Bedfordshire, and looked around,
when I was obliged to set out to attend Lady Davers, who said she
should _die_, if she saw me not, to comfort and recover, by my counsel
and presence (so she was pleased to express herself) her sick lord who
had just got out of an intermittent fever, which left him without any
spirit, and was occasioned by fretting at the conduct of her _stupid
nephew_ (those also were her words).

For you must have heard (every body hears when a man of quality does
a foolish thing!), and it has been in all the newspapers, that, "On
Wednesday last the Right Honourable John" (Jackey they should have
said), "Lord H., nephew to the Right Honourable William Lord Davers,
was married to the Honourable Mrs. P., relict of J.P. of Twickenham,
Esq., a lady of celebrated beauty and ample fortune."

Now, you must know, that this celebrated lady is, 'tis true, of
the----family, whence her title of _honourable_; but is indeed so
_celebrated_, that every fluttering coxcomb in town can give some
account of her, even before she was in keeping of the Duke of----who
had cast her on the town he had robbed of her.

In short, she is quite a common woman; has no fortune at all, as one
may say, only a small jointure incumbered; and is much in debt. She is
a shrew into the bargain, and the poor wretch is a father already;
for he has already had a girl of three years old (her husband has
been dead seven) brought him home, which he knew nothing of, nor even
inquired, whether his widow had a child!--And he is now paying the
mother's debts, and trying to make the best of his bargain.

This is the fruit of a London journey, so long desired by him, and his
fluttering about there with his new title.

He was drawn in by a brother of his lady, and a friend of that
brother's, two town sharpers, gamesters, and bullies. Poor Sir Joseph
Wittol! This was his case, and his character, it seems, in London.

Shall I present you with a curiosity? "Tis a copy of his letter to his
uncle, who had, as you may well think, lost all patience with him, on
occasion of this abominable folly.


"For iff you will not call me neffew, I have no reason to call you
unkell; surely you forgett who it was you held up your kane to: I have
as little reason to valew you displeassure, as you have me: for I am,
God be thanked, a lord and a pere of the realme, as well as you; and
as to youre nott owneing me, nor your brother B. not looking upon
me, I care not a fardinge: and, bad as you think I have done, I have
marry'd a woman of family. Take thatt among you!

"As to your personal abuses of her, take care whatt you say. You know
the stattute will defend us as well as you.--And, besides, she has
a brother that won't lett her good name be called in question.--Mind

"Some thinges I wish had been otherwise--perhapps I do.--What
then?--Must you, my lord, make more mischiefe, and adde to my plagues,
iff I have any?--Is this your unkelship?

"Butt I shan't want youre advice. I have as good an estate as you
have, and am as much a lord as yourselfe.--Why the devill then, am I
to be treated as I am?--Why the plague--But I won't sware neither. I
desire not to see you, any more than you doe me, I can tell you thatt.
And iff we ever meet under one roofe with my likeing, it must be at
the House of Peeres where I shall be upon a parr with you in every
thing, that's my cumfurte.

"As to Lady Davers, I desire not to see her ladyship; for she was
always plaguy nimbel with her fingers; but, lett my false stepp be
what itt will, I have in other respectes, marry'd a lady who is as
well descended as herseife, and no disparagement neither; so have nott
thatt to answer for to her pride; and who has as good a spiritt too,
if they were to come face to face, or I am mistaken: nor will shee
take affmntes from any one. So my lord, leave mee to make the best
of my matters, as I will of youres. So no more, but that I am _youre
servante_, H.

"P.S. I mean no affrunte to Mrs. B. She is the best of yee all--by

I will not take up your time with further observations upon this poor
creature's bad conduct: his reflection must proceed from _feeling_;
and will, that's the worst of it, come too late, come _when_ or _how_
it will. I will only say, I am sorry for it on his own account,
but more for that of Lord and Lady Davers, who take the matter very
heavily, and wish he had married the lowest born creature in England
(so she had been honest and virtuous), rather than done as he has

But, I suppose, the poor gentleman was resolved to shun, at all
adventures, Mr. B.'s fault, and keep up to the pride of descent and
family;--and so married the only creature, as I hope (since it cannot
be helped), that is so great a disgrace to both: for I presume to
flatter myself, for the sake of my sex, that, among the poor wretches
who are sunk so low as the town-women are, there are very few of birth
or education; but such, principally, as have had their necessities
or their ignorance taken advantage of by base men; since birth and
education must needs set the most unhappy of the sex above so sordid
and so abandoned a guilt, as the hourly wickedness of such a course of
life subjects them to.

But let me pursue my purpose of excusing my long silence. I had hardly
returned from Lady Davers's, and recovered my family management, and
resumed my nursery duties, when my fourth dear boy, my Jemmy (for, I
think am I going on to make out the number Lady Davers allotted me),
pressed so upon me, as not to be refused, for one month or six weeks
close attention. And then a journey to Lord Davers's, and that noble
pair accompanying us to Kent; and daily and hourly pleasures crowding
upon us, narrow and confined as our room there was (though we went
with as few attendants as possible), engrossed _more_ of my time.
Thus I hope you will forgive me, because, as soon as I returned, I set
about writing this, as an excuse for myself, in the first place; to
promise you the subject you insist upon, in the next; and to say, that
I am incapable of forgetfulness or negligence to such a friend as
Lady G. For I must always be your _faithful and affectionate humble
servant_, P.B.



The remarks, your cousin Fielding says, I have made on the subject of
young gentlemen's travelling, and which you request me to communicate
to you, are part of a little book upon education, which I wrote for
Mr. B.'s correction and amendment, on his putting Mr. Locke's treatise
on that subject into my hands, and requiring my observations upon it.

I cannot flatter myself they will answer your expectation; for I am
sensible they must be unworthy even of the opportunities I have had in
the excursions, in which I have been indulged by the best of men.
But your requests are so many laws to me; and I will give you a short
abstract of what I read Miss Fielding, who has so greatly overrated it
to you.

The gentleman's book contains many excellent rules on education; but
this of travel I will only refer you to at present. You will there
see his objections against the age at which young gentlemen are sent
abroad, from sixteen to twenty-one, the time in all their lives,
he says, at which young gentlemen are the least suited to these
improvements, and in which they have the least fence and guard against
their passions.

The age he proposes is from seven to fourteen, because of the
advantage they will then have to master foreign languages, and to form
their tongue to the true pronunciation; as well as that they
will be more easily directed by their tutors or governors. Or else he
proposes that more sedate time of life, when the gentleman is able to
travel without a tutor, and to make his own observations; and when he
is thoroughly acquainted with the laws and fashions, the natural and
moral advantages and defects of his own country; by which means,
as Mr. Locke wisely observes, the traveller will have something to
exchange with those abroad, from whose conversation he hopes to reap
any knowledge. And he supports his opinion by excellent reasons, to
which I refer you.

What I have written in my little book, not yet quite finished on
_this_ head, relates principally to _Home Travelling_, which Mr. B.
was always resolved his sons should undertake, before they entered
upon a foreign tour. I have there observed, that England abounds with
curiosities, both of art and nature, worth the notice of a diligent
inquirer, and equal with some of those we admire in foreign parts;
and that if the youth be not sent abroad at Mr. Locke's earliest time,
from seven to fourteen (which I can hardly think will be worth while,
merely for the sake of attaining a perfection in the languages), he
may with good advantage begin, at fourteen or fifteen, the tour of
Great Britain, now-and-then, by excursions, in the summer months,
between his other studies, and as a diversion to him. This I should
wish might be entered upon in his papa's company, as well as his
tutor's, if it could conveniently be done; who thus initiating both
the governed and governor in the methods he would have observed by
both, will obtain no small satisfaction and amusement to himself.

For the father would by this means be an eye-witness of the behaviour
of the one and the other, and have a specimen how fit the young man
was to be trusted, or the tutor to be depended upon, when they went
abroad, and were out of his sight: as _they_ would of what was
expected from them by the father. And hence a thousand benefits may
arise to the young gentleman from the occasional observations
and reflections of his father, with regard to expence, company,
conversation, hours, and such like.

If the father could not himself accompany his son, he might appoint
the stages the young gentleman should take, and enjoin both tutor
and son to give, at every stage, an account of whatever they observed
curious and remarkable, not omitting the minutest occurrences. By
this means, and the probability that he might hear of them, and their
proceedings, from his friends, acquaintance, and relations, who might
fall in with them, they would have a greater regard to their conduct;
and so much the more, if the young gentleman were to keep an account
of his expences, which, upon his return, he might lay before his

By seeing thus the different customs, manners, and economy of
different persons and families (for in so mixed a nation as ours is,
there is as great a variety of that sort to be met with, as in most),
and from their different treatment, at their several stages, a great
deal of the world may be learned by the young gentleman. He would be
prepared to go abroad with more delight to himself, as well as more
experience, and greater reputation to his family and country. In such
excursions as these, the tutor would see his temper and inclination,
and might notice to the father any thing amiss, that it might be
set right, while the youth was yet in his reach, and more under
his inspection, than he would be in a foreign country; and his
observations, on his return, as well as in his letters, would shew how
fit he was to be trusted; and how likely to improve, when at a greater

After England and Wales, as well the inland parts as the sea-coasts,
let them if they behave according to expectation, take a journey into
Scotland and Ireland, and visit the principal islands, as Guernsey,
Jersey, &c. the youth continuing to write down his observations all
the way, and keeping a journal of occurrences; and let him employ the
little time he will be on board of ship, in these small trips from
island to island, or coastwise, in observing upon the noble art of
navigation; of the theory of which, it will not be amiss that he
has some notion, as well as of the curious structure of a ship, its
tackle, and furniture: a knowledge very far from being insignificant
to a gentleman who is an islander, and has a stake in the greatest
maritime kingdom in the world; and hence he will be taught to love and
value that most useful and brave set of men, the British sailors, who
are the natural defence and glory of the realm.

Hereby he will confirm his theory in the geography of the British
dominions in Europe, he will be apprised of the situation,
conveniences, interests, and constitution of his own country; and will
be able to lay a ground-work for the future government of his thoughts
and actions, if the interest he bears in his native country should
call him to the public service in either house of parliament.

With this foundation, how excellently would he be qualified to go
abroad! and how properly then would he add to the knowledge he had
attained of his own country, that of the different customs, manners,
and forms of government of others! How would he be able to form
comparisons, and to make all his inquiries appear pertinent and manly.
All the occasions of that ignorant wonder, which renders a novice the
jest of all about him, would be taken away. He would be able to ask
questions, and to judge without leading strings. Nor would he think he
has seen a country, and answered the ends of his father's expence, and
his own improvement, by running through a kingdom, and knowing nothing
of it, but the inns and stages, at which he stopped to eat and
drink. For, on the contrary, he would make the best acquaintance, and
contract worthy friendships with such as would court and reverence him
as one of the rising geniuses of his country.

Whereas most of the young gentlemen who are sent abroad raw and
unprepared, as if to wonder at every thing they see, and to be laughed
at by all that see them, do but expose themselves and their country.
And if, at their return, by interest of friends, by alliances, or
marriages, they should happen to be promoted to places of honour
or profit, their unmerited preferment will only serve to make those
foreigners, who were eye-witnesses of their weakness and follies, when
among them, conclude greatly in disfavour of the whole nation, or, at
least, of the prince, and his administration, who could find no fitter
subjects to distinguish.

This, my dear friend, is a brief extract from my observations on
the head of qualifying young gentlemen to travel with honour and
improvement. I doubt you'll be apt to think me not a little out of my
element; but since you _would_ have it, I claim the allowances of a
friend; to which my ready compliance with your commands the rather
entitles me.

I am very sorry Mr. and Mrs. Murray are so unhappy in each other. Were
he a generous man, the heavy loss the poor lady has sustained, as well
as her sister, my beloved friend, in so excellent a mother, and so
kind a father, would make him bear with her infirmities a little.

But, really, I have seen, on twenty occasions, that notwithstanding
all the fine things gentlemen say to ladies before marriage, if the
latter do not _improve_ upon their husbands' hands, their imputed
graces when single, will not protect them from indifference, and,
probably, from worse; while the gentleman, perhaps, thinks _he_
only, of the two, is entitled to go backward in acts of kindness and
complaisance. A strange and shocking difference which too many ladies
experience, who, from fond lovers, prostrate at their feet, find surly
husbands, trampling upon their necks!

You, my dear friend, were happy in your days of courtship, and are no
less so in your state of wedlock. And may you continue to be so to a
good old age, _prays your affectionate and faithful friend,_ P.B.


My dear Lady G.,

I will cheerfully cause to be transcribed for you the conversation you
desire, between myself, Mrs. Towers, and Lady Arthur, and the
three young ladies their relations, in presence of the dean and his
daughter, and Mrs. Brooks; and glad I shall be, if it may be of use
to the two thoughtless Misses your neighbours; who, you are pleased
to tell me, are great admirers of my story and my example; and will
therefore, as you say, pay greater attention to what I write, than to
the more passionate and interested lessons of their mamma.

I am only sorry you should be concerned about the supposed trouble
you give me, by having mislaid my former relation of it. For, besides
obliging my dear Lady G., the hope of doing service by it to a family
so worthy, in a case so nearly affecting its honour, as to make two
headstrong young ladies recollect what belongs to their sex and their
characters, and what their filial duties require of them, affords me
high pleasure; and if it shall be attended with the wished effects, it
will add to my happiness.

I said, _cause_ to be transcribed, because I hope to answer a double
end by it; for, on reconsideration, I set Miss Goodwin to transcribe
it, who writes a pretty hand, and is not a little fond of the task,
nor, indeed, of any task I set her; and will be more affected as she
performs it, than she could be by _reading_ it only; although she is
a very good girl at present, and gives me hopes that she will continue
to be so.

I will inclose it when done, that it may be read to the parties
without this introduction, if you think fit. And you will forgive me
for having added a few observations, with a view to the cases of
your inconsiderate young ladies, and for having corrected the former
narrative in several places.

My dear Lady G.,

The papers you have mislaid, as to the conversation between me and
the young ladies, relations of Mrs. Towers, and Lady Anne Arthur, in
presence of these two last-named ladies, Mrs. Brooks, and the worthy
dean, and Miss L. (of which, in order to perfect your kind collection
of my communications you request another copy) contained as follows.

I first stated, that I had seen these three ladies twice or thrice
before, as visitors, at their kinswomen's houses so that they and I
were not altogether strangers to one another: and my two neighbours
acquainted me with their respective tastes and dispositions, and their
histories preparatory to this visit, to the following effects:

That MISS STAPYLTON is over-run with the love of poetry and romance,
and delights in flowery language and metaphorical flourishes: is about
eighteen, wants not either sense or politeness; and has read herself
into a vein, more amorous (that was Mrs. Towers's word) than discreet.
Has extraordinary notions of a _first sight_ love; and gives herself
greater liberties, with a pair of fine eyes (in hopes to make sudden
conquests in pursuance of that notion), than is pretty in her sex
and age; which makes those who know her not, conclude her bold and
forward; and is more than suspected, with a mind thus prepared for
instantaneous impressions, to have experienced the argument to her
own disadvantage, and to be _struck_ by (before she had _stricken_)
a gentleman, whom her friends think not at all worthy of her, and
to whom she was making some indiscreet advances, under the name of
PHILOCLEA to PHILOXENUS, in a letter which she entrusted to a servant
of the family, who, discovering her design, prevented her indiscretion
for that time.

That, in other respects, she has no mean accomplishments, will have
a fine fortune, is genteel in her person, though with some visible
affectation, dances well, sings well, and plays prettily on several
instruments; is fond of reading, but affects the action, and air, and
attitude of a tragedian; and is too apt to give an emphasis in the
wrong place, in order to make an author mean significantly, even where
the occasion is common, and, in a mere historical fact, that requires
as much simplicity in the reader's accent, as in the writer's style.
No wonder then, that when she reads a play, she will put herself into
a sweat, as Mrs. Towers says; distorting very agreeable features,
and making a _multitude_ of wry mouths with _one_ very pretty one, in
order to convince her hearers, what a near neighbour her heart is to
her lips.

MISS COPE is a young lady of nineteen, lovely in her person, with a
handsome fortune in possession, and great prospects. Has a soft and
gentle turn of mind, which disposes her to be easily imposed upon. Is
addressed by a libertine of quality, whose courtship, while permitted,
was imperiousness; and whose tenderness, insult: having found the
young lady too susceptible of impression, open and unreserved,
and even valuing him the more, as it seemed, for treating her with
ungenerous contempt; for that she was always making excuses for
slights, ill manners, and even rudeness, which no other young lady
would forgive.

That this docility on her side, and this insolence on his, and an
over-free, and even indecent degree of romping, as it is called, with
her, which once her mamma surprised them in, made her papa forbid
_his_ visits, and _her_ receiving them.

That this however, was so much to Miss Cope's regret, that she was
detected in a design to elope to him out of the private garden-door;
which, had she effected, in all probability, the indelicate and
dishonourable peer would have triumphed over her innocence; having
given out since, that he intended to revenge himself on the daughter,
for the disgrace he had received from the parents.

That though convinced of this, it was feared she still loved him,
and would again throw herself in his way; urging, that his rash
expressions were the effect only of his passion; for that she knows he
loves her too well to be dishonourable to her; and by the same
degree of favourable prepossession, she will have it, that his brutal
roughness is the manliness of his nature; that his most shocking
expressions are sincerity of heart; that his boasts of former lewdness
are but instances that he knows the world; that his freedoms with her
person are but excess of love and innocent gaiety of temper; that his
resenting the prohibition he has met with, and his threats, are other
instances of his love and his courage: and peers of the realm ought
not to be bound down by little narrow rules like the vulgar; for,
truly, their _honour_ is in the greatest cases regarded as equal with
the _oath_ of a common gentleman, and is a security that a lady may
trust to, if he is not a profligate indeed; and that Lord P. _cannot_

That excepting these weaknesses, Miss has many good qualities; is
charitable, pious, humane, humble; sings sweetly, plays on the spinnet
charmingly; is meek, fearful, and never was resolute or courageous
enough to step out of the regular path, till her too flexible heart
became touched with a passion, that is said to polish the most brutal
temper, and therefore her rough peer has none of it; and to animate
the dove, of which Miss Cope has too much.

That Miss Sutton, a young lady of the like age with the two former,
has too lively and airy a turn of mind; affects to be thought well
read in the histories of kingdoms, as well as in polite literature.
Speaks French fluently, talks much upon all subjects; and has a great
deal of flippant wit, which makes more enemies than friends. However,
is innocent, and unsuspectedly virtuous hitherto; but makes herself
cheap and accessible to fops and rakes, and has not the worse opinion
of a man for being such. Listens eagerly to stories told to the
disadvantage of some of her own sex; though affecting to be a great
stickler for the honour of it in general: will unpityingly propagate
them: thinks (without considering to what the imprudence of her own
conduct may subject her) the woman that slips inexcusable; and the man
who seduces her, much less faulty; and thus encourages the one sex in
their vileness, and gives up the other for their weakness, in a kind
of silly affectation, to shew her security in her own virtue; at
the same time, that she is dancing upon the edge of a precipice,
presumptuously inattentive to her own danger.

The worthy dean, knowing the ladies' intention in this visit to me,
brought his daughter with him, as if by accident; for Miss L. with
many good qualities, is of a remarkable soft temper, though not so
inconsiderately soft as Miss Cope: but is too credulous; and, as
her papa suspects, entertains more than a liking to a wild young
gentleman, the heir to a noble fortune, who makes visits to her, full
of tenderness and respect, but without declaring himself. This gives
the dean much uneasiness; and he is very desirous that his daughter
should be in my company on all occasions, as she is so kind to profess
a great regard to my opinion and judgment.

'Tis easy to see the poor young lady is in love; and she makes no
doubt that the young gentleman loves _her_; but, alas! why then (for
he is not a bashful man, as you shall hear) does he not say so?--He
has deceived already two young creatures. His father has cautioned the
dean against his son. Has told him, that he is sly, subtle, full of
stratagem, yet has so much command of himself (which makes him more
dangerous), as not to precipitate his designs; but can wait with
patience till he thinks himself secure of his prey, and then pulls off
the mask at once; and, if he succeeds, glories in his villainy. Yet
does his father beg of the dean to permit his visits, for he wishes
him to marry Miss L. though greatly unequal in fortune to his son,
wishing for nothing so much as that he _would_ marry. And the dean,
owing his principal preferment to the old gentleman, cares not to
disoblige him, or affront his son, without some apparent reason for
it, especially as the father is wrapt up in him, having no other
child, and being himself half afraid of him, least, if too much
thwarted, he should fly out entirely.

So here, Madam, are four young ladies of like years, and different
inclinations and tempers, all of whom may be said to have dangers
to encounter, resulting from their respective dispositions: and who,
professing to admire my character and example, were brought to me, to
be benefited, as Mrs. Towers was pleased to say, by my conversation:
and all was to be as if accidental, none of them knowing how well I
was acquainted with their several characters.

How proud would this compliment have made me from such a lady as Mrs.
Towers, had I not been as proud as proud could be before, of the good
opinion of four beloved persons, Mr. B., Lady Davers, the Countess of
C. and your dear self.

We were attended only by Polly Barlow, who in some points was as much
concerned as any body. And this being when Lord and Lady Davers, and
the noble Countess, were with us, 'tis proper to say, they were abroad
together upon a visit, from which, knowing how I was to be engaged,
they excused me. The dean was well known to, and valued by, all the
ladies; and therefore was no manner of restraint upon the freedom of
our conversation.

I was in my closet when they came; and Mrs. Towers, having presented
each young lady to me when I came down, said, being all seated, "I can
guess at your employment, Mrs. B. Writing, I dare say? I have often
wished to have you for a correspondent; for every one who can boast
of that favour, exalts you to the skies, and says, your letters exceed
your conversation, but I always insisted upon it that _that_ was

"Mrs. Towers," said I, "is always saying the most obliging things in
the world of her neighbours: but may not one suffer, dear Madam, for
these kind prepossessions, in the opinion of greater strangers, who
will judge more impartially than your favour will permit you to do?"

"That," said Lady Arthur, "will be so soon put out of doubt, when Mrs.
B. begins to speak, that we will refer to that, and to put an end to
every thing that looks like compliment."

"But, Mrs. B.," says Mrs. Towers, "may one ask, what particular
subject was at this time your employment?"

I had been writing (you must know, Lady G.) for the sake of suiting
Miss Stapylton's flighty vein, a little sketch of the style she is so
fond of; and hoped for some such opportunity as this question gave me,
to bring it on the carpet; for my only fear, with her and Miss Cope,
and Miss Sutton, was, that they would deem me too grave; and so
what should fall in the course of conversation, would make the least
impression upon them. For the best instructions, you know, will be
ineffectual, if the manner of conveying them is not adapted to the
taste and temper of the person you would wish to influence. And
moreover, I had a view in it, to make this little sketch the
introduction to some future observations on the stiff and affected
style of romances, which might put Miss Stapylton out of conceit with
them, and make her turn the course of her studies another way, as I
shall mention in its place.

I answered that I had been meditating upon the misfortunes of a fine
young lady, who had been seduced and betrayed by a gentleman she
loved, and who, notwithstanding, had the grace to stop short (indeed,
later than were to be wished), and to abandon friends, country, lover,
in order to avoid any further intercourse with him; and that God had
blessed her penitence and resolution, and she was now very happy in a
neighbouring dominion.

"A fine subject," said Miss Stapylton. "Was the gentleman a man of
wit, Madam? Was the lady a woman of taste?" we condemn every man who
dresses well, and is not a sloven, as a fop or a coxcomb?"

"No doubt, when this is the case. But you hardly ever saw a man _very_
nice about his person and dress, that had any thing he thought of
_greater_ consequence to himself to regard. 'Tis natural it should be
so; for should not the man of _body_ take the greater care to set out
and adorn the part for which he thinks himself most valuable? And
will not the man of _mind_ bestow his principal care in improving that
mind? perhaps to the neglect of dress, and outward appearance, which
is a fault. But surely, Madam, there is a middle way to be observed,
in these, as in most other cases; for a man need not be a sloven, any
more than a fop. He need not shew an utter disregard to dress, nor
yet think it his first and chief concern; be ready to quarrel with the
wind for discomposing his peruke, or fear to put on his hat, lest he
should depress his foretop; more dislike a spot upon his clothes, than
in his reputation; be a self-admirer, and always at the glass, which
he would perhaps never look into, could it shew him the deformity of
his mind, as well as the finery of his person; who has a taylor for
his tutor, and a milliner for his school-mistress; who laughs at men
of sense (excusably enough, perhaps in revenge because they laugh at
him); who calls learning pedantry, and looks upon the knowledge of the
fashions as the only useful science to a fine gentleman.

"Pardon me, ladies; I could proceed with the character of this species
of men, but I need not; for every lady present would despise such
an one, as much as I do, were he to fall in her way: or the rather,
because he who admires himself, will never admire his lady as he
ought; and if he maintains his niceness after marriage, it will be
with a preference to his own person; if not, will sink, very probably,
into the worst of slovens. For whoever is capable of one extreme (take
almost the cases of human life through) when he recedes from that, if
he be not a man of prudence, will go over into the other.

"But to return to the former subject" (for the general attention
encouraged me to proceed), "permit me, Miss Sutton, to add, that a
lady must run great risks to her reputation, if not to her virtue, who
will admit into her company any gentleman who shall be of opinion, and
know it to be _hers_, that it is _his_ province to ask a favour, which
it will be _her_ duty to deny."

"I believe, Madam, I spoke these words a little too carelessly; but I
meant _honourable_ questions, to be sure."

"There can be but _one_ honourable question," replied I; "and that is
seldom asked, but when the affair is brought near a conclusion, and
there is a probability of its being granted; and which a single lady,
while she has parents or guardians, should never think of permitting
to be put to herself, much less of approving, nor, perhaps, as the
case may be of denying. But I make no doubt that you meant honourable
questions. A young lady of Miss Sutton's good sense, and worthy
character, could not mean otherwise. And I have said, perhaps, more
than I need upon the subject, because we all know how ready the
presuming of the other sex are, right or wrong to construe the most
innocent meetings in favour of their own views."

"Very true," said she; but appeared to be under an agreeable
confusion, every lady, by her eye, seeming to think she had met with
a deserved rebuke; and which not seeming to expect, it abated her
liveliness all the time after.

Mrs. Towers seasonably relieved us both from a subject _too
applicable_, if I may so express it, saying--"But, dear Mrs. B., will
you favour us with the result of your meditation, if committed to
writing, on the unhappy case you mentioned?"

"I was rather. Madam, exercising my fancy than my judgment, such as
it is, upon the occasion. I was aiming at a kind of allegorical or
metaphorical style, I know not which to call it; and it is not fit to
be read before such judges, I doubt."

"O pray, dear Madam," said Miss Stapylton, "favour us with it _to
choose_; for I am a great admirer of that style."

"I have a great curiosity," said Lady Arthur, "both from the _subject_
and the _style_, to hear what you have written: and I beg you will
oblige us all."

"It is short and unfinished. It was written for the sake of a friend,
who is fond of such a style; and what I shall add to it, will be
principally some slight observations upon this way of writing. But,
let it be ever so censurable, I should be more so, if I made any
difficulties after such an unanimous request." So, taking it out of my
letter-case, I read as follows:

"While the _banks_ of _discretion_ keep the _proud water_ of _passion_
within their natural channel, all calm and serene glides along the
silver current, enlivening the adjacent meadows, as it passes, with a
brighter and more flowery verdure. But if the _torrents_ of _sensual
love_ are permitted to descend from the _hills_ of _credulous hope_,
they may so swell the gentle stream, as to make it difficult, if not
impossible, to be retained betwixt its usual bounds. What then will be
the consequence?--Why, the _trees of resolution_, and the _shrubs
of cautious fear_, which grew upon the frail mound, and whose
intertwining roots had contributed to support it, being loosened from
their hold, _they_, and all that would swim of the _bank_ itself, will
be seen floating on the surface of the triumphant waters.

"But here, a dear lady, having unhappily failed, is enabled to set her
_foot_ in the _new-made_ breach, while yet it is _possible_ to stop
it, and to say, with little variation in the language of that power,
which only could enable _her_ to say it. _Hither, ye proud waves of
dissolute love, although you_ HAVE _come, yet no farther_ SHALL
_ye come;_ is such an instance of magnanimous resolution and
self-conquest, as is very rarely to be met with."

Miss Stapylton seemed pleased (as I expected), and told me, that she
should take it for a high favour, to be permitted, if not improper, to
see the whole letter when finished.

I said, I would oblige her with all my heart.-"But you must not
expect, Madam, that although I have written what I have read to you,
I shall approve of it in my observations upon it; for I am convinced,
that no style can be proper, which is not plain, simple, easy, natural
and unaffected."

She was sure, she was pleased to say, that whatever my observations
were, they would be equally just and instructive.

"I too," said the dean, "will answer for that; for I dare say, by what
I have already heard, that Mrs. B. will distinguish properly between
the style (and the matter too) which captivates the imagination, and
that which informs the judgment."

Our conversation, after this, took a more general turn; which I
thought right, lest the young ladies should imagine it was a designed
thing against them: yet it was such, that every one of them found her
character and taste, little or much, concerned in it; and all seemed,
as Mrs. Towers afterwards observed to me, by their silence and
attention, to be busied in private applications.

The dean began it with a high compliment to me; having a view, no
doubt, by his kind praises, to make my observations have the greater
weight upon the young ladies. He said, it was matter of great surprise
to him, that, my tender years considered, I should be capable of
making those reflections, by which persons of twice my age and
experience might be instructed.-"You see, Madam," said he, "our
attention, when your lips begin to open; and I beg we may have nothing
to do, but to _be_ attentive."

"I have had such advantages, Sir, from the observations and cautions
of my late excellent lady, that did you but know half of them, you
would rather wonder I had made _no greater_ improvement, than that
I have made _so much._ She used to think me pretty, and not
ill-tempered, and, of _course_ not incredulous, where I conceived a
good opinion; and was always arming me on that side, as believing
I might be the object of wicked attempts, and the rather, as my low
fortune subjected me to danger. For, had I been born to rank and
condition, as these young ladies here, I should have had reason
to think of _myself_, as justly as, no doubt, _they_ do, and, of
consequence, beyond the reach of any vile intriguer; as I should have
been above the greatest part of that species of mankind, who, for
want of understanding or honour, or through pernicious habits, give
themselves up to libertinism."

"These were great advantages," said Miss Sutton; "but in _you_, they
met with a surprising genius, 'tis very plain, Madam; and there is
not, in my opinion, a lady of England, of your years, who would have
improved by them as you have done."

I answered, that I was much obliged by her good opinion: and that
I had always observed, the person who admired any good qualities in
another, gave a kind of _natural_ demonstration, that she had the same
in an eminent degree herself, although, perhaps, her modest diffidence
would not permit her to trace the generous principle to its source.

The dean, to renew the subject of _credulity_, repeated my remark,
that it was safer, in cases where so much depended upon the issue, as
a lady's honour and reputation, to _fear_ an _enemy_, than to _hope_ a
_friend_; and praised my observation, that even a _weak_ enemy is not
to be too much despised.

I said, I had very high notions of the honour and value of my own sex,
and very mean ones of the gay and frothy part of the other; insomuch,
that I thought they could have no strength, but what was founded
in our weakness: that the difference of education must give men
advantages, even where the genius is naturally equal; besides, they
have generally more hardness of heart, which makes women, where they
meet not with men of honour, engage with that sex upon very unequal
terms; for that it is so customary with them to make vows and
promises, and to set light by them, _when made_, that an innocent lady
cannot guard too watchfully against them; and, in my opinion,
should believe nothing they said, or even _vowed_, but what carried
demonstration with it.

"I remember my lady used often to observe, there is a time of life in
all young persons, which may properly be called _the romantic_, which
is a very dangerous period, and requires therefore a great guard of
prudence; that the risque is not a little augmented by reading novels
and romances; and the poetical tribe have much to answer for, by
reason of their heightened and inflaming descriptions, which do much
hurt to thoughtless minds, and lively imaginations. For to those, she
would have it, are principally owing, the rashness and indiscretion of
_soft_ and _tender_ dispositions: which, in breach of their duty,
and even to the disgrace of their sex, too frequently set them upon
enterprises, like those they have read in those pernicious writings,
which not seldom make them fall a sacrifice to the base designs of
some wild intriguer; and even in cases where their precipitation
ends the best, that is to say, in _marriage_, they too frequently (in
direct opposition to the cautions and commands of their _tried_, their
_experienced_, and _unquestionable_ friends) throw themselves upon
an _almost stranger_, who, had he been worthy of them, would not, nor
_needed_ to have taken indirect methods to obtain their favour.

"And the misfortune is, the most innocent are generally the most
credulous. Such a lady would do no harm to others, and cannot think
others would do her any. And as to the particular person who has
obtained, perhaps, a share in her confidence, _he_ cannot, she
thinks, be so _ungrateful_, as to return irreparable mischief for
her good-will to him. Were all the men in the world besides to prove
false, the _beloved_ person cannot. 'Twould be unjust to _her own
merit_, as well as to _his views_, to suppose it: and so _design_ on
his side, and _credulity_ and _self-opinion_, on the lady's, at last
enrol the unhappy believer in the list of the too-late repenters."

"And what, Madam," said the dean, "has not that wretch to answer for,
who makes sport of destroying a virtuous character, and in being the
wicked means of throwing, perhaps, upon the town, and into the dregs
of prostitution, a poor creature, whose love for him, and confidence
in him, was all her crime? and who otherwise might have made a worthy
figure at the head of a reputable family, and so have been an useful
member of the commonwealth, propagating good examples, instead of ruin
and infamy, to mankind? To say nothing of, what is still worse,
the dreadful crime of occasioning the loss of a soul; since final
impenitence too generally follows the first sacrifice which the poor
wretch is seduced to make of her honour!"

"There are several gentlemen in our neighbourhood," said Mrs. Brooks,
"who might be benefited by this touching reflection, if represented
in the same strong lights from the pulpit. And I think, Mr. Dean, you
should give us a sermon upon this subject, for the sake of both sexes,
one for caution, the other for conviction."

"I will think of it," replied he, "but I am sorry to say, that we have
too many among our younger gentry who would think themselves pointed
at were I to touch this subject ever so cautiously."

"I am sure," said Mrs. Towers, "there cannot well be a more useful
one; and the very reason the dean gives, is a convincing proof of it
to me."

"When I have had the pleasure of hearing the further sentiments of
such an assembly as this, upon the delicate subject," replied this
polite divine, "I shall be better enabled to treat it. And pray,
ladies, proceed; for it is from your conversation that I must take my

"You have only, then," said Mrs. Towers, "to engage Mrs. B. to speak,
and you may be sure, we will all be as attentive to _her_, as we
shall be to _you_, when we have the pleasure to hear so fine a genius
improving upon her hints, from the pulpit."

I bowed to Mrs. Towers; and knowing she praised me, with the dean's
view, in order to induce the young ladies to give the greater
attention to what she wished me to speak, I said, it would be a
great presumption in me, after so high a compliment, to open my lips:
nevertheless, as I was sure, by speaking, I should have the benefit of
instruction, whenever it made _them_ speak, I would not be backward to
enter upon any subject; for that I should consider myself as a young
counsel, in some great cause, who served but to open it and prepare
the way for those of greater skill and abilities.

"I beg, then, Madam," said Miss Stapylton, "you will _open the cause_,
be the subject what it will. And I could almost wish, that we had as
many gentlemen here as ladies, who would have reason to be ashamed
of the liberties they take in censuring the conversations of the
tea-table; since the pulpit, as the worthy dean gives us reason to
hope, may be beholden to that of Mrs. B."

"Nor is it much wonder," replied I, "when the dean himself is with us,
and it is graced by so distinguished a circle."

"If many of our young gentlemen, were here," said Mrs. Towers, "they
might improve themselves in all the graces of polite and sincere
complaisance. But, compared to this, I have generally heard such trite
and coarse stuff from our race of would-be wits, that what they say
may be compared to the fawnings and salutations of the ass in the
fable, who, emulating the lap-dog, merited a cudgel rather than

"But, Mrs. B.," continued she, "begin, I pray you, to _open_ and
_proceed_ in the cause; for there will be no counsel employed but you,
I can tell you."

"Then give me a subject that will suit me, ladies, and you shall see
how my obedience to your commands will make me run on."

"Will you, Madam," said Miss Stapylton, "give us a few cautions and
instructions on a theme of your own, that a young lady should rather
_fear_ too much than _hope_ too much? A necessary doctrine, perhaps;
but a difficult one to be practised by one who has begun to love, and
who supposes all truth and honour in the object of her favour."

"_Hope_, Madam," said I, "in my opinion, should never be unaccompanied
by _fear_; and the more reason will a lady ever have to fear, and to
suspect herself, and doubt her lover, when she once begins to find in
her own breast an inclination to him. For then her danger is doubled,
since she has _herself_ (perhaps the more dangerous enemy of the two)
to guard against, as well as _him._

"She may secretly wish the best indeed: but what _has been_ the fate
of others _may be_ her own; and though she thinks it not _probable_,
from such a faithful protester, as he appears to her to be, yet,
while it is _possible_, she should never be off her guard: nor will a
prudent woman trust to his mercy or honour; but to her own discretion:
and the rather, because, if he mean well, he _himself_ will value her
the more for her caution, since every man desires to have a virtuous
and prudent wife; if not well, she will detect him the sooner, and so,
by her prudence, frustrate all his base designs.

"But let me, my dear ladies, ask, what that passion is, which
generally we dignify by the name of love; and which, when so
dignified, puts us upon a thousand extravagances? I believe, if
examined into, it would be found too generally to owe its original
to _ungoverned fancy;_ and were we to judge of it by the consequences
that usually attend it, it ought rather to be called _rashness,
inconsideration, weakness_, and thing but _love;_ for very seldom,
I doubt, is the solid judgment so much concerned in it, as the _airy
fancy._ But when once we dignify the wild mis-leader with the name of
_love_, all the absurdities which we read in novels and romances take
place, and we are induced to follow examples that seldom end happily
but in _them._

"But, permit me further to observe, that love, as we call it, operates
differently in the two sexes, as to its effects. For in woman it is
a _creeping_ thing, in a man an _incroacher;_ and this ought, in
my humble opinion, to be very seriously attended to. Miss Sutton
intimated thus much, when she observed that it was the man's province
to ask, the lady's to deny:--excuse me. Madam, the observation was
just, as to the men's notions; although, methinks, I would not have a
lady allow of it, except in cases of caution to themselves.

"The doubt, therefore, which a lady has of her _lover's_ honour,
is needful to preserve _her own_ and _his_ too. And if she does him
wrong, and he should be too just to deceive her, she can make him
amends, by instances of greater confidence, when she pleases. But if
she has been accustomed to grant him little favours, can she easily
recal them? And will not the _incroacher_ grow upon her indulgence,
pleading for a favour to-day, which was not refused him yesterday, and
reproaching her want of confidence, as a want of esteem; till the
poor lady, who, perhaps, has given way to the _creeping, insinuating_
passion, and has avowed her esteem for him, puts herself too much in
his power, in order to manifest, as she thinks, the _generosity_
of her affection; and so, by degrees, is carried farther than she
intended, or nice honour ought to have permitted; and all, because,
to keep up to my theme, she _hopes_ too much, and _doubts_ too little?
And there have been cases, where a man himself, pursuing the dictates
of his _incroaching_ passion, and finding a lady _too conceding_, has
taken advantages, of which, probably, at first he did not presume to

Miss Stapylton said, that _virtue_ itself spoke when _I_ spoke; and
she was resolved to recollect as much of this conversation as she
could, and write it down in her common-place book, where it would make
a better figure than any thing she had there.

"I suppose, Miss," said Mrs. Towers, "your chief collections are
flowers of rhetoric, picked up from the French and English poets, and
novel-writers. I would give something for the pleasure of having it
two hours in my possession."

"Fie, Madam," replied she, a little abashed, "how can you expose your
kinswoman thus, before the dean and Mrs. B.?"

"Mrs. Towers," said I, "only says this to provoke you to shew your
collections. I wish I had the pleasure of seeing them. I doubt not but
your common-place book is a store-house of wisdom."

"There is nothing bad in it, I hope," replied she; "but I would
not, that Mrs. B. should see it for the world. But, Madam" (to Mrs.
Towers), "there are many beautiful things, and good instructions,
to be collected from novels and plays, and romances; and from the
poetical writers particularly, light as you are pleased to make of
them. Pray, Madam" (to me), "have you ever been at all conversant in
such writers?"

"Not a great deal in the former: there were very few novels and
romances that my lady would permit me to read; and those I did,
gave me no great pleasure; for either they dealt so much in the
_marvellous_ and _improbable_, or were so unnaturally _inflaming_ to
the _passions_, and so full of _love_ and _intrigue_, that most of
them seemed calculated to _fire_ the _imagination_, rather than to
_inform_ the _judgment._ Titles and tournaments, breaking of spears
in honour of a mistress, engaging with monsters, rambling in search
of adventures, making unnatural difficulties, in order to shew the
knight-errant's prowess in overcoming them, is all that is required
to constitute the _hero_ in such pieces. And what principally
distinguishes the character of the _heroine_ is, when she is taught to
consider her father's house as an enchanted castle, and her lover as
the hero who is to dissolve the charm, and to set at liberty from one
confinement, in order to put her into another, and, too probably, a
worse: to instruct her how to climb walls, leap precipices, and do
twenty other extravagant things, in order to shew the mad strength of
a passion she ought to be ashamed of; to make parents and guardians
pass for tyrants, the voice of reason to be drowned in that of
indiscreet love, which exalts the other sex, and debases her own. And
what is the instruction that can be gathered from such pieces, for the
conduct of common life?

"Then have I been ready to quarrel with these writers for another
reason; and that is, the dangerous notion which they hardly ever
fail to propagate, of a _first-sight_ love. For there is such a
susceptibility supposed on both sides (which, however it may pass in
a man, very little becomes the female delicacy) that they are smitten
with a glance: the fictitious blind god is made a _real_ divinity:
and too often prudence and discretion are the first offerings at his

"I believe, Madam," said Miss Stapylton, blushing, and playing with
her fan, "there have been many instances of people's loving at first
sight, which have ended very happily."

"No doubt of it," replied I. "But there are three chances to one,
that so precipitate a liking does not. For where can be the room for
caution, enquiry, the display of merit and sincerity, and even the
assurance of a _grateful return_, to a lady, who thus suffers herself
to be prepossessed? Is it not a random shot? Is it not a proof of
weakness? Is it not giving up the negative voice, which belongs to the
sex, even while she is not sure of meeting with the affirmative one
from him whose affection she wishes to engage?

"Indeed, ladies," continued I, "I cannot help concluding (and I am the
less afraid of speaking my mind, because of the opinion I have of the
prudence of every lady that hears me), that where this weakness is
found, it is no way favourable to a lady's character, nor to that
discretion which ought to distinguish it. It looks to me, as if a
lady's _heart_ were too much in the power of her _eye_, and that she
had permitted her _fancy_ to be much more busy than her _judgment_."

Miss Stapylton blushed, and looked around her.

"But I observe," said Mrs. Towers, "whenever you censure any
indiscretion, you seldom fail to give cautions how to avoid it; and
pray let us know what is to be done in this case? That is to say, how
a young lady ought to guard against and overcome the first favourable

"What I imagine," replied I, "a young lady ought to do, on any the
least favourable impressions of the kind, is immediately to _withdraw
into herself_, as one may say; to reflect upon what she owes to her
parents, to her family, to her character, and to her sex; and to
resolve to check such a random prepossession, which may much more
probably, as I hinted, make her a prey to the undeserving than
otherwise, as there are so many of that character to one man of real

"The most that I apprehend a _first-sight_ approbation can do, is to
inspire a _liking_; and a liking is conquerable, if the person will
not brood over it, till she hatches it into _love_. Then every man
and woman has a black and a white side; and it is easy to set the
imperfections of the person against the supposed perfections, while it
is only a _liking_. But if the busy fancy be permitted to work as it
pleases, uncontrolled, then 'tis very likely, were the lady but to
keep herself in countenance for receiving first impressions, she will
see perfections in the object, which no other living soul can. And it
may be expected, that as a consequence of her first indiscretion, she
will confirm, as an act of her judgment, what her wild and ungoverned
fancy had misled her to think of with so much partial favour. And too
late, as it probably may happen, she will see and lament her fatal,
and, perhaps, undutiful error.

"We are talking of the ladies only," added I (for I saw Miss Stapylton
was become very grave): "but I believe first-sight love often operates
too powerfully in both sexes: and where it does so, it will be very
lucky, if either gentleman or lady find reason, on cool reflection, to
approve a choice which they were so ready to make without thought."

"'Tis allowed," said Mrs. Towers, "that rash and precipitate love
_may_ operate pretty much alike in the rash and precipitate of both
sexes: and which soever loves, generally exalts the person beloved
above his or her merits: but I am desirous, for the sake of us maiden
ladies, since it is a science in which you are so great an adept,
to have your advice, how we should watch and guard its first
incroachments and that you will tell us what you apprehend gives the
men most advantage over us."

"Nay, now, Mrs. Towers, you rally my presumption, indeed!"

"I admire you, Madam," replied she, "and every thing you say and do;
and I won't forgive you to call what I so seriously _say_ and _think_,
raillery. For my own part," continued she, "I never was in love yet,
nor, I believe, were any of these young ladies." (Miss Cope looked a
little silly upon this.) "And who can better instruct us to guard _our
hearts_, than a lady who has so well defended _her own_?"

"Why then, Madam, if I must speak, I think, what gives the other sex
the greatest advantage over even many of the most deserving ones,
is that dangerous foible, the _love of praise_, and the desire to be
_flattered_ and _admired_, a passion I have observed to predominate,
more or less, from sixteen to sixty, in most of our sex. We are too
generally delighted with the company of those who extol our graces of
person or mind: for, will not a _grateful_ lady study hard to return
a_ few_ compliments to a gentleman who makes her so _many_! She is
concerned to _prove_ him a man of distinguished sense, or a polite
man, at least, in regard to what she _thinks_ of herself; and so the
flatterer shall be preferred to such of the sincere and worthy, as
cannot say what they do not think. And by this means many an excellent
lady has fallen a prey to some sordid designer.

"Then, I think, nothing can give gentlemen so much advantage over our
sex, as to see how readily a virtuous lady can forgive the capital
faults of the most abandoned of the other; and that sad, sad notion,
_that a reformed rake makes the best husband_; a notion that has
done more hurt, and discredit too, to our sex (as it has given more
encouragement to the profligate, and more discouragement to the sober
gentlemen), than can be easily imagined. A fine thing, indeed I as
if the wretch, who had run through a course of iniquity, to the
endangering of soul and body, was to be deemed the best companion
for life, to an innocent and virtuous young lady, who is to owe
the kindness of his treatment to her, to his having never before
accompanied with a modest woman; nor, till his interest on one hand
(to which his extravagance, perhaps, compels him to attend), and
his impaired constitution on the other, oblige him to it, so much
as _wished_ to accompany with one; and who always made a jest of the
marriage state, and perhaps, of every thing either serious or sacred!"

"You observe, very well," said Mrs. Towers: "but people will be apt
to think, that you have less reason than any of our sex, to be severe
against such a notion: for who was a greater rake than a certain
gentleman, and who is a better husband?"

"Madam," replied I, "the gentleman you mean, never was a common
town rake: he is a man of sense, and fine understanding: and his
reformation, _secondarily_, as I may say, has been the natural effect
of those extraordinary qualities. But also, I will presume to say,
that that gentleman, as he has not many equals in the nobleness of
his nature, so he is not likely, I doubt, to have many followers, in
a reformation begun in the bloom of youth, upon _self-conviction_, and
altogether, humanly speaking, _spontaneous_. Those ladies who would
plead his example, in support of this pernicious notion, should find
out the same generous qualities in the man, before they trust to it:
and it will then do less harm; though even then, I could not wish it
to be generally entertained."

"It is really unaccountable," said Mrs. Towers, "after all, as Mrs.
B., I remember, said on another occasion, that our sex should not as
much insist upon virtue and sobriety, in the character of a man, as
a man, be he ever such a rake, does in that of a lady. And 'tis
certainly a great encouragement to libertinism, that a worn-out
debauchee should think himself at any time good enough for a husband,
and have the confidence to imagine, that a modest woman will accept
of his address, with a_ preference_ of him to any other."

"I can account for it but one way," said the dean: "and that is,
that a modest woman is apt to be _diffident_ of her own merit and
understanding and she thinks this diffidence an imperfection. A rake
_never_ is troubled with it: so he has in perfection a quality she
thinks she wants; and, knowing _too little _of the world, imagines she
mends the matter by accepting of one who knows_ too much_."

"That's well observed, Mr. Dean," said Mrs. Towers: "but there is
another fault in our sex, which Mrs. B. has not touched upon; and that
is, the foolish vanity some women have, in the hopes of reforming a
wild fellow; and that they shall be able to do more than any of their
sex before them could do: a vanity that often costs them dear, as I
know in more than one instance."

"Another weakness," said I, "might be produced against some of our
sex, who join too readily to droll upon, and sneer at, the misfortune
of any poor young creature, who has shewn too little regard for
her honour: and who (instead of speaking of it with concern, and
inveighing against the seducer) too lightly sport with the unhappy
person's fall; industriously spread the knowledge of it--" [I would
not look upon Miss Sutton, while I spoke this], "and avoid her, as
one infected; and yet scruple not to admit into their company the vile
aggressor; and even to smile with him, at his barbarous jests, upon
the poor sufferer of their own sex."

"I have known three or four instances of this in my time," said Mrs.
Towers, that Miss Sutton might not take it to herself; for she looked
down and was a little serious.

"This," replied I, "puts me in mind of a little humourous copy of
verses, written, as I believe by Mr. B. And which, to the very purpose
we are speaking of, he calls

_"'Benefit of making others' misfortunes our own._

"'Thou'st heard it, or read it, a million of times,
That men are made up of falsehood and crimes;
Search all the old authors, and ransack the new,
Thou'lt find in love stories, scarce one mortal true.
Then why this complaining? And why this wry face?
Is it 'cause thou'rt affected _most_ with thy own case?
Had'st thou sooner made _others'_ misfortunes thy own,
Thou never _thyself_, this disaster hadst known;
Thy _compassionate caution_ had kept thee from evil,
And thou might'st have defy'd mankind and the devil.'"

The ladies were pleased with the lines; but Mrs. Towers wanted to know
at what time of Mr. B.'s life they could be written. "Because," added
she, "I never suspected, before, that the good gentleman ever took
pains to write cautions or exhortations to our sex, to avoid the
delusions of his own."

These verses, and these facetious, but severe, remarks of Mrs. Towers,
made every young lady look up with a cheerful countenance; because it
pushed the ball from _self_: and the dean said to his daughter, "So,
my dear, you, that have been so attentive, must let us know what
useful inferences you can draw from what Mrs. B. and the other ladies
so excellently said."

"I observe. Sir, from the faults the ladies have so justly imputed to
some of our sex, that the advantage the gentlemen _chiefly_ have over
us, is from our own weakness: and that it behoves a prudent woman
to guard against _first impressions_ of favour, since she will think
herself obliged, in compliment to _her own_ judgment, to find reasons,
if possible, to confirm them.

"But I wish to know if there be any way that a woman can judge,
whether a man means honourably or not, in his address to her!"

"Mrs. B. can best inform you of that, Miss L.," said Mrs. Towers:
"what say you, Mrs. B.?"

"There are a few signs," answered I, "easy to be known, and, I think,
almost infallible."

"Pray let's have them," said Lady Arthur; and they all were very

"I lay it down as an undoubted truth," said I, "that true love is one
of the most _respectful_ things in the world. It strikes with awe and
reverence the mind of the man who boasts its impressions. It is chaste
and pure in word and deed, and cannot bear to have the least indecency
mingled with it.

"If, therefore, a man, be his birth or quality what it will, the
higher the worse, presume to wound a lady's ears with indecent words:
if he endeavour, in his expressions or sentiments, to convey gross
or impure ideas to her mind: if he is continually pressing for _her
confidence_ in _his_ honour: if he requests favours which a lady ought
to refuse: if he can be regardless of his conduct or behaviour to her:
if he can use _boisterous_ or _rude_ freedoms, either to her _person_
or _dress_--" [Here poor Miss Cope, by her blushes, bore witness to
her case.] "If he avoids _speaking_ of _marriage_, when he has a
_fair opportunity_ of doing it--" [Here Miss L. looked down and
blushed]--"or leaves it _once_ to a lady to wonder that he does not:--

"In any, or in all these cases, he is to be suspected, and a lady
can have little hope of such a person; nor, as I humbly apprehend,
consistent with honour and discretion, encourage his address."

The ladies were so kind as to applaud all I said, and so did the dean.
Miss Stapylton, Miss Cope, and Miss L. were to write down what they
could remember of the conversation: and our noble guests coming
in soon after, with Mr. B., the ladies would have departed; but he
prevailed upon them to pass the evening; and Miss L., who had an
admirable finger on the harpsichord, as I have before said, obliged
us with two or three lessons. Each of the ladies did the like, and
prevailed upon me to play a tune or two: but Miss Cope, as well as
Miss L., surpassed me much. We all sung too in turns, and Mr. B.
took the violin, in which he excels. Lord Davers obliged us on the
violincello: Mr. H. played on the German flute, and sung us a fop's
song, and performed it in character; so that we had an exceeding gay
evening, and parted with great satisfaction on all sides, particularly
on the young ladies; for this put them all in good humour, and good
spirits, enlivening the former scene, which otherwise might have
closed, perhaps more gravely than efficaciously.

The distance of time since this conversation passed, enables me to add
what I could not do, when I wrote the account of it, which you have
mislaid: and which take briefly, as follows:

Miss Stapylton was as good as her word, and wrote down all she could
recollect of the conversation: and I having already sent her the
letter she desired, containing my observations upon the flighty style
she so much admired, it had such an effect upon her, as to turn
the course of her reading and studies to weightier and more solid
subjects; and avoiding the gentleman she had begun to favour, gave
way to her parents' recommendations, and is happily married to Sir
Jonathan Barnes.

Miss Cope came to me a week after, with the leave of both her parents,
and tarried with me three days; in which time she opened all her heart
to me, and returned in such a disposition, and with such resolutions,
that she never would see her peer again; nor receive letters from him,
which she owned to me she had done clandestinely before; and she is
now the happy lady of Sir Michael Beaumont, who makes her the best
of husbands, and permits her to follow her charitable inclinations
according to a scheme which she consulted me upon.

Miss L., by the dean's indulgent prudence and discretion, has escaped
her rake; and upon the discovery of an intrigue he was carrying on
with another, conceived a just abhorrence of him; and is since married
to Dr. Jenkins, as you know, with whom she lives very happily.

Miss Sutton is not quite so well off as the three former; though
not altogether so unhappy neither, in her way. She could not indeed
conquer her love of dress and tinsel, and so became the lady of Col.
Wilson: and they are thus far easy in the marriage state, that, being
seldom together, they have probably a multitude of misunderstandings;
for the colonel loves gaming, in which he is generally a winner; and
so passes his time mostly in town. His lady has her pleasures, neither
laudable nor criminal ones, which she pursues in the country. And
now and then a letter passes on both sides, by. the inscription and
subscription of which they remind one another that they have been once
in their lives at one church together,

And what now, my dear Lady G., have I to add to this tedious account
(for letter I can hardly call it) but that I am, with great affection,
_your true friend and servant_,




You desire to have a little specimen of my _nursery tales_ and
_stories_, with which, as Miss Fenwick told you, on her return to
Lincolnshire, I entertain my Miss Goodwin and my little boys. But you
make me too high a compliment, when you tell me, it is for your
_own_ instruction and example. Yet you know, my dear Lady G., be your
motives what they will, I must obey you, although, were others to see
it, I might expose myself to the smiles and contempt of judges less
prejudiced in my favour. So I will begin without any further apology;
and, as near as I can, give you those very stories with which Miss
Fenwick was so pleased, and of which she has made so favourable a

Let me acquaint you, then, that my method is to give characters of
persons I have known in one part or other of my life, in feigned
names, whose conduct may serve for imitation or warning to my dear
attentive Miss; and sometimes I give instances of good boys and
naughty boys, for the sake of my Billy and my Davers; and they are
continually coming about me, "Dear Madam, a pretty story," now cries
Miss: "and dear mamma, tell me of good boys, and of naughty boys,"
cries Billy.

Miss is a surprising child of her age, and is very familiar with many
of the best characters in the Spectators; and having a smattering
of Latin, and more than a smattering of Italian, and being a perfect
mistress of French, is seldom at a loss for a derivation of such words
as are not of English original. And so I shall give you a story in
feigned names, with which she is so delighted, that she has written
it down. But I will first trespass on your patience with one of my
childish tales.

Every day, once or twice, I cause Miss Goodwin, who plays and sings
very prettily, to give a tune or two to me, my Billy and my Davers,
who, as well as my Pamela, love and learn to touch the keys, young as
the latter is; and she will have a sweet finger; I can observe that;
and a charming ear; and her voice is music itself!-"O the fond, fond
mother!" I know you will say, on reading this.

Then, Madam, we all proceed, hand-in-hand, together to the nursery, to
my Charley and Jemmy: and in this happy retirement, so much my
delight in the absence of my best beloved, imagine you see me seated,
surrounded with the joy and the hope of my future prospects, as well
as my present comforts. Miss Goodwin, imagine you see, on my right
hand, sitting on a velvet stool, because she is eldest, and a Miss;
Billy on my left, in a little cane elbow-chair, because he is eldest,
and a good boy; my Davers, and my sparkling-ey'd Pamela, with
my Charley between them, on little silken cushions, at my feet,
hand-in-hand, their pleased eyes looking up to my more delighted ones;
and my sweet-natured promising Jemmy, in my lap; the nurses and the
cradle just behind us, and the nursery maids delightedly pursuing some
useful needle-work for the dear charmers of my heart-All as hush and
as still as silence itself, as the pretty creatures generally are,
when their little, watchful eyes see my lips beginning to open: for
they take neat notice already of my rule of two ears to one tongue,
insomuch that if Billy or Davers are either of them for breaking the
mum, as they call it, they are immediately hush, at any time, if I put
my finger to my lip, or if Miss points hers to her ear, even to the
breaking of a word in two, as it were: and yet all my boys are as
lively as so many birds: while my Pamela is cheerful, easy, soft,
gentle, always smiling, but modest and harmless as a dove.

I began with a story of two little boys, and two little girls, the
children of a fine gentleman, and a fine lady, who loved them dearly;
that they were all so good, and loved one another so well, that every
body who saw them, admired them, and talked of them far and near; that
they would part with any thing to the another; loved the poor; spoke
kindly to the servants; did every thing they were bid to do; were not
proud; knew no strife, but who should learn their books best, and be
the prettiest scholar; that the servants loved them, and would do any
thing they desired; that they were not proud of fine clothes; let
not their heads run upon their playthings when they should mind their
books; said grace before they eat, their prayers before they went to
bed, and as soon as they rose; were always clean and neat; would not
tell a fib for the world, and were above doing any thing that required
one; that God blessed them more and more, and blessed their papa and
mamma, and their uncles and aunts, and cousins, for their sakes. "And
there was a happy family, my dear loves!-No one idle; all prettily
employed; the Masters at their books; the Misses at their books too,
or at their needles; except at their play-hours, when they were never
rude, nor noisy, nor mischievous, nor quarrelsome: and no such word
was ever heard from their mouths, as, 'Why mayn't I have this or that,
as well as Billy or Bobby?' Or, 'Why should Sally have this or that,
any more than I?' But it was, 'As my mamma pleases; my mamma knows
best;' and a bow and a smile, and no surliness, or scowling brow to be
seen, if they were denied any thing; for well did they know that
their papa and mamma loved them so dearly, that they would refuse them
nothing that was for their good; and they were sure when they were
refused, they asked for something that would have done them hurt, had
it been granted. Never were such good boys and girls as these I
And they grew up; and the Masters became fine scholars, and fine
gentlemen, and every body honoured them: and the Misses became fine
ladies, and fine housewives; and this gentleman, when they grew to
be women, sought to marry one of the Misses, and that gentleman the
other; and happy was he that could be admitted into their companies I
so that they had nothing to do but to pick and choose out of the best
gentlemen in the country: while the greatest ladies for birth and the
most remarkable for virtue (which, my dears, is better than either
birth or fortune), thought themselves honoured by the addresses of the
two brothers. And they married, and made good papas and mammas, and
were so many blessings to the age in which they lived. There, my dear
loves, were happy sons and daughters; for good Masters seldom fail
to make good gentlemen; and good Misses, good ladies; and God blesses
them with as good children as they were to their parents; and so the
blessing goes round!-Who would not but be good?"

"Well, but, mamma, we will all be good:-Won't we, Master Davers?"
cries my Billy. "Yes, brother Billy. But what will become of the
naughty boys? Tell us, mamma, about the naughty boys!"

"Why, there was a poor, poor widow woman, who had three naughty sons,
and one naughty daughter; and they would do nothing that their mamma
bid them do; were always quarrelling, scratching, and fighting; would
not say their prayers; would not learn their books; so that the little
boys used to laugh at them, and point at them, as they went along, for
blockheads; and nobody loved them, or took notice of them, except
to beat and thump them about, for their naughty ways, and their
undutifulness to their poor mother, who worked hard to maintain them.
As they grew up, they grew worse and worse, and more and more stupid
and ignorant; so that they impoverished their poor mother, and at last
broke her heart, poor poor widow woman!--And her neighbours joined
together to bury the poor widow woman: for these sad ungracious
children made away with what little she had left, while she was ill,
before her heart was quite broken; and this helped to break it the
sooner: for had she lived, she saw she must have wanted bread, and had
no comfort with such wicked children."

"Poor poor widow woman!" said my Billy, with tears; and my little dove
shed tears too, and Davers was moved, and Miss wiped her fine eyes.

"But what became of the naughty boys, and the naughty girl, mamma?"

"Became of them! Why one son was forced to go to sea, and there he was
drowned: another turned thief (for he would not work), and he came to
an untimely end: the third was idle and ignorant, and nobody, who knew
how he used his poor mother, would employ him; and so he was forced to
go into a far country, and beg his bread. And the naughty girl, having
never loved work, pined away in sloth and filthiness, and at last
broke her arm, and died of a fever, lamenting, too late, that she had
been so wicked a daughter to so good a mother!--And so there was a
sad end to all the four ungracious children, who never would mind what
their poor mother said to them; and God punished their naughtiness as
you see!--While the good children I mentioned before, were the glory
of their family, and the delight of every body that knew them."

"Who would not be good?" was the inference: and the repetition from
Billy, with his hands clapt together, "Poor widow woman!" gave me much

So my childish story ended, with a kiss of each pretty dear, and their
thanks for my story: and then came on Miss's request for a woman's
story, as she called it. I dismissed my babies to their play; and
taking Miss's hand, she standing before me, all attention, began in a
more womanly strain to _her_; for she is very fond of being thought
a woman; and indeed is a prudent sensible dear, comprehends any thing
instantly, and makes very pretty reflections upon what she hears or
reads as you will observe in what follows:

"There is nothing, my dear Miss Goodwin, that young ladies should be
so watchful over, as their reputation: 'tis a tender flower that the
least frost will nip, the least cold wind will blast; and when once
blasted, it will never flourish again, but wither to the very root.
But this I have told you so often, I need not repeat what I have said.
So to my story.

"There were four pretty ladies lived in one genteel neighbourhood,
daughters of four several families; but all companions and visitors;
and yet all of very different inclinations. Coquetilla we will call
one, Prudiana another, Profusiana the third, and Prudentia the fourth;
their several names denoting their respective qualities.

"Coquetilla was the only daughter of a worthy baronet, by a lady very
gay, but rather indiscreet than unvirtuous, who took not the requisite
care of her daughter's education, but let her be over-run with the
love of fashion, dress, and equipage; and when in London, balls,
operas, plays, the Park, the Ring, the withdrawing-room, took up her
whole attention. She admired nobody but herself, fluttered about,
laughing at, and despising a crowd of men-followers, whom she
attracted by gay, thoughtless freedoms of behaviour, too nearly
treading on the skirts of immodesty: yet made she not one worthy
conquest, exciting, on the contrary, in all sober minds, that contempt
of herself, which she so profusely would be thought to pour down upon
the rest of the world. After she had several years fluttered about the
dangerous light, like some silly fly, she at last singed the wings of
her reputation; for, being despised by every worthy heart, she became
too easy and cheap a prey to a man the most unworthy of all her
followers, who had resolution and confidence enough to break through
those few cobweb reserves, in which she had encircled her precarious
virtue; and which were no longer of force to preserve her honour, when
she met with a man more bold and more enterprising than herself, and
who was as designing as she was thoughtless. And what then became of
Coquetilla?-Why, she was forced to pass over sea to Ireland, where
nobody knew her, and to bury herself in a dull obscurity; to go by
another name, and at last, unable to support a life so unsuitable
to the natural gaiety of her temper, she pined herself into a
consumption, and died, unpitied and unlamented, among strangers,
having not one friend but whom she bought with her money."

"Poor Lady Coquetilla!" said Miss Goodwin; "what a sad thing it is to
have a wrong education; and how happy am I, who have so good a lady
to supply the place of a dear distant mamma!-But be pleased, Madam, to
proceed to the next."

"Prudiana, my dear, was the daughter of a gentleman who was a widower,
and had, while the young lady was an infant, buried her mamma. He was
a good sort of man; but had but one lesson to teach to Prudiana, and
that was to avoid all sort of conversation with the men; but never
gave her the right turn of mind, nor instilled into it that sense
of her religious duties, which would have been her best guard in all
temptations. For, provided she kept out of the sight and conversation
of the gentlemen, and avoided the company of those ladies who more
freely conversed with the other sex, it was all her papa desired of
her. This gave her a haughty, sullen, and reserved turn; made her
stiff, formal, and affected. She had sense enough to discover early
the faults of Coquetilla, and, in dislike to them, fell the more
easily into that contrary extreme, which a recluse education, and
her papa's cautions, naturally led her. So that pride, reserve,
affectation, and censoriousness, made up the essentials of her
character, and she became more unamiable even than Coquetilla; and
as the other was too accessible, Prudiana was quite unapproachable by
gentlemen, and unfit for any conversation, but that of her servants,
being also deserted by those of her own sex, by whom she might have
improved, on account of her censorious disposition. And what was the
consequence? Why this: every worthy person of both sexes despising
her, and she being used to see nobody but servants, at last throws
herself upon one of that class: in an evil hour, she finds something
that is taking to her low taste in the person of her papa's valet,
a wretch so infinitely beneath her (but a gay coxcomb of a servant),
that every body attributed to her the scandal of making the first
advances; for, otherwise, it was presumed, he durst not have looked
up to his master's daughter. So here ended all her pride. All her
reserves came to this! Her censoriousness of others redoubled people's
contempt upon herself, and made nobody pity her. She was finally
turned out of doors, without a penny of fortune: the fellow was forced
to set up a barber's shop in a country town; for all he knew was to
shave and dress a peruke: and her papa would never look upon her more:
so that Prudiana became the outcast of her family, and the scorn
of all that knew her; and was forced to mingle in conversation and
company with the wretches of her husband's degree!"

"Poor, miserable Prudiana!" said Miss--"What a sad, sad fall was hers.
And all owing to the want of a proper education too!--And to the loss
of such a mamma, as I have an aunt; and so wise a papa as I have an
uncle!--How could her papa, I wonder, restrain her person as he
did, like a poor nun, and make her unacquainted with the generous
restraints of the mind?

"I am sure, my dear good aunt, it will be owing to you, that I shall
never be a Coquetilla, nor a Prudiana neither. Your table is always
surrounded with the best of company, with worthy gentlemen as well as
ladies: and you instruct me to judge of both, and of every new guest,
in such a manner, as makes me esteem them all, and censure nobody; but
yet to see faults in some to avoid, and graces in others to imitate;
but in nobody but yourself and my uncle, any thing so like perfection,
as shall attract one's admiration to one's own ruin."

"You are young, yet, my love, and must always doubt your own strength;
and pray to God, more and more, as your years advance, to give you
more and more prudence, and watchfulness over your conduct.

"But yet, my dear, you must think justly of yourself too; for let
the young gentlemen be ever so learned and discreet, your education
entitles you to think as well of yourself as of them: for, don't you
see, the ladies who are so kind as to visit us, that have not been
abroad, as you have been, when they were young, yet make as good
figures in conversation, say as good things as any of the gentlemen?
For, my dear, all that the gentlemen know more than the ladies, except
here and there such a one as your dear uncle, with all their learned
education, is only, that they have been _disciplined_, perhaps, into
an observation of a few accuracies in speech, which, if they know no
more, rather distinguish the _pedant_ than the _gentleman_: such as
the avoiding of a false concord, as they call it, and which you know
how to do, as well as the best; not to put a _was_ for a _were_, an
_are_ for an _is_, and to be able to speak in mood and tense, and such
like valuable parts of education: so that, my dear, you can have no
reason to look upon that sex in so high a light, as to depreciate your
own: and yet you must not be proud nor conceited neither; but make
this one rule your guide:

"In your _maiden state_, think yourself _above_ the gentlemen, and
they'll think you so too, and address you with reverence and respect,
if they see there be neither pride nor arrogance in your behaviour,
but a consciousness of merit, a true dignity, such as becomes virgin
modesty, and untainted purity of mind and manners, like that of an
angel among men; for so young ladies should look upon themselves to
be, and will then be treated as such by the other sex.

"In your _married state_, which is a kind of state of humiliation for
a lady, you must think yourself subordinate to your husband; for so it
has pleased God to make the wife. You must have no will of your own,
in _petty_ things; and if you marry a gentleman of sense and honour,
such a one as your uncle, he will look upon you as his equal; and will
exalt you the more for your abasing yourself. In short, my dear, he
will act by you, just as your dear uncle does by me: and then, what a
happy creature will you be!"

"So I shall, Madam! To be sure I shall!--But I know I shall be happy
whenever I marry, because I have such wise directors, and such an
example, before me: and, if it please God, I will never think of
any man (in pursuance of your constant advice to young ladies at the
tea-table), who is not a man of sense, and a virtuous gentleman. But
now, dear Madam, for your next character. There are two more yet to
come, that's my pleasure! I wish there were ten!"

"Why the next was Profusiana, you may remember, my love. Profusiana
took another course to _her_ ruin. She fell into some of Coquetilla's
foibles, but pursued them for another end, and in another manner.
Struck with the grandeur and magnificence of what weak people call the
_upper life_, she gives herself up to the circus, to balls, to operas,
to masquerades, and assemblies; affects to shine at the head of all
companies, at Tunbridge, at Bath, and every place of public resort;
plays high, is always receiving and paying visits, giving balls, and
making treats and entertainments; and is so much _above_ the conduct
which mostly recommends a young lady to the esteem of the deserving
of the other sex, that no gentleman, who prefers solid happiness, can
think of addressing her, though she is a fine person, and has many
outward graces of behaviour. She becomes the favourite toast of the
place she frequents, is proud of that distinction; gives the fashion,
and delights in the pride, that she can make apes in imitation,
whenever she pleases. But yet endeavouring to avoid being thought
proud, makes herself cheap, and is the subject of the attempts of
every coxcomb of eminence; and with much ado, preserves her virtue,
though not her character.

"What, all this while, is poor Profusiana doing? She would be glad,
perhaps, of a suitable proposal, and would, it may be, give up some
of her gaieties and extravagances: for Profusiana has wit, and is not
totally destitute of reason, when she suffers herself to think. But
her conduct procures her not one solid friendship, and she has not
in a twelvemonth, among a thousand professions of service, one devoir
that she can attend to, or a friend that she can depend upon. All the
women she sees, if she excels them, hate her: the gay part of the men,
with whom she accompanies most, are all in a plot against her honour.
Even the gentlemen, whose conduct in the general is governed by
principles of virtue, come down to these public places to partake of
the innocent freedoms allowed there, and oftentimes give themselves
airs of gallantry, and never have it in their thoughts to commence a
treaty of marriage with an acquaintance begun upon that gay spot. What
solid friendships and satisfactions then is Profusiana excluded from!

"Her name indeed is written in every public window, and prostituted,
as I may call it, at the pleasure of every profligate or sot, who
wears a diamond to engrave it: and that it may be, with most vile and
barbarous imputations and freedoms of words, added by rakes, who very
probably never exchanged a syllable with her. The wounded trees are
perhaps also taught to wear the initials of her name, linked, not
unlikely, and widening as they grow, with those of a scoundrel. But
all this while she makes not the least impression upon one noble
heart: and at last, perhaps, having run on to the end of an
uninterrupted race of follies, she is cheated into the arms of some
vile fortune-hunter; who quickly lavishes away the remains of that
fortune which her extravagance had left; and then, after the worst
usage, abandoning her with contempt, she sinks into an obscurity that
cuts short the thread of her life, and leaves no remembrance, but on
the brittle glass, and still more faithless bark, that ever she had a

"Alas, alas! what a butterfly of a day," said Miss (an expression she
remembered of Lady Towers), "was poor Profusiana!--What a sad thing
to be so dazzled by worldly grandeur, and to have so many admirers,
and not one real friend!"

"Very true, my dear; and how carefully ought a person of a gay and
lively temper to watch over it I And what a rock may public places be
to a lady's reputation, if she be not doubly vigilant in her conduct,
when she is exposed to the censures and observations of malignant
crowds of people; many of the worst of whom spare the least those who
are most unlike themselves."

"But then, Madam," said Miss, "would Profusiana venture to play at
public places? Will ladies game, Madam? I have heard you say, that
lords, and sharpers but just out of liveries, in gaming, are upon a
foot in every thing, save that one has nothing to lose, and the
other much, besides his reputation! And will ladies so disgrace their
characters, and their sex, as to pursue this pernicious diversion in

"Yes, my dear, they will too often, the more's the pity! And don't you
remember, when we were at Bath, in what a hurry I once passed by some
knots of genteel people, and you asked what those were doing? I told
you, whisperingly, they were gaming; and loath I was, that my Miss
Goodwin should stop to see some sights, to which, till she arrived at
the years of discretion, it was not proper to familiarize her eye;
in some sort acting like the ancient Romans, who would not assign
punishments to certain atrocious crimes, because they had such an high
idea of human nature, as to suppose it incapable of committing them;
so I was not for having you, while a little girl, see those things,
which I knew would give no credit to our sex, and which I thought,
when you grew older, should be new and shocking to you: but now you
are so much a woman in discretion, I may tell you any thing."

She kissed my hand, and made me a fine curtsey-and told me, that now
she longed to hear of Prudentia's conduct. "_Her_ name, Madam," said
she, "promises better things than those of her three companions; and
so it had need: for how sad is it to think, that out of four ladies
of distinction, three of them should be naughty, and, _of course_,
unhappy."-"These two words, _of course_, my dear," said I, "were
very prettily put in: let me kiss you for it: since every one that is
naughty, first or last, must be _certainly_ unhappy.

"Far otherwise than what I have related, was it with the amiable
Prudentia. Like the industrious bee, she makes up her honey-hoard from
every flower, bitter as well as sweet; for every character is of use
to her, by which she can improve her own. She had the happiness of an
aunt, who loved her, as I do you; and of an uncle who doated on her,
as yours does: for, alas! poor Prudentia lost her papa and mamma
almost in her infancy, in one week: but was so happy in her uncle and
aunt's care, as not to miss them in her education, and but just to
remember their persons. By reading, by observation, and by attention,
she daily added new advantages to those which her education gave her.
She saw, and pitied, the fluttering freedoms and dangerous nights of
Coquetilla. The sullen pride, the affectation, and stiff reserves,
which Prudiana assumed, she penetrated, and made it her study to
avoid. And the gay, hazardous conduct, extravagant temper, and love
of tinselled grandeur, which were the blemishes of Profusiana's
character, she dreaded and shunned. She fortifies herself with the
excellent examples of the past and present ages, and knows how to
avoid the faults of the faulty, and to imitate the graces of the most
perfect. She takes into her scheme of that future happiness, which she
hopes to make her own, what are the true excellencies of her sex, and
endeavours to appropriate to herself the domestic virtues, which
shall one day make her the crown of some worthy gentleman's earthly
happiness: and which, _of course_, as you prettily said, my dear, will
secure and heighten her own.

"That noble frankness of disposition, that sweet and unaffected
openness and simplicity, which shines in all her actions and
behaviour, commend her to the esteem and reverence of all mankind;
as her humility and affability, and a temper uncensorious, and ever
making the best of what she said of the absent person, of either sex,
do to the love of every lady. Her name, indeed, is not prostituted
on windows, nor carved on the barks of trees in public places: but it
smells sweet to every nostril, dwells on every tongue, and is engraven
on every heart. She meets with no address but from men of honour
and probity: the fluttering coxcomb, the inveigling parasite, the
insidious deceiver, the mercenary fortune-hunter, spread no snares for
a heart guarded by discretion and prudence, as hers is. They see, that
all her amiable virtues are the happy result of an uniform judgment,
and the effects of her own wisdom, founded in an education to which
she does the highest credit. And at last, after several worthy
offers, enough to perplex a lady's choice, she blesses some one happy
gentleman, more distinguished than the rest, for learning, good sense,
and _true politeness_, which is but another word for _virtue_ and
_honour_; and shines, to her last hour, in all the duties of domestic
life, as an excellent wife, mother, mistress, friend, and Christian;
and so confirms all the expectations of which her maiden life had
given such strong and such edifying presages."

Then folding my dear Miss in my arms, and kissing her, tears of
pleasure standing in her pretty eyes, "Who would not," said I, "shun
the examples of the Coquetilla's, the Prudiana's, and the Profusiana's
of this world, and choose to' imitate the character of Prudentia!-the
happy, and the happy-making Prudentia."

"O Madam! Madam!" said the dear creature, smothering me with her
rapturous kisses, "Prudentia is YOU!--Is YOU indeed!--It _can_ be
nobody else!--O teach me, good God! to follow _your_ example, and I
shall be a Second Prudentia--Indeed I shall!"

"God send you may, my beloved Miss! And may he bless you more, if
possible, than Prudentia was blessed!"

And so, my dear Lady G., you have some of my nursery tales; with
which, relying on your kind allowances and friendship, I conclude
myself _your affectionate and faithful_



The Editor thinks proper to conclude in this place, that he may not be
thought to deserve a suspicion, that the extent of the work was to be
measured by the patience of its readers. But he thinks it necessary,
in order to elucidate the whole, to subjoin a note of the following

Mr. B. (after the affair which took date at the masquerade, and
concluded so happily) continued to be one of the best and most
exemplary of men, an honour to his country, both in his public and
private capacity; having, at the instances of some of his friends in
very elevated stations, accepted of an honourable employment abroad
in the service of the state; which he discharged in such a manner, as
might be expected from his qualifications and knowledge of the world:
and on his return, after an absence of three years, resisting all the
temptations of ambition, devoted himself to private duties, and joined
with his excellent lady in every pious wish of her heart; adorning the
married life with all the warmth of an elegant tenderness; beloved by
his tenants, respected by his neighbours, revered by his children, and
almost adored by the poor, in every county where his estates gave him
interest, as well for his own bountiful temper, as for the charities
he permitted to be dispensed, with so liberal a hand, by his lady.

She made him the father of seven fine children, five sons, and two
daughters, all adorned and accomplished by nature, to be the joy and
delight of such parents; being educated, in every respect, by the
rules of their inimitable mother, laid down in that book which she
mentions to have been written by her for the revisal and correction
of her consort; the contents of which may be gathered from her remarks
upon Mr. Locke's Treatise on Education, in her letters to Mr. B., and
in those to Lady G.

Miss GOODWIN, at the age of eighteen, was married to a young gentleman
of fine parts, and great sobriety and virtue: and both she and he, in
every material part of their conduct, and in their behaviour to one
another, emulate the good example set them by Mr. and Mrs. B.

Lord DAVERS dying two years before this marriage, his lady went to
reside at the Hall in Lincolnshire, the place of her birth, that she
might enjoy the company and conversation of her excellent sister; who,
for conveniency of the chapel, and advantage of room and situation,
had prevailed upon Mr. B. to make it the chief place of his residence;
and there the noble lady lived long (in the strictest friendship with
the happy pair) an honourable relict of her affectionate lord.

The worthy Mr. ANDREWS, and his wife, lived together in the sweet
tranquillity set forth in their letters, for the space of twelve
years, at the Kentish farm: the good old gentlewoman died first, full
of years and comfort, her dutiful daughter performing the last pious
offices to so beloved and so loving a parent: her husband survived her
about a year only.

Lady G., Miss DARNFORD that was, after a happy marriage of several
years, died in child-bed of her fourth child, to the inexpressible
concern of her affectionate consort, and of her dear friend Mrs. B.

Lord H., after having suffered great dishonour by the ill courses of
his wife, and great devastations in his estate, through her former
debts, and continued extravagance (intimidated and dispirited by
her perpetual insults, and those of her gaming brother, who with his
bullying friends, terrified him into their measures), threw himself
upon the protection of Mr. B. who, by his spirit and prudence, saved
him from utter ruin, punished his wife's accomplices, and obliged her
to accept a separate maintenance; and then taking his affairs into his
own management, in due course of time, entirely re-established them:
and after some years his wife dying, he became wiser by his past
sufferings, and married a second, of Lady Davers's recommendation,
who, by her prudence and virtue, made him happy for the remainder of
his days.

Mr. LONGMAN lived to a great age in the worthy family, much esteemed
by every one, having trained up a diligent youth, whom he had
recommended, to ease him in his business, and who, answering
expectation, succeeded him in it after his death.

He dying rich, out of his great love and gratitude to the family, in
whose service he had acquired most of his fortune, and in disgust
to his nearest relations, who had perversely disobliged him; he
bequeathed to three of them one hundred pounds a-piece, and left all
the rest to his honoured principal, Mr. B.; who, as soon as he came to
know it, being at that time abroad, directed his lady to call together
the relations of the old gentleman, and, after touching them to the
heart with a just and effectual reproof, and finding them filled
with due sense of their demerit, which had been the cause of their
suffering, then to divide the whole, which had been left him, among
them, in greater proportions as they were more nearly related: an
action worthy prayers and blessings, not only of the benefited, but
all who heard of it. For it is easy to imagine, how cheerfully, and
how gracefully, his benevolent lady discharged a command so well
suited to her natural generosity.


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