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not perserve. Establish it betimes as a certain maxim, that to be married is neither the one nor the chief thing needful. Are all in that state happy? Or must she be necessarily unhappy, who is not in that state? May not a single woman be wise and virtuous ? and if wise and virtuous will she not be contented ? and if contented, is she not happy in the best sense, as much so as can be expected in the mixed and variable lot of mortals ? thing wrong in this reasoning? If it be right now, will it not be right ten, fifteen, twenty years hence ? And in the mean while do you not see women in the situation supposed, who from the goodness of their temper, breeding, and understanding, are objects of tender 'regard ; a regard so much the more valuable, that it is entertained by the worthiest of their acquaintance, that it is no longer a tribute levied by the power of beauty, or aided by the influ'ence of custom, but the pure reward of genuine merit ; a merit tried by time, and matured by reflexion ?
But do ye imagine, that those only are disregarded and avoided who are pcevish, fretful or suspicious from age? Depend upon it, that such dispositions are always disgusting ; were she that indulges them blooming as the spring, or beautiful as the day. No heart was ever won by disdain ; no lover was ever kept by coldness. A man, whom the extravagance of his passion has weakened, may submit for a while to the petulant airs, and even insolent treatment, of a female that is handsome and young. Nay, such is the debility sometimes produced by this passion in men of little spirit or low understanding, that bad usage, blended with fits of kindness, shall actually make them doat the more. But what shall
of that woman, who finding a man in her
power sports with his heart, and to show her domí. nion plays the tyrant? Alas! she knows not that true greatness consists in generosity, that a graceful compliance is inexpressibly pleasing, and that a man of worth may be forever obliged by a noble frank
She forgets too how soon an immoderate fondness is cured by connubial familiarity, and what severe revenge may be taken after marriage by him whom she treated ill before it, were he disposed to retaliate.
But you want to maintain your dignity; and why not ? Would you do it in the most effectual manner? Worth and understanding are the proper means, Haughtiness is always little, violence impotent, and peevishness the infirmity of a child. Worth and understanding confer a consequence that is seldom in danger of being despised. She who shows a just sense of what belongs to her as a woman, and as a christian, will engage respect without seeking to command it. From her a word, a look expressive of virtuous disdain or pious indignation, will dash the boidest offender, if not uncommonly obdurate indeed. Nor can she prabably be often obliged to bear the company of a wretch, who is proof against the lightning of excellence provoked. Be assured, on the other side, that good nature well placed will never lessen your value. Look
up, my fair ones, to the First Lady of this land, and learn alfability ; learn to know, that however grandeur may secure external reverence, it is goodness only that inspires heart-felt esteem; that royalty itself derives lustre from meekness; and that the highest prerogative of rank is the power of imparting felicity more largely. Happy prince ! thus to have found a companion, by whose cheerful
temper and gentle manners the cares of government are softened, and that satisfaction is enjoyed at home which the splendour of a crown cannot confer. Illustrious pair! live long blessed in each other and in your children, bright examples of nuptial sanctity, parental affection, and domestic joy.-The personage I speak of seems so thoroughly good, so naturally obliging, that I cannot doubt but she would have proved such in any station. But certain it is, that from those who are placed in the higher walks of life, a little condescension, a little favour, gives great delight. Is it not wonderful that women of birth and fortune should not please more generally, when they might please at so cheap a rate ?
But not to dwell on these accidental distinctions ; what man is not charmed with an amiable courteousness in any young woman, especially if otherwise attractive ? Even common civility is grateful. But would ye be resistless ? Acquire a habit of fixed attention. It is a sort of silent flattery truly exquisite, and withal perfectly innocent. To the most attentive person in company you may ohserve the conversation almost always directed; while by interruption, listlessness, or a vacant look in those that are present, every creature that offers to speak is sure to be mortified. As a small degree of knowledge entertains in a woman ; so from a woman, though for a different reason, a small expression of kindness delights, particularly if she have beauty. But, in truth, without uttering a word, she has it in her power by this single mark of good-breeding to captivate more than I can tell. In short, listening to the person who speaks, with a recollected, mild, and steady aspect, which nothing frivolous ean divert, is perhaps the most valuable secret in the
whole science of genuine politeness. From an agrecable young woman to an intelligent man it is incredibly soothing.
If to your natural softness you join that christian meekness, which I now preach ; both together will not fail, with the assistance of proper reflexion and friendly advice, to accomplish you in the best and truest kind of breeding. You will not be in darger of putting yourselves forward in company, of contradicting bluntly, of asserting positively, of debating obstinately, of affecting a superiority to any present, of engrossing the discourse, of listening to yourselves with apparent satisfaction, of neglecting what is advanced by others, or of interrupting them without necessity.
When these are not the effects of mere youthful folly, and even then they are displeasing, it is plain they proceed chiefly from pride and vanity. But we said before, that meekness is nearly allied to humility, and mightily assisted by it. If you be truly humble, you will manifest a noble forgetfulness of yourselves, with a becoming respect for others ; a diffidence of your own sentiments, with a deference to theirs in doubtful points, or in such as they are entitled to know better ; a readiness to learn of every one, with a disposition to give each an opportunity of appearing to advantage, and thus to make all happy in their turn. Where the prevailing modes happen to be innocent, you will not affect to display the refinement of your taste, or the strictness of your principles, by a scrupulous singularity, or a saucy contempt of the opinions and manners of others. Nor will those contests and differences about precedency, form, and fashion, which inflame so many of your sex, interest minds that have learnt the dignity of yielding, and that
despise the littleness of pride. In a word, the most important branches of christian breeding you will practise with ease and pleasure, from an internal principle. Ameek deportment is the natural and spontaneous growth of a lowly mind. PoliteDess in you will be the offspring of the heart. How much preferable to that specious, but hollow complaisance, studied by the fashionable and the false, which consists in an artful disguising of their own passions, and a flattering application to those of others, in a supple framing of the face to all occasions, in professing the greatest respect without feeling the least, and in hiding very often the worst designs under the smile of familiarity, and the show of friendship.
I used the phrase Christian Breeding ; that kind of courtesy, which I point out, being expressly enjoined by one of the writers of the New Testament. Perhaps you think of St. Paul, that accom, plished apostle, who himself became all things to all men, that he might gain some.
Such a precept might have been readily suggested by his early education in a seat of learning, and would have come very naturally from the hand that drew so divine a picture of Charity, the parent of Meekness. But the fact is, that it fell from the pen of an illiterate man, bred to the roughest of all employments. It was St. Peter, the inspired fisherman, that said, “ Be courteous :”—to intimate that the religion which he had learnt from the meek and lowly Jesus, was able to soften the keenest, and subdue the hottest temper, and even give gentleness to one trained amongst
winds and waves. What strangers to the spirit of the gospel are those women who have never controlled their own humours, whose looks are contempt, and whose