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In dancing, the principal points you are to attend to are ease and grace. I would have you to dance with spirit; but never allow yourselves to be so far transported with mirth, as to forget the de. licacy of your sex.--Many a girl, dancing in the gaiety and innocence of her heart, is thought to discover a spirit she little dreams of.
I know no entertaininent that gives such pleasure to any person of sentiment or humour, as the theatre.--But I am sorry to say, there are few English comedies a lady can see, without a shock to delicacy. You will not readily suspect the com. ments gentlemen make on your behaviour on such occasions. Men are often best acquainted with the most worthless of your sex, and from them too rea.
dily form their judgment of the rest. A virtuous • girl often hears very indelicate things with a coun.
fenance no-wise embarrassed, because in truth she does not understand them. Yet this is, most un. generously, ascribed to that command of features, and that ready presence of mind, which you are thought to possess in a degree far beyond us; or, by still more malignant observers, it is ascribed to hardened effrontery.
Sometimes a girl laughs with all the simplicity of unsuspecting innocence, for no other reason but being infected with other people's laughing: she is theu believed to know more than she should do If she does happen to understand an improper thing, she suffers a very complicated distress, she feels her modesty hurt in the most sensible manner, and at the same time is ashamed of appearing cons scious of the injury. The only way to avoid these inconveniencies, is never to go to a play that is particularly offensive to delicacy.- Tragedy subjects you to no such distress: its sorrows will soften aad ennoble your hearts.
I need say little about gaming; the ladies in this country being as yet almost strangers to it.-It is a ruinous and incurable vice; and, as it leads to all the selfish and turbulent passions, is peculiarly edious in your sex. I have no objection to your
playing a little at any kind of game, as a variety in your amusements, provided that what you can possibly lose is such a trifle, as can neither interest you, nor hurt you.
In this, as well as in all important points of con. duct, shew a deterinined resolution and steadiness. This is not in the least inconsistent with that softness and gentleness so amiable in your sex: on the contrary, it gives that spirit to a mild and sweet disposition, without which it is apt to degenerate into insipidity. It makes you respectable in your own eyes, and dignifies you in ours.
FRIENDSHIP, LOVE, MARRIAGE.
THE luxury and dissipation that prevails in gen1 teel life, as it corrupts the heart in many respects, so it renders it incapable of warm, sincere, and steady friendship. A happy choice of friends will be of the utmost consequence to you, as they may assist you by their advice and good offices. But the immediate gratification which Friendship affords to a warın, open, and ingenuous heart, is of itself a sufficient motive to court it.
In the choice of your friends, have your principal regard to goodness of hicart and fidelity. If they also possess taste and genius, that will still make them more agreeable and useful companions. You have particular reason to place confidence in those who have shewn affection for you in your early days, when you were incapable of making them any returi). This is an obligation for which you cannot
be too grateful.-When you read this, you will naturally think of your mother's friend, to whom you owe so much.
If you have the good fortune to meet with any who deserve the name of friends, unbosom yourself to them with the most unsuspicious confidence. It is one of the world's maxims, never to trust any per. son with a secret, the discovery of which could give you any pain : but it is the maxim of a little miud and a cold heart, unless where it is the effect of frequent disappointments and bad usage. An open temper, if restrained but by tolerable prudence, will make you, on the whole, much happier than a re. served suspicious one, although you may sometimes suffer by it. Coldness and distrust are but the too certain consequences of age and experience: but they are unpleasant feelings, and need not be anti. cipated before their time.
But liowever open you may be in talking of your own affairs, never disclose the secrets of one friend to another. These are secret deposits, which do not belong to you, nor liave you any right to make use of them.
There is another case, in which I suspect it is proper to be secret, not so much from motives of prudence, as delicacy: I mean in love-matters. Though a woman has no reason to be ashamed of an attachment to a man of merit; yet Nature, whose authority is superior to philosophy, has annexed a sense of shame to it. It is even long before a woman of delicacy dares avow to her own heart that she loves; and, when all the subterfuges of
ty to conceal it from herself fail, she feels a violence dove both to her pride and to her modesty. This, I should imagine, must always be the case where she is not sure of a return to her attachment.
In such a situation, to lay the heart open to any person whatever, does not appear to me
th the perfection of female delicacy. But perhaps I am in the wrong. At the same tim
long. At the same time, I must tell you, that, in point of prudence, it concerns you to attend well to the conscquences
the consequences of such a dis.
ingenuity to conceal it f
covery. These secrets, however important in your own estimation, may appear very trifling to your friend, who possibly will not enter into your feelings, but may rather consider them as a subject of pleasantry. For this reason, love-secrets are, of all others, the worst kept. But the consequences to you may be very serious, as no map of spirit and delicacs ever valued a heart much hackneyed in the ways of love.
If, therefore, you must have a friend to pour out your heart to, be sure of her honour and, secrecy. Let her pot be a married woman, especially if she Jives happily with her husband. There are certain unguarded moments, in which such a woman, though the best and worthiest of her sex, may let hints escape, which at other times, or to any other person than her husband, she would be incapable of: nor will a liusband in this case feel himself ander the same obligation of secrecy and honour, as if you had put your confidence originally in himself, especially on a subject which the world is apt to treat so lightly.
If all other circumstances are equal, there are obvious advantages in your making friends of one another. The ties of blood, and your being so much united in one common interest, form an ad. ditional bond of union to your friendship. If your brothers should have the good fortune to have hearts susceptible of friendship, to possess truth, honour, sense, and delicacy of sentiment, they are the fittest and most unexceptiopable confidants. By placing confidence in then, you will receive every advan, tage which you could hope for from the friendship of men, without any of the inconveniencies that attend such connexions with our sex.
Beware of making confidants of your servants. Dignity not properly understood, very readily degenerates into pride, which enters into no friendships, because it cannot bear an equal, and is so fond of hattery as to grasp at it even from servants and dependents. The most intimate confidants, therefore, of proud people, are valets-de-chambre and waiting.
women.-Shew the utinost humanity to your servants; make their situation as comfortable to them as possible: but if you make them your confidants, you spoil them, and debase yourselves.
Never allow any person, under the pretended sanction of friendship, to be so familiar as to lose a proper respect for you. Never allow them to tease you on any subject that is disagreeable, or where you have once taken your resolution. Many will tell you, that this reserve is inconsistent with the freedom which friendship allows. But a certain respect is as necessary in friendship as in love. Without it, you may be liked as a child, but you
The tcmper and dispositions of the beart in your sex make you enter more readily and warmly into friendships, than men. Your natural propensity to it is so strong, that you often run into intimacies which you soon have sufficient cause to repent of: and this makes your frieudships so very fuciu. ating.
Another great obstacle to the sincerity as well as steadiness of your friendships, is the great clashing of your interests in the pursuits of love, ambition, or vanity.--For these reasons, it would appear, at first view, more eligible for you to contract your friendships with the men. Among other obvious advantages of an easy intercourse between the two sexes, it occasions an emulation and exertion in each to excel and be agreeable: hence their respec. tive excellencies are mutually communicated and blended. As their interests in no degree interfere, there can be no foundation for jealousy, or susp. cion of rivalship. The friendship of a man for a woman is always blended with a tenderness, which he never feels for one of his own sex, even where love is in no degree concerned. Besides, we are conscious of a natural title you have to our protec. tion and good offices, and therefore we feel an ad. ditional obligation of honour to serve you, and to observe an inviolable secrecy, whenever you contide in us,