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his fortitude and greatness of mind had begun to attract admiration, and to make the envious person feel the superiority of virtue above good fortune.
To take sincere pleasure in the blessings and ex. cellencies of others, is a much surer mark of benevolence, than to pity their calamities: and you must always acknowledge yourself ungenerous and selfish, whenever you are less ready to “rejoice with o them that do rejoice," than to .“ weep with them " that weep.” If ever your commendations of others are forced from you, by the fear of betraying your envy, or if ever you feel a secret desire to mention something that may abate the admiration given them, do not try to conceal the base disposi. tion from yourself, since that is not the way to cure it.
Iluman nature is ever liable to corruption, and has in it the seeds of every vice, as well as of every virtue; and, the first will be coutinually shooting forth and growing up, if not carefully watched and rooted out as fast as they appear. It is the business of religion to purify and exalt us, from a staie of imperfection and infirmity, to that which is nécessary and essential to happiness. Envy would make us miserable in Heaven itself, could it be ad. mitted there; for we must there see beings far more excellent, and consequently more happy than our. selves: and till we can rejoice in seeing virtue rewarded in proportion to its degree, we can never hope to be among the ixumber of the blessed.
Watch then, my dear child, and observe every evil propensity of your heart, that you may in time correct it, with the assistance of that grace which along can conquer the evils of our nature, and which you must constantly and earnestly implore.
I must add, that even those vices which you wouid most blush to own, and which most effectaally defile-aud vilify the feinale heart, may by degrees be introduced into yours,-to the ruin of that virtue, without which, misery and shiame must be your portion,-unless the avenues of the heart are guarded by a sincere abhorrence of every thing
that approaches towards evil. Would you be of
I must not now begin to give you my thoughts on the regulation of the affections, as that is a sub. ject of too much consequence to be soon dismissed:
I shall dedicate to it my next letter: in the mean time, believe me,
ous and Dice with
th them Lions of etraying desire to wiration disposi.
Your ever affectionate.
ON THE REGULATION OF THE
alore. 1 you
THE attachments of the heart, on which almost 1. all the happiness or inisery of life depends, are most interesting objects of our consideration. I shall give my dear Niece the observations which experience has enabled me to draw fronı real life, and not from what others have said or written, how. ever great their authority.
The first attachment of young hearts is friend. ship,the noblest and happiest of affections when real, and built on a solid foundation; but, oftener pernicious than useful to very young people, be. cause the counection itself is ill understood, and the subject of it frequently ill chosen. Their first error is that of supposing equality of age, and exact si
milarity of disposition, indispensably requisite in friends; whereas these are circumstances which in
other in moral improvements, or supplying each, other's defects; they expose them to the same dan. gers, and incline them to encourage rather than correct each other's failings.
The grand cement of this kind of friendship is telling secrets, which they call confidence: and I verily believe that the desire of having secrets to · tell, has often helped to draw silly girls into very unhappy adventures. If they have no lover or amour to talk of, the too frequent subject of their confidence, is betraying the secrets of their families; or conjuring up fancied hardships to complain of against their parents or relations: this odious ca. bal, they call friendship; and fancy themselves dignified by the profession: but nothing is more different from the reality, as is seen by observing how. generally those early friendships drop off, as the
parties advance in years and understanding. : Do not you, my dear, be too ready to profess & i friendship with any of your young companions.
Love them, and be always ready to serve and oblige them, and to promote all their innocent gratifications; but, be very careful how you enter into confidence with girls of your own age. Rather choose some person of riper years and judgment, whose 'good-nature and worthy principles may assure you of her readiness to do you a service, and of her candour and condescension towards you.'
I do not expect that youth should delight to as. sociate with age, or should lay open its feelings and inclinations to such as have alınost forgot what they were, or how to make proper allowance for them but if you are fortunate enough to meet with 1 young woman, eight or ten years older than your self, of good sense and good principles, to whom you can make yourself agreeable, it may be one of the happiest circumstances of your life. She will be able to advise and to improve you, and your desire of this assistance will recommend you to her
taste, as much as her superior abilities will recommend her to you. Such a connection will afford you more pleasure, as well as more profit, than you can expect from a girl like yourself, equally unprovided with knowledge, prudence, or any of those qualifications which are necessary to make society delightful.
With a friend, such as I have described, of twentythree or twenty-four years of age, you can hardly pass an hour without finding yourself brought forward in some useful knowledge; without learning something of the world, or of your owu nature; some rule of behaviour, or some necessary caution in the conduct of life: for even in the gayest conversations, such useful hints may often be gathered from those whose knowledge and experience are much beyond our own. Whenever you find your. self in real want of advice, or seek the relief of unburdeping your heart, such a frieud will be able to juug - the feelings you describe, or of the circumstances you art in perhaps from her own experience, or, at least, from the knowledge she will have yaluud of human nature, she will be able to point out your dangers, and tv guide you into the right path,mor, if she finds herself incapable, she will have the prudence to direct you to some abler adviser. The age I have mentioned, will not prevent her joining in your pleasures, nor will it make her a dull or grave compabind; on the contrary, she will have more materials for entertaining conversation, and her liveliness will shew itself more agreeably than in one of your own age. Yours, therefore, will be the advantage in such a connection; yet do not despair of being admitted into it, if you have an amiable and docile disposi. tion. Ingenuous youth has many charms for a benevolent mind; and, as nothing is more endearing than the exercise of benevolence, the hope of being useful and beneficial to you, will make her fond of your company.
I bave known some of the sweetest and most delightful connections between persons of different
ages, in which the elder has received the highest gratification from the affection and docility of the younger; whilst the latter has gained the noblest advantages from the conversation and counsels of her wiser friend. Nor has the attachment been without use as well as pleasure to the elder party. She has found that there is no better way of im. proving one's own attainments than by imparting them to another; and the desire of doing this in the most acceptable way, has added a sweetness and gentleness to her manner, and taught her the arts of insinuating instruction, and of winning the heart, while she convinces the understanding.
I hope, my dear, you in your turn, will be this useful and engaging friend to your younger companions, particularly to your sisters and brothers, who ought ever, unless they should prove unworthy, to be your nearest and dearest friends, whose inte. rest and welfare you are bound to desire as mund as your own. If you are wapting kue, ao " fancy yourself qualified for friendship with others, but, be assured, your heart is too narrow and selfish for so generous an affection...--
Remember that the end of true friendship is the good of its object, and the cultivation of virtue, in two hearts emulous of each other, and desirous to perpetuate their society beyond the grave. Nothing can be more contrary to this end than that mutual intercourse of flattery which some call friendship, A real friend will venture to displease me, rather than indulge my faulty inclinations, or increase my natural frailties; she will endeavour to make me acquainted with myself, and will put me upon guarding the weak parts of my character.
Friendship, in the highest sense of the word, can only subsist between persons of strict integrity, and true generosity. Before you fancy yourself possessed of such a treasure, you should examine the value of your own lieart, and see how well it is qualified for so sacred a connection: and then a harder task renrains; to find out whether the ob. jest of your affection is also endued with the same