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liking, as the old woman said, when she kissed her cow;"—this is insufferable. He has generally some favourite word, which he introduces upon all occasions, whether to the point or not, such as, vastly angry, vastly kind, FEARFULLY ugly, TREMENDOUSLY handsome; immensely great, excessively little. Even his pronunciation carries the mark of vulgarity ; he calls the earth, yearth; finan' ces, fin' ances ; enquiry, en' quirry; he goes to' wards, and not towards, such a place. He affects to use long words, to give him the appearance of a man of learning, but frequently mistakes their meaning, and elsdom, if ever, pronounces them properly. All this must be avoided, if you do not wish it to be supposed that you associate with the ignorant and coarse in mind.
Never have recourse to proverbial or vulgar sayings ; neither use favourite nor long words, but choose the most elegant; be careful in the arranging of them, and your labour will not be lost; for nothing is more engaging, than a fashionable and elegant address in a child.
Endeavour, as you have opportunity, to mix in good society, and the company of your superiors. You will not only be held in estimation by others by the company you keep, but your self-esteem will rise accordingly. By the word superiors, I do not mean with regard to birth, but that of merit, and the esteem in which they are held by men of worth, whether they be your own companions, or strangers with whom you wish to become acquainted.
Frequent and loud laughter is the character. istic of folly and bad manners.
It is the
way in which vulgar youths express their silly joy at silly things; and they call it being merry. To me, there is nothing so grating, and so illbred, as loud laughter. True wit or sense never yet made any body laugh, they are above it; they please the mind, and give a cheerfulness to the countenance. Children of sense and breeding should show themselves above being
excited by buffoonery, or silly accidents, which always excite the risibility of the vulgar. A person about to seat himself, on a supposition that a chair is behind him, and falling from there being none, occasions à general laugh, when the most brilliant wit would fail to
Is not this sufficient proof how low and unbecoming laughter sometimes is?
Some children have a foolish way of laughing whenever they speak; so that they are always on the grin, and their faces ever distorted. This, and a thousand other habits, such as scratching their heads, twirling their hats, fumbling with their buttons, playing with their fingers, &c. &c., are acquired from a false modesty or obstinate rudeness. Shame-faced in company, they try a variety of ways to keep themselves in countenance, and thus fall into those awkward habits I have mentioned, which increase in number, and in time become confirmed.
Romping, loud and frequent laughing, horseplay of any sort, throwing things at one another, punning, joking, mimicry, waggery, and too great and indiscriminate familiarity, causes many dear children to be disagreeable, notwithstanding numerous engaging traits in their characters.
There is nothing so delicate as your moral character; and nothing which it is your interest so much to preserve pure. Should you be suspected of injustice, malignity, perfidy, lying, &c., you will never gain esteem, friendship, or respect. A strange concurrence of circumstances has sometimes raised very bad men to high stations; but they have been raised like criminals to a pillory, where their crimes, by being more conspicuous, become better known, and more detested, and themselves capable of being pelted at, and insulted.
I recommend to you a most scrupulous tenderness for your moral character, and the utmost care not to say or do, in word or deed, anything, which may, ever so slightly, taint it.
Show youself upon all occasions, the advocate, the friend, but not the bully of virtue, and of truth.
MIMICRY AND WAGGERY.
A professed mimic, or wag, is little short of a buffoon, who distorts his mouth and eyes, to make people laugh. Be assured that no person ever demeaned himself to please others, without making himself the laughing-stock and the Merry Andrew of the company! Whether this character is respectable, and worthy attaining, I leave you to judge.
You may ask questions, and leave no subject without being thoroughly informed upon it; but be careful to ask proper questions, and at a convenient time. Such pertinent questions are far from being ill-bred in you, or troublesome to those of whom you ask them ; on the contrary, they are a tacit compliment to their knowledge, and people form a good opinion of a child when he seems desirous of information.
AMUSEMENTS AND STUDY.
Be as attentive to your amusements as to your studies. In the latter, observe and reflect