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dangerous one when there are so many prizes for one blank.
The education, the character, the temper, and the original design of women contradict every part of the supposition that the generality of the sex are troublesome and pestiferous in their disposition. I maintain that the virgin love of women is the dearest and sweetest gift that Heaven can confer on man; and his is the blame who possesses it, if the garland do not remain green and blossom for ever.
We are bound to admire the incessant care of parents to instruct their daughters, from their infancy, in all useful and substantial.acquirements. The experience of the mothers, especially, teaches them to distinguish between petty forms, which captivate and allure the trifling part of our sex, and the dignified manners which charm the wise. What pains have I seen bestowed on the infant mind to convince the dear child-the mother, perhaps, of the future hero, the poet, or the divine-that the charms of person and of dress were never once to be compared with the improvement of the mind! And it is, moreover, a common and good rule, in the education of all female children, to make them clean and neat in their person, and easy and agreeable in their manners, without making them vain.
If we look into the female mind, we shall find virtues of a brighter hue, though not of the same colours, of which we boast. We have greater depth of investigation ; they, greater acateness of perception. Our strength of mind is compensated by their liveliness. If we have more courage to brave danger, they have far more fortitude to meet distress. Our eloquence has more force; theirs has more persuasion. Their virtues are feminine, but as substantial and as useful as ours. The Author of our nature, in his infinite wisdom, has fitted the several virtues to the station which he has intended the possessors of them to occupy; and they are so well fitted to it, that you never bear women rail against the married state, as unmarried men frequently do. Gentleness and forbearance are so sweetly tempered and mingled in their constitutions, that they bear the hardships of their lot, however peculiarly severe it may be, without repining or levelling a satire against such as are, by the generality of their sex, regarded as more fortunate.
That we do not, in every instance, find this intimate union productive of the greatest happiness, is either because we form engagements for life with too little consideration, or are careful to conceal the defects of our temper before marriage, and allow them to break out after; else we may suppose that there is some speck of infirmity, some pollution in the spring of all human enjoyment.
But we must take human life as it is, and not as the imagination may paint it. The . scenes of delight which we figure to ourselves are nothing more than waking dreams. They
are the sweet, but not quite the harmless, illusions of fancy, which, the more they are indulged in, will lay up a greater store of irksome feelings and disappointed hopes for the future part of our lives. In compensation for the loss of this happiness, which in youth we are so ready to paint on a cloud, my experience bids me assure you that the ingredients of human comforts, rising out of the different scenes of life, are totally distinct from the pictures of the imagination; yet a wise and discreet inan may find them everywhere.
Good temper and gentleness I consider as the main avenues leading to mutual enjoyment. They meliorate the violence of contention, keep alive the seeds of harmony, and renew endearment Banish gentleness from your hearth, and what sort of society will remain ?
the solitude of the desert were preferable to it. Is it not strange, that two people, having the same common interest, should ever concur in defeating it? They must abide by, and suffer with, one another; and since nature has already provided a sufficient quantity of unavoidable evils for the state of man from without, why should he endeavour to increase them by strife within ?. The sense of duty and common happiness is surely of itself sufficient to recommend this virtue. It prepossesses and wins every heart, and persuades when every other argument fails. To gentle behaviour, the world is generally disposed to ascribe overy other good quality. There are other
good qualities which reach us not; but of the influence of gentleness, not only the partner of our bosom, but all around us partake, and therefore all love it. Its influence on our internal enjoyment is, moreover, certain and powerful. That inward tranquillity which it promotes is the first requisite to every pleasurable feeling. It is the calm and clear atmosphere, the serenity and sunshine of the mind ; and when benignity and gentleness reign within, we are always in least danger of being ruffled from without.
Gentleness, sweet gentleness ! it will always prove itself the most blessed guest that attends your hearth, and the balm of connubial love. With it your days will low in a placid tenor, and you will regard every failing in others with an indulgent eye. You can retreat into the calumness of your spirit as into an undisturbed sanctuary, and enjoy, as it were, a prelude to heavenly bliss; whereas, if no attention be paid to the government of the temper, a meetness for heaven can never be acquired, and the regenerating power of religion on the soul never known. If we have none of that forbearance towards those who are nearest and dearest to us, which we all so earnestly entreat from Heaven, can we look for clemency or gentleness from the Judge before whose tribunal we and our wronged friends must meet?
Being a layman, I do not wish to enter deeply into the mysteries of religion; but I would
always keep it in view. Now, a holy calmness of temper will most of all be promoted by frequent views of those great objects which the religion of the meek and lowly Jesus presents. We shall learn to look upon this world as a state of passage, and inhale the prospects of a blessed immortality-as only acting now, under the eye of God, an introductory part to a more important scene; and, elevated by such sentiments, our minds will become calm and sedate; the spirit of true religion will remove us to a distance from the grating objects of worldly contention, and teach us to bear with one another, and love one another; for the love that cometh from above is gentle and easy to be entreated ;-and, in one word, the tenor of manners which the gospel enjoins when it commands us to bear one another's burdens; to rejoice with those who do rejoice, and weep with them that weep; to please every one his neighbour for his own good ; to be kind and tender-hearted, pitiful and courteous; to support the weak, and to be patient towards all men ;-the fruits of this spirit are meekness, gentleness, and long-suffering. .
* All the virtues of domestic life are lessons which are taught in the Christian school. It is like the sun, who, though he regulates and leads on the year, dispensing light and life to all the planetary worlds, yet disdains not to cherish and beautify the flower which opens its bosom to his beam; so the Christian religion,