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on marriage, and one who has often tried his fortune in that way, without success. I cannot, however, dismiss this letter, without observing, that the irue story on yhich it is built, does honour to the sex; and that, in order to abuse them, the writer is obliged to have recourse to dream and fiction,
XXI.-On Good Breeding.--CHESTERFIELD. A FRIEND of yours and mine has very justly defined good breeding to be," the result of much good sense, some good nature and a little selfdenial, for the sake of others, and with a view to obtain the same indulgence froin them.” Taking this for granted (as I think it cannot be disputed) it is astonishing to me, that any body, wło has good sense and good nature, can essentially fail in good breeding. As to the modes of it, indeed, they vary according to persons, places and circumstances, and are only to be acquired by observation and experience; but the substance of it is every where and eternally the same. Good manners are, to particular societies, what good morals are to society in general--their cement and their security. And as laws are enacted to enforce good morals, or at least to prevent the ill effects of bad ones; so there are certain rules of civility, universally implied and received, to enforce good manners, and punish bad ones.
And indeed, there seems to me to be less difference both between the crimes and punishments, than, at first, one would imagine. The immoral man, who invades another's property, is justly hanged for it; and the illbred man, who, by bis ill manners, iovades and disturbs the quiet and comforts of private life, is, by common consent, as justly banished so. ciety. Mutual complaisances, attentions, and sacrifices of little conveniences, are as natural an implied compact between civilized people, as protection and obedience are between kings and subjects; whoever, in either case, violates that compact, justly forfeits all advantages arising from it. For my own part, I really thiuk that, next to the consciousness of doing a good action, that of doing a civil one is one of the most pleasing ; and the epithet which I should covet the most, next to that of Aristides, would be that of wellbred. Thus much for good breeding, in general; I will now consider some of the various modes and degrees of it.
Very few, scarely any, are wanting in the respect which they should show to those whom they acknowledge to be highly their superiours; such as crowned heads, princes, and public persons of distinguished and eminent posts. It is the manner of showing that respect which is different. The man of fashion and of the world, expresses it in its fullest extent; but naturally, easily and without concern: Whereas, a man who is not used to keep good company, expresses it awkwardly; one sees that he is not used to it, and that it costs him a great deal; but I never saw the worst bred man living, guilty of lolling, whistling, scratching his head, and such like indecencies, in company that he respected. In such companies therefore, the only point to be attended to is, to show that respect, which every body means to show, in an easy, unembarrassed, and graceful manner. This is what observation and experience must teach you.
la mixed companies, whoever is admitted to make part of them, is for the tine at least, supposed to be upon a footing of equality with the rest; and, consequently, as there is no one principal object of awe and respect, peo. ple are apt to take a greater latitude in their behaviour, and to be less upon their guard; and so they may, provided it be within certain bounds, which are, upon no occasion, to be transgressed. But upon these occasions, though no one is entitled to distinguished marks of respect, every one claims, and very justly, every mark of civility and good breeding. Ease is allowed, but carelessness and negligence are strictly forbidden, If a man accosts you, and ialks to you ever so dully or frivolously, it is worse than rudeness, is brutality, to show himn by a manisest in. attention to what he says, that you think him a fool, or a. blockhead, and not worth hearing,
It is much more so with regard to women, who, of whatever rank they are, are enti led, in consideration of their sex, not only to an attentive, but an officious good breeding from men. Their lit. tle wants, likings, dislikes, preferences, antipathies and fan'cies, must be ofliciously attended to, and if possible, guessed at and anticipated, by a wellbred mau.
You must neve er lisarp to yourself those conveniences and gratifications which are of common right, such as the best places, the best dishes, &c. but on the contrary, always decline them
yourself and ofier them to others, who in their turns will offer them to you; so that upon the whole, you will in your turn, enjoy your share of the common right. It would be endless for me to enumerate all the particular circumstances, in which a wellbred man shows his good breeding, in good company; and it would be injurious to. you to suppose, that your own good sense will not point them out to you ; and then your own good nature will recommend, and your self interest enforce the practice.
There is a third sort of good breeding, in which people are the most apt to fail, from a very mislaken notion, that they cannot fail at all. I mean with regard to one's most familiar friends and acquaintauces, or those who really are our inferiours; and there, undoubtedly, a greater degree of ease is not only allowable, but proper, and contributes much to the comforts of a private social life. But ease and freedom have their bounds, which must by no means be violated. A certain degree of negligence and carelessness becomes injurious and insulting, from the real or supposed inferiority of the persons; and that delightful liberty of conversation, among a few friends, is soon destroyed, as liberty often has been, by being carried to liceutiousness. But example explains things best; ünd I will put a pretty strong case. Suppose you and me alone together; I believe you will allow, that I have as good a right to unlimited freedom in your company, as either you or I can possibly bave in any other; and I am apt to believe, too, that you would indulge me in that freedom as far as any body would. But notwithstanding this, do
you imagine that I should think there were no bounds to that freedom? I assure you I should not think so; and I take myself to be as much tied down, by a certain de. gree of good manners to you, as by other degrees of them to other people.
The most familiar and intimate habi. tudes, connexions, and friendships, require a degree of Food breeding, both to preserve and cenient them. The best of us have our bad sides; and it is as imprudent as it is ill bred, to exhibit them. I shall not use ceremony with you; it would be misplaced between us; but I shall certainly observe that degree of good breeding with you, which is, in the first place, decent, and which, I am sure, is absolutely necessary, to make us like one another's company long
XXII.- Address to a young Student.-Knox. YOUR parents have watched over your helpless infancy, and conducted you, with many a pang, to an age at which your mind is capable of manly improvement.Their solicitude still continues, and no trouble nor expence is spared, in giving you all the instructions and accomplishments which may enable you to act your part in life, as a man of polished sense and confirmed virtue. You have, then, already contracted a great debt of gratitude to them. You can pay it by no other method, but by using properly the advantages which their goodness has afford
If your own endeavours are deficient, it is in vain that you have tutors, books, and all the external apparatus of literary pursuits. You must love learning, if you would possess it. In order to love it, you must feel its delights; in order to feel its delights, you must apply to it, however irksome at first, closely, constantly, and for a considerable time. If you have resolution enough to do this, you cannot but love learning; for the mind always loves that to which it has been long, steadily, and voluntarily attached. Habits are formed, wbich render what was at first disagreeable, not only pleasant but necessary,
Pleasant, indeed, are all the paths which lead to polite and elegant literature. Yours then, is surely a lot particularly happy. Your education is of such a sort, that its principal scope is, to prepare you to receive a refined pleasure during your life. Elegance, or delicacy of taste, is one of the first objects of classical discipline; and it is this fine quality, which opens a new world to the scholar's view. Elegance of taste has a connexion with many virtues, and all of them virtues of the most amiable kind. It tends to render you, at once good and agreeable. You must, therefore, be an enemy to your own enjoyment; if you enter on the disciplice which leads to the attainment of a classical and liberal education, with reluctance. Val, ue duly the opportunities you enjoy, and which are denied to thousands of your fellow creatures.
Without exemplary diligence you will make but a contemptible proficiency. You may, indeed, pass through the forms of schools and universities; but you will bring nothing away from them, of real valae. The proper sort and degree of diligence, you cannot possess, but by the efforts of your own resolution. Your instructor may indeed confine you within the walls of a school, a certain number of hours. He may place books before you, and compel you to fix your eyes upon them; but no' authority can chain down your mind. Your thoughts will escape from every external restraint, and, amidst the most serious lectures, may be ranging in the wild pursuits of trifies and vice Rules, restraints, commands and punishments, may, indeed, assist in strengthening your resolution; but, without your own voluntary choice, your diligence will not often conduce to your pleasure and advantage. Tho' this truth is obvious, yet it seems to be a secret to those parents, who expect to find their son's improvement increase, in proportion to the number of tutors, and external assistance which their opulence has enabled them to provide. These assistances, indeed, are sometimes afforded, chiefly, that the young heir to a title or estate may indulge himself in idleness and nominal pleasures. The lesson is construed to him, and the exercise written for him, by the private tutor, while the hapless youth is engaged in some ruinous pleasure, which, at the same time, prevents him from learning any thing desirable, and leads to the formation of destructive habits, which can seldom be removed.
But the principal obstacle to your improvement at school, especially if you are too plentifully supplied with money, is a perverse ambition of being distinguished as a boy of spirit, in mischievous pranks, in neglecting the tasks and lessons, and for every vice and irregularity which the puerile age can admit,
You will have sense enough, I hope, to discover, beneath the mask of gaiety and good nature, that malignaut spirit of detraction, which endeavours to render the boy who applies to books, and to all the duties and proper business of the school, ridiculous. You will see, by the light of your reason, that the ridicule is misapplied.
You will discover, that the boys who have recourse to ridicule, are, for the most part, stupid, unfeeling, ignorant and vicious. Their noisy folly, their bold confidence, their contempt of learning, and their defiance of authority, are for the most part, the genuide effects of hardened insensibility. Let not their in