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more steadily to remember, that the fountain will be estimated according to the stream. If the rill runs babbling along, shallow and frothy, the source will be deemed incapable of supplying an ampler cur
If the former is muddy, bitter, and corrosive, its offensiveness will be afcribed to the inherent qualities of the latter.
Among the faults which it is usual to hear laid to the charge of young women, when female discourse is canvaffed, vanity, affectation, and frivolousness, seem to furnith the most prevailing theme of censure. That in a great number of instances the censure is warranted, cannot be denied. And every young woman ought to beware, iest there should be ground for applying it, with justice, to herfelf. For, if it should be with justice applied to her, let her be assured, that whatever may be the circumstances of palliation by which a part of the blame may be transferred elsewhere, there will yet be, in the most favourable case, a large resi
duum, duum, for which she ought to be, and must be personally responsible. But it is no more than common candour to avow, that in addition to those defects which frequently subsist in the plan of female education, there is another cause to which a portion of this vanity, and of its concomitant habits and errors, must be ascribed ; namely, the injudicious and reprehensible behaviour of the other sex.
The style and kind of conversation in which men very gerierally indulge themselves towards unmarried women, not unfrequently towards married women, and towards no women so much as towards those who have been recently introduced into public, are such as would lead an indifferent auditor to conclude, either that their own intellectual powers were very slender; or, that they regarded the persons, to whom they were directing their discourse, as nearly devoid of understanding. For, antecedently to experience, could it appear probable that
a man of sense, when converfing with a woman whom he deemed to poffefs a cultivated mind, would ftudy, as it should feem, to fhun every subject of discourse which might afford scope for the exercise of reason: that his whole aim would apparently be, to excite noisy gaiety founded on nothing; to call forth a contest of
witticifm and flippant repartee; to difcuss the merits of caps and colours, and essences and fans ; and to intoxicate the head, and beguile the heart, by every mode and every extravagance of compliment? Yet fuch is the fort of conversation daily to be heard ; and not in public places only, but in private families; and not only from the giddiness of empty young men, but from men of maturer years, and of a more fober caft; men who, themselves, have darighters about to be introduced into the world, and are themselves known, in their serious moments, to lament, and to lament with fincerity, tho temptations, and dangers by which those daughters, when introduced, are to be af
failed. The effects of such treatment and intercourse on young women are deeply and permanently mischievous. She who is already vain, frivolous, and affected, inftead of deriving from the behaviour which she experiences from the other fex motives and encouragements to improvement, is confirmed in her faults more and more; and learns to continue from principle what, perhaps, originated in thoughtlessness. And she who at present is not tinctured with these failings, is in constant hazard either of being ensnared by the familiarity of example, and by the comparative difregard shewn to those excellences with which the is endowed; or of contracting a disposition equally remote from feminine diffidence and Christian Humility, namely, a propensity to admire her own acquisitions; to rest with proud confidence in her own judgment of persons and things; and to reprehend with cenforiousness, or expose with farcaftic ridicule, the manners and the characters of her acquaintance. Young women will act
wisely in remembering that men who are addicted to this style of conversation, and profuse in the language of complimentary encomium, are found in general to be indiscriminate flatterers, and to applaud without inward approbation : and that, if single men, they are often among the least likely to have their affections seriously engaged, and the least worthy to possess the affections of another,
that this very
But while, on the one hand, we allow to young women the full benefit of every apology that can be derived from the improper behaviour and example of the other sex in the points under consideration ; truth requires us, on the other hand, to observe
behaviour on the part of men, which has been juftly reprehended, is frequently called forth and encouraged by the favourable reception which it is seen to attain. Beauty delights to hear its own praise. Where beauty does not captivate in the countenance, grace and elegance