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may fascinate in the person : and grace and elegance do not yield to beauty in the desire of admiration. Where neither beauty, nor grace and elegance have been liberal of their gifts, vanity is at hand to magnify every the most slender token of their boun, ty; and listens with open ears to the applauses which she imagines herself to deserve; and with still greater eagerness to those, her title to which she had previously doubted. If personal attractions have been so sparingly bestowed, as neither to leave room for the expectation of fincere encomium, nor even for the delusive dreams of hope, in which the fancy is prone to indulge ; the love of compliment has yet other sources of gratification, Shewy accomplishments become the ground on which the tribute of panegyric is claimed: and the 'tribute, once evidently claimed, will be regularly paid by conviction or by politeness. Hence it is that among a large proportion of young women, and especially among those who are not remarkable for the

strength hrengthoftheir understanding and who have not been accustomed to eftimate the worth of objects according to the standard of reafon and religion, conversation loaded with fatteries, as filly as they are gross, too often finds welcome hearers. Hence, also, it is confined in circles of this defcription to fcenes, topics, and incidents which embrace little more than the amufements of the

preceding or of the ensuing afternoon ; the looks and the dress of the prefent company or of their acquaintance ; petty anecdotes of the neighbourhood, and local fcandal. Is it wonderful then that the wish prevalent in most men, and especially in young men, to render themfelves acceptable in social intercourse to the female sex, should befray

them into a mode of behaviour which they perceive to be so generally welcome? Is it wonderful that he who discovers trifling to be the way to please, should become a trifler; that he who by the casual introduction of a fubject, which seemed to call upon

the reason to exert itfelf, has brought


an ominous yawn over the countenance of his fair auditor, should guard against a repetition of the offence? But it is not only to women of moderate capacity, that hours of trifling and flippantconversation are found acceptable. To thofe of superior talents they are not unfrequently known to give a degree of entertainment, greater than on flight confideration we might have expected. The matter, however, may eafily be explained. Many women who are endowed with strong mental powers, are little inclined to the trouble of exerting them. They love to indulge a fupine vacuity of thought; listen to nonfenfe without diffatisfaction, becaufe to listen to it requires no effort; neither fearch nor prompt others to seareh deeper than the furface of the paffing topic of discourse; and were it not for an occafional remark that indicates difcernment, or a look of intelligence which gleams through the listlessnefs of floth, would fcarcely be fufpected of judgement and penetration. While these persons


two sexes, is to resemble the discussions of a board of philosophers; and that ease and gaiety, and laughter and wit, are to be

profcribed as inveterate enemies of fobriety and good sense. Let ease exempt from affectàtion, gaiety prompted by innocence, laughter the effusion of ingenuous delight, and wit unstained with any tincture of malevolence, enliven the hours of social converse. But let it not be thought that their enlivening influence is unreasonably curtailed, if good sense be empowered at all times to superintend their proceedings; and if sobriety be authorised sometimes to interpose topics, which may exercise and improve the faculties of the understanding.

At the close of these remarks on female conversation, it inay

be allowable to subjoin a few words on a kindred subject, epistolary, correspondence. Letters which pass between men commonly relate, in a greater or a less degree, to actual business. Even young men, on whom the cares of

life are not yet devolved in their full weight, will frequently be led to enlarge to their absent friends on topics not only of an interesting nature, but also of a serious cast: on the studies which they are respectively pursuing; on the advantages and disadvantages of the profession to which the one or the other is deftined; on the circumstances which appear likely to forward or to impede the success of each in the world. The seriousness of the subject, therefore, has a tendency, though a tendency which, I admit, is not always successful, to guard the writer from an affected and artificial style. Young women, whose minds are comparatively unoccupied by such concerns, are sometimes found to want in their correspondence, a counterpoise, if not to the desire of shining, yet to the quickness of imagination, and occasionally, to the quickness of feeling, natural to their sex. Hence they are exposed to peculiar danger, a danger aggravated by the nature of some of the fashionable topics which will pro

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